Posted on April 25, 2022 by Reed Naliboff
How to Transport Your Paddle Board on the Roof of Your Car
One of the most frequently asked questions our customer service team gets is, “How do I strap my paddle board to the roof of my car?” Strapping your stand up paddle board to your car’s roof may seem difficult at first, but once you have all the appropriate gear, this task will be a breeze.
To make your life easier, we’ve created a simple step-by-step guide on everything you need to know on how to transport your paddle board to and from the water.
Important: This guide is mainly for those who own hard paddle boards (epoxy), not inflatable SUPs. However, you can strap your inflatable paddle board to your car’s roof (when inflated) by following the same steps below.
There are two ways to strap your paddle board to your car and/or SUV:
When we say, ‘roof rack system’ we are talking about metal racks designed by companies like Thule & Yakima that typically don’t come standard with your car. A brand new set of roof racks ranges from $150-$300. You will need hard racks if you plan on taking your board on all walks of adventures — long road trips or immense highway travel.
Note: transporting your SUP without a roof rack system will not work/be safe if you plan on traveling far distances on the highway with your board.
Roof rack system installed on your car
Soft surf pads and two tie-down straps (longer pads are recommended because SUPs are wider than surfboards)
A towel or two to prevent damage if you plan on stacking multiple SUPs on your roof
*WARNING* When strapping soft top SUPs to the roof, you could possibly see indentation on the rails of your board from the straps. To alleviate, get a board bag/sock or slide cardboard or EVA foam blocks between your board and the straps for extra padding.
For those who don’t have a hard rack system, there is a way to strap your SUP board to your roof without hard racks. You can purchase soft racks at local surf shops that will work just fine for your paddle board. However, this method is only good if you plan on transporting your SUP locally — this means driving 10 minutes through your town/city to your local paddle spot. Minor highway travel is OK (5-10 min), but don’t push the boundaries of driving far distances at high speeds with just soft racks. You don’t want to put your boards and other cars at risk of damage/injury.
Soft racks will fit anything from a small sedan to a larger SUV. However, soft racks will not work well with 2-door cars or minivans.
Note — If the soft racks are spaced too far apart, your boards can easily slip out. If they are too close together, your boards will not be stable when driving.
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