September 15, 2020 4 min read

Custom Kayak & Paddleboard Trailer Rack

Aluma Trailer Kayak/Paddleboard Rack

"Check out my custom kayak and paddleboard rack for my Aluma trailer. It serves on the trailer for transport and off for storage. " - Jeff


Build of the Month

Here at Maker Pipe we love the customer builds so we launched a community where makers can share their builds and interact with other DIY minded people. Within this community we started a Build of the Month contest. When builders share their project they can tag the #MakerPipeBOTM topic.

At the end of the month we compile the entries and let the Maker Pipe community decide their favorite. The winning build gets a t-shirt, tool belt, community badge, and a $50 Maker Pipe gift card that includes free shipping! Head over to the community to see this months entries or post your own build!


Underside Shot of the Kayak Rack
Frame Mounted to the Trailer


August BOTM Winner - Kayak/Supboard Rack

Jeff shared his custom kayak and paddleboard rack  that mounts to his Aluma trailer.  He made the rack removable so he could store the kayaks and paddleboards when his family isn't traveling with them.


Q & A with Jeff


Q: What gave you the idea for the trailer rack? 

 A:" I wanted a multi-purpose trailer even though we would be using it most of the time as a kayak and paddleboard hauler.  I didn’t like what I saw on the market so thought a custom-built rack was the way to go.  That way we could store and transport both kayaks and paddleboards.  I believe I came across your website when searching for custom-kayak rack ideas.  I took some of those ideas I found online, but modified the rack to fit my Aluma 10’ x 63” trailer.  I wanted  something that was easily removed and using your product and lightweight conduit did the job.  I’m surprised how strong the finished product was.


Q: How did you go about the design process?

A: " I went through about 5 or 6 different drawings and designs and in the ended up with the final solution.  I kept adding parts and pieces as I went to make sure it would be strong enough; especially during transport.  So far no issues.  I might add some strap tie-downs loops/hooks to the conduit instead of using the tie-downs built into the trailer."


Q: Did you find Maker Pipe and adapt the design to use conduit and connectors or did you already have a solution using conduit in mind?

A: "I found the idea of using conduit when finding your website while searching for “custom-kayak racks”.  I believe another builder or two had made a stationary rack to store kayaks."


Q: You said it is used for storage when it is off the trailer. How do you secure it to the trailer for transportation?

A: " I used the trailers stake pockets and pressure treated 2x4s to secure the conduit on the bottom and 2nd tier of the rack.  The hardest part was routing the bottom of the 2x4 to fit snuggly into the smaller sized stake pockets.  The rack is not going anywhere!  To remove, you only have unscrew the 8 conduit straps."


Q: How has the project been holding up since you finished it?

A: "No problems thus far.  The noodle covers get a bit “squished” with the kayaks sitting on them for long periods, but I figured they would."


Q: Are there any upgrades or improvements you want to make to the rack?

A: " I’ll probably want to add tie-down locations to the conduit itself to make strapping the kayaks down more efficient.  I have already added 2 US flags to the tops of the paddleboard tier since I took the pictures I sent in."


Q: Lastly, where is your favorite kayaking/paddleboarding spot?

A: "Clear Lake, IA is currently our favorite as it is closest “nice” lake in the area.  Once “COVID-times” winds down we plan on taking our kayaks up to northern MN for vacation next year.  This summer’s kayak purchases were in—place of our normal two-week vacation we take."


Rack Frame off the Trailer


The Build

The Maker Pipe frame for the rack is fairly simple. The main structure consists of 3 long pipes connected with 90 degree connectors  on the sides and a 4 way connector  through the center. Then he repeated the same structure and connected the two frames together with vertical pipes and T connectors. 

He added bracing where needed with 45 degree connectors.Also there are pipes ran from side to side with T's  that add rigidity and also hold the kayaks. On these pipes he added foam to protect the kayaks during transport.

For the paddleboard section he built a T frame by extending the center support pipes through the 4 way connector  and running another long pipe down the middle of the whole structure horizontally. He added foam to these pipes for paddlebaord protection. 

Aluma trailers have stake pockets built on to the sides. Jeff used these to hold the frame in place during transport. He slides 2x4's into the stake pockets then uses conduit straps  to attach the pipes to them. 


Jeff did an awesome job with this DIY kayak/paddleboard rack! We want to thank him for entering the contest and taking the time to answer our questions. If you want to see the original post and build photos here is the link.  Remember to enter your own builds for a chance to win.Thanks for reading and happy building!