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Which SUP or Surfboard Rack is best for you?

Choosing a rack well suited for your SUP’s or Surfboards can seem like a daunting task. In this quick article we'll break down the different styles available to you so you can make an informed purchasing decision for the rack that best suits your needs and equipment. Let’s get into it!

What are your Choices?

The two main styles of racks that transport SUP’s and Surfboards are Rack Pads or Dedicated SUP racks designed specifically for the application. Rack Pads are an affordable option that are available in a couple different shapes and width to ensure they will attach to your vehicle's crossbars and accommodate different equipment widths. They simply wrap around the existing crossbars present on your vehicle and velcro closed to provide a padded, grippy surface. They do not include straps so those will need to be purchased if you don't already have some leftover kayak straps to tie down the boards to the crossbars. We love the low initial cost of Rack Pads, and even if you have to purchase straps as well you still will be well below the cost of a dedicated board rack. The main downside to these pads is they don’t offer any theft protection. This can be helped by purchasing a dedicated water sport locking strap with keyed locks, but at that point we would almost just recommend getting a dedicated SUP racks. Racks specifically designed to transport SUP’s and Surfboards have some great convenience features that can really improve the loading/unloading process, as well as the transporting experience. These carriers have a strap integrated into the system instead of having to wrap straps around the crossbars, you can simply just load up the boards and route the strap over them. From there they cinch down tight, and the carrier can be locked with the included keyset to secure that strap in place until the carrier is unlocked once again. This provides a great theft deterrent for your equipment and gives you peace of mind if you need to make a pit stop or two on your way home with your boards.

Making a Decision

With the details of the carriers available out of the way, the question is…which one is for you? We believe this boils down to how you would use the rack, and how often you will use it. If you only get out every once in a while and are not concerned about the theft of your equipment, or don’t make stops during your trip to and from your home with your boards loaded, the affordable Rack Pads would be a great option to just get you out there without breaking the bank. If you are a frequent enjoyer of the sport, or value a bit of security when transporting your boards a dedicated carrier will most definitely improve your overall transporting experience. We’ve armed you with the knowledge to hopefully help you make a decision on what carrier will best suit your needs, but of course we know racks aren’t always easy. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Rack Experts and we would be happy to assist you! They can be reached either at, or by phone by dialing (800) 272-5362

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