How to Strap a Surfboard to a Roof Rack? Step-by-Step Process

To secure a surfboard to a roof rack, place a protective pad on the rack, position the board on top, deck facing up, and fins forward. Thread straps through the rack and around the board, tightening them securely, ensuring the board is stable before driving.

How to Strap a Surfboard to a Roof Rack?

Summer is such a good time for surfing, and surfers usually go surfing during this time. Hence, they need to carry a surfboard to the beach. A surfboard is a large piece of equipment made of wood. Carrying a surfboard to the beach is a bit challenging, and you need to hire a pickup or truck to do the job.

Nevertheless, if you have a car, you can convey it on its top side by strapping it. However, it is also not that easy! If you can’t carry it properly, there’s a big chance you can cause an accident and endanger the lives of other drivers or pedestrians on the street.

So, learning how to strap a surfboard to a roof rack is necessary. It’s an essential skill for surfers. Usually, surfers use racks, straps, or nylon ropes to secure a surfboard.

I want to tell you that strapping the board to a roof rack is the most sophisticated way. It will also save time and money in the long run. Therefore, I will discuss how to attach a surfboard to a roof rack today. Here we go –

Secure a Surfboard to a Roof Rack

How to Secure a Surfboard to a Roof Rack

Before securing a surfboard to a roof rack, you must complete two necessary tasks. Firstly, ensure that the roof rack is strong enough to bear the surfboard’s weight and you have straps with zinc buckles and buckle pads. I’ll share my experience securing a surfboard in my tiny Toyota Corolla.

Now, let’s start the procedure and follow the steps below:

  • Firstly, carry the board over your head and come close to the car. Slowly place the board on the roof rack of the car. Ensure the rack is appropriately mounted and in a thoroughly safe mode.
  • When you place the board on the car, ensure that the fat part (fin) of the board stays on the back and the narrow part (tail) stays on the front. As a result, you’ll get a clear view of the front side since there won’t be any shade in front of you while you’re driving the car. It will also significantly decrease the lift.
  • Before starting the strapping process, check whether there is any rust on the strap. Rust can create loopholes that can lead to a dangerous situation.
  • Now, it’s time to strap the board on your car. To do this, flip the straps over the tail’s top. The buckle should stay on the surfboard. On the other hand, pull the other end below the two racks. You can stretch your legs into the car’s door slide if you’re short-sized like me!
  • Pull out the straps and throw them over the nose. After that, fold them back underneath and pull them below the rack, the other side’s outer part, and into the buckle.
  • After completing these steps, check whether the straps are attached to the rack. If not, then tighten them again, but don’t overtighten them; otherwise, the surfboard could be damaged.
  • Now, get rid of the extra strapping. To do this, you can tie the extra strap to the crossbar of the rack. This way, it won’t flap in the wind and cause any problems to your car. Besides, it will eventually enhance the security of the rack and board.
  • After securing the board, shake it several times and give it a few thumps to ensure it is secured and not shifting position.
  • If you have some extra money, I recommend using a surfboard travel case to safeguard the board from scratches and clangs. It won’t cost you much. I’m using a case for a long period and it provides my board extra security. A surfboard travel case will cost you around $100.
  • I guess everything is okay now! So, what’s the next move? You’re good to go to the beach and enjoy your summer with your pals, sexy boys, or bikini babes!

I recommend not exceeding the roof rack’s weight capacity and ensuring the straps are tightened correctly before hitting the highway.

Strap Two Surfboards to a Roof Rack

How to Strap Two Surfboards to a Roof Rack

Strapping two surfboards is basically no different than strapping one. Both are pretty similar. Hence, you can follow the same guidelines I’ve shown you above.

However, if you’re looking to clamp waxed surfboards, you must put something that can act as a barrier between the two boards. You can use a towel or foam padding between them, so the boards won’t be damaged and they’ll be secured.

Furthermore, putting a towel or foam padding can also prevent wax from mixing from one board to another effectively. Now, lock both boards using the same methods I’ve mentioned above.

Importance of Tie a Surfboard to a Roof Rack

How to Strap a Surfboard without a Roof Rack

Strapping a surfboard without a roof rack can be challenging but not complicated. You need to be creative to do it properly. Here, I’m sharing some points that could be helpful for you. Let’s check them out:

  • Firstly, purchase some foam pads, preferably soft ones, and place them at the end of the racks.
  • Next, place a few foam pads on the rack’s top side, then strap the board on both sides, going through your car thoroughly.
  • Instead of throwing the straps over the board, bring one end through the passenger’s side and the other end through the driver’s side. This way, you can catch both of them on the inside roof of your car.
  • Lastly, tie the straps in place and repeat the whole procedure in the back. Make sure to check the tightness of the straps. If you feel that they are not tight enough, give them a final tug to ensure they’re secured.
  • Use a towel to cover any part of the board that may come into contact with your car’s paint.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to strap a surfboard without a roof rack. However, do all these tasks with extreme caution so that there won’t be any chance of damage to the rack or the board (considering they’re expensive materials).

