How to Transport your Stand Up Paddleboard

It’s no secret that your average stand up paddleboard, over 9 feet long, will not fit inside your car.  You might be able to squeeze a smaller paddleboard in a hatchback, station wagon or SUV but it may also take some finagling and it will definitely look a little whack.  You can easily fit a paddleboard in the back of a van or strap one down in the bed of a pickup truck without much fuss, but most of us drive sedans and hatchback-style vehicles.  Fortunately, there are number of ways you can quickly and easily secure your paddleboard to your vehicle and be on your way to and from the water. So let’s look at how to transport your stand up paddleboard.

A lot of vehicles come with mounts on the roof where racks can be attached.  These mounts usually consist of a pair of runners that travel the length of the roof on either side and sometimes two cross bars that may or may not be adjustable.  The cross bars are not necessary though they do make it easier to secure the board.   If you do not have cross bars or running mounts on your car roof then you can use soft racks.   We will go over how to secure your paddleboard for each of these three set-ups but first a word on getting your board up onto your car.

When getting your board on your vehicle it is usually best to lay the top side of the paddleboard (the side with the deck pad) against the side of the car and slide it up onto the roof.  It doesn’t matter which end is in the front although most people prefer the tail of the board to be over the windshield.  Depending on how high your vehicle is, you may find it easier to stand the paddleboard up against the back window and slide it forward onto the roof.  The main thing to remember is to make sure that the top of the paddleboard is facing down.  You don’t want the rocker of the board to be pointing upwards as it will catch the wind while you are driving causing the board move up and down.  This will quickly loosen up the straps and you will have to pull off the road to deal with it.

Crossbar Mounting

If your car has crossbar mounts, you will need two tie-down straps between 10’ and 15’ long.

  1. Loop the strap under the cross bar and run both ends across the board to the other side.  You can keep a twist in strap to help prevent any annoying buzzing vibrations that may be caused by the wind while you are driving.
  2. On the other side, run the tail end under the crossbar and then insert it into the buckle and tighten. Then move the buckle towards the top of the rail of the paddleboard and tighten so that it is positioned in the space between the paddleboard and the roof.  Snug it up gently so you do not damage the board.
  3. Lastly, put one or two overhand knots under the buckle to prevent slippage.  Open the door to your car, drop the tail end of the strap in and shut the door on it so it is not flying all over the place while you are driving.


No Crossbars (with top runner mounts)

If your car has no crossbars but it does have top runners along the sides you will need two closed cell foam blocks with a rubber or latex skin on the bottom that will help keep them from slipping out.

  1. Slide your board onto the roof and position the foam blocks underneath the paddleboard midway between the center of the board and ends.  The board should be evenly balanced on the blocks so that it does not tip upward or downward.
  2. Loop the strap under the runner and run both ends across the board to the other side.  You can keep a twist in strap to help prevent any buzzing vibrations that may be caused by the wind while you are driving.  Then move the buckle towards the top of the rail of the paddleboard and tighten so that it is positioned in the space between the paddleboard and the roof.  Snug it up gently so you do not damage the board.
  3. Lastly, put one or two overhand knots under the buckle to prevent slippage.  Open the door to your car, drop the tail end of the strap in and shut the door on it so it is not flying all over the place while you are driving.

 

No Crossbars or Running Mounts

Even if you have no mounting gear on your roof you can still transport your SUP easily.  For this you will need a set of soft racks.  The soft racks will come with directions but the basic idea is as follows.

  1. Lay the foam pad down on your roof with the bottom set of straps running through the inside of your car.  Buckle the straps and tighten vigorously.  Place the other pad the appropriate distance away (see Step 1 above) and do the same.
  2. Slide your paddleboard onto the top of the pads and use the second set of straps to secure the board to the pads.

Soft racks are great if you are travelling relatively short distances but if you plan on making longer journeys you may want to invest in one of the mounting systems.  If you do have racks you might consider buying a Thule SUP Taxi.  The SUP Taxi allows you to lock your board up right to the roof of your car.  Or you can buy lockable straps that accomodate any roof mounting set up.

One of the great things about SUP is the ease of which you can transport your stand up paddleboard to and from the water.  Protect your investment and learn how to secure the board properly to your vehicle- you will thank yourself down the road.

 



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com