kayak A-frame


I used to house my kayaks in an old, homemade structure I put together of aluminium and duct tape. The lack of professionalism was obvious. The structure looked like a tangled mass of twisted metal and getting the kayaks off and onto it was like a huge game of Jenga, as I tried not to compromise the whole structure and bring the whole thing crashing down. I knew my duct tape rack could barely hold the weight of one kayak, let alone the three I kept it loaded up with. So, I decided to build something up to the task of storing my kayaks in a way that didn’t threaten to come crashing down on me in a strong breeze.

A simple A-frame design should do the job and get the kayaks off the grass without putting too much stress on your pocket.


• 5x 8ft lengths of 2×4
• 6x 8ft lengths of 1×4
• A set of saw horse clamps
• 1 ¼ inch wood screws


First, attach two of the 8ft 2x4s with a saw horse clamp to create the first pair of uprights, then do the same with another pair. These will provide the A-frame support at each end.

Once you have the two pairs assembled and have the two uprights, you need to attach them with a cross brace. To do this I lay 2 of the 1x4s on the ground in a cross and pre-drilled the screw holes which would be needed to attach them to the A supports. You don’t have to predrill, but it might help to stop them from splitting. I then screwed the cross brace onto the two A frame supports to create the first side of the rack.

Standing it up and spreading the four legs, I then fixed a top bar (1×4) into the two sawhorse clamps to join the two sides and put a 2×4 across the opposite side to the cross brace to give it more support. This side will remain open so you can access the kayaks easily.

The last thing to add are the cross pieces to support the boats. This will require measuring the length you need and cutting the remaining 2x4s as needed. I set up the lowest cross piece 10 inches off the ground and cut a top level of around 38 inches wide.

All that remains is to attach something to prevent the kayaks from getting scratched. I had some foam insulation left over from an attic conversion so I attached it to the rails using a staple gun. The whole construction took less than an hour, and if you only need to house one kayak, you can make the structure single tiered in even less time.

If your kayaks are kept outside the A-frame shape makes it easy to throw a waterproof tarp over the structure to protect them from the elements.

Once I had loaded it up with my kayaks I gave it a shake and found the structure to be pretty solid. It has since made loading and unloading my kayaks a much easier and less treacherous experience.


Is there anything you can add to this article? Share your thoughts through the comments section below.

Oli Ward

Oli has camped and hiked his way around Australia and most of Europe. He also loves writing about his experiences and sharing his knowledge.