A surfboard is probably the dearest object in a surfer’s life. But owning a surfboard brings the challenge of protecting it from degrading, dents, or dings each time you take it to the beach. If you live far from your surfing spot, carrying your board on a car definitely becomes a tricky business as a sharp turn or a bump on the road can damage your precious surfboard.  That’s where the best surfboard rack for car comes in in order to avoid any damage as such.

However choosing a surf rack for car is not an easy task as you need to sort its construct, protective ability, and pick the one that fits your vehicle. To help you with picking the right rack for your car, we’ve gone through several surfboard rack reviews and compiled a list of the 5 best surfboard racks for cars in 2020 as well as a buying guide to compare them.

How To Choose A Surfboard Rack – Buying Guide

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Car surfboard racks are the most convenient way to take your board to the beach. Available in different styles, soft surfboard racks for car are cheaper and bind your boards to your roof whereas hard car racks for surfboards are more solid and can carry more weight while keeping your board off the roof. Both types are easy to use, though hard padded roof racks take a little more time to install. While the type is one of the things to consider when you are looking for the best surfboard rack for car, we have listed a few more key areas to consider.

Soft Rack Vs Hard Rack

Surf rack for cars is broadly classified into two types – hard surf racks for car or soft surfboard roof racks. While looking for the best surfboard car rack, this is the first criteria you need to take into consideration.

If you need more security for your surfboards or need to carry more weight, then a hard surfboard rack car is what you need. Hard surfboard car racks are better for highway driving as they secure your surfboards tightly and do not vibrate and move as much when you hit high speeds.

On the other hand, if you do not have side rails on your car, or your rails are spaced too far, or if you just do not want to have to spend more money, than soft roof racks for surfboards are a way to go. A soft car surf rack can be attached to any car by running the straps through the car and closing the doors. But keep in mind that soft surfboard roof racks use straps that run through the car doors; thus, they let in some moisture.

Safety

Checking the condition of a roof rack surfboard before installing is very important. Therefore always take the time to check the condition of your rack. While a new rack should not have any damage, it can wear down and expose sharp corners over time. If your surfboard rubs against the corner then it may get scratched. Also, we recommend that you watch out for frayed straps and broken buckles.

Another safety precaution is to ensure that the rack is tied down properly. If the rack is loose or not in the correct position, then you should fix it before attaching any boards to the rack. It is always recommended that you use a surfboard sock or bag as it reduces the chance of getting any damage to your surfboard.

Last but not the least, never overload your rack. Use the rack for the recommended number of boards and weight as overcrowding the rack can cause boards to come loose and fall off and can break your board or harm others on highways.

Car Vs Truck

The racks on our list are great for transporting your surfboard by car, but with trucks, you may have to look into other options. If your truck has a lot of roof space, then you will be able to use one of the systems on our list, but if not then you will have to look into tailgate racks. These systems attach your surfboard to the tailgate of your truck with part of the board hanging out over the back of your truck. As with the other racking systems, we recommend that you use a bag or a sock for your board when transporting it in your truck.

Compatibility

The best surfboard car rack is the one which fits your car perfectly. Always consider the dimensions of the car rack for surfboards when it is not folded and check whether your choice fits your car size or not. Also, check if the rack of your choice requires supporting equipment such as car rails or aero bars or can be installed without them. Many of them claim to have universally fitting but there is no harm in crosschecking it to avoid disappointment.

Material

Surfboard rack reviews suggest that a top rated surfboard mount car is constructed out of a high grade of material such as aluminum, steel or sturdy foam, but should also ensure external surface with soft material. This is important as a soft surface helps in the carriage of surfboard without scratching the board or the car surface. 

Special Features

Here is an overview of some of the features that are associated with top rated surfboard racks:

  • Adjustable Clamps: This feature comes with hard type. Adjustable clamps move to the width of rail and between rails to give a versatile fit.
  • Aerodynamic design: Another feature that is associated with hardstyle surfboard racks. Such design allows the car to move without impacting its speed and fuel consumption negatively.
  • Weight Capacity: This feature is common between both the types. Go for one with high load-bearing capacity as it allows you to carry more surfboards or additional luggage.
  • Ease of Installation: Not exactly a feature but something worth to ponder on before making a choice. Make sure that you go through a number of surfboard rack reviews and find the one which has a beginner-friendly installation and removal.

FAQs

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Q: Do soft roof racks scratch your car?

A: 

No, soft roof racks for surfboards do not scratch your car. Their external layer is generally constructed with high-quality canvas which do not scratch your car.

Q: What are soft roof racks?

A: 

Soft roof racks are a type of surf rack for car that are made of soft material such as foam and canvas. Some of them wrap around the aero bar to position themselves, while others do not need any bar or rail and are adjusted with buckles to hold surfboards on the top of a vehicle. They are also more portable and versatile when compared to hard car roof racks.

Q: How do you rack a surfboard on a car?

A: 

Once the rack is installed on the top of the car, you need to lift your surfboard carefully and lay it down on the padding on your rack. Once positioned, you need to lash it with ropes or straps so that it remains on its position when the car is moving. Keep in mind while putting your surfboard on top of the car, the fin of the board is facing up.

Globo Surf Overview

A surfboard car rack is a much-needed piece in a surfer’s kit. Using the best surfboard rack for your car, not only ensures the safety of your boards but also makes carriage of multiple boards possible to long distances. If you are looking for the best surfboard rack, then feel free to pick one from our list as all are top rated surfboard racks and will be perfect for you.

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Do you have one of our surfboard racks on our list? How has it worked for you? Let us know how you like it in the comment section below.

Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!