There’s nothing more fun and relaxing than heading to the beach to catch some sun, sea, and waves. But for a lot of surfers, transporting their surfboards can be a challenge. That is unless they have a surfboard car rack installed on their vehicle. No matter what type of surfboard you own, having such a product is essential if you want to protect your car and your gear.
When searching for the best surfboard car rack, there are some important factors for you to consider. From the durability of the rack to the ease of installation and use, keeping all these things in mind will help you find the best product to suit your needs. Read on to learn more about surfboard car racks and how to choose the best one.
- Features to Consider in Good Surfboard Car Racks
- Top 10 Best Surfboard Car Racks 2023
- 1. Vault Cargo Management Roof Rack Crossbars
- 2. INNO Racks - Locking Surfboard Roof Rack
- 3. OrionMotorTech Universal Car Soft Roof Rack
- 4. Curve Surfboard Soft Rack
- 5. Block Surf Surfboard Roof Rack
- 6. Block Surf Double Wrap Rack
- 7. FCS Premium DOUBLE SOFT Surfboard Car Racks
- 8. Thule Sup Taxi Carrier
- 9. Dorsal Surfboard Kayak SUP Surf Rack
- 10. Curve Surfboard Soft Rack
- Guide to Buying the Best Surfboard Car Racks
- The Verdict
Features to Consider in Good Surfboard Car Racks
This is one of the first things to think about before purchasing a surfboard car rack. If you need the rack to carry your surfboard while you travel, then you may choose one of the simpler products. But if you want a rack which can carry more than surfboards, then you should choose a rack which meets your needs.
Also, think about whether the product you choose can secure your board without causing excessive movement or getting loose while you travel. The best ones offer superior versatility and can securely hold surfboards along with other types of sports gear.
You might feel irritated while you’re driving with a rack on your car’s roof and you hear a noise caused by the wind. If you want to avoid this, look for a car surfboard rack that has a good aerodynamic system. This may help reduce the noise you hear because of the rack attached to your car’s roof.
When you attach a rack to your car, it would automatically raise its height and lower its clearance level. To prevent any accidents or issues, you should always remember your car’s height whether it has the rack or not. If you think that the height and clearance might become an issue, then you might want to purchase a removable rack.
Your vehicle’s rack system
Most of the new models already come with rails where you can mount the surfboard car rack on. This is an important feature to consider. If your vehicle already has rails, choose a rack that’s compatible with it.
The price is also relevant especially for those who have a budget. Although car racks are essential, that doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank to get one. There are plenty of products available on the market, and they come in a wide range of prices.
Find one which suits your needs but still fits into your own budget. Also, make sure that you get great value for the money you spend by choosing one which has great features and a reasonable price.
Top 10 Best Surfboard Car Racks 2023
1. Vault Cargo Management Roof Rack Crossbars
The Vault Cargo Management Roof Rack Crossbars is a high-quality product that’s easy to install and use. It will keep your gear safe, so all you have to do is to focus on having fun. The manufacturers designed this product to be perfect for the outdoors. It has rubber strips, crossbars, and end caps which all protect your vehicle as well as your gear.
This surfboard car rack’s design makes it perfect for SUVs. But it will also fit any vehicles with elevated side rails and a space in the center. The Vault Cargo Management Roof Rack Crossbars is a solid product. It’s made of sturdy materials, and it’s strong enough to carry items up to 150 pounds in weight.
Because of this, you may also carry other items on the rack, even those which are much heavier than surfboards. You can use this for canoes, kayaks, and other types of gear which you need on your outdoor adventures. You can even use this car rack to stack bike and ski mounts if you need to bring such items along.
Another great feature of this product is its adjustability. As long as the side rails of your vehicle meet the requirements, you can use this rack. It even comes with keys so that you can lock the bars down securely to the roof of your car. It’s an excellent choice for anyone who’s looking for a strong rack that’s versatile and user-friendly too.
- It comes with padded clamps to protect your vehicle when you attach the rack.
- It's perfect for SUVs which already have raised side rails.
- It provides a lot of space for you to strap on your gear.
