Now that you have purchased your stand up paddleboard, next comes the question of the best ways to transport it. The average length of a standard SUP board is generally between 9 to 13 feet long. Transporting it inside your car can be annoyingly difficult or impossible. You might get lucky and manage to squeeze it into a station wagon or an SUV, but this will take some difficult maneuvering and your precious time.
SUP Carriers & Car Racks
If you drive a van or a pickup truck, then you are in luck as you can just strap it down in the back. But what of us who drive sedans or hatchbacks? Most paddlers opt for an inflatable SUP that they can just slip inside a carrier bag and transport it easily inside their car. However, what of those of us who prefer stand up paddleboards?
Fortunately, there are a number of ways that one can use to easily and quickly transport their paddleboard to and fro. Here, we have compiled a list of the best ways to transport your SUP with little to no effort from your end. Before we begin, let us take a quick look at a few do’s and don’ts when transporting your gear:
Always place your board upside down with the deck pad and curvature facing down. This will protect and prevent your SUP from catching air and flying off the roof. It will also ensure that the wind does not move your SUP up and down, causing dents or dings to your paint job.
If you have a removable fin tail, it is best to remove it before transportation. However, if it is not removable, place it facing forward over your windshield.
Place as little of your board over your windshield with more of it resting or sticking out the back of your car – believe it or not but studies have shown that this helps with gas mileage.
When placing your SUP onto your vehicle, it’s best to lay the top side of it against the side of vehicle and slide it up onto roof as opposed to lifting it and placing it on top – you might cause some dents.
Use strong straps that will secure your SUP but not cause any damage to it.
Check to ensure board is secure before hitting the road.
There are generally five ways one can use to transport their paddleboard. They include
- Roof pads
Ways to Transport Stand Up Boards
If you own a car, then a SUP rack is a fantastic way to transport your gear. Straps are a great way to keep your SUP safe and snug as you travel. Most vehicles come with mounts on the roof. If you are one of the lucky few, then it is relatively easy for you to attach racks. Vehicle mounts consist of a pair of runners that travel on either side of your car roof. Sometimes your vehicle might have two cross bars that may be adjustable. If this is your case, then all you need is to purchase long cross bar roof pads that can easily connect/ attach to your cross bars with Velcro. Once you attach them, place your SUP board on top.
Next use cinch straps to secure it. Simply run the straps under your cross bar and then up and over across to the other side of your paddleboard and back again then cinch. Remember to tighten your straps – however ensure they are not too tight as this might damage your SUP. Finally, put an over knot under the buckle for added safety and tuck the tail end of the strap inside your vehicle.
You can opt to use ropes as opposed to cinch straps – it is a cheaper but good option since it works great and it’s easy to tie knots. However, it’s advised to invest in a good pair of SUP straps because they come armed with paddled buckles.
SUP Long Roof Pads
If your car does not have an in-built roof rack, do not fret, we got you covered. Purchase flat long roof pads to use during transportation. These pads are placed on top on your car between its roof and your SUP board. Once paddleboard is in place, use cinch straps to secure it in place using above mentioned method. However, you shall run the bottom of your straps through the inside of your vehicle instead of through cross bars.
What can you use to carry that heavy SUP to the water if you are unable to park close by? What can you use to drag your paddleboard to water if you live close by? If you do not have a suitable carrying system, then you might have no option than to drag your board all the way to the water. Instead of straining yourself, you should invest in SUP wheels. Simply attach the wheels to your board and drag it to water without breaking a sweat. Only drawback to this ingenious device is figuring out what to do with said wheels once you are in water.
If you need to carry a variety of equipment and a roof mounted rack just won’t fit with everything else you are carrying on top of your car, you can opt for a SUP trailer. Here, you are able to attach a pair or two of SupDawgs or SupPups. This way, you can carry up to four paddleboards with ease.
Best SUP Transportation Devices 2016
Let us take a quick look at the top transportation products on the current market;
1. SUP Rack – Thule SUP Taxi
If you can afford it, then this purchase will be worth your money if you are hunting for nothing but the best option to secure your board. It provides your Sup with the ultimate security and stability throughout your journey. This device can be used to transport up to two 34-inch-wide boards with ease. Installing it is a breeze as it can be set up without using any tools. Overall, this piece of equipment is a bit pricy but will keep your SUP safe and sound at all times.
2. SUP Straps – FCS Premium Tie Down Straps
These are some of the strongest straps available on the current market. They offer security and stability of your gear at all times.
3. SUP Long Roof Pads – Dakine Long Aero Rack Pads
Made from cotton material, these pads comprise of hook and loop closure to help you secure your SUP more easily. They are 28 inches long and provide an easy way to move your gear from one place to another without worrying about dents or dints to your paintjob.
4. SUP Wheels – SUP Wheels Evolution
This item is easy to use. It saves you the hustle of dragging your gear to the water. It travels well in beach environment. It collapses easily, making it highly portable.
5. SUP Trailer – Rack and Roll 78’’ Trailer
This is a great option if you have a large family that enjoys paddling same as you or if you have tons of friends enjoy this sport as much as you. You can carry up to four SUPs with ease. This trailer offers great stability and ensures all gear is safely and securely stored throughout the ride.
When it comes to the best way to transport your SUP, there are many SUP carriers and car racks available. It really is up to you to decide which method you prefer best, what feature you prefer, the price, etc. Do comment below and let us know what you use and why it works great for you.