Surfboard Safety in a Roof Rack

Why You Should Tie a Surfboard to a Roof Rack

Many people wonder why they should attach a surfboard to a roof rack on their vehicle. Yes, there are some obvious reasons. Let’s check them out:


A loose surfboard can pose a significant threat to safety and security. If a surfboard flies off your car roof while driving, it could cause a severe accident or injure someone on the road. By securing your surfboard to a roof rack, you can significantly reduce the chances of accidents.

Furthermore, you can also ensure your safety and the safety of other drivers in the process.


Surfboards are expensive investments, so it’s natural you’ll surely want to protect them during transportation. As an avid surfer, I know a board’s value and why a roof rack is necessary to safeguard it.

When you tie your surfboard to a roof rack, you can ensure it is securely fastened and protected from potential damage during transit.


Trying to fit a surfboard inside your car can be a hassle and take up valuable space. If you plan to go to the beach with your friends or family, you’ll likely need a lot of space. In that case, squeezing a board inside the car can be cumbersome.

Tying your surfboard to a roof rack frees up space inside your car, making transportation more straightforward and convenient.


Tying your surfboard to a roof rack also makes it easy to access your board when you arrive at the beach. You can quickly and easily remove the surfboard from the roof rack, allowing you to hit the waves without struggling to remove it from your car’s interior.

Surfboard Safety

Extra Tips for Safety

Choose a high-quality roof rack that is designed for carrying surfboards. You should make sure the rack is installed correctly and securely onto the roof of your car. Now, I’m giving you some free tips on safety issues. Let’s take a closer look –

  • Don’t settle for less. I mean, don’t go for cheap priced racks. Otherwise, you’ll be a sufferer. I’m telling you from my own experience. Instead, go for a high-quality rack, even if it costs more bucks. Ensure that the rack is correctly secured onto the car’s roof.
  • Place the board in a way so that it is facing fins-forward and nose-first into the wind. This will reduce wind resistance and help prevent the board from lifting or becoming unstable during transit.
  • Better use soft surfboard straps. This is how you can successfully avoid any damage to your board.
  • Don’t drive at fast speeds, especially on highway roads. Moreover, avoid sudden maneuvers and sharp turns. Try to drive carefully and steadily. A simple mistake could be costly.
  • If you travel over a long distance, you should check the straps’ tightness regularly.
  • If your rack has rust, you must remove them before putting the board.
  • If you’re mounting more than one board, use a separator to safeguard the boards.

By following these tips, you can ensure your surfboard is securely and safely strapped to your roof rack, minimizing the risk of accidents or damage during transportation.


What’s the best way to place the surfboard on the roof rack?

The surfboard should be placed nose-first into the wind with the fins facing forward. This reduces wind resistance and helps prevent the board from lifting or becoming unstable during transportation. So, you should position the board this way to avoid any unwanted hassle.

What kind of straps or tie-downs should I use?

Use high-quality straps or tie-downs specifically designed for surfboards. Avoid using bungee cords or other makeshift options, as they may not be strong enough to hold the board securely. If the high-quality straps cost more, purchase them to ensure maximum security.

How many straps should I use to secure the surfboard?

It would be best to use a minimum of two straps. Yes, you can use more straps, but two are enough. However, if the surfboard is too heavy, you can use extra straps to ensure the utmost safety.

Can I transport multiple surfboards on a roof rack?

Yes, you can transport multiple surfboards on a roof rack. In that case, you should use additional straps and be more cautious. Moreover, you need to use a separator too.

Wrap Up

So, that’s all from me. I hope you understand and enjoy my report on how to strap a surfboard to a roof rack. Try to follow all the steps I’ve mentioned above. Don’t miss a thing because a simple mistake can pose a significant danger.

Anyway, if you have any more questions regarding my article, you’re welcome to ask in the box below. Thank you, and happy surfing!

Automotive products are like an addiction to me. Years ago, I started my job at a Roof Box installation co. Then I realized that I have a passion for cars. It is a perfect scope to share my different experiences about automotive products.