If you don’t know how to strap a surfboard to a car, no worries, we’ve all been there. You are not a kook, well, at least for this. HA. The important thing is, you’re here now because surfboard safety is as important out of the water, as it is in the water. All too often, we see surfboards loaded half-assed onto vehicles which is hazardous for other drivers (as seen below.) Also, imagine the ding repair!?
First, what type of racks do you need?
For the casual surfer (or cars without gutters,) soft racks are great because they can be removed easily when not in use, BUT, they do have a tendency to scratch your car over time. To prevent scratching, get rack pads to protect your roof and keep the soft rack metal fasteners inside your vehicle (away from any paint.)
Padded Soft Rack
On the flip-side, hard racks are preferred by regular surfers because, in addition to being a quicker and faster loading process, they are safer for your board and vehicle. Basic hard racks come with two metal bars and clamps. The clamps are affixed to your car’s rain gutters, then connected to the actual hard racks running across your rooftop. As with soft racks, pads are recommended. Next, get yourself some rad surf straps
to tie your surfboard down to the vehicle roof racks.
As far as board placement, place your board waxed side (deck) down with your fins facing up. The tail (fin end) should be pointing forward facing the front of the car. Now, some people think that nose first makes the most sense since that’s the natural direction of a surfboard. Personally, we’re pro fins-forward to prevent slipping through the straps at high freeway speeds.
Finally, tighten those straps, but, not too hard, and don’t stack those boards too high to prevent damage and tipping over (as seen below.)