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Yakima ShowDown Kayak or SUP Carrier and Lift Assist w/ Tie-Downs - Side Loading - Clamp On

Yakima ShowDown Kayak or SUP Carrier and Lift Assist w/ Tie-Downs - Side Loading - Clamp On

Item # Y04081

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Watersport Carriers

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Yakima ShowDown Kayak or SUP Carrier and Lift Assist w/ Tie-Downs - Side Loading - Clamp On Clamp On - Standard Y04081
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Product Images

In Use/Installed


  • Kayak
  • Paddle Board
  • Roof Mount Carrier
  • Yakima
  • Saddle-Style
  • Aero Bars
  • Factory Bars
  • Round Bars
  • Square Bars
  • Elliptical Bars
  • Side Loading
  • Clamp On - Standard
  • Load Assist
  • Locks Not Included
Lightweight watersport carrier with lift assist lets you easily load 1 kayak or 2 SUPs onto your roof rack. Sliding arms let you load and secure gear at waist level, and then easily lift it onto your roof. Tie-downs included. Clamp-on installation. Lowest Prices for the best watersport carriers from Yakima. Yakima ShowDown Kayak or SUP Carrier and Lift Assist w/ Tie-Downs - Side Loading - Clamp On part number Y04081 can be ordered online at or call 800-298-8924 for expert service.

  • All Info
  • Reviews (1)
  • Q & A (17)
  • Videos (1)
  • Photos
  • Why etrailer?

Yakima Watersport Carriers - Y04081

Lightweight watersport carrier with lift assist lets you easily load 1 kayak or 2 SUPs onto your roof rack. Sliding arms let you load and secure gear at waist level, and then easily lift it onto your roof. Tie-downs included. Clamp-on installation.


  • Carrier with lift assist lets you easily load 1 kayak or 2 SUPs onto your roof from the side of your vehicle
  • Sliding arms pull down 26" from roof so you can load and secure kayak at waist level
    • Push arms back up onto roof with boat loaded and secure with safety pins
    • Provides 30-45% lift assistance - eliminates strain of lifting boat onto roof
  • Interchangeable saddles let you easily switch from carrying a kayak to SUPs
    • Adjustable saddles flex to accommodate your hull's shape and size
    • Felt pads and support hoops with rubberized coating protect your gear from scuffs and scratches
  • 2 Load straps with padded cam buckles secure kayak to your roof rack
  • 2 Bow/stern tie-downs anchor kayak to your vehicle
  • Easy, clamp-on installation to most crossbars - no tools required
    • Hand knobs tighten clamps to crossbars
  • Available holder brackets (Y04086 - sold separately) secure 1 paddle directly to the carrier
  • Same Key System (SKS) cores (Y07202 - sold separately) secure carrier to crossbars
  • Lightweight aluminum construction is corrosion resistant


  • Application: round, square, aero, elliptical, and most factory crossbars
    • Note: Not compatible with roof racks that clamp to vehicle doorjambs
  • Minimum crossbar spread: 24"
  • Carrying capacity: 1 kayak or 2 SUPs
  • Weight capacity: 80 lbs
  • Carrier dimensions (each): 42" long x 9" tall x 9" wide
  • Carrier weight: 21 lbs
  • Limited lifetime warranty

ShowDown Restrictions

8004081 Yakima Show Down Kayak or Stand Up Paddle Board Carrier and Lift Assist with Tie-Downs - Side Loading

Y04081 Installation InstructionsInstallation Details Y04081 Installation instructions

Video of Yakima ShowDown Kayak or SUP Carrier and Lift Assist w/ Tie-Downs - Side Loading - Clamp On

Videos are provided as a guide only. Refer to manufacturer installation instructions and specs for complete information.

Video Transcript for Yakima ShowDown Kayak or SUP Carrier and Lift Assist Review

Speaker 1: Today we're going to be taking a look at Yakima ShowDown Kayak or Stand Up Paddle Board Carrier with Lift Assist, part number Y04081. The Yakima ShowDown is great for holding up to kayak or two stand up paddle boards and transporting them safely on your roof. It comes with bow and stern tie-downs for your kayak, as well as two straps to hold your kayak and your stand up paddle boards in place on the rack itself.The biggest feature about this kayak carrier is going to be its lift assist ability. It's very easy to use. You simply remove the pins on either side. This is going to make loading and unloading much easier.

