How to Transport Paddle Boards (SUPs)
Do you love stand up paddle boarding (SUP), but you're tired of battling your board to get it to the water? We'll make it easy—check out the best ways to transport your paddle boards.
Stand up paddle boards (SUPs) are an incredibly graceful way to travel once you get them in the water. While getting them to the water, they tend to be big and clunky, whether transporting them by hand, by car, or by boat. They’re similar to scuba-diving gear, which works great when you’re in the water but while you’re on shore or on the dive boat, it works against you.
There's no doubt that paddle boarding is one of the most relaxing watersports out there; transporting them to the water, on the other hand, is no easy task. To help you get a handle on things, we’ve found a number of products that will help you transport your SUPs safely and easily.
A number of years ago I knew a guy who would put his surfboard in the forward cabin of a center console and drive out to the back side of Santa Cruz Island off the Southern California coast. It was great because he’d have epic surf all to himself, and it was not so great because the surfboard poked holes in the headliner and cushions in the forward cabin.
Stand up paddle boards are similar that way. The most peaceful places to use them are often tucked out of the way—accessible only by boat. But getting your SUP to these ideal spots presents a challenge in terms of transporting it by boat. That’s why Manta Racks’ solution is so exciting. They slip into the existing rod holders found on most center consoles and walkaround boats, and they hold up to two paddle boards. Now, rather than destroying your upholstery or have a paddle board bouncing around the deck, you can pop in the Manta Racks, lash down your boards and go. $499 to $799.
For more information, visit Manta Racks.
SUP Car Rack
The moment you buy a stand up paddle board, you need a way to transport it. If your car or SUV has no roof rack, the most cost-effective way to transport your SUP is with a removable rack. The SUP Car Rack features a combination of straps, pads and buckles. It clips onto the roof of your car and it’s designed to hold two boards. It comes off as quickly as it attaches, so it’s there when you need it and gone when you don’t. It stashes easily in a trunk, so you can go paddle boarding whenever the mood strikes. Usually, these car racks run around $90.
For more information, visit Store Your Board.
Malone Auto Racks
If your car or SUV does have a roof rack, odds are good it’s not padded appropriately enough for carrying paddle boards. The Malone system comes with high-density foam pads that attach to round, square or oval roof rack cross bars. It also comes with two 9-foot heavy-duty cam buckle tie down straps.
Here’s a handy tip for any kind of straps you use: twist the straps a little on each side so they don’t vibrate and make noise at speed, and tuck the loose ends into the top of the door jambs and close the doors on them. These run at about $45.
For more information, visit Malone Auto Racks.
Surfstow Tailgate Pad
If you have a truck, you’ve got the perfect vehicle for transporting stand up paddle boards—you'll just need a little padding and a way to tie it down. Surfstow’s Tailgate Pad does both. It straps onto the tailgate of a pickup truck for a firm base. Just strap it onto your truck, then strap the board down. For around $50, the kit comes with a storage pocket and a red flag to attach to the trailing edge of the board so other motorists can see how far it extends beyond the tailgate.
For more information, visit Surfstow.
Want more on paddle boarding? boats.com has you covered:
- How to Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP)
- How to Choose the Right Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP)
- Watersports: All Things Towable