No matter how strong you are, at 3 feet wide, 12 feet long and about 35 pounds, paddle boards can be tricky when traveling with them. So, if you were wondering how to transport a paddle board on your next vacation, I have you covered.
In this piece, we’ll be talking all about paddle board transport, so you look like a pro next time you hit the beach.
By the end of it, you will know:
Firstly, it’s important to know that this does not apply if you have a paddle board that inflates. In that case, you can just carry it in its designated backpack and inflate it right on the spot.
So, if you’re still thinking how to choose a paddle board then take a look at the best inflatable paddle boards for this year. And if you do go for a non-inflatable one, then let’s talk paddle board transport.
Whether on a vehicle or under your arm, it can be awkward to transport paddle board if you don’t know how to.
First off, when carrying it in your arms, you should go for the handle located at the center of the board. Look for this handle and position it on the outside of your body so that you can grab the board and place it tightly near your body while gripping the handle.
Here are some practical tips:
Remember to protect your back so that you bend your knees and keep your back straight when lifting your SUP.
If the board is too heavy, use a cart with wheels until you build up to it.
Your paddle board transport depends on the type of vehicle you have. If you drive a truck, you can put the board deck-side down in the bed with the nose supported by the tailgate. So, you don’t have to worry about straps and about putting the board on your roof.
However, for those who own sedans, station wagons and vans, let’s talk about how to transport a paddle board on the roof without damaging it or the car.
Things you will need to transport a SUP on your car’s roof securely:
I would recommend having someone help you with the lifting and getting your board onto the racks/crossbars because that’s the trickiest part. So, if you have someone, basically, it’s all about each one of you lifting one end of the board and placing it deck-down on the rack. It should have its fins toward the front of the car.
Your paddle (if adjustable) can go in your car. But if it doesn’t fit, then you can attach an additional holder designed for paddles only.
Place the longest SUP on the vehicle first. Then, as you put the other shorter SUPs, put padding between them to prevent scratches.
If you have a truck and your SUP fits inside instead of on the roof, then pad your truck’s tailgate. Also, secure the board in the bed, so it doesn’t move around while driving. Put a red flag at the end of the board to warn other drivers of its length if your board is too long.
If, during your paddle board transport, you are using a rack that had been designed to carry a SUP, then it’s easy. You can simply cinch down the built-in straps, and you are good to go!
If you are using foam blocks or padding, then just tie down your SUP with two cam straps.
How to do it? Easy. Here’s how:
However, with the bow and stern straps, I would recommend using stern lines in addition to the cam straps. This is just to be safe in case there is wind, or you have a really long SUP. Also, do not worry about installing ratcheting bow and stern lines. This is how you do it easily:
Use a ladder if you have a tall vehicle. It’s essential to reach all points of the SUP and secure them well.
Look for the widest point of your paddle board and position it between the two cam straps. This way, you are preventing the board from sliding.
Add a twist between the cam straps so that you prevent the strap vibration while you are driving.
If you are making a stop on your way to the beach and you are leaving your paddle board unattended up on your car roof, then locking the straps is a great idea! Get locking cam straps that can be unfastened with a key. Also, there’s a more secure option, a locking cable. Better safe than sorry, right?
But then, even if you aren’t making a stop on your way, I’d recommend you do at least one or two depending on the length of the way so that you make sure your paddle board is in its right place and secured well.
Lastly, if you have any concerns or questions about what is the best way of strapping your paddle boarding gear, do not hesitate to ask me. And if you have any additional tips and guidelines on how you strap your board or paddle board transport, our readers and I would love to hear them. Sharing is caring, after all!
We have a minivan with sliding doors without a roof rack. Is there anyway to strap a SUP to the roof? I don’t think the straps made to go through the widows would work with the sliding door?