And don't forget to fold in your mirror just to make sure it doesn't get damaged once you lower this down. It's very easy. You just grab the two handles on either side, pull out, and it's ready to unhook and come off, or if you're ready to put it back up, it makes loading it up a snap as well.It has felt-covered pads here, and that's going to protect the finish on your boat as well as your stand up paddle boards, and prevent scratching. The bow and stern tie-downs also come with this plastic sheath to protect your vehicle once it's installed, so it doesn't rub up against the finish. Now, while we have this on aero bars right now, this will work with square, round, elliptical, and most factory-style roof racks as well.

It comes with a knock-out here, both at the rear and at front, which you can replace with the Yakima Same Key System Core, so both your roof rack and your roof accessories can be keyed alike.When comparing this to other kayak carriers, one that comes up is going to be the Thule Hullavator Pro Kayak Carrier with Lift Assist in Tie-Downs, part number TH898. Now, while both these come with the tie-downs necessary to strap your kayak to the roof of your vehicle, there are a few differences. For example, the Thule Hullavator does come with gas struts, which act as a lift assist to push this back up against your vehicle. The Thule Hullavator is a little bit heavier when putting it onto your roof rack, while the Yakima ShowDown is much lighter.The ShowDown is designed to work with the stand up paddle boards in addition to kayaks, while the Hullavator is just designed for kayaks. The Yakima ShowDown is also going to save you some money over the Thule Hullavator.

Now that we've gone over the features of the ShowDown, let's go ahead and show you how it installs. We have one arm already installed on our roof rack system. Here's the second arm. And here's everything that's going to be coming in the kit with this ShowDown.We have two pads here, and that's going to be if you're going to be using it for the stand up paddle board configuration. Then we have two tie-down straps with rubber protectors, to protect the hull and your stand up paddle board.

And then we have four adapters if you're using the round bars. And then we have the kit for our bow and stern tie-downs. Important note I'd like to point out here is that you at least want a space of about three and half inches from the edge of our bar to the edge of our tower.Also, our arms are marked left and right. You can see it on the inside here. Just be sure to put that on the proper side. We make sure that our clamps are in the open position and place it on our bar, like so. We'll to keep it even with our front bar. And then we can start tightening it down. Once you have it tightened down, just give it a quick shake test to make sure it's going to stay in place. Now we can remove the pins on either side and bring our arms out. Pull out and down. And then fold out, holders for our kayak.Now, with it in this open position, you do want to make sure that it's at least four inches away from the vehicle. It looks like we've surpassed that. Before we install a kayak, we are going to move our mirror the inside here, because you don't want the kayak making contact with that as we load it up. Next we're going to start loading up our straps before we put our kayak into place. We'll thread it through this top portion here like so, making sure the portion with the buckle is facing out.Now we can lift our kayak up into place. You can already tell how much easier it is setting into place this way as opposed to having to push it up onto a J-hook or some other configuration. When it's setting into this point, you want to make sure that it's going to be setting evenly on both sides and not more towards one side or the other. Now, to adjust our pads here, we have these knobs at the top. You simply turn it to the left to loosen it up, and push or pull them out as needed. Then tighten them down.It looks like we're at a pretty good spot there. Next we'll take our straps and bring them around the front of our kayak, like so. We'll do this on the other side as well. Then we can thread the bottom portion of our strap underneath the kayak here, put it through our buckle, pull it tight, and repeat this for the other strap. We'll tie off the excess and then we can lift this back up into position. Grabbing those handles that we used to lower it down, pushing it up and pushing it back into place. And as you can see, loading this back up is a snap.Once this is back up and in place, we'll reinstall our pinning clips. And now we can focus on our bow and stern tie-downs. We'll start here in the back. We'll come to our kayak handle here, and install the first portion, which is going to be the end with the buckle. And we'll feed our buckle through that loop and pull it tight. Take one end and we'll feed it through our buckle just to get it started. Then with our other end, which has this plastic sheath on it, we'll install our hook, like so. Now our anchor point at the rear is going to be our trailer hitch. Just hook that up like so and pull it tight. Then we'll tie off our excess.Now a quick point with our front tie-down, we did do something a little bit differently. It still hooks up the same at the point here with our buckle, but if we go down to the actual attachment point, there was no front mounting point we could use with our hook, so we did use the Yakima Anchor Strap, which is sold separately as part number Y04046. Very easy to install and it did come in handy in this spot. And there you have it for Yakima ShowDown Kayak or Stand Up Paddle Board Carrier, part number Y04081.

