Review by Stephanie Posted on July 16, 2019I was very excited to use the Showdown. I liked the lower profile compared to the Thule product. It was light and easy to install. However, I am 5 feet tall and have a 2018 Kia Sorrento which is a tall vehicle. The support bars that the kayak sits on for loading do not come down far enough for ...read moreeasy loading, but it was doable with some muscle. I was unable to lift the rack and push it on top of the car without great difficulty. I tried different ways, used a step stool (which helped) but after an hour of struggling and using my shoulders to boost it up onto the roof I gave up. Not enough leverage to push it onto the roof and pulling down off the roof was difficult as well. I could pull the rack out almost all the way out but without the proper leverage about 3 inches of the rack kept getting stuck in the track. A taller person would have no difficulty using the Showdown and would probably be very satisfied, but if you are a small person intending to use it by yourself, do not purchase one, you will be disappointed.
Perfect van rack
Review by aaron Posted on February 27, 2019I recently purchased this rack for my 4WD van, its the only way to go it you don’t want to carry a step ladder in the van. I have a 3/4 roof basket with round bars and this clamps on perfectly! I looked everywhere prior to purchasing this rack, all the other ones where triple the cost that made ...read moreany sense. I would add that it would be easy to make a pump suction cup adapter that would allow one to keep the rack tilted off the side and secured to the side of the van when loaded - if you needed more roof space. And you could possible carry 1 or 2 surfboards, but you would need a shorter flip out cradle support arm to not be too wide. I don’t think a kayak would work. Love this rack!
Good rack overall - some issues however
Review by Dan Posted on September 25, 2018Time will tell with this rack. I’ve been using Yakima products for the past 20 years, and have two sets of kayak J-cradles, a Bow-Down, the Sidewinder tandem bike rack, and a hitch-mounted bike rack. The first thing that struck me when unboxing the ShowDown was its build quality. This is certai...read morenly not what I have come to expect from Yakima. It feels quite inferior to all the other Yakima products I have. Mounting the ShowDown was very easy, but like other reviewers I noticed that the safety pins were extremely hard to install and remove. I coated them with some bike grease, but keep a pair of pliers in the car in case they get stuck. I am using this rack to transport a Tarpon 140 (68 lbs). For day trips, the rack works quite well. However during extended trips, when the boat is on the rack for many hours (or days), it becomes difficult to get the boat down. It seems like the boat gets ‘stuck’ at the last 12 inches or so of travel. I’ve had to push the boat in and out several times to finally be able to lower the boat down. Next time I go on an extended trip, I will try some grease on the rails to see if that improves things. Again, time will tell with this set-up. Fingers crossed with this rack!
Review by John Posted on September 9, 2018Always having been a Yakima brand couple, this pair of....maturing(?) kayakers thought a new easier to load system would be right for our new taller vehicle. We may have been one of the first buyers of the Showdown last fall in 2017. The price was right compared to the other competitor. Our onl...read morey issue, carrying two kayaks on two rack systems side by side. Yakima's vehicle compatibility page confirmed we were a match. Following some measuring and remeasuring, we were convinced two Showdown units would fit! Installation was a breeze. The rail mounting components securely fastened to our roof rail. Then the Showdowns clamped right in place on the rails. We highly suggest you purchase lock sets for your rails AND your Showdown system(s).
Review by John Posted on August 7, 2018This is a game-changer for anyone who’s not getting any younger! My wife and I have been biking and boating with a range of gear for years, and thankfully the products have changed as we have. My wife loves to paddle her sea kayak, but I’m not so into it. We have SUP’s as well, and have enjoye...read mored doing that together so we want to mount various kinds of toys on the car. Because my wife is short in stature and neither of us are getting any younger, it was becoming near impossible for her to take her 19-ft kayak out by herself. Enter the Showdown! This great boat system allows you to mount your kayak or boards from the side, avoiding a high lift over a vehicle, and then just levering it up onto the roof-mounted rails. Since getting this rack, my wife has been out (on her own!) many times in her kayak, and after a quick switch of saddle mounts we can put on SUP’s instead. My wife feels liberated — not needing to ask me for help, not depending on a group to organize, and just doing things when she wants to. Now she can kayak where she wants, when she wants. We have a small German wagon, but as SUVs get taller and taller, this rack would surely help. Its well constructed and fits solidly on our aero bars. We think Yakima did a great job with this one!
