Ski season can be one of the best times for a fun excursion with you and your gang, but taking all your ski gear up to the snowy slopes can be an ABSOLUTE hassle.
And loading up all your gear into one vehicle can be a nightmare – but your trusty roof rack will do the trick of neatly holding your skis on the rooftop.
However placing the skis on the rack has to be done in a very specific way as well, especially to account for aerodynamics and the safety of the skis while you are driving.
Placing the skis on the roof rack can be done in two ways – with the bindings up or down.
This article will talk about both the pros and cons of keeping the bindings up or down on roof rack, and decide which way is best so that you can transport your ski gear properly and safely.
Pros And Cons Of Bindings Up On Roof Rack
Let’s first take a look at placing them with bindings up. This is also the most common way people load their skis into the ski rack.
Also read our guide on how to transport skis in a car properly.
Placing bindings up on the roof rack can prevent them from rubbing on the roof of the car – which can also prevent wear and tear on the skis.
And most racks are built for this particular placement as well – unless you’re getting a crossbar rack (will explain in a bit).
If the ski bindings keep touching the roof of the car, and they are not securely placed on the rack, and when the car starts moving, the ski bindings will rub on the roof of the car constantly – causing damage to both the vehicle and the skis.
The skis bindings pointing up can cause some drag, and mess with the aerodynamics of the vehicle, but this is mostly negligible.
But ski bindings pointing upwards can mean that they are exposed to the elements to a certain extent. Since the ski bindings have moving parts, being exposed to grime and dust from the roads or other materials can cause more wear and tear over time.
And let’s face it, these bindings get a fair amount of punishment on the slopes as well!
Pros And Cons Of Bindings Down On Roof Rack
Now let’s take a quick look at loading them in the other way around:
Placing the bindings down on the roof rack will hide it from the elements, and protect the important parts of the skis.
It will also make sure that the wind heading from the front of the vehicle doesn’t continuously collide with the protruding bindings, thus assisting with the aerodynamics of the entire vehicle.
But for this, you MUST install the skis on crossbar racks, so that there is enough clearance between the rack and the platform for the ski bindings to face down without touching the roof of the car.
Also read how to make a diy vehicle ski rack at home.
The problem of ski bindings facing down on the rack mainly occurs if the rack doesn’t provide enough space for the bindings to extend downwards.
This will make the bindings come in contact with the surface of the car like we talked about, or else the rack will simply make it impossible for you to install the skis onto the rack.
The best way to load your skis on the rack is with the bindings up – mainly because this is how most racks are built.
There is little space between the rack and the platform, which does not allow for the ski bindings to extend downward. So placing ski bindings up on the rack is the way to go!
While the bindings are still exposed to the elements, a quick rub down of the gear once you get to your destination should fix any problems and will prevent any additional wear and tear.
Also read our guide on how to secure skis in a truck bed.
Can You Tie Down Skis On Roof Rack?
No, you cannot. Do NOT tie down skis on roof racks since they can very easily slip through the ropes and end up getting damaged.
They cannot be tied securely, and even if you think they are, the chances of the knot coming undone or the skis sliding through are very much there. So this is a practice to AVOID this ski season.
Can You Put Skis On Roof Without Rack?
Yes, instead of a roof rack, you can use a roof box – which is essentially an aerodynamically built box to put your skis (or other stuff) in, and they are easy to assemble as they are made to be mounted onto the platform.
It will not expose your skis to the elements, and they will stay securely inside the roof box till you reach your destination.