- It has a load capacity of up to 150 lbs which means you can use it to carry items other than surfboards.
- The crossbar attachments may come apart easily.
2. INNO Racks - Locking Surfboard Roof Rack
The INNO Racks – Locking Surfboard Roof Rack is a premium-quality product which has a strong and sturdy build. Its straps are of stainless steel coated with rubber making them durable, long-lasting, and tough. The special strap system keeps your surfboard secure while its rubber cushions will keep your gear protected from any dents or dings.
This car rack has a straightforward and simple design that’s very effective. It’s strong enough to hold up to 3 short or 2 long surfboards. It’s simple to install, and it’s very easy to use. It comes with all the hardware needed for installation, and you can attach it to most types of crossbars.
This surfboard car rack has a good capacity since you can use it to carry more than one surfboard. As long as you strap your gear on correctly, you won’t have to worry about losing it while you drive. This rack works with most standard crossbars. It doesn’t produce much vibration or noise even when you’re driving at high speed.
This surfboard car rack has a special strap system which allows for easier loading. It also has a ratcheting mechanism so you can tighten your gear to it securely. The INNO Racks – Locking Surfboard Roof Rack has a universal mounting system which means that it fits with most types of factory bars. Also, once you’ve installed the rack on your car, you can leave it there as it will stay secure.
- With this product, it's easy to load and unload your surfboards.
- The rack comes with ratcheting straps for you to connect over the boards and keep them secure.
- It has an excellent carrying capacity as it can hold 2 long or 3 short surfboards.
- It's very easy to install, it comes with its own hardware, and it fits on most crossbars.
- Some customers have issues with the product's customer service support.
3. OrionMotorTech Universal Car Soft Roof Rack
The exterior of this car rack is of an ultra-soft material to keep the surface of your car protected from scuffing, scratching, and other damages. It has straps which are heavy-duty and completely adjustable. These, along with the buckles, will keep your gear secure as you travel. It also has a car fitment that’s universal making it highly versatile.
If you own more than one surfboard and you travel with them, then this is one of the best surfboard car rack options for you. With the OrionMotorTech Universal Car Soft Roof Rack, you can store up to 3 surfboards. You don’t even need to cover your gear as the rack will keep it secure and protected.
The straps of this rack are highly durable, but they won’t cause damage to your surfboards and neither will the buckles. Although most buckles are of metal, the ones on this rack are of silicone. Aside from having a good capacity, you can also fit this rack on almost any type of vehicle. It’s a lightweight rack that’s soft and has an anti-vibration feature.
Installing this rack is super simple. Just open the doors, run the rack’s traps through your vehicle, connect the straps, and tighten them to secure. The whole process would take no more than a few minutes. The same thing goes for loading your surfboard. Just buckle it in, tighten the straps securely, and you’re all set!
- This surfboard car rack has a huge load capacity as it can carry more than 160 lbs.
- It comes with straps which are ultra-long and aircraft-grade buckles.
- Constructed with soft materials to prevent scuffing or scratching of your car's surface.
- It's soft, lightweight, has an anti-vibration feature, and it can accommodate different needs.
- If not handled well, the metal clasp might break the strap.
4. Curve Surfboard Soft Rack
The Curve Surfboard Soft Rack has a compact design which makes it highly portable. The manufacturers made it as small as possible so you can easily bring it along with you when you travel. Then you can install it on any compatible car and keep your surfboards and other gear secure.
With the Curve Surfboard Soft Rack, you don’t have to worry about your surfboards as they’ll be safely secured to your vehicle’s roof. Small as it is when folded, it even comes with a convenient pouch which will fit into your hand. It even comes with a patented lockdown system which makes use of a single loop to keep your surfboard safe and immobile.
This product has good compatibility as you can use it with virtually any type of vehicles with a bare roof. This makes it suitable for rental cars too even if they don’t have fixed racks. This also has good compatibility with vehicles that have roofs and come fitted with roof rails.
