As much as you enjoy paddling with your SUP, most boards are big and heavy so transportation can be a real pain. Ultimately, you have two problems; transporting your board to and from the body of water you want to paddle on and bringing your SUP to and from your vehicle.
|SUP Transportation Device||Type||Rating||Price|
|Thule SUP Taxi||Rack||$$$|
|FCS Tie Down Strap||Straps (For Vehicle)||$|
|Sticky Bumps Stand Up Paddle Leash Coil||Wheels||$$|
We take a look at stand up paddle racks, straps and wheels to help you figure out which devices are best to help you get your board from the house to the parking lot and the parking lot to the water.
SUP Rack & Straps
If you drive, your first concern is to somehow get that 10’6” behemoth on to your car. A SUP rack is a great way to transport the board and straps are the perfect way to keep the board safe and sound as you travel.
What you want is a paddle board rack with round bars as this allows insulation foam to be used as ‘rollers’ which makes it easy to push a board on or off the rack. When placing your board on the roof of your vehicle, make sure the fins are over the front end (over the windshield) and are in the ‘up’ position. Try and place as little of the board over your windshield as possible with more of the SUP sticking out the back; believe it or not, this helps with gas mileage.
If it isn’t possible to store your paddle inside the car on the interior roof, you may need to purchase attachments to help secure the paddle to the rack.
You can then use either ropes or special straps to tie the board down. Rope is actually a pretty good choice since it is cheap but this only works if you are good at tying knots. Otherwise, you may want to invest in a set of specialist SUP straps. Cam straps are the weapon of choice for most paddlers since they come with paddled buckles which help prevent dings on your paint job.
Some SUP boards weigh up to 60 pounds so carrying it over one shoulder like you see in the movies may not be the best plan! In most cases, you will be unable to park close to the water and even a 200 yard trek is not easy with such a heavy load. If you don’t have a suitable carrying system, you will end up dragging your board exhaustedly to the water; not a good start!
Even if you are strong and fit enough to carry an SUP board great distances, it may not always be possible due to crowds; this is especially the case on the beach. Fortunately, SUP wheels have been developed for this purpose. You can quickly attach the wheels to the board so dragging it to the water is a breeze. The only problem you face is the prospect of trying to store the wheels while you are in the water!
SUP Transportation Devices Review
This is a tricky one so what we will do is review an SUP rack, straps and a wheel. We will look at the most popular brands as always.
SUP Rack – Thule SUP Taxi – $249
This is a rather expensive purchase but from what we can see, it is worth the money if you are serious about your board. It gives you the ultimate in stability and security for your SUP board while you drive to your preferred body of water. It can actually carry up to two 34 inch wide boards though it is a good idea to place a towel between the boards if you are going down this route.
You also don’t have to worry about your precious board being damaged by inclement weather conditions as the weather-resistant padding keeps it safe. Security is taken care of thanks to the two One-Key locks that come with the rack which help secure your board(s) to the carrier.
Even installing it is a piece of cake because of the Speed-Link system which means you can set up the rack without needing any tools. The round bars make it easy to place your board on the rack or take it off. Overall, although it is expensive, it is a must-have for paddleboard enthusiasts.
SUP Straps – FCS Tie Down Straps – $25
These straps are marketed as the strongest on the market and we have to say, FCS have done a great job here. If you purchase these from a local shop, be sure to get an attendant to show you the best way to secure your board. Once you learn this technique, you will find these FCS straps to be sensational when it comes to securing your SUP.
When we tried them, our boards didn’t move at all during the ride. We had three boards on the roof and they held firm as we drove at around 50 miles an hour. As you could use these straps to transport kayaks too, it is clear they are capable of supporting a lot of weight. While it wouldn’t be a good idea to try these straps on more than four boards at once, they offer tremednous value for your money at just $25.
SUP Wheels – SUP Wheels Stand Up Paddleboard & Surfboard Trailer – $149
The imaginatively named SUP Wheels company has come up with this trailer; it is designed to make it easy to transport your board to the water and back to your vehicle. These wheels are taller than most other brands so carrying your board over harsh terrain is easy. The company also promises that its wheels will never go flat which is reassuring.
These are designed to either be carried by hand, or you can strap the stand up paddle board wheels, board in tow, to your bike and off you go.
One set is capable of carrying two SUPs and there is no suction cup which could damage your board. As your board lies flat on the wheels and not sideways like a sail, there is no issue when it comes to transporting it in windy conditions. It even breaks down easily so you can bring it with you into the water. Overall, there is very little downside to owning a set of SUP Wheels barring the high price tag. $149 is a steep price to pay, even for arguably the best set of wheels on the market so you have to decide if easy transport of your board to the water is worth the cash. For what it’s worth, we think it is.