To convey your surfboards to and from your surfing location safely and conveniently, you need one of the best surfboard racks. Moving your boards can be a big issue, especially if one has to travel several kilometers to the surfing location.
Car racks are the simplest way to manage the situation. However, any car rack will do but the best one that fits your vehicle and needs. Now that you are here, the right place, I have reviewed the 13 best surfboard car racks available.
Therefore, you can carefully examine, using other info like my buying guide, to determine the best for you. Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
- The Best Surfboard Car Racks to Buy in 2021
- Comparison of Top 13 Best Surfboard Car Racks 2021
- Top 13 Best Surfboard Car Racks 2021 Reviews
- 1. DORSAL Surfboard Roof Rack
- 2. Curve Surfboard Car Soft Rack
- 3. Vault Cargo Managements Roof Rack Crossbars
- 4. FCS Premium Double Soft Surfboard Car Racks
- 5. Thule SUP Taxi XT
- 6. Block Surf Surfboard Roof Rack
- 7. INNO Locking Surfboard Roof Rack
- 8. Thule 531 Express Surf Strap
- 9. Block Surf Double Wrap-Rax Soft Rack
- 10. Orion Motor Tech Car Soft Roof Rack
- 11. FCS D-Ring Single Soft Rack
- 12. Thule 811XT Board Shuttle SUP Carrier
- 13. Curve Lockdown Premium Surfboard Soft Rack
- Choosing the Best Surfboard Car Rack – Buying Guide
- How Do You Rack a Surfboard on a Car?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- WindSurfingMag Overview
The Best Surfboard Car Racks to Buy in 2021
Due to a large number of car racks in the market, it might be pretty challenging to settle for one. For options on the best surfboard car racks available, take a close look at the following options.
- Best Overall: DORSAL Surfboard Roof Rack
“15-foot long straps, very affordable, high sturdiness, easy to use, comes in four color options.”
- Best Budget: Curve Surfboard Car Soft Rack
“Relatively inexpensive, lightweight, easy to store, features a carrying case.”
- Top Rated: Vault Cargo Managements Roof Rack Crossbars
“Easy to install, hard rack, 150-pound weight limit, low profile, equipped with security and lock feature.”
- Best Surfboard Soft Car Rack: FCS Premium Double Soft
“Easy to set up, great value for money, reliable buckles, simple design, can carry about six surfboards.”
- Best Surfboard Hard Car Rack: Thule SUP Taxi XT
“Rugged, less likely to make noise, telescopic design, equipped with adequate cushioning, and security features.”
- Best Value for the Money: Block Surf Surfboard Roof Rack
“Universal design, sturdy, easy to use, budget-friendly, compatible with many cars.”
- Best for Travel: INNO Locking Surfboard Roof Rack
“High reliability, offers security features, sturdy straps, comes with grip pads, and ratcheting system.”
- Best Lightweight: Thule 531 Express Surf Strap
“Stretchable, strong webbing, UV-resistant, durable, lightweight, easy to use.”
- Most Durable: Block Surf Double Wrap-Rax Soft Rack
“Affordable, heavy-duty buckles, can carry four boards, features a carrying case, comes in a pair.”
- Best Quality: Orion Motor Tech Car Soft Roof Rack
“Rugged buckles, great value for money, simple design, comes with abundant cushioning.”
Comparison of Top 13 Best Surfboard Car Racks 2021
Many car racks are available in the market with different features and capabilities. To determine what meets your immediate needs, you need to consider these things. Below is an accurate table of the essential characteristics of each of the reviewed 13 best surfboard car racks.
Top 13 Best Surfboard Car Racks 2021 Reviews
Using the best surfboard car racks plays a crucial role to safely and effortlessly transport your surfboards. As long as you’ve gotten the installation right, then you are good to go.
Proper understanding fosters better decision-making. Hence, it is best to take a careful look at the 13 best surfboard car racks reviewed below.
1. DORSAL Surfboard Roof Rack
(Best Overall – Editor’s Choice)
Those that have roof rails installed on their cars may also settle for the DORSAL Surfboard Roof Rack. It poses as one of the best affordable options available. It is user-friendly and lightweight while offering great value for money.