This surfboard car rack has a webbing strap that’s secured by a cam buckle that’s made of durable zinc cast material. This provides superior safety and tension for your surfboards. Although this rack has a different configuration compared to most models, once you’ve gotten used to installing it, you’ll be able to place it on different vehicles easily.
- Compact design that's soft without the bulky foam.
- It has a single-loop system with a lockdown feature to prevent your surfboard from moving around.
- It's compatible with most types of vehicles with a roof especially those with side rails.
- It's able to carry up to 3 long or 4 short surfboards for when you travel.
- Installing this rack is fairly challenging.
5. Block Surf Surfboard Roof Rack
This is an excellent choice or you if you want to bring your surfboards with you while you travel and keep them safe. The Block Surf Surfboard Roof Rack has pads and straps which will keep your gear protected and free from damages. This rack will wrap around the interior of your vehicle and permit you to store your surfboard on the roof securely.
It has a unique soft padding and buckles which are extremely sturdy to make sure that your surfboard won’t move or slip around while you’re traveling. The rack includes one pad for your car’s front and one for the rear. It’s compatible with most types of vehicles, whether they have gutters or not.
With this rack, you can easily transport your surfboards, longboards, and snowboards too. It’s effective, safe, and highly durable since it’s made of high-quality, sturdy materials. The features EVA foam of the highest grade for its padding and a sleeve made of nylon that can withstand different weather conditions. It’s even wide enough that you can use it to transport multiple surfboards.
This rack features a single wrap system which would allow you to stack your surfboards one on top of the other. This product is a complete set which also comes with padded straps which are very easy to install and use. It also features aircraft-grade buckles which make it even better at securing your gear.
- It can hold up to 3 surfboards depending on their length and thickness.
- It has heavy-duty buckles and straps to keep your surfboard secure.
- The set includes a pad for the front of your car, a pad for the back, and straps for installation.
- You can install this surfboard car rack in a matter of minutes and take it off easily too.
- The metal buckles might scratch the car's surface.
6. Block Surf Double Wrap Rack
This is one of the best surfboard car racks on the market because it’s made of high-quality materials. It’s suitable for different types of cars whether they come with gutters or not. The Block Surf Double Wrap Rack carries up to 2 long or 6 short surfboards. It’s a sturdy rack with aircraft-grade buckles which will ensure that your surfboard remains safe while you travel.
Easy to use
One of the best features of this product is that it’s very easy to use. You don’t need to have bars on the roof of your car for it to work. But even if your vehicle already comes with bars, you can still install the Block Surf Double Wrap Rack without much effort. Both installation and use are very easy making this a great choice for beginners too.
One great feature of this rack is that it comes with a convenient carry case. This means that you can pack it up and bring it with you when you travel so that you can install it on a rental car as needed. This feature also makes it a great choice for those who own several vehicles since installation is a breeze.
Good value for money
This is a superb surfboard car rack that can carry up to 4 surfboards depending on the thickness and the length. You can strap the boards side by side or one on top of the other. It’s made of a soft, high-quality material which means that for the price, you’re getting good value for the money you spend on it.
- It's a flexible rack which you can fit on cars whether they have cutters or not.
- The single-rack variety can securely carry up to 4 surfboards.
- It comes with a convenient carrying case so you can place it in your car if you don't need to install it yet.
- Designed with aircraft-grade buckles which are heavy-duty to provide strength and safety.
- They may cause the car's windows to start leaking.
The FCS Premium DOUBLE SOFT Surfboard Car Racks is another great product which you can use to store up to 4 long and 6 short surfboards. It’s compatible with most types of vehicles making it an excellent choice for multi-vehicle owners. It comes with metal buckles which are very sturdy and panels made of reinforced PVC which can help prevent the accumulation of wax on the pads.
With this rack, you don’t have to install it on your vehicle. It’s a simple product that’s easy to use. It even comes with a handy zip pouch for storage and portability. The product includes 2 racks with integrated straps and a sturdy D-ring which makes it one of the most reliable and secure systems for you to keep your boards in.
