Yakima ShowDown Kayak or SUP Carrier and Lift Assist Review

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Review of the Yakima ShowDown Kayak or SUP Carrier and Lift Assist


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.


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Info for this part was:

Installed by:
Zack K
Video Edited:
Dustin K
Video by:
Jonathan Y

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