Getting Your Stand Up Paddle Board to Your Destination

I thought I’d take a minute to discuss how you are going to get your board to and from your favorite stand up paddle boarding destination. In many instances, the favorite spot is nearby, giving you a short distance to a fun day standing on liquid. But sometimes, the lure of traveling farther afield in search of new experiences is too much to deny. Here’s how to safely transport your board, and even a buddy’s board to a nearby destination and beyond.

The roof rack pad
If you are simply going down to a nearby lake, the basics will get you where you are going. You’ll need some equipment though, unless you plan on stuffing your board in your truck or van. You can use a simple set-up to get your board strapped to the top of your car though but it is not recommended. I mean, you spent a thousand bucks to buy the board you really want and you’re going to lash it down with a rope and towel? Really?


Stand on Liquid Roof Rack Pads

I’ll give you a couple of ideas for roof racks custom made for SUP transportation, but before we get to that, for those on a really low-budget, you’ll need a set of rack pads and cam straps. Ideally, the 30” Universal Roof Rack Pad should be used with a good roof rack but it can be used as an adequate cushion between your board and the car. And if you don’t have the rack yet, these will come in handy when you do finally get it.

The tie down

You’ll also need cam straps. You’ll want these straps to be simple and easy to use. The Stand On Liquid 12′ Cam Lock Straps give just the right length to do the job. The twelve foot nylon webbed straps secure your board to the car – although without the rack, you’ll have to slip the strap into the car and close the door (don’t slip the strap through the window!) to secure it from slipping. The cam buckles on these straps are encased in a neoprene sleeve to protect it against the elements.

The roof rack

You might already have this and if you don’t, you’ll already have the pads and cam straps. Whether your vehicle has raised rails or simply a flush side rails, one of the best racks you can buy is the Yakima RailGrab Roof Rack. The towers allow you to customize the the size of the rack you build. These rack towers work on both the 48” X-bars and the longer (carry more stuff) 58” length or you can buy them as a ready made kit.

A couple of extra things to take note of.

You need to be sure your board is securely strapped down. It is highly recommended, with or without the use of a rack, to get a brah. This ties the board from front to back to the bumpers. Once you get out on the open highway, that board strapped to the top of your car will act as a sail, adding an enormous amount of drag to your forward progress. The Yakima SUP Brah Tiedown does an excellent job.

Also, be sure to have the tension on your cam straps tight but not tight enough to damage the rails on your board. It is a good idea to periodically check the tension after a short distance. For longer distance, it is highly recommended that you use a padded board bag to protect it against the elements. It might be a sunny day but those blazing rays can do more damage to your board than you might think.

With the right equipment, you can transport your SUP board safely and securely to your favorite destination.

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