Protecting your surfboard while travelling on the road is essential if you want to arrive at the beach with it in one piece! Surfboards are fragile and using the right methods when transporting them gives you peace of mind your board is safe while you’re on the road. But, you also need to keep yourself and other road users safe from the risk of flying surfboards causing an accident!
If you’re travelling to the beach with your surfboard on a daily basis, you want to be sure you have all the right equipment and accessories on hand. Using tie down straps is one way of fastening surfboards to the car roof. But, how else can you keep your surfboard on your car securely without causing any damage to it and other road users?
Read on to discover the various ways of transporting your surfboard while keeping you and other road users safe.
5 Ways to Transport Your Surfboard Safely on the Road
1. The Towel and Rope Method
The towel and rope method works well if you don’t have far to go for your daily surfing jaunts. It entails placing a towel on your car rooftop, laying your surfboard on top of it and tying it firmly down with rope. The rope is fed over the surfboard and towel and through the windows of your car.
Some surfers will add another towel on top of the surfboard before tying down with rope, as extra protection. This method is not foolproof as many surfers have discovered! A curvy rooftop makes it impossible to lay the surfboard flat, giving it too much leeway to move around under the rope. It’s also harder to tighten the rope enough to keep the surfboard and towel in one place.
2. Use Soft Racks
You can purchase soft racks from surf shops for transporting your surfboard on the roof of your car. Soft racks are made of foam padding and attached to the rooftop with nylon straps and buckles. They offer a cost-effective way of transporting your surfboard safely if you don’t want to invest in hard roof racks.
Installing soft racks prevents your surfboard from being damaged by the hard surface of your car roof. The racks also prevent the surfboard from moving around while transporting them to the beach and back home. They come in different sizes for transporting either a single board or multiple surfboards at the same time.
3. Install Hard Racks
One of the best and safest ways to transport your surfboard is to install hard racks on your car’s rooftop. They give your board a solid foundation and it’s easier to strap it down firmly, restricting movement while on the road. Ratchet tie downs should be used to secure the surfboard onto the roof rack.
Tie downs are necessary accessories for transporting any load on your roof rack. They’re easy to use and provide a good grip, giving you peace of mind your board isn’t going to fly off while you’re travelling down the road! When investing in tie downs, be sure they’re made with durable webbing and avoid buckling down on the board to prevent any dings.
4. Foam Blocks and Ratchet Straps
If you want DIY soft racks, invest in some firm rectangular foam blocks and ratchet straps. Depending on the size and shape of your car roof, you can invest in small or larger foam blocks. Smaller foam blocks are fine for roofs that are flatter while thicker padding will be needed for car surfaces that are curved.
Place the foam blocks at either end of the car roof, widthwise. Lay the surfboard with the fins facing upwards, on top of the blocks. Make sure the board is not touching the surface of the roof. Using ratchet straps on either end of the board, tie down firmly using the buckles to get a firm grip. The straps will need to be fed through the windows of the car.
5. Surfboard Racks for Scooters and Motorcycles
If you’re using your scooter or motorcycle to transport your surfboard to the beach, use a rack designed specifically for this purpose. A scooter or motorbike surfboard rack allows you to attach the board to the side for safe transportation on the road.
Local regulations do stipulate you may not transport a board longer than 10 feet in the side mount position. Using a surfboard rack on your scooter or motorcycle keeps you on the right side of the law most of the time. But, you’ll need to check that this mode of transporting surfboards is legit in your state.
Having the right equipment such as hard or soft roof racks and accessories such as tie down straps will make transporting your surfboard safe while on the road. Using a load restraint guide for light vehicles will also show you how to use tie downs when carrying your surfboard on your car. Make sure you do the right thing and keep your surfboard securely fastened while getting to the beach and back!