How to transport your SUP board

Learning how to transport your SUP can open up a whole new world of possibilities! especially if you don’t have the luxury of walking to the water from your house or you prefer not to deflate and then inflate your ISUP everytime you go out.

We walk through the 2 main methods of transporting your sup and how to secure it onto your roof.

The 1st step in transporting your SUP is that you will need straps! Good straps are SUPrs best friend, and the more you have, the happier you will be!  There is a wide choice available, but 3m long straps should be perfect, and for extra peace of mind lockable straps such as Kanulocks are also available. Ratchet straps are an option but they could place pressure on the rails of your board, especially if the boards  are fragile.

Method 1 – Straight onto the roof

Materials Needed

2 x 3m straps.

Pipe insulation or a swim doodle.


Video Credit: BluePlanet Surf

Method – Place the insulation or doodle on top of your car/van, then put the boards on top, then put the straps on top, reaching across to the otherside, around and then feed them through the car, this is where you tighten them. Putting your board deckside down can help avoid any scratches.

Positives – Easy, fast and cheap method for transporting your boards. Can be a quick fix method if you are on a trip and use a rental car. Can transport any length of board on just about any car.

Photo Credit: JHV

Negatives – The car or van roof can become scratched. The gap caused by the straps in the car door can lead to water entering the car, especially so in areas where rainfall is all to common. The straps may also generate noise when travelling at speed.

Method 2 – Roof Rack + Straps

Perhaps one the most common methods of SUP transportation.

Video Credit: BadFish

Materials Needed

2 x 3m straps.

Car roof racks.

Pipe insulation.

Method –¬†Fix the car racks on your roof, making sure they are very secure. Place the insulation or doodle on the racks to cushion the boards, using either gaffa tape or specially design sleeves that secure the insulation to the rack.

Put the straps over on top of the boards and feed them over the board and around the roof rack at the opposite end, Then double back over the board. At this point the straps should be as flat as you can make them so the straps don’t twist as they go through the buckle.¬† The long end of the strap should up through the buckle so that you tighten the strap by pulling down on it.

Positives: Extremely secure, you can load a few boards on your roof with this method.

Negatives: More expensive method (though there are alternatives available), there is a whole range of roof racks out there and some can be expensive. Roof racks can add extra height to vans and cars, which can be a nuisance when car parks have height restrictors in place, in this case consider low roof rocks or how high you want to go to get into the car park at your local spot.

If you do not have a roof rack, but don’t want to put the board directly on the car roof then look at using foam blocks or inflatable roof racks.






About the Author

Helen Trehoret

SUP, OC1, V6, Surfski ... and field hockey coaching, Helen is a busy British mother of two who lives in Bretagne, France with a passion for all things Ocean. Helen runs Barrachou SUP, a SUP tour company specialized in excursions around Bretagne and Scotland.

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