Unlike many soft racks, it offers so much width. At about 15 feet long, you can stack up to three surfboards without running out of strap length. Interestingly, it comes in a pair.
The material won’t scratch your surfboard but secure it properly. To ensure that you tighten your board properly, the strap has a locking system that includes quick locks and cam buckles. This way, your board won’t fly off while cruising at 65MPH.
The DORSAL Surfboard Roof Rack is available in different colors – gray, blue, yellow, red, and black. Overall, the board has a load limit of 200 pounds.
- Great value for money.
- Sturdy and easy to use.
- Comes in a pair with quick locks and buckles.
- 15 feet in length.
- 200lbs load limit.
- Requires a roof rail.
2. Curve Surfboard Car Soft Rack
Are you looking for budget-friendly surfboard racks? You should take a look at the Curve Surfboard Car Soft Rack. It has a pretty simple design, occupies less space, and weighs barely 2 pounds.
Notwithstanding, it offers excellent performance. The most part, which is the 1-inch webbing strap, is made from fabric. The fabric strap is lined with neoprene to provide a good grip.
Although it may appear simple, the installation might be complicated at first. It is easy to use and can only be installed through the roof. The Curve Surfboard Car Soft Rack uses a unique lock system.
The buckles are reliable and can help you tie down the board quickly and firmly. It offers high versatility and can be used for boards, kayaks, and canoes.
- Lightweight and durable.
- Simple design and easy to use.
- Can carry up to 4 surfboards.
- Doesn’t come with cushioning.
- May whistle at high speed.
3. Vault Cargo Managements Roof Rack Crossbars
When it comes to the Vault Cargo Managements Roof Rack Crossbars, there is more flexibility and versatility. You can use the rack with any type of board, as well as kayaks. However, the load capacity is a little smaller at 150 pounds.
Installation is pretty much easy! You can install on almost all car roof rails provided their distance part is less than 54 inches. The rack flaunts an adjustable slider design, allowing you to adjust it to your needs.
An appealing aspect of the Vault Cargo Managements Roof Rack Crossbars is that it comes with a lock feature. You can protect the rack from theft using the lock and key included in the package. The lock also helps to secure the rack on the car.
Additionally, there are strategically placed soft rubber points to protect your boards. Although the rack has a low-profile design, it is likely to generate noise, especially from the loads attached to it.
- Comes with a key lock.
- High compatibility with vehicles.
- Supports almost any surfboard size or roof rail.
- Low profile, simple design.
- May not cope with high speed.
- May produce whistling sound while driving.
(Best Surfboard Soft Car Rack)
Soft surf racks such as the FCS Premium Double Soft Surfboard Car Racks are universal and can fit most vehicles. This particular surfboard rack comes with a simple, easy-to-use design.
The best feature is its double carriage system. This feature, due to its design, allows you to carry more boards, stacked side by side, on your car. At most, you can carry up to six surfboards.
The strap features reliable metal buckles and non-rolling square pads to hold down the board at all times. The strap itself has a heavy-duty 38mm webbing that can withstand weather elements.
Like most soft racks, the FCS Premium Double Soft Surfboard Car Racks is simple to install. It requires you to pass the straps under the roof.
- Can carry up to 6 surfboards.
- Compatible with most SUVs and cars.
- Durable and strong.
- Great value for money.
- Simple design.
- Doesn’t come with locks.
5. Thule SUP Taxi XT
(Best Surfboard Hard Car Rack)
For a more convenient way to load up your surfboard, you might want to try the Thule SUP Taxi XT. It offers a super flexible platform to carry your boards without having to install through the car roof.
It’s got a telescopic design for custom fit and more space. This way, it can carry boards with a width from 28 to 34 inches. It is effortless to mount, requiring you to attach the locks on a pre-installed roof rail.
You shouldn’t experience any issues as it fits most factory racks. It features soft pads on the main rack and strap to protect your boards from slipping or scratches.
You also have loading cams on the Thule SUP Taxi XT to help you hold your surfboard. For more security, it features a push-button lock system which is reliable and straightforward.
- It can be customized to fit boards up to 34 inches wide.
- Easy to mount.