Easy to set up
The FCS Premium DOUBLE SOFT Surfboard Car Racks is a very reliable product that’s easy to set up and use. Once you’ve set it up, the sturdy rack will keep your surfboard secure even when you’re traveling at a high speed. Because of its simple and straightforward design, it doesn’t come with mechanical or moving parts. This means that there’s no risk of rusting or mechanical failure.
This rack system has a simple, single-piece design and a protective D-ring set up. This means that with the FCS Premium DOUBLE SOFT Surfboard Car Racks, you don’t have to deal with separate straps. This is a lot more practical and secure because everything you need is already included in the system. Also, it will give you great value for your money.
- It fits on most types of vans, cars, 4WDs/SUVs, and more.
- The rack can hold up to 4 long and 6 short surfboards.
- The square pads are non-rolling to keep your gear safe.
- It has a 38mm webbing that's durable and heavy-duty.
- The straps might not last for very long.
8. Thule Sup Taxi Carrier
This rack may look simple, but it’s constructed well. It has webbing made of reinforced steel and a locking cam with a spring-loaded feature. The Thule Sup Taxi Carrier is a secure car rack which can handle boards up to 34-inches in width. It has a Dual Loading feature too which allows you to safely transport two boards without compromising the stability.
Also, this product has a soft padding that’s weather resistant and will protect your boards while you travel. It includes One-Key locks for you to keep your stand-up paddleboards secure. Also, it comes with One-Key lock cylinders so you can secure the carrier to the rack. It’s compatible with all rack systems of the same brand, most types of factory racks, and round bars too.
Easy to install
One feature of the Thule Sup Taxi Carrier that a lot of customers appreciate is its ease of use. It’s also very easy to make adjustments to this rack making it a quick task to load and unload your surfboards. It features a robust four-lock system. You use two of the locks to secure your surfboard to the carrier and the other two to connect the carrier to the rest of the system.
The design of this rack makes it ideal for paddleboards. However, you can also use it to secure your surfboards because it’s a versatile model. The Thule Sup Taxi Carrier can handle surfboards up to 34-inches wide, but the number of boards you can place on it will depend on their size and thickness. Also, it’s compatible with various standard rack systems and all rack systems from Thule.
- Comes with an exclusive design to provide your boards with a custom fit.
- It comes with a mounting system with a speed-link feature for easy mounting.
- Includes single-key locks so you can secure a stand-up paddleboard to it.
- Fits with all Rack Systems from the same brand, round bars, as well as most types of factory racks.
- The keys bend easily and may break if not handled with care.
9. Dorsal Surfboard Kayak SUP Surf Rack
A lot of surfboard car racks on the market have a metallic structure all throughout. But there are also others made of alternate materials and designs which perform just as effectively. This is one of the leading products made, not of metal bars and racks, but mainly of durable, high-quality fabric straps.
The Dorsal Surfboard Kayak SUP Surf Rack can comfortably carry up to 200 lbs in weight. This means that you can place more multiple surfboards on it depending on their weight, size, and thickness. It can also keep your canoes, kayaks, SUPs, and more secure as you travel from one place to another.
The durable straps feature anodized cam buckles along with buckle pads which are also extremely sturdy. All these features work together to effectively protect your surfboard and keep them secure. These straps come as a pair which are very easy to set up and use. Although the buckles are of aluminum, you won’t have to worry about them damaging your car’s surface.
The padding on the rack’s buckles will protect the rails of your car. These straps are ideal for SUVs, but you can also use them for other types of vehicles. They’re extremely durable and tough as they have a break strength of 600 lbs which is a lot more compared to other products on the market. With all these features, this product still comes at a very affordable price making it the best choice for those on a budget.
- It comes with tie-down straps with buckle pads and a cam buckle that's anodized.
- The straps come as a pair, and each has a length of 15-feet.
- You can use it to secure your surfboards, kayaks, canoes, and other types of gear.
- Has a break strength of 600 lbs and a working load limit of 200 lbs.
- Tightening the straps can be a challenge.
10. Curve Surfboard Soft Rack
The Curve Surfboard Soft Rack holds surfboards better than the competition. It’s a safe rack that provides your gear with all the protection it needs. It has a foam padding which protects and insulates the area between your surfboard and the roof of your car. It also has a Softrack interior lining with neoprene cushioning that’s ultra-soft for the ultimate protection.
