Given the choice between waiting for UPS freight to deliver my kayak the following Wednesday, or driving to Colorado Springs to pick it up on a Friday and thus have a chance to go kayaking on the weekend, I of course opted for the later. The intended carry vehicle was not ready for this duty though, so I threw the kayak rack parts onto my WRX and used that.
Outdoorplay.com did a great job of protecting the kayak during shipping. The kayak was wrapped first in a thick clear plastic bag (probably from the manufacturer), then in a long heavy duty bubble wrap bag, and finally in a really tough thick black plastic outer bag. The boat arrived undamaged and, since I was picking the kayak up directly from the UPS freight center, I was able to leave those huge volumes of packing material with them.
The first thing we noticed, apart from the sheer size of this kayak, was its weight. Looking at specs for various tandem kayaks, this is nothing special, it’s a very typical weight (~70-75lbs), but the reality is that it’s not easy to load onto a car and takes a bit of practice figuring out a system to make this easier. Once loaded, the drive home was uneventful, though I did notice that my Yakima cross bars are not very securely mounted to the roof and the weight of the kayak pushed them down a bit, interfering with the windows on this car. For a short term solution it was fine to get the kayak home, but for long term use, I’d recommend a more secure roof rack than this.