Safely Securing Your Board to Your Vehicle

Safety, soft racks, tie down straps, transporting a board -

Safely Securing Your Board to Your Vehicle

Tying down your board to your car appropriately is very important for many reasons.  First and foremost, safety!  Second, to make sure to minimize any damage to your board while transporting it.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: if you own an INFLATABLE SUP.  The safest nway to transport your board is to deflate it and put it in the bag.  The wind shear from placing it on top of your car inflated can damage it since it is not a rigid hard board.

To transport your board on top of your vehicle you will need:

Step 1:  If you are using fixed racks, secure rack pads to cross bars. This gives a
              layer of cushion between your board and the hard surface of the cross
              bars.  If you don’t have rack pads yet, fold up a towel to provide that
              cushion for your board.

              If you are using soft racks, install them as directed by the manufacturer. 
              Soft racks are not as safe as fixed racks because of their ability to slide,
              move and come undone.  They are best used if you are going only a
              short distance to the water. 

              If you are going on a long trip, fixed racks are the safest way to go. Also   
              make sure if you are traveling a long distance that you cover your board
              with a UV cover or board bag to protect it from the sun and any debris
              that you may encounter on the road.

Step 2: Place board upside down with fin to the front of the car.  Make sure it is
             centered so when you let go it doesn’t fall or teeter.  This is the most
             aerodynamic way to position your board.  Not to mention that if it does
             come a little loose and slides back the fin can catch the strap and keep it
             from sliding any further until you find a safe place to pull over and secure
             it again.

Step 3: Make sure the board is tied down.  This may sound like an obvious step
             but I can’t tell you how many times I have seen someone start to pull out
             of a parking space and not have it tied down.  Make sure that it is tied
             down securely but not too tight as this may damage the board. You can
             check to see if it is tied down securely by trying to wiggle the board side
             to side.  If it isn’t moving much then you are good to go. Always inspect
             your straps for damage.  You don't want them to break while you are

             DO NOT use ratchet straps!  These are the straps that have the levers on
             the end that click as they cinch down.  These will damage your board by
             tightening too tight.  Not to mention the ratchets themselves are usually 
             metal which can also dig in to your board and damage it as you tighten it 

Step 4: Tie up the loose ends of the straps to minimize noise and flapping straps
             while driving.  This can be done by tying them to the rack you are using or
             you can open the closest door and put the strap ends inside and then
             close the door on them.  If you are getting road noise from the straps
             vibrating on the board as you drive, then put 1-2 twists in the strap over
             the board and it will minimize the vibration sound while still securing your
             board for transport.

Step 5: Drive safely and remember driving faster equals putting more force on
             your board.  Drive to your favorite spot to paddle or surf and have fun!