-- Last Updated: Jan-01-13 5:37 PM EST --
IF you are carrying a canoe on your shoulders by yourself, and IF you've got a rack that you can lean the boat against (THAT issue is the only reason people keep asking questions about what should be an easy process), THEN there's nothing easier than simply stepping out from under the boat, followed by lifting less than half its weight using your hands (the initial overlap of boat onto rack means more than half of the weight will be taken by the rack when you pick up the other end, in case that needs to be explained to you, and the amount you lift becomes progressively less as you slide the boat onto the rack, too). Why would squatting down low, or dropping the whole canoe into your hands, be easier than simply walking out from underneath it?
Once again, I'm not saying it's a huge deal, but if you can't picture in your mind (since it appears yoiu haven't carried and loaded a canoe by yourself using this method) how simple it is to simply walk out from underneath your boat and then lift only a fraction of its weight, I don't know what else I can say.
Working in pairs, as Pete points out, loading onto a low rack is definitely easier, and in that case it's true even if there are no higher cross bars in the way, but this wasn't a discussion about two people cooperating to load a boat.
Okay, it's hardly worth saying more, but this idea that I'm so "unique" in finding the "step our from underneath" method so effortless can be refuted easily. You know those brackets that used to dot the north country canoe trails by the hundreds? The ones that people used as a means of easily resting while on the portage trail, or just to make it easier to get into and out from under the canoe? Well, how high were those racks? About three feet, or about seven feet? Well, there ya go. They made 'em that way to make it easier, not harder.