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Best Universal Surfboard Car Racks You Need This Year

Intro – Why a quality surfboard roof rack is essential for transporting your board

As any surfer knows, getting your board to the waves can be a hassle, especially if you don’t have the right gear. A surfboard roof rack is essential for safely and securely transporting your prized board to the beach or campsite. But not all racks are created equal. You need one that fits your vehicle and board, protects your gear from damage, and prevents theft. In this article, we’ll explore the best universal surfboard car racks to allow you to ride the waves in style.

Consider vehicle type when selecting a surfboard car rack system

The first step is deciding which type of surfboard car rack system will work with your wheels. Here are some top options:

  • Roof rack mounts: These attach to existing crossbars on your roof, allowing you to securely fasten your board. Great for cars or SUVs.
  • Truck bed racks: These fit inside truck beds and often feature padding and tie-downs. Perfect for transporting inside a pickup.
  • Hitch mounts: These allow you to carry boards, bikes or cargo on a rear hitch. Works for many SUVs, trucks and vans.
  • Magnetic racks: An unconventional option; the ultra-strong magnets adhere to your vehicle roof without needing crossbars.

The type that works best for you depends on your vehicle make and model. Always check weight limits and board capacity before buying. You want something sturdy that will stand up to highway speeds.

Soft top surfboard racks for jeeps provide padding and tie downs

Best Universal Surfboard Car Racks You Need This Year

If you have a Jeep Wrangler, a soft top surfboard rack is the perfect way to haul your stick. The soft padded surface prevents damaging your board during bumpy off-road adventures. High-quality jeep racks feature multiple tie-down points to keep your gear stable.

Look for a heavy-duty design made specifically for your Jeep model. Brands like Surf Pups or SpiderTrax make racks that install on the rear roll bars without tools. The soft foam padding folds down when not in use. Straps and additional padding allow transporting multiple boards if needed.

Truck bed surf racks allow transport inside the bed for security

Transporting your surfboard or SUP inside a truck bed is ideal for security and preventing road debris damage. High quality truck bed surf racks cradle your board and feature padding plus adjustable straps or foam blocks.

The BedRider by Surf Pups fits most truck beds and utilizes a rail system that allows carrying multiple boards. Other options like the SurfMule mount on the truck’s headache rack to keep your gear elevated and safe. Look for truck-specific racks with anti-slip padding and strong straps to avoid sliding and bumps.

Roof mount surfboard racks attach to existing crossbars for cars

Best Universal Surfboard Car Racks You Need This Year

If you have crossbars or roof rails on your car, SUV or van, roof mount surfboard racks are an easy option. Brands like Thule, Yakima and Rhino Rack make universal mounts that attach to your existing rails.

Look for wide, rubber-coated bars or foam blocks that securely cradle your board. Make sure the roof rack’s weight limit exceeds your board’s size and weight. You’ll also need rear and front straps to tie the nose and tail down tightly.

Look for adjustable, rubber-coated roof rack mounts to prevent board damage

The ideal universal surfboard roof rack has adjustable, padded mounts to prevent board dings. Brands like Dakine make racks with soft rubber rail savers that conform to different board shapes and sizes.

Rotate the mounts to cradle the rails snugly against the rubber. Flexible mounts that move prevent your board from bouncing against unpadded bars at speed. This saves your sticks from dings and pressure dents during transport.

Ratchet straps or padded crossbars secure the surfboard during transport

Strapping your board down tightly is crucial to avoid accidents or damage in transit. Most roof racks use heavy-duty ratchet straps at the front and rear to eliminate wiggle room.

Look for wide straps with padded buckle bumpers to prevent rail dings where the straps cross the board. The front strap should cross at an angle or use a nose stabilizer pad for optimum hold. Crossbars with foam sleeves also securely grip boards without abrasion.

Select a surfboard roof rack with anti-theft features for peace of mind

One concern with roof racks is leaving your board unattended on the car. Seek out racks with integrated locking systems for security. Many use keyed lock straps that deter would-be thieves.

You can also utilize a cable and lock to thread through the board and rack as an anti-theft measure. And choose rack feet that only detach with a custom tool to avoid someone swiping the mounts.

Carry multiple boards with extendable or stackable roof top surfboard racks

Best Universal Surfboard Car Racks You Need This Year

Some premium surfboard roof racks allow hauling a full quiver. Extendable racks add removable segments to carry multiple boards side-by-side.

Stackable models use adjustable risers to allow stacking boards vertically for easy transportation. This is great for when you and your crew want to hit different waves at various spots.

Compare costs: Basic foam blocks vs premium padded & lockable surfboard racks

Surfboard roof rack prices run the gamut from budget foam blocks to premium lockable racks:

  • Foam blocks – $25-$75: Basic friction-fit foam blocks cushion boards but lack tie-downs.
  • Multi-board racks – $150-$500: Allow carrying multiple boards but can be bulky when not in use.
  • High-end racks – $200-$750: Offer keyed locks, custom padding and tool-free removal for security.

Consider how often you’ll use the rack, what vehicle you have, and how many boards you want to transport before deciding. This ensures you get the right surfboard roof rack for your needs and budget.

With the endless options available, you can find the ideal surfboard rack for your car, truck or SUV. Invest in a quality, padded rack that protects your board and prevents theft. With the right surfboard roof rack, you’ll be ready to chase waves near and far in style.

Consider vehicle type when selecting a surfboard car rack system

Best Universal Surfboard Car Racks You Need This Year

When it comes to hauling your board to the beach, not all cars are created equal. The type of ride you roll determines the best surfboard rack system for safely transporting your stick. Before you grab any old rack, consider which setup works with your wheels.