An excellent feature of this rack is it has a good compatibility. This means that you can use it with bare-roofed vehicles as well as with roofed vehicles. Keep in mind though, that soft racks have a different configuration which means that you may have to familiarize yourself with its installation. But once you get the hang of it, installation and usage will be a breeze.
The Curve Surfboard Soft Rack also features an excellent construction. It has a webbing strap that’s secured by a cam buckle made of super-strong zinc. This provides you with ultimate safety and protection. It’s strong enough to hold up to 4 short and 3 long surfboards depending on their size and their thickness.
It has a foam padding which provides cushioning between your vehicle’s roof and the surfboard you place on it. The rack also features an inner lining made of soft neoprene material which protects your surfboard from damage. The foam even extends all around the rails to prevent the straps from causing damage to them.
- The interior lining is of soft neoprene to provide maximum protection.
- It has a foam padding which acts as a cushion between the roof of your car and your surfboard.
- It has a foam material which extends around the rails of the surfboard to prevent damages.
- With this rack, you have 2 options for connecting it, either through the roof rails or the doors.
- The padded strap might not accommodate multiple surfboards.
Guide to Buying the Best Surfboard Car Racks
As you can see, there are many great options on the market to choose from. We’ve reviewed the best surfboard car racks for you, and any of these products would prove to be an excellent investment. But before making your choice, there are some things you should consider as these may help you determine which one is best for you.
What important factors should you consider when buying surfboard car racks?
Of course, one of the main purposes for purchasing a surfboard car rack is to keep your surfboard safe while you travel on the road. Also, the rack should be able to keep your vehicle safe by preventing scratches, scuffing, and other damages on its surface.
Although such products are generally simple, keep in mind that some racks offer better safety than others. The one you pick should be able to keep your board secure even if you’re traveling at high speed. Also, the rack shouldn’t cause damage to your vehicle as you install it and as you use it to carry your gear.
Since you place the rack on the exterior, usually the roof of the vehicle, the material is very important. If you prefer a rack made of metal material, make sure that it’s resistant to rust and corrosion. Keep in mind that surfboards come into contact with salt water frequently. If you place your surfboard on the rack while still wet and it isn’t rust and corrosion-resistant, then your rack won’t last for long.
Ease of installation
This is an important factor too especially for those who don’t have experience installing a surfboard car rack on their vehicle. The good news is that a lot of great products are easy to install. You have to find out what type of installation process you prefer. Also, the ease of installation is crucial if you plan to use the same rack on multiple vehicles.
How to set up a surfboard car rack?
Setting up car surfboard racks may vary depending on whether you have a soft rack or a hard rack. The product you choose must come with installation instructions, but there are common ways to set either of these racks up. Some surfboards are dangerous, so be careful while setting it up.
Soft surfboard car racks
For a soft rack, it would come with straps for you to attach it to the roof of your car. You have to place the racks correctly with enough space in between so that they can accommodate your surfboard. Make sure that the space isn’t too narrow or too wide so you can securely strap your board on the rack before you travel.
Hard surfboard car racks
If you want a hard rack, make sure that it’s compatible with your vehicle. There are many options available, and most of them have an easy installation process. Some racks work well with bare-roofed vehicles, some work well with roofed vehicles, and some work well either way. When installing hard racks, make sure to follow the instructions of the manufacturer so that you’re able to install your rack correctly.
A surfboard car rack is a must-have item for any surfer, whether pro or a beginner. But choosing the right one is essential if you want to keep your surfboard safe no matter where you travel with it. In this article, we’ve learned a lot of important information about such products. Finding the best surfboard car rack will ensure that you keep your board safe as well as the environment and all the people in the surroundings.
The good thing about surfboard car racks is that they’re easy to install and easy to use. Despite their simple and straightforward design, they will keep your surfboard protected, so you don’t have to worry about it while you travel. We’ve reviewed some of the best products available on the market now, and all you have to do is make your choice.