- Features soft padding to protect the board.
- The strap comes with rubber padding.
- Features an easy button-lock mechanism.
- No warranty.
6. Block Surf Surfboard Roof Rack
(Best Value for the Money)
If you want a durable yet budget-friendly option, the Block Surf Surfboard Roof Rack is right for you. It takes just a few minutes to install as it only requires you to install the straps under the roof.
You do not need a roof rail for installation; hence, it is universal. However, aligning it to the center of the car is important. It can take up to three surfboards, although it depends on the length and thickness.
The Block Surf Surfboard Roof Rack is designed to protect your car and surfboard. Often coming in a pair, each pair comes with a thick pad frame that secures your surfboard.
Also, it doesn’t scratch or affect sunroofs. The buckles are effective, and the straps are reliable. However, it can be very noisy due to its less streamlined design and straps.
- Comes in a pair.
- Features thick pads for grip and board protection.
- Easy to install or remove.
- Lightweight and budget-friendly.
- Suitable for cars without roof rails.
- May generate a lot of noise during transit.
7. INNO Locking Surfboard Roof Rack
(Best for Travel)
This INNO Locking Surfboard Roof Rack is another exceptional option to convey your surfboards safely. From the design and build material, it poses as one of the best, easy-to-use, and sturdy roof racks.
From its stainless steel construction to its reliable straps, there is enough inherent durability. As a result, it can withstand up to 200-pound weight. It’s got a simple installation process for vehicles with roof rails.
It comes with a ratcheting tension feature that helps to hold down your surfboard effortlessly securely. Also, the INNO Locking Surfboard Roof Rack features rubber cushioning pads that protect your surfboards.
In terms of security, this surfboard carrier comes with locks and keys included to secure your load. Altogether, it will carry up to three surfboards without generating much noise or vibration.
- It features rubber cushioning.
- Uses a ratcheting system and lock feature.
- Features high-quality straps.
- It can carry about three surfboards.
- May not fit all roof rails.
See Also: Top 17 Best Surfboard Travel Bags
8. Thule 531 Express Surf Strap
If your car or SUV comes with a carriage pre-installed on it, you should consider the Thule 531 Express Surf Strap. It is straightforward to install and use. It can perfectly accommodate about two surfboards.
For its primary function, it has a simple fabric strap that features stretchable portions to help you hold the surfboard properly. This no-fade fabric material is lightweight, tough, and UV-resistant, making it long-lasting.
The Thule 531 Express Surf Strap uses a belt system. It features a metal hook which serves a source of attachment to the carriage. The other end is looped around the carriage and secured with an adjustable system (belt).
On the flip side, the strap doesn’t come with pads. Therefore, you might need to buy pads separately to protect the board from scratches and dents.
- Stretchable and adjustable.
- No-fade, UV- resistant and tough material.
- Easy to use.
- Features a metal hook.
- Requires a car carriage.
9. Block Surf Double Wrap-Rax Soft Rack
Got many surfboards to convey down to the beach? You might want to consider the Block Surf Double Wrap-Rax Soft Rack. It’s just another soft rack. It can carry up to six surfboards conveniently.
Without much experience, you can install the surf rack, and that’s through the roof. You can set it up on your vehicle even if it has no roof rails or gutters. It is user-friendly and comes in a carrying case that can serve as storage after use.
The Block Surf Double Wrap-Rax Soft Rack is budget-friendly and lightweight with high compatibility. The heavy-duty fabric strap comes with sturdy, aircraft-grade buckles. Its flexibility means it can be used for other accessories such as kayaks.
- Heavy-duty buckles and straps.
- Lightweight and affordable.
- Fits most cars and SUVs.
- Can carry up to 6 surfboards.
- May wick water into the vehicle.
- Fewer features for cushioning.
10. Orion Motor Tech Car Soft Roof Rack
Versatility and flexibility are some of those things you enjoy with the Orion Motor Tech Car Soft Roof Rack. It is another affordable soft rack on my list with high performance and trustworthiness.
As with many soft racks, it has a very simple, lightweight design and can be installed only through the roof. It is predominantly fabric but comes with a tough, aircraft-grade metal buckle.
