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Carrying a Surfboard On Top Of Your Car – The Right Way and the Wrong Way

So you just got your first surfboard… or you’ve been surfing for awhile but have questions about how to transport your board safely to the beach without damaging your board, your car or someone else’s car.  What do you do?  At Surf’n Gear, we want to help you understand all of the dynamics of surfing so before you get in the water let’s take a few minutes to help  you understand the “Right Way” and the “Wrong Way” to transport a surfboard on top of your car by watching the attached video and reading this quick summary.

Here at the basics:

  • When transporting a surfboard on top of your car using a basic car rack or surfboard “soft racks”, position the board upside down (deck of board facing car roof) WITH THE FINS POSITIONED TOWARDS THE FRONT OF THE CAR!
  • Why should the fins be positioned in the front instead of the back?  If the board is positioned with the fins in the front, when the board tries to slide back off of the roof racks because of the force of the wind pushing the board while driving, the fins will catch on the front tie down straps which will stop the board from sliding.
  •  If the fins are in the back, when the board begins sliding back from the force of the wind while driving, there is nothing to stop the board from sliding all the way off of your racks, especially if you haven’t done a good job strapping the board down tightly on the roof of your car.
  • DON’T USE BUNGEE CORD TO STRAP YOUR BOARD DOWN ON TOP OF YOUR CAR!  Bungee cord has a lot of great uses but strapping a surfboard to the roof of a car isn’t one of them.  Why?  Because bungee cord stretches, and when you’re driving down the road at 65+mph the wind is going to be trying to lift the surfboard off of your car.  If you’re using bungee cords as your tie down straps, inevitably the bungee cords will stretch to the point where the wind will yank your board off of your car causing extreme damage to your board and possible catastrophic damage to the cars around you as shown in the video.
  • What should you use to strap  your board down on top of your car?  At Surf’n Gear we sell sets of very strong and reliable heavy weight polypro webbing tie down straps that feature 600 lb die cast cam buckles.  We offer two choices – a set of 12 ft. tie down straps or a set of 7 ft. looped tie down straps that you can leave on your crossbars.  If you combine these tie down straps with a set of Surf’n Gear Rack Pads, you should be good to go!

All of these surf roof rack accessories can be found on the Surf’n Gear web site under our “Roof Racks and Pads” tab.

As always, be safe out there in the water and treat the person next to you in the lineup the way you’d like to be treated!  Carpe Diem!