Secure Your Waves: How to Properly Tie a Surfboard to Your Car's Roof Rack

Secure Your Waves: How to Properly Tie a Surfboard to Your Car’s Roof Rack

Hitting the waves with your surfboard is a thrilling experience, but what’s not so thrilling? Figuring out how to secure your board to your car’s roof rack. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

In this guide, you’ll learn the best way to tie your surfboard to your roof rack. We’ll break it down into simple, easy-to-follow steps. No more worrying about your board flying off mid-journey!

So, whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a newbie, these tips will ensure your surfboard reaches the beach safely. Stay tuned and get ready to master the art of securing your surfboard to your car’s roof rack.

Key Takeaways

  • Selecting the right straps is crucial for securing your surfboard. Consider the length (15 to 20 feet is typical), the material (preferably durable ones like nylon), buckle type (metal or plastic), and consider using strap pads for added protection.
  • Proper positioning of the surfboard on the roof rack is essential. The standard position tends to be with the fins facing upwards and towards the rear. Clean the roof rack, place the board in the center of the rack, and ensure that the surfboard doesn’t move easily.
  • Securing both the front (nose) and back (tail) of the surfboard is vital. Use your straps to tether the surfboard at both points, ensuring that the board doesn’t wiggle or move excessively.
  • Ensuring the right tightness of the straps is essential. Too loose, and the board may fly off; too tight, and you could damage both the board and the vehicle. Test the strap tightness after initial attachment and adjust accordingly.
  • Additional tips for safe transportation include appropriately positioning the board’s nose and tail, using padding for added protection, and performing frequent checks especially during long trips. Stop periodically to check your surfboard and strap’s condition and make necessary adjustments.

Securing a surfboard properly to your car’s roof rack is crucial for safe transportation. A tutorial on YouTube explains how to tie down a surfboard onto roof racks, highlighting safety precautions and proper techniques. Another YouTube video provides a fast and secure method to attach a surfboard to roof racks, ideal for quick setups.

Choosing the Right Straps

Choosing the Right Straps

Before you can begin securing your surfboard to your car’s roof rack, it’s essential to select the right kind of straps. The kind of straps you select can greatly impact how firmly and safely your surfboard stays in place.

Your first consideration should be the length. Ensure that your straps are long enough to go over your board and under your roof rack. A standard strap length is 15 to 20 feet. If you’re new to this, it’s better to have straps that are slightly too long than too short.

Material strength is just as crucial. A strong, durable material like nylon will endure both the weight of the surfboard and the harsh elements outside. This ensures that the strap doesn’t snap midway through your journey, potentially causing damage to your board, car, or others on the road.

Let’s focus on the buckle. Buckles can either be metal or plastic. Metal buckles are typically stronger but can potentially ding your board. Plastic buckles tend to be safer for the surfboard but might not offer the same strength as metal. Choosing which one to use is a matter of personal preference and what you are comfortable with.

Finally, we’ll discuss strap pads. These are not essential, but they can provide extra protection for your board. They prevent the straps from digging into your surfboard, which might cause damage over time.

Factors to considerChecklist
LengthShould be 15 to 20 feet long.
Materialdurable ones like nylon.
BuckleMetal or plastic depending on preference.
Strap padsOptional but recommended for added protection

Remember, not all straps are made the same. Consider your individual needs and preferences when selecting straps. It’s not just about securing the board to the car; it’s also about ensuring that your surfboard reaches its destination in perfect condition. Continue reading on for a how-to guide on securing your surfboard to the roof rack using these chosen straps.

Positioning the Surfboard on the Roof Rack

Positioning the Surfboard on the Roof Rack

After you’ve secured the optimal straps based on length, material, buckle type and considered the use of strap pads for extra protection, it’s imperative to give careful thought to positioning your surfboard. Finding the right way to position your surfboard involves more than simply throwing it on top of your car.

Positioning differs based on the design of your surfboard and your roof rack. For most surfboards, the standard position tends to be with the fins facing upwards and towards the rear of the vehicle. Why? This arrangement’s not just by chance. The positioning encourages wind to flow over the surfboard, while also reducing wind lift.

Now let’s delve into some helpful guide steps:

  1. Ensure Your Roof Rack Is Clean: Any dirt or debris in the rack could potentially cause scratches to your surfboard, so it’s best to clean it before placing the board.
  2. Place the Surfboard on the Rack: Lay your surfboard on the rack, with the deck or top side facing down towards the car roof. Make sure the board is in the center of the rack for even distribution of weight.
  3. Ensure the Surfboard Is Stable: Check that the surfboard doesn’t move easily as you will want it to remain in place during travel. An unstable surfboard could encounter problems during transit, so if any instability is noticed, address it immediately.

The aforementioned advice is merely a guideline for the positioning of the surfboard on your roof rack. Roof rack designs and surfboard types can vary significantly, which may necessitate different strategies.

What’s next? In the following section, let’s consider how to correctly use your chosen straps to secure the surfboard effectively, and safely transport your board to its destination.

Securing the Nose and Tail of the Surfboard

Once you’ve positioned the surfboard on your roof rack, the next step in making sure it doesn’t go flying off during your road trip is to secure it, both front and back. Let’s break down the process to make it easy for you.

Begin by attaching the strap to the front of your roof rack. Make sure it’s connected to the fixed point of the rack. If your roof rack doesn’t come with its points, you can loop it around the bar. Then, gently negotiate the strap over the nose of your surfboard.