Due to its construction, it is less likely to damage your vehicle’s exterior or surfboards. You can also carry up to three surfboards, provided they are less than 165 pounds altogether.
The Orion Motor Tech Car Soft Roof Rack has a long reliable fabric strap. There is a thick layer of cushioning available that secures your board and also reduces vibration while driving.
- Doesn’t scratch your vehicle or damage the surfboard.
- Lightweight, simple, and affordable.
- It can be installed on most vehicles.
- Easy to install; comes with instructions.
- Long, sturdy straps.
- Metal buckle may damage the straps.
11. FCS D-Ring Single Soft Rack
The FCS D-Ring Single Soft Rack is a simple surfboard car rack that can be installed on almost any car. It is a soft rack that doesn’t rely on a pre-installed roof rail. Instead, you only need to install it through the roof.
This soft rack is made from tough fabric, and it features reliable D-rings that help you secure your board firmly on your car’s roof. Ideally, it can accommodate 1 to 3 surfboards. All you need to do is tighten it correctly.
There are no moving parts that can fail; hence, the FCS D-Ring Single Soft Rack is a decent option. There are pads included on the rack to protect your surfboard from scratch. The pads also keep it from slipping while driving.
- It can be used with most cars.
- Requires no rack; easy to install.
- Thick, durable material.
- Reliable D-ring mechanism.
- May wick water into the car.
12. Thule 811XT Board Shuttle SUP Carrier
(Best with Long Strap)
The Thule 811XT Board Shuttle SUP Carrier provides more flexibility, thanks to its telescoping design that offers more width for boards. With this design, you can carry a surfboard that is 34 inches wide.
Regardless of your car’s roof rail, this surfboard carrier will fit perfectly. It has a simple installation system that uses fit brackets to secure the rack properly. There are no loose parts, and the fit brackets are corrosion-resistant and durable.
During transit, you can rest assured that your board is safe from scratches, thanks to the soft, weather-resistant padding. There are rubber grip pads on the strap to prevent your surfboard from slipping off.
The strap on the Thule 811XT Board Shuttle SUP Carrier is about 15 feet in length. That’s long enough to accommodate two boards.
- Customizable; telescoping design.
- Weather-resistant padding.
- Compatible with many roof rails.
- Can support two boards at once.
- Easy to install and use.
- No warranty.
(Best Soft Rack for Multiple Surfboards)
Whether your vehicle has a roof rail or not, you can use the Curve Lockdown Premium Surfboard Soft Rack. This soft rack can be set up to accommodate either one longboard or three shortboards.
It comes in a pair in a carrying case with a drawstring and weighs about 3 pounds. The straps have webbing of one inch, and it’s strong enough to bear the drag while driving.
Each of the straps is equipped with a reliable zinc cam buckle to ensure maximum safety and tension. Also, the straps of the Curve Lockdown Premium Surfboard Soft Rack are lined with neoprene cushioning on the interior for more protection.
- It can be installed on roof rails or through the car doors.
- Comes with a cushioning interior.
- It is moderately priced.
- Comes in a carrying case.
- More likely to generate noise and vibration.
- It might be a little complicated to install.
Choosing the Best Surfboard Car Rack – Buying Guide
Peradventure you have noted down some surfboard car racks, here is a buying guide for you. If you are undecided, you should carefully understand my buying guide. Not every car rack will suit your needs!
You are expected to consider some important factors before settling down for a car rack. Your top priority is your budget; however, you might need to increase it in some cases. Below are the essential factors to consider before finalizing your decision.
An essential thing to consider before buying a surfboard car rack is its carrying capacity. Surfboard racks come with different weight limits, recommended for safe transit. Similarly, they have a maximum number of surfboards they can carry.
If you will only carry a surfboard, you should opt for a small capacity surfboard rack. If you are surfing with family or friends, racks with a larger carrying capacity will be best.
Ensure you buy a surfboard rack that can meet your needs conveniently. If you are carrying windsurfing boards, stand up paddle boards, or wakesurf board, you may want to go for a universal surfboard rack. Even if you are taking a kayak, there are options for you.
