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How To Transport A Paddleboard Without A Roof Rack

How To Transport A Paddleboard Without A Roof Rack

Key Takeaways
● Many options for safely transporting a paddle board without a roof rack, including car roof racks, soft racks, trailers, and inflatable SUPs.
● Each option has advantages and disadvantages that should be considered before making a purchase or rental decision.
● Paddleboarders should also consider their budget, the type of vehicle they own, and their desired level of convenience when deciding which transport option is best for them.

Have you ever wanted to take your paddle board and embark on a fun adventure but haven’t been sure how to transport it without needing a roof rack? Don’t feel frustrated – we’re here to help.

Generally, transporting a paddle board without a car roof rack requires a bit of creativity and problem-solving. All you need are a few essential items, such as foam blocks, pool noodles, ratchet straps, foam pads to create padding, and tie-down straps.

In this blog post, surfers and swimmers alike will learn helpful hacks for hauling any paddle board size without needing a roof rack! Keep reading for all the information you need about safely and easily taking your board along for a fantastic day at the beach or lake.

Do You Need A Roof Rack To Transport A Paddleboard

Do You Need A Roof Rack To Transport A Paddleboard?

The short answer to this question is no – you don’t necessarily need a roof rack to transport your paddleboard. While having a roof rack makes it much EASIER and faster, there are ways to avoid having one.

Some people don’t have the option of using a roof rack because their car doesn’t have one or they don’t own a car with a roof rack. But even if you own a car equipped with one, it’s still POSSIBLE to transport your paddle board without relying on the roof rack.

Installing a roof rack can be a hassle and costly too, so if you don’t have one, don’t worry. All you need to do is create padding for the board and secure it with tie-down straps. With the right materials and technique, you can easily transport a paddleboard WITHOUT needing a roof rack.

Factors to Consider Before Transporting a Paddleboard Without a Roof Rack

Several key factors must be considered BEFORE transporting your board without a roof rack when embarking on a paddleboarding adventure. Here are a few important points to keep in mind when transporting your board without a roof rack:

Size Of The Board

The size of your board is the most important factor to consider when transporting it without a roof rack. If you own a LARGE board, it will be much more difficult and awkward to transport than a small board.

Additionally, larger boards require MORE padding to protect the paddle board and your car from potential damage during transportation. Therefore, if you own a large paddleboard, ensure access to foam blocks or pool noodles for extra protection.

 to Consider Before Transporting a Paddleboard Without a Roof Rack

Type Of Car You’re Using

The type of car you’re using also plays a vital role in transporting your paddleboard without a roof rack. For instance, if you drive an SUV, station wagon or hatchback car, transporting the board is much EASIER since you can easily access the trunk area.

On the other hand, driving a sedan or coupe vehicle will be more challenging to transport the paddleboard without a roof rack due to LIMITED access space.

Strength And Durability Of The Board

The strength and durability of the paddleboard should also be taken into consideration. Check for cracks, chips or other imperfections before transporting the board without a roof rack. If damaged, it may not hold up WELL during transportation and can further damage your car.

Straps And Ratchets You’re Using

Make sure you have the proper cam straps and ratchets to secure your rigid paddle board. Ratchet straps are the BEST option for adding padding and support to the board while avoiding any potential damage from sharp edges.

Pro Tip: Tie-down straps will do just fine if you don’t have access to ratchet straps.

Transportation Time

Finally, consider how long you will transport the paddleboard – short trips or long-distance travel. If you’re travelling for longer, check your straps and padding PERIODICALLY to ensure everything is secure.

Now that you know all the factors to consider when transporting paddleboards without a roof rack let’s look at how you can go about it.

Personal Vehicle

Personal Vehicle

Transporting a paddleboard without a roof rack on a personal vehicle is one of the most common methods. Whether you own an SUV, hatchback or sedan car, you can easily transport your board with added padding and straps.

Here are some steps to help you:

  1. Gather the necessary materials, such as foam blocks, pool noodles, ratchet straps or tie-down straps.
  2. Place your paddleboard in the back of your car and create added padding using the foam blocks and pool noodles. Make sure you’re using enough padding on areas prone to damage, such as edges and corners.
  3. Securely attach the ratchet straps or tie-down straps around the board to ensure it is safely in place during transit.
  4. Check all strapping and padding before driving off to ensure everything is secure and adequately padded.
  5. Drive carefully and slowly to your destination.
  6. Once you have arrived, carefully and securely remove the straps and padding around the paddleboard before unloading it from the car.