Customer Reviews

Yakima ShowDown Kayak or SUP Carrier and Lift Assist w/ Tie-Downs - Side Loading - Clamp On - Y04081

Average Customer Rating:  5.0 out of 5 stars   (1 Customer Reviews)

Lightweight watersport carrier with lift assist lets you easily load 1 kayak or 2 SUPs onto your roof rack. Sliding arms let you load and secure gear at waist level, and then easily lift it onto your roof. Tie-downs included. Clamp-on installation.

- Y04081

Building a van conversion on our 2015 Ford Transit wagon. My wife required one thing above all else, and that was a means to transport her kayak on our trips. Since the inside of the van will be set up as a mini-RV, the only place for a Kayak is on the roof... along with the Solar panel array, and the MaxxFan (also purchased from eTrailer). Somehow, I made it work after being told by some folks there wasn't enough room. You can see from the pic, it all does fit, and nicely I might add. What made it possible is the use of the Yakima Showdown kayak mounting system. The van is 8'2" tall. The only way to make this happen is with the Showdown, (or Hullavator) mounts. I like the idea of the Hullavator with the gas filled struts, but I don't like the price, or Thule engineering in general. I believe Yakima is far superior in all respects. Admittedly, it's a bit more challenging to raise and lower the Yakima Showdown. Since my wife and I are tall people, the use of a small step stool makes it an easy task. The kayak is at chest height and very easy to load and secure with the straps. The only part that's a bit difficult is raising it up level with the slide. Once it locks into the slide, the rollers make it a snap to slide it home. You then secure it with the attached pins that slip through the mechanism locking it into place. Done! Lowering it is actually easier. The thing to remember is to pull it all the way out until you feel is stop, only then will it lower with ease. This is an easy trade off. I don't think the Hullavator is worth the money. I've used a friends and it's not really that much easier to raise and lower. Yes, the struts offset most of the weight, but it looks clunky with the lower bar always stuck up in the air. Just don't like it's looks. Yakima Showdown was a no-brainer for us. 567934


Ask the Experts about this Yakima Watersport Carriers
Do you have a question about this Watersport Carrier?

  • Load-Assisted Side-Load Kayak Carrier for Use on 2018 Subaru Outback Wagon
  • In order to use any side-load-assisted kayak carrier such as the Yakima ShowDown # Y04081 you will need to have a compatible roof rack on the vehicle. If you have a factory roof rack on the Outback then all you need is the ShowDown. If you need a roof rack you can refer to the other linked page to see all available options.
    view full answer...

  • 58 inch Long Crossbar Roof Rack Recommendation for 2018 Toyota RAV4 with Raised Side Rails
  • For your 2018 Toyota RAV4 with factory raised roof side rails we have 58 inch long crossbar roof racks that are a fit but not from Malone as they recommend the smaller # MPG215. Instead your best option is the Thule # TH45058 which includes 58 inch crossbars like you are wanting. The difference between the two kits you mentioned is the width side rails they are designed to fit. The Thule crossbars work great with the Yakima Showdown part # Y04081 that you have.
    view full answer...

  • Using 2 Yakima ShowDown Kayak Carriers on a 78 Inch Thule Square Bar on a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • This will be an extremely tight fit, but you should be able to put two Yakima ShowDowns, part # Y04081 on a pair of Thule 78 inch crossbars equipped to your 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan. If you actually have a set of 80 inch bars, you won't have any trouble. Prior to installing, be sure to verify your vehicle's roof capacity with your owner's manual or manufacturer. This capacity will include the weight of the rack, both carriers and the kayaks you are planning on carrying. Based on my...
    view full answer...

  • Thule Hullavator Kayak Carrier Mounting Requirements
  • To install Thule's load-assist Hullavator kayak carrier # TH898 on a vehicle's roof rack the ends of the bars must extend out past the roof rack feet by at least 4-inches. You can see this requirement illustrated in the linked diagram. The comparable Yakima ShowDown carrier # Y04081 also has a similar bar space requirement. If your roof rack is a Subaru factory type whose bars do not extend past the rack feet/rails then you can still use the Hullavator but you'll need to add a different...
    view full answer...

  • Fitting 2 Yakima ShowDowns on a 2003 Honda Element
  • The Yakima ShowDown, part # Y04081 is 42 inches wide, and you'll only be able to fit one on your 2003 Honda Element because of the size. On the other end, you could use a J-Style carrier like the Yakima JayLow, part # Y04073 to carry your other kayak. This doesn't include full load support like the ShowDown but does have loading ramps to help guide the kayak up into the carrier. I've included a video of the JayLow so you can see more about its features in action.
    view full answer...