Great product and great Customer Service
Review by John Posted on July 26, 2018The Showdown is a very well engineered product. It is light, strong, and works very well. It makes loading a 14 FT kayak fast and safe. I have been a long-time Yakima customer... 100% of my outdoor gear transportation equipment is Yakima. The products are simple to use and they work exceptionally...read more well. Recently, I did have a bit of a hiccup with one of my pieces of equipment. I called Customer Service and was amazed at how well they handled the entire situation. They were polite, courteous, and seemed genuinely concerned to resolve my problem as quickly as possible. My problem was resolved in 1 day. We all know Yakima makes great products. It's nice to see they stand behind their products and have some really great folks to help when needed. This experience galvanizes my loyalty to a great company. Thank you, Yakima !!
Don’t use with round bar convertion
Review by Virginia Posted on June 29, 2018I purchased this set up to carry my 52lb kayak. I had round bars I used on my previous car to carrie my canoe, but the new RAV4 was higher. Kayak was also heavier. I didn’t think using the converter for round bars would be an issue. Unfortunately, no matter how tight I think I get things, the rack...read more moves at the tower. So as I am lifting the kayak up, each one tilts. Severe enough that the rack comes out of the track. Two people could still lift it, but one person trying to control the independent pieces doesn’t work. I even had it move while driving. I think you should be ok using the newer flat bars. The problem seems to be at the tower, but the torque is coming from the lift.
Good so far---
Review by LJH Posted on September 3, 2017I bought this about a week ago and have only used it twice, but I like it so far. I'd been using a J rack to carry my kayak on my car, but recently purchased a Toyota 4Runner and the vehicle is too tall to load a J rack by myself (I'm female, late 40s, about 5 feet 3 inches tall). I do need a little...read more step stool to move this up to the roof of my 4Runner, but this system is working well. I had a problem with the bow and stern lines (one loosened up and the S hook came off the anchor point on my vehicle---the line ended up being kind of eaten by my tire). I'll be using something else to tie down the bow and stern from now on because I just don't trust those lines and open S hooks. Other than that issue, I'm happy with this product.
Where has this been!
Review by CWC Posted on July 20, 2017For the last 20+ years, my wife and I have been hauling our 80 pound, 16.5 foot long kayak from Indiana to the Grand Teton National Park each summer. Always used Yakima racks, always with perfect results. It was never easy to muscle that big kayak on top of our vehicle, but we managed (we have a w...read moreeight lifting routine that in large part is maintained just so we can deadlift that thing above our heads!). Just before we left this summer, I saw an article about the new Showdown. Thought we would give it a try. Amazing. Mounts to the car easily and securely (we're still using the Yakima round bars). Loading and unloading the boat is incredibly easy. It takes little to no effort to swing the boat on top of our minivan. There is no measurable movement while the rack system is on the side of the car, even when placing our huge kayak on the rack. In short, the Showdown is amazing in all respects. Anyone who, like us, always hoped for an easier way to get their boat on top of their car should get this. Superb engineering of a great concept that is perfectly executed. Prayer answered.
Where had this been?!
Review by CWC Posted on July 14, 2017Long raving review here. For the last 20+ years, we have hauled our 80 pound, 17' kayak from Indiana to Wyoming every summer for a few weeks of R&R in the Grand Teton National Park. Always used Yakima rack systems (saddles, hully rollers; settled on two pairs of saddles) and always had succes...read mores. But hefting such a huge and heavy boat on top of our vehicle was a chore. Used a variety of SUVs over the years, currently using a Honda Odyssey. Noticed the Showdown right before we left this year in an Outside Magazine article on "Geezer Gear," thought we would give it a try. Fantastic. Solid. Easy to mount the system (although I have factory installed cross bars, I used my old set of Yakima round bars since they are sturdier). Boat loading and unloading is a breeze. The Showdown hardly moves when in the down position, no worries about scratching the car (I had 8 inches of clearance, you do not need more than the recommended 4 inches). Boat rests on the loading rails and strapping it on is easy and quick. Lifting the boat is *remarkably* easy. No more climbing to throw and cinch straps. I think we gave the ShowDown a true workout. It is rated for no more than 80 pounds. Our boat specs list our kayak right at 80 pounds. We drove across Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and Wyoming via I80 at highway speeds (80MPH out in Wyoming) and faced the usual wind gusts of Wyoming. Boat did not move. I load the boat upside down, because we have found it rides better in that position. For the highway travel, I did use extra straps, just for piece of mind. But when carrying the boat around locally, there is no need for any extra strapping. A marvelous system, perfect concept and perfect execution. Great job, Yakima! Well worth the price. Only constructive comment - since the boat rides a bit higher with this system, there is a slight more wind noise, and we did experience a slight decrease in MPG. But what do you expect when you strap such a huge hunk of plastic to your rooftop? Love this system. Just love it. As we age (wife and I now hit 60), this system makes it so much easier to haul around our kayak. Call it geezer gear if you wish. We call it magic.