The next stop is the tail of the surfboard. The procedure repeats itself here. Attach another strap at the back of the roof rack, passing it over the tail end of the board. Remember to ensure all straps are tight—but not too tight as to deform your board.

Give your board a little wiggle. If it’s secure, it won’t move side to side or up and down. Be sure also to check for front to back movement. The absence of either motion means you’re on the right track.

Let’s not forget, it might be tempting to secure your board deck-side up, especially if it looks cooler that way. But we advise against it. There’s a higher risk of your board scooping the wind like a sail and causing issues. Functionality should always take the lead over aesthetics.

Pro tip – some surfboards, especially ones with single or twin fins, might sit better on the roof racks if they’re upside down. In such instances, you’d want to consider this choice for both security and damage prevention to the fins.

Remember, these are guidelines rather than rules set in stone. The key is to keep checking, adjusting, and rechecking until you’re confident that your surfboard isn’t going anywhere but staying put on top of your car.

Double-checking the Tightness of the Straps

Double-checking the Tightness of the Straps

While securing your surfboard to your car roof rack, ensuring the tightness of the straps is fundamental. A strap that’s too loose would fail to hold the board in place, leading to shaky movements or worse, causing your board to fly off mid-journey. On the other hand, a strap that’s overly tightened might damage your vehicle or the board itself.

Mastering the balance in strap tightness is therefore critical in this process. Here’s how you can achieve it.

Your initial pull on the straps after attaching them should be with substantial force. This is to ensure that the board is firmly held in place. But remember, we are not looking at creating an overly tight clamp-effect. You want your board safe and free from unwarranted pressure that can lead to potential damage.

Test the strap tightness after initial attachment. Gently shake the board side-to-side and front-to-back. Think of typical road scenarios where there is jerky movement. If the board shifts significantly, tighten the straps further until you achieve the desired stability.

Often, only testing for movement in one direction can lead to a false sense of security. Always remember to check for movements in multiple directions to ensure perfect stability.

Important to note is that single and twin fin boards, when placed upside down, can sometimes sit unbalanced. Ensuring the tightness is not overly done to compensate for this imbalance is critical. Your surfboard should be free from excess pressure and not overly secure to the point where it experiences difficulty in movement.

However, don’t feel the stress. Strap tightening is an adaptive process. Drive around the block after initially securing your surfboard. Check again for any shifted placements or loosened straps. Make adjustments accordingly, and you’re good to go ahead with a worry-free road trip.

Look after your surfboards with these strap tightening tricks. After all, in the balance of adaptability and security lies the true success of any surfboard transportation.

Additional Tips for Safe Transportation

There’s no denying the importance of proper strap tightening: that’s your ticket to a successful surf trip. But what about the other details that can take your surfboard transportation from “just okay” to “flawless and worry-free”? The devil, as you know, is in the details. So, let’s walk through a few more tips to ensure that your board arrives safe and sound, ready for that killer wave.

When you think about board transportation, your surfboard’s nose and tail require special attention. Boards should ideally be placed deck-down with the nose facing forward. This reduces wind lift and, at the same time, it ensures the least impact on your car’s aerodynamics while hitting the open road.

The critical step often overlooked by surfers is padding. Padding is not only essential for the protection of your surfboard, but it also offers a buffer against any road vibrations. Without adequate padding, your beloved surfboard might take a beating you never intended. So, always wrap your surfboard in a protective bag or layer some foam where the board and the rack meet.

Lastly, don’t forget the value of frequent checks. Especially for long trips, where the roads can be unpredictable, stopping to perform a quick surfboard and strap check can help prevent any potential mishaps. These checks are very efficient as they hardly take any time but can save you from a ton of trouble down the line.

Do a quick walk around your vehicle. Notice any sagging or loose straps? Is your board tilting to one side? If you picked up on anything unusual, tighten up those straps or make necessary adjustments. Quick spot checks like these can make all the difference.


So, you’ve got the lowdown on how to secure your surfboard to your car’s roof rack. Remember, the right way to tie it down is just as vital as catching the perfect wave. Keep the nose of the board facing forward for better aerodynamics and less wind lift. Don’t forget about padding, it’s your best friend in protecting your board from those pesky vibrations during the ride. And of course, always check, recheck, and check again. A quick spot check can save you a world of trouble. Now, with these tips in your back pocket, you’re all set for a worry-free road trip. Surf’s up!

What is the article about?

The article discusses how to secure a surfboard to a car roof rack properly. It provides tips on the correct positioning of the surfboard and the importance of using padding to protect it. It also highlights the need for regular checks during transportation.

Why should the surfboard nose face forward on a car roof rack?

Facing the surfboard nose forward on a car roof rack can reduce wind lift and enhance the aerodynamics of your vehicle while driving. This positioning ensures a more secure fit and stable transportation.

Why is padding important?

Padding is essential to protect the surfboard from vibrations that may damage it during transportation. It acts as a cushion between the board and the roof rack, absorbing any impact and shock.

Why are frequent checks recommended during long trips?

Frequent checks are recommended to ensure the surfboard remains secure during long trips. Over time, straps may loosen because of road conditions and vibrations. Regular inspections can detect and fix these issues early, ensuring safe transportation.

What are quick spot checks?

Quick spot checks are brief inspections to make sure the surfboard is still securely fastened to the roof rack. They are useful for fixing potential issues promptly, thus ensuring a smooth and worry-free road trip.