How to Carry a Paddleboard (the Right Way)

How to Carry a Paddleboard (the Right Way)

Key Takeaways
● Make sure the paddleboard is completely dry before transporting
● If you’re carrying the paddleboard on your shoulder, make sure the paddle is secured in a bag to avoid it hitting you in the face
● When transporting the paddleboard in a vehicle, use tie-downs to secure it to the roof or cargo area.
● If you’re paddleboarding in a group, have someone stay with the boards while others paddle.

We can all agree that paddleboarding is great and can be tricky to master properly. However, in addition to learning how to use it, you might also be surprised to discover that there is a correct way to hold it (well, several).

The right way to carry a paddleboard is usually under the arm using the carry handle. However, you can also use a shoulder strap or carry it over your head. While the traditional under-arm method is the most popular, all three options are valid.

In this guide, we go through the correct ways to carry a paddleboard, but we also look at some of the best methods for transporting it too. After all, it’s good to have all your bases covered.

Ways to Carry Your SUP Board to the Water

Ways to Carry Your SUP Board to the Water

You’re kitted out, you’re ready to go, and now all you need to do is learn HOW to carry your paddleboard properly. Never fear; the methods below will have you strutting down the beach like a PRO in no time.

Use the Carry Handle

The paddleboard has a designated carry handle for you to use, usually in the MIDDLE of the board. To use it, simply pick up the paddleboard, making sure to hold it as close to the handle as possible.

Once you have a good grip on it, move your arm around until you find a COMFORTABLE position. It’s usually easiest to keep the paddleboard close and carry it under your arm.

Use the Shoulder Strap

If the paddleboard is a little too wide to carry with one arm, you can use a SHOULDER STRAP. These straps are specially designed to evenly distribute the weight of your paddleboard and make it easier for you to carry.

To use the shoulder carry strap, feed it through the paddleboard handle and make sure it’s centered. Then, put the loop around your shoulder and adjust until you have a SNUG fit.

Pro Tip: Always make sure you check the secure attachment point and use a hood loop strap for additional safety. Locking cam straps are also an excellent choice.

Carry it on Your Head

The third way to carry paddleboards is the most traditional method and has been used for centuries.

To do this, grab the paddleboard and hold it by the NOSE. Next, stand up straight, and lift the paddleboard up to your head height, making sure to keep your arms bent.

Then, adjust the paddleboard until it’s in a comfortable position and WALK steadily to your destination.

How to Transport a Paddleboard

How to Transport a Paddleboard

Now that you’re a PRO at carrying your paddleboard, it’s also a good idea to know how to transport it properly. There are a few methods you can use, but these are the BEST.

Use a Board Bag

Board bags are specially made for paddleboards and come in all shapes and sizes. They’re also padded to give your paddleboard plenty of PROTECTION from the bumps and bruises that come with traveling.

Use the Roof Rack

The roof rack is probably the most popular way to transport paddleboards. It’s also one of the SAFEST and will give you peace of mind that your paddleboard won’t be damaged en route.

Always strap underneath the board, and you can use basic foam blocks in place of roof racks if you need to.

If you don’t have a roof rack, there are lots of different TYPES to choose from, depending on your paddleboard size and car.

Use a Pickup Truck

Finally, if you’re lucky enough to have a pickup truck, then you can use it as a paddleboard transporter. Just make sure that you SECURE it properly with ropes or straps.

Pro Tip: A cam strap is best, and you should use at least two cam straps to secure the board deck-down on your vehicle. [1]

How to Hold a Paddleboard Paddle

How to Hold a Paddleboard Paddle

Once you’ve mastered paddleboard transport and carrying, there is one more thing to learn: paddle holding. There are two ways to hold a paddleboard: traditional and modern. [2]

The TRADITIONAL paddle hold is a two-handed grip in which your hands are about shoulder-width apart. Your paddle should also be even with your elbows, and the paddle blade should curve towards the nose of the paddleboard.

The MODERN paddle hold is a bit more ADVANCED, but it’s much easier on your wrists and arms. To do it, hold the paddle with your LEFT hand at the top and your RIGHT hand at the bottom.

Pro Tip: Whichever paddle hold you choose, make sure you maintain a STRAIGHT wrist and keep the paddle at an ANGLE. Always follow the paddle’s natural curve when paddling.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Carry a Heavy SUP?

The best way to carry a heavy SUP is by using a shoulder strap and evenly distributing the weight. You can also use a paddleboard cart or wheeled paddleboard carrier, but these are not always practical.

What Is the Best Way to Transport a Paddleboard?

The best way to transport paddleboards is with a roof rack or in a paddleboard bag. Make sure that your paddleboard is secured properly with ropes or straps before transport.

Should I Use a Paddle Board Leash?

Yes, paddleboard leashes are an important safety precaution, as they will keep you connected to your paddleboard in the event of a wipeout. They also help to prevent paddleboards from drifting away.

Which Way Should a Paddleboard Paddle Face?

The paddle should be held with the paddle blade facing towards the NOSE of the paddleboard. This will provide you with more power and EFFICIENCY when paddleboarding.

To Conclude

To Conclude

Now you know how to CORRECTLY carry paddleboards, transport them safely and hold paddleboard paddles in the most effective way.

So, get out there and paddle on. Just remember to stay safe, be PREPARED for the elements and always paddle with a buddy.

We hope this guide has been able to help and that you feel more confident carrying your board but also strapping it up ready for transportation.

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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.

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