Just get up and go. It should be easy to take your surfboard to the beach and catch some waves. But without the right surfboard car rack, it turns into one big hassle. You can save yourself a lot of stress by finding the right one that straps your surfboards. In order to do that, you must determine what your most important needs are.
When you have the answers, it’ll be easier to pick out the right one on this list. Here are the 10 best surfboard car racks in 2020.
If your car doesn’t have its own roof rack, this surfboard car rack could be perfect for it. The Block Surf surfboard roof rack can tighten around your roof and keep your surfboards secure. The straps and buckles are strong enough to hold them going at highway speeds. It can also hold 2 to 3 surfboards.
And if you’re new to using a surfboard roof rack, it’s one of the easiest ones to install and remove in only a few minutes.
Cons: The boards can vibrate on top of your car when you drive up to 65 MPH. Therefore, this surfboard car rack is ideal for short destinations and trips. Some have found centering the straps laterally can help decrease the noise of the vibrations. The instruction manual isn’t the clearest, but once you know how to install it, it’ll be quick and easy for any surf trip you take.
One of the great things about the DORSAL Surf Rack Straps is its corrosion-proof. This means less wear and tear on the buckle and buckle pads caused by salt water. The straps are 15 feet long, making it able to tie up multiple boards or even a kayak. It’s sturdy enough to hold them for long road trips. It’s one of the most budget-friendly options you can get.
Cons: The strap quality isn’t the best. They can weaken over time from too much vibration and heat.
It can be tough placing a large surfboard onto your roof rack. The Yakima SUPDawg Rack makes the task much easier with integrated rollers. It allows you to roll the board on to it. The slider can adjust to fit a board that’s 36 inches wide.
If you like keeping your board looking nice, the Yakima also offers padded protection that keeps your board from getting scratched during a drive. The best part, it’s fully assembled, and you don’t have to use a tool to put it together.
Cons: The Yakima rack is a bit noisier than some surfboard car racks, even without a board on it. The straps can sometimes loosen up, so make sure the straps are fastened tightly.
The FCS Soft Rack is versatile in being able to fit on cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans. It’s got a lot of flexibility for holding up to 3 shortboards or 2 longboards. The FCS soft rack offers a more secure fastening of your boards, as it doesn’t rely on moving parts or springs. This enables them to hold your boards in place while driving up to 70 mph (even in bad storms).
Cons: When driving in light or heavy rain, there may be a little water that drips in your car from the straps.
If you’ve had issues with your boards moving side to side on your roof, then Curve’s Lockdown racks could be the solution for you. It uses a single loop to wrap around the board like a cocoon. This prevents the board from fluttering and moving from side to side while you drive.
Curve’s surfboard car rack also uses padding to protect any damage to your car’s roof and any damage to the rail of your surfboard.
Cons: This surfboard car rack is one of the more complicated ones to install. Curve even recommends you have prior experience using soft racks before trying to use this one.
The Orion Motor Tech roof rack is one of the strongest surfboard car racks on this list. It’s able to hold up to 165.3 pounds of luggage. This makes it very suitable for loading heavy equipment such as kayaks and canoes.
The Orion’s roof rack also has a soft fabric to keep your car from being scratched by it. It’s light, so there are no issues with constant vibration. It’s one of the cheaper options in comparison to other roof racks on this list.
Cons: The straps can tear down after 6 months. Be prepared to buy extra straps. The locking mechanism is less secure than other roof racks on this list. Make sure to pull it tight.
If you need something to carry a lot of different equipment for you, the Handirack is the roof rack that can do it for you. It can carry surfboards, canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, boats and just about any water equipment you can think of.
The Handirack can do this because it’s inflatable and expandable. It’s also made with nylon that keeps your equipment extra secure on long drives. This surfboard car rack can hold up to 180 pounds of luggage driven at highway speeds. It’s highly recommended for families who are big into water sports and traveling.
Cons: It’s not recommended for cars with soft tops or curtain airbags. It can also deflate if it’s left out in the heat for too long when not in use.
One of the easier surfboard car racks to use is the Alfa Gear roof rack pad. It has built-in loops on each pad which simplifies the process of tying down your surfboard. With its unique folding design, it doesn’t take long to pack it up and store it when you’re done. The Afla Gear roof rack can hold up to 200 pounds of equipment. Good for whatever water equipment you need to take with you.
Cons: Be aware that the straps are only 10 feet, so you might need a longer set sometimes.
The Roraima roof rack is an extra-wide soft roof rack pad. Great for your largest surfboards, canoes, and kayaks. The installation is one of the easiest ones on the list. You can put them on and take them off in minutes.
The Roraima roof rack also has foam pads for anti-vibration. Consequently, you can have a quiet peaceful drive while you’re riding with it. It carries up to 200 pounds, and even more unique compared to the others, it has a lifetime warranty.
Cons: The straps aren’t long enough for water equipment over 35 inches wide. Additional straps may be required to make sure your equipment is secure.
The INNO Racks surfboard car rack has a mounting system that’s diverse. It can fit square, round, and aero bars. It can also carry 3 shortboards or 2 longboards. The INNO Racks roof rack also has a floating strap system that keeps the buckles elevated. This makes it simple to load and unload your boards. They have hand knobs that allow you to tighten the straps to keep your equipment secure.
This is possibly the highest rating and reviewed car rack in the water sports industry. The simplicity and the elevated feature allow you to keep your surfboard gear strapped in throughout the long trips to the beach.
Cons: This surfboard roof rack is one of the more expensive ones on the list. You do also need to have existing crossbars on your car. Nonetheless, INNO Racks are the most high-quality roof rack on the list.
The surfboard should be upside down. Make sure you have the nose pointed forward to your car. For transporting multiple surfboards, be sure to take off the fins. Then you’re ready to follow the steps for racking a surfboard.
The process can be different depending on what surfboard car rack you have, but in general, it’s simple. You place the surfboard on to the rack. Center it and make sure the board is not touching the roof of the car.
You place your strap on the board, pull the ends of the strap into the car, and close the door. Then you buckle up the straps inside, fasten it tightly, and your board is ready to go.
Tip: Twist the straps on top of the surfboard. It’ll decrease any humming when you’re driving at a high speed.
Mike Tavares goes through a walkthrough on how to transport the surfboard on a car, tie it on roof racks and how to safely take it off your car. Check out the video below!
Place the pieces of foam on the roof of your car. Then you pull the straps through the car and fasten it. Make sure you do it tightly. You center your board on the soft rack and use the other straps to fasten it. After you’ve done that, check to make sure that it feels secure, and then hit the road.
Attach the hard rack to the bars on the roof of your car. Then place the board centered on the hard rack pads and strap your board to your car. You can also strap your hard rock pad to the roof bars for extra security. Make sure the buckle of the strap is in the middle of the board.
If you’re looking for a surfboard roof rack on a budget, the Dorsal and Motor Orion Tech roof racks are probably your best bet. If you’re looking for something that can carry a lot of weight, then the Alfa Gear, Roraima, and Inno car racks will work perfectly.
Sometimes even with all the proper installation, your surfboard can get damaged if vibrates against the roof too hard. You can know how to repair a surfboard to be able to fix it if that happens.
But whatever your needs are, any of these 10 roof racks will be able to help get your surfboard to the beach and have a fun day surfing.