  • Recommended Kayak Lift for 2007 Nissan Xterra Factory OEM Roof Rack
  • I have a solution for you, but the Yakima ShowDown Kayak Lift, part # Y04081, is only compatible with roof racks that extend at least 3.5 inches past the tower. The factory roof rack for the 2007 Nissan Xterra is not a compatible fit. If you're looking for load-assist, the next best fit for your goals is to use a roller-style mount, like the Yakima HandRoll, part # Y04082-2. This rack will help you load by providing a set of rollers on the rear of the vehicle to help guide and support...
    view full answer...

  • Assisted Kayak Carrier Recommendation to Fit Roof Rack that Attaches to Door Jambs
  • The Yakima ShowDown Kayak or SUP Carrier and Lift Assist w/ Tie-Downs # Y04081 does not fit roof racks that attach to door jambs like you have but I have a great solution for a similar rack that will work. For that you'd want the Thule Hullavator part # TH898 which does not have this fit exclusion and does have assisted loading.
    view full answer...

  • Best Paddle Board Carrier Recommendation for Loading Paddle Board on Roof Rack
  • I have a great solution for you. Check out the Yakima ShowDown part # Y04081. This is a similar lift-assist paddle board carrier that would work great for you. Check out the install video and picture I attached for more info. Width wise the Thule Hullavator part # TH898 is compatible with paddleboards, but the issue is the vertical height. The J portion of the Hullavator, which is designed for cradling a kayak, would be to tall for a paddleboard as the board would slip right through...
    view full answer...

  • Can the Thule Hullavator be Used to Carry 2 Kayaks on a 2019 Toyota Highlander XLE
  • I do have a way that you can carry 2 kayaks on your 2019 Toyota Highlander but when I checked out the online version of the owner's manual on page 204 it states not to exceed 165 lbs of weight on the roof rack. Since your 2 kayaks have a combined weight of 130 lbs and the Thule Hullavator Pro # TH898 weighs right at 40 lbs that puts you at 170 lbs which is over the weight rating for your Highlander. The best solution for you is the Malone DownLoader Kayak Carrier and TelosXL Load Assist...
    view full answer...

  • Will the Yakima ShowDown Work on a 2015 Toyota RAV4 With Malone AirFlow2 Roof Rack
  • Yes, the Malone AirFlow2 Roof Rack part # MPG216 will fit your 2015 Toyota RAV4 Limited and it provides the necessary overhang of 3-1/2" that is needed for the Yakima ShowDown Kayak or SUP Carrier part # Y04081. Therefore, you can use the Malone AirFlow2 to install the Yakima ShowDown on your Toyota RAV4. This is an excellent combo for you to carry your kayak as the ShowDown will help with loading and the Malone AirFlow2 provides minimal wind noise due to the aero shaped bars and it's easy...
    view full answer...

  • Can Yakima Showdown Kayak Carrier Fit on Thule Crossbars
  • The Yakima ShowDown part # Y04081 can fit Thule crossbars but the rack can't fit on roof racks that use door jambs as the attachment. So if your 2014 Honda has flush mounted roof rack that your Thule rack attaches too the Yakima Showdown part # Y04081 will fit.
    view full answer...

  • Can 2 Yakima ShowDown Carriers be Used on a 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • To use the Yakima ShowDown # Y04081 you would need a roof rack where the crossbars extend past the legs at least 3-1/2". From what I can tell, the Mopar roof rack for your 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee has crossbars that end where the legs fit. I do have a solution for you to carry your kayaks but when I reached out to my contact at Yakima she said you would need to at least use their 70" crossbar and that 2 of the ShowDown carriers will be at least 80" wide when placed side by side. Because...
    view full answer...

  • How Wide of a Boat Can Be Used with the Yakima ShowDown Y04081
  • The Yakima ShowDown Kayak or SUP Carrier and Lift Assist w/ Tie-Downs part # Y04081 can accommodate boats up to 28" wide with the kayak saddles and boats up to 36" wide with the paddle board saddles, both saddles are included. In order to secure your paddles you can use the Yakima TopGrip Paddle, Shovel, or Axe Holder Bracket part # Y04086. We also have an option to add locks, the Yakima Same Key System part # Y07202. For a roof rack that is a fit for your 2018 Jeep JL Wrangler Unlimited...
    view full answer...

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Info for this part was:

Installed by:
Zack K
Edited by:
Tyler C
Expert Research:
Jameson C
Expert Research:
Adam R
Video Edited:
Dustin K
Photos by:
Zach O
Written by:
Daron K
Video by:
Jonathan Y
Updated by:
Brian T
Updated by:
Jonathan S

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