Rental Car or Truck

Rental Car or Truck

Using a rental car or truck is another great option if you need to transport your paddleboard without a roof rack but don’t have access to your vehicle. This method can be SLIGHTLY more expensive, but it provides plenty of space for transporting the board safely and securely.

When renting a car or truck, choose the right size for your paddleboard – large enough that it FITS comfortably and securely in the trunk or backseat area.

The same steps as above should be taken when padding and strapping the board into place before driving off. Be sure to CHECK all straps and padding during transit as well.

Hitch-Mounted System

Hitch-Mounted System

A hitch-mounted system is another great option for transporting a paddleboard without a roof rack. This system consists of two bars INSTALLED on the rear end of your car or truck and can carry different types of cargo, including SUP boards.

It also provides plenty of padding and support during transit, making it an ideal choice for longer trips.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Install the hitch-mounted system on the rear end of your car or truck.
  2. Securely place the paddleboard between the two bars and add padding around it if necessary.
  3. Attach straps or ratchets to hold it in place during transit securely.
  4. Check all straps and padding before driving off and periodically throughout your journey.
  5. Drive carefully and slowly to your destination.
  6. When you arrive, safely and securely remove all straps and padding before unloading your paddleboard from the hitch-mounted system.

Pro Tip: Invest in a SUP board cover to protect your board from any dirt and debris while it is being transported.

Soft Paddleboard Carrier Or Sling System

Soft Paddleboard Carrier Or Sling System

For those who need a more LIGHTWEIGHT and compact solution for transporting their paddleboard without a roof rack, a soft paddleboard carrier or sling system can be the perfect option [1].

These carriers are designed to SECURELY hold your board while providing extra padding and protection during transit. They also come in different sizes and can be easily stored or folded away when not in use.

Some even have pockets or straps that make it EASIER to carry the board around. When using this carrier, adjust the straps accordingly to ensure your board is firmly secured before taking off.

Here’s how to use a soft paddleboard carrier or sling system:

  1. Place the board inside the carrier and adjust the straps to fit your board securely.
  2. Add extra padding around areas that may be prone to bumps or impacts.
  3. Securely buckle the straps into place and tighten them if necessary.
  4. Check all straps and padding before driving off and periodically throughout your journey.
  5. Drive carefully and slowly to your destination.
  6. When you arrive, safely unbuckle and remove all straps and padding before unloading your paddleboard from the carrier or sling system.

Bilge Pump and Tow Tubes

Bilge Pump and Tow Tubes

A bilge pump and tow tubes can be a great option if you DON’T own a car or truck and need to transport your SUP board over water. This method is typically used by stand-up paddlers who want to get from one spot to another without carrying their boards.

The setup consists of two inflatable tubes that attach to the back of a boat with a bilge pump. The paddleboarder then stands BETWEEN the two tubes while holding onto the handles on each side for extra stability during transit.

Follow these steps to safely transport paddle board using this method:

  1. Ensure all safety and precautionary measures are taken before embarking on your journey.
  2. Attach the two inflatable tubes to the back of the boat.
  3. Position your paddleboard in between the two tubes.
  4. Hold onto the handles on each side of the tubes for extra stability during transit.
  5. Start up the bilge pump and enjoy your ride.
  6. When you reach your destination, safely disembark before unloading your board.

Pro Tip: When using this method, consider wearing a life jacket and other safety gear while transporting your paddleboard to ensure your safety.

Board Bag

Board Bag

Board bags are an ideal way to protect your paddleboard during storage and transit. They come in various sizes, colours, and materials, so you can choose one that best fits your board and needs.

When using a board bag for transport, ensure it is SECURELY attached to your car or truck before taking off [2]. You should also add padding around the board to avoid wear and tear from bumps or impacts.

Here’s how to use a board bag for transporting your SUP:

  1. Place the paddleboard inside the bag and adjust the straps accordingly for a secure fit.
  2. Add extra padding around areas prone to bumps or impacts during transit.
  3. Securely buckle all straps and tighten them if necessary.
  4. Carefully place the board bag on top of your car or truck and secure it with bungee cords or straps.
  5. Check all straps, padding and bungee cords before driving off.

SUP Cart

SUP Cart

SUP carts are an excellent option for those transporting their board’s long distances. These carts come in various styles, sizes, and materials, making it easy to get your board from one spot to another with minimal effort.

When using a SUP cart, ensure the wheels are properly inflated and securely attached before taking off. You should also add padding around the board to AVOID wear and tear during transit.

