Paddle boarding is awesome, and not just meant for those lucky few who live within walking distance from the beach or a lake. Trust me, if you plan to ride often, rental fees can start to stack up.
It’s OK, though. Truck, SUV, or car it doesn’t matter. You can learn how to transport a paddle board with any vehicle if you know the way to do it.
Today I am going to show you that you don’t need a roof rack or big expensive truck to get your board to the lake, keep reading to learn how.
How to Transport Paddle boards Using Your Roof Rack
Using a roof rack to secure your paddle board is definitely the safest way to get it done. Not to mention the most convenient way.
If you’re going to use a roof rack, you need to make sure that you get good padding for the rack. If you don’t, when you tighten the straps, your board runs the risk of getting all scratched up.
Place upside down on your roof rack
Place your board upside down on the roof rack, with the fin side towards the front of your vehicle. Strapping it up this way acts as a failsafe preventing you from losing the board should the straps get loose.
Evenly between crossbars
You also want to make sure that it’s placed evenly between the crossbars.
Tighten the straps
Pull the straps over the top of the board, making sure that they rest flat. Tighten them to where they firmly hold the board in place. Once tightened, tie an overhand tie right below the buckle and wrap the excess strap around the rook rack.
If you have to drive for an extended period of time, I always like to jump out and check that the wind hasn’t loosened my straps. You can never be too careful, after all, you’d hate to see a nice board smashed up in the street. Plus, if your board caused any damage, you’d be 100% at fault.
How to Transport a Paddle Board in a Truck Bed
If you want the most secure way to strap a SUP into the bed of a truck, then you should spring for a proper tailgate rack pad. These attach directly to your tailgate, and all you have to do is throw your board in the bed top side down and strap it into place.
However, if you’re feeling a little bit cheap, you can take a towel and tie downs—which I’m sure you have lying around and set it up the same way.
Whichever way you strap it in, make sure to tie a red cloth at the end of the board that’s hanging out of the truck bed. You do this to catch drivers eyes, so they don’t get too close at a stop sign sending your board through their windshield.
How to Put a Paddle Board on a Car without a Roof Rack
A lot of us drive cars to take advantage of the high fuel economy. Don’t worry, just because you don’t want 10 miles to the gallon doesn’t mean you're doomed to ride rental boards forever.
You can easily strap a SUP to any car with the help of a couple of blocks of foam, and some straps.
You want to put the foam blocks as close to both the front and rear windshields as possible. The car's roof has more support here than in the middle. Also, make sure no part of the board is touching your car. The last thing you want is a scratched up board, AND a scratched up the car! The straps are going to run inside the car. Just open all four doors and run them inside, tighten them down, and shut the doors.
Removing the Board from Your Roof
I know after the drive to your favorite water hole; you just want to rip your board off your roof and jump in the water. You’ll want to stave off this excitement, though.
You can do a lot of damage to your SUP if you don’t pay attention!
After you take the first strap off, make sure to hold the board down with a hand. If you don’t and a gust of wind catches your board, it can fly up and slam back into your rack—or flying completely off if you have both straps untied!
You Can Always try an iSUP
If you don’t feel comfortable strapping a paddle board to your car, then you should look into inflatable SUPs. A quality iSUP can ride as well as any fiberglass board, and their just as safe too. Made from military grade PVC, many of them inflate to be just as hard as fiberglass. The big drawback of an inflatable is there are not going to be as fast as a fiberglass SUP. There is just too much friction caused by the PVC.
Transporting an iSUP is no different than a bag a groceries.
You roll it up and throw it in the trunk of your car. When you get to where you’re going, you just blow it up.
Or even a SUP rack Trailer
If inflatables aren’t your style, then an actual SUP trailer will be what you’re looking for. Essentially a roof rack on its own set of wheels, and weighing only a couple of hundred pounds, these racks can be pulled by basically and vehicle with a trailer hitch.
5 Tips for Transporting your SUP
However, you choose to get your paddleboard from your house to the water, make sure you follow these tips to get it done safely:
- Always transport your SUP with the fins facing up.
- Use nose and tail tie downs for added security.
- If traveling with multiple boards, stack them on top of each other with a towel in between them.
- Don't transport a sandy board; the sand can scratch your board once you tighten the straps.
- Be aware of where your antenna is. You don’t want it anywhere near your board.
How do you prefer to transport your SUP? Got any Tips or Tricks? Let us know in the Comments section below!
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