Tying down a paddleboard

June 9, 2015


Yes, as this closeup photo above demonstrates, it is definitely possible to overdo it when tying down a paddleboard on your roof rack.

This paddleboard was damaged on both edges when the ratchet strap was overtightened, crushing the fiberglass. The damage must be repaired before the board can go into the water.

When using tie-down straps on a padded roof rack, only use enough force to make the SUP snug.

Here are a couple of do’s and don’ts for tying down a paddleboard:

– Do not use ratchet straps. Many people tend to overtighten them, and the metal fittings can damage your board or vehicle if it comes in contact with them.

– Do not use rope or bungees. Rope can also leave marks, dents and dings along the edges of the board. Bungees can fail without any outward appearance of deterioration.

– Use flat straps with cam buckles when securing your SUP. The buckle is often padded to prevent damage to the board or vehicle.

– Put your paddleboard on the roof rack, fins up, with the stern of the board facing the front of your vehicle. This way you can use the rear leash loop to tie down to a secure point on the front of the vehicle. A tremendous amount of upward force is being applied to the board and the roof rack while you’re driving. Roof racks have been ripped off vehicles at high speed. It’s bad enough losing gear, but you don’t want your board to cause damage and mayhem behind you.

– Never align multiple boards side by side. Always stack them. You can take off the fins or stagger them.

Check out this video from one of our “rackologists” on the basics of tying down a paddleboard.