Here’s how to use a SUP cart:

  1. Place the paddleboard on the cart and adjust straps or buckles accordingly for a secure fit.
  2. Add extra padding around areas prone to bumps or impacts during transit.
  3. Securely buckle all straps and tighten them if necessary.
  4. Carefully place the paddleboard onto the cart and secure it with bungee cords or straps.
  5. Check all straps, padding and bungee cords before taking off.
  6. When you arrive at your destination, safely unbuckle and remove all straps, padding and bungee cords before unloading your paddleboard from the cart.

Pro Tip: Invest in a waterproof cover for added protection against dirt, debris, rain, wind or sun damage while in transit.

Make a DIY Soft Rack

Make a DIY Soft Rack

If you are looking for an affordable way to transport your paddle boards without a roof rack, consider making DIY soft rack systems.

This method uses materials like foam pipe insulation, bungee cords and a cam strap to create a makeshift rack that can be secured on top of your car or truck.

Here’s how to make a DIY soft rack:

  • Start by cutting the foam pipe insulation into two long strips and then cutting one of the strips in half.
  • Attach the pieces together using bungee cords.
  • Securely attach straps or bungee cords to the rack before placing it onto your car or truck.
  • Carefully place the board on top of your DIY soft rack and secure it with bungee cords or straps.
  • Check all straps, padding and bungee cords before driving off.

Tips And Tricks To Make Transportation Easier

Tips And Tricks To Make Transportation Easier

Transporting your paddleboard doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Here are some tips and tricks to make it easier:

Choose The Right Method

Choosing the right method for transporting your paddleboard is essential for a successful journey. Consider your NEEDS and BUDGET when selecting the best option, as some methods may require additional equipment or support.

For instance, if you plan on taking long trips with your board, consider getting a SUP cart to make transportation easier. A roof rack or board bag might be the better option if you’re going on shorter trips.

Prepare In Advance

Preparing in advance is key for a successful SUP transport. The night before your trip, check all straps, buckles and bungee cords on your gear to ensure everything is secure and ready for transit.

You should also confirm that the board is inflated and that any extra equipment is readily available.

Inspect Your Board

Inspect your paddleboard for ANY damage or signs of wear and tear before, during and after transportation. Make sure to look around the board for any cracks, chips, dents or loose hardware that may have occurred during transit.

Clean and Dry

Make sure to clean and dry your paddleboard before and after transportation to AVOID any dirt or moisture build-up. This will help keep your board in top shape for longer, so you can enjoy it for years.

Make Safety A Priority

No matter what method of transportation you choose, safety should always be your top priority. Double-check that all straps and buckles are secure before driving off and that the board is securely attached to the car or truck.

Never leave your paddleboard UNATTENDED on a vehicle, as it could easily be stolen or damaged when left unsupervised.

Load Carefully

Be mindful when LOADING and UNLOADING your paddleboard. Always make sure to consult the owner’s manual for any specific instructions regarding the loading and unloading of your equipment.

In addition, be careful not to drop or bang the board against hard surfaces when transferring it from one spot to another.

Follow The Law

Following all local laws and regulations when transporting your paddleboard is essential. Make sure to CHECK any state or country-specific rules for SUP transportation before hitting the road [3].

For example, Hawaii requires that ALL watercraft be transported in an enclosed trailer or on a rack when travelling between islands.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need A Trailer To Transport My Paddleboard?

No, you don’t need a trailer to transport your paddleboard. Depending on the size and length of your board and how far you plan on travelling, other options, such as a roof rack or SUP cart, might be more suitable for shorter trips.

What Is The Most Affordable Way To Transport My Paddleboard?

The most affordable way to transport your paddleboard is with a roof rack or SUP cart. Both options are relatively inexpensive and can be easily stored when not in use.

Can I Put My Paddleboard On The Roof Of My Car?

Yes, you can put your paddleboard on your car’s roof, but use appropriate straps and tie-downs to ensure the board is securely attached. Additionally, please double-check that your vehicle can safely support the weight of the paddleboard before loading it onto your roof.

Can I Put Multiple Paddle Boards On A Trailer At Once?

Yes, you can transport more than one board on a trailer as long as it is rated for the weight and size of your boards. Double-check with the manufacturer’s guidelines before loading multiple paddleboards onto a single trailer.

Conclusion

Conclusion

Transporting a paddleboard without needing a roof rack doesn’t have to be complicated. With the right preparation and equipment, you can safely and efficiently transport your paddleboard wherever you need it.

Always double-check all straps and buckles, clean and dry your board before and after transportation, make safety a priority and follow local laws when travelling with your SUP.

Following these tips will prepare you for a smooth and successful paddleboard transportation experience.

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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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