A roof rack for your paddleboard is a good investment because it ensures you transport your board correctly. To get the full benefits of these racks, you will need to choose the right one. With so many on the market, this can be hard to do. To make choosing the roof rack easier, you need to know what to look for.
The Vehicle And Rack Compatibility
The first point to consider when looking at a paddleboard roof rack is the compatibility. There is no point in looking at racks that will not fit your vehicle. Fortunately, all roof racks will have a compatibility chart that you can use to determine this.
When looking at compatibility, it is important to note that the SUP rack does not fit onto the roof of your car. These racks will attach to an existing roof rack. If you do not already have a roof rack on your vehicle, you will first have to purchase one.
Some SUP racks will only work with specific systems such as the Thule rack. These racks only work with Thule crossbar racks. There are also a small number of factory racks these rails these racks will work with.
Before you make any decisions, you have to look at the compatibility. Some SUP racks only with circular racks, while others only work with oval bars. Some SUP racks have greater compatibility, but you will generally pay a premium for this.
The Board Capacity
Once you have narrowed down your list of SUP racks to those compatible with your vehicle, you need to look at board capacity. This is the number of SUP boards the rack is able to carry at any time. Capacity is particularly important if your paddleboard with friends and family.
In these situations, you will not want a rack that can only carry one board. If you paddleboard with your partner, the capacity will need to be able to carry two boards. It is rare to find racks that are able to carry more than two boards. If you need to transport more than two boards, you will need to look for a tow-trailer instead of a roof rack.
While looking at the board capacity, you need to check the width of your board. This will need to be compatible with the width limit of the rack. Most racks are able to carry boards up to 34” wide, but some might be narrower.
You also need to look at the weight capacity of the rack. Exceeding the weight or width capacity of the rack can cause pressure dinging on the boards. There is also a chance that you can puncture the boards during transit.
The Lock System
There are many roof racks that have a very sturdy lock system, but there are others that do not. The best lock systems allow you to leave your boards on the rack when the vehicle is parked. They will prevent the boards from being stolen when left unattended.
There are some roof racks that have up to four locks. These are the most secure roof racks on the market, but can seem like overkill if you only take your board to the water and back. However, if you are traveling a distance to the water and are likely to stop along the way, they will be the best option.
If you are looking at racks without locks, it is important to note that soft rack systems are less secure than a hard system. Soft systems are generally made with polyester and nylon. This makes it easier for thieves to slash the racks and take the boards.
The Loading System
SUP boards are heavy and will generally weigh 30 pounds or more. This can make them hard to load onto a roof rack unless you are a tall and strong person. If you are shorter, you can have a hard time getting your board onto the roof of your car. This is why you need to consider the loading system offered by the roof rack.
Some of the racks on the market have easy loading systems. These systems allow you to place the board on a track that rolls up onto the roof rack. This system also reduces the chance of damaging your board, vehicle or body.
Of course, an easy loading system will increase the cost of the roof rack. However, if you need these systems, the additional cost will generally be worthwhile.
There are many great websites out there that review SUP roof racks one of our favorites you can find here PaddlingWaves Roof Racks Reviews. They have 9 reviews on the best paddle board roof racks on the market, check them out.
A SUP roof rack is the best way to transport your board, but you need to get the right one. To determine the right roof rack, you need to consider compatibility and capacity. You also need to look at the locking system and whether the rack offers a loading system. These are two factors that increase the costs, but make the rack more secure and easier to work with.