Ease of Installation
Surfboard racks come with various procedures for installation. Some may come with buckles and some with clamps. Above all, installing your surfboard rack should be effortless. It will be easier if there is an installation guide.
The rack should tension adequately and hold down your surfboard securely. It should be easy to tie down and use. You don’t want your surfboard flying off and injuring passersby.
Whatever surfboard rack you settle for should be compatible with your car or SUV. Basically, there are two types of surfboard rack; the soft car rack and the hard car rack.
The soft car racks do not come with a frame; hence, they are flexible and easy to store. They can be installed through the roof or roof rail, provided they are long enough. However, they may wick water into the car, especially in the rain.
The hard racks come with frames and clamps, but they are more robust and less likely to generate noise and vibration. However, hard racks can only be installed on the roof rail. Always ensure that the width between your roof rails is compatible with the hard rack.
Durability and Construction
There are different surfboard racks as well as different construction. Most times, straps are made from fabric. Parts such as the buckles and frame may be made from metal or plastic. Materials such as rubber and neoprene are used for cushioning and grip.
For soft racks, the straps, frame, and buckles should be durable enough to withstand weather and stress. You should also check out for adequate cushioning to protect your surfboard.
Ensure that there are no parts that can damage the exterior of your car and the surfboard. The surfboard racks should be aerodynamic so that it doesn’t generate noise or vibration while driving.
Beyond durability and construction, some surfboard racks also offer more in terms of security. This feature can be beneficial as it protects against theft. There is often a key and lock feature included; however, it may not be familiar with soft racks.
There are other non-essentials features that you might want to determine your decision. You may want to consider the ease of storage since some racks (especially soft racks) come with carrying cases. You may also want to consider the warranty and color.
How Do You Rack a Surfboard on a Car?
Indeed, you need the best surfboard car racks to transport your surfboard. However, you must also install the rack properly. Always ensure you check the instructional guides included. There are two types of car racks hence different modes of installation, which I will discuss below.
Racking a surfboard with a soft car rack
Soft car racks do not have a rigid frame, which makes them fit in most vehicles. In most cases, you have to install through the roof where you open the doors and pass the straps through. Sometimes, you may use the roof rails.
One important aspect of racking your surfboard with a soft car rack is tensioning the strap carefully without damaging the surfboard. Let the fins face upwards or remove them if possible. It is best to cushion the surfboard before strapping up.
Racking a surfboard with a hard car rack
Using a hard car rack is easy. However, your vehicle needs to have a roof rail. Also, the roof rail must have a clearance that your hard car rack can accommodate.
The clamps included should be attached firmly to the roof rail. When the rack is correctly installed on the rail, you can now place the surfboard. Let the fins point upwards, but it’s best to remove them if possible.
Also, you need to carefully tension the strap and ensure that the grip pads and cushioning supports the surfboard.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
For those looking for answers, here are some frequently asked questions related to surfboard car racks. Carefully take a look at them.
Do Soft Roof Racks Scratch Your Car?
Soft roof racks won’t actually scratch your car. Notwithstanding, if the metal buckles are loose or close to the car’s body, they may cause scratches. If the load appears too loose, it might also scratch your car as they bounce up and down.
Why Are Roof Racks So Expensive?
Roof racks come in different types and grades from different manufacturers. Some roof racks may be expensive. Nevertheless, there are many budget options yet durable and reliable. Prices of roof racks range from 12 to 400 dollars. In most cases, soft roof racks are cheaper.
Do Roof Racks Fit All Cars?
Not all roof racks can fit all cars. Therefore, you need to look out for the installation requirements for each product before purchase. Generally, you will be considering the width of your car’s roof or distance between the roof rails.
It can be a little tricky to transport your surfboard. Hence, you should invest in the best surfboard car racks. Researching the market for a good car rack can be challenging; therefore, you should scrutinize my buying guide.
I have compiled the 13 best surfboard car racks and reviewed them thoroughly to help you make a satisfying choice. The best overall is the DORSAL Roof Rack.
Surfers looking for an affordable surfboard car rack can settle for the Curve Soft Rack. If you want a durable and reliable option for long-distance traveling, the INNO Locking Roof Rack is just enough for you.
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