Got a trusted truck that’s hauled you to countless early morning sessions? Truck bed racks allow you to securely stash boards and prevent damaging road debris. SUVs and vans with rear hitches open up options like hitch mount racks for easy access. For zippy cars, roof rack mounts get the job done with minimal fuss.

Shape and length matter too. Longboards may need more support, while soft tops do best with ultra-padded racks. And if you’ve got a true quiver on your hands, extendable racks carry multiple sticks with ease.

By taking vehicle specifics into account, you can avoid strapping a 10 foot log to a tiny coupe or cramming a shortboard into a truck bed. We’ve all seen that ending, and it’s not pretty. Do your ride – and your board – justice by choosing the right rack for your wheels.

Soft tops and 4x4s: The perfect pair with jeep-specific surfboard racks

If you’re rockin’ a Jeep or overlanding rig, custom racks designed for 4x4s secure boards while off-roading. Unlike normal car racks, jeep-specific models utilize roll bars and frame mounts forserious holding power.

When the trails get steep and bumpy, you’ll be thankful for the padding and tie-downs these racks offer. Major anti-slip grip keeps your board from flying out on rocky inclines or rough riverside tracks.

Extra wide straps stand up to hardcore abuse without digging into the rails, making them ideal for fragile soft tops and inflatables. And when you’re not barrel hunting, the pads fold down for a lean, open-air look. No beach bum wants a permanent board rack ruining their vibe.

Inside jobs: Truck bed racks for security and debris protection

Trucks rule when it comes to hauling – it’s literally in their name! Take advantage by transporting inside the bed rather than on top. Truck bed surfboard racks protect your sticks from insects, sand and road debris that roof racks can’t avoid.

The enclosed security of bed racks also deters theft, especially for overnight beach camping sessions. Cradles and foam blocks allow safely stacking multiple sticks high above the rails for max storage. Just be sure to strap them down tightly, even inside the bed.

Can’t find a truck rack wide enough for your XL longboard? Many companies sell extension kits for carrying truly enormous boards with ease.

Rooftop riders: Car roof rack mounts for directional boards

Best Universal Surfboard Car Racks You Need This Year

Smaller cars and sedans often lack big beds or rear hardware for mounting surf racks. Luckily, roof racks are a tried-and-true option for virtually any ride. For cars with existing crossbars or roof rails, universal mounts securely fasten a board on top.

The key is finding wide, rubberized bars that won’t ding up the rails during bumpy drives. Foam sleeves and contoured rubber blocks cradle boards gently by conforming to the shape. Directional boards need extra stabilization, so look for racks with angled nose pads and multiple tie-down points.

If your whip lacks roof rails, shop magnetic or clamp-style racks that adhere without penetrating that flawless paint job. Where you live matters too – roof options excel in sunny climes, while enclosed bed racks handle four seasons better.

Capacity matters: Hauling multiple boards with expandable racks

For surfers with a true quiver at their disposal, expandable roof racks allow transporting the whole arsenal in one go. Instead of a single bar, these racks use modular segments to hold multiple sticks side-by-side.

On the way to a surf trip, they’re perfect for bringing a shortboard, fish shape and funboard without needing three trips. For even more capacity, some brands offer vertical risers to stack boards in layers on the roof.

Just be aware that airport parking garages and low toll booths demand extra caution with towering racks! Avoid surface streets and measure vehicle height with boards loaded to prevent cringe-worthy bumps.

DIY Don’t: Avoid jury-rigged racks that risk dings

Best Universal Surfboard Car Racks You Need This Year

We’ve all seen janky bungee cord and duct tape creations that look one hard bump away from a highway disaster. While the price may seem right, homemade racks often lack padding and tie-downs to sufficiently secure expensive boards.

Foam surfboard racks seem like an easy DIY, but uneven cheap foam puts pressure on the rails leading to cracks and pressure dents. And bare roof racks missing padding mar the deck and rails.

Skillful shapers put hundreds of hours into crafting your board – don’t undo their work with a rattling trunk rack! Invest a bit more in a rack designed specifically for surfboards rather than risk a costly ding.

Whether you drive a zippy coupe or an off-road beast, the perfect surfboard rack awaits. Before buying, always consider your vehicle type, board dimensions, driving conditions and capacity needs. Take the time to find the right rack, and you’ll be stylin’ to the beach for years of wave-riding to come!

Soft top surfboard racks for jeeps provide padding and tie downs

Any surfer worth their salt knows a Jeep Wrangler is the ultimate beach cruiser. With the top down and boards on back, it’s a breeze cruising coastal roads in search of that untouched break. But hauling surfboards on a jouncing, off-road Jeep demands racks as rugged as the vehicle itself.

Unlike basic roof rack designs, the best Jeep surfboard racks utilize roll bars and frame mounts to keep boards stable on bumpy terrain. Wide pads with multiple tie-downs prevent slipping, while still allowing quick access to switch sticks between sessions.

For fragile soft top boards, the ultra-padded support of Jeep-specific racks absorbs vibration, saving your stick from pressure cracks. And when it’s time for dawn patrol, specialized Jeep mounts carry multiple boards to the waves with ease.

Roll bar reinforcement for hardcore off-road

Standard rooftop surfboard racks weren’t built for the daily abuse Jeep life dishes out. Rocky trails and near-vertical inclines demand heavy-duty reinforcement to avoid rack rip-offs.

Jeep Wrangler surfboard racks mount on the rear roll bar for unmatched stability, keeping your sticks firmly in place no matter how extreme the trail. Rubberized roll bar clamps prevent abrasion while providing flex on bumpy terrain.

Look for racks using the rear frame as an anchor point rather than the less-stable roof. When wilderness surfing, you need gear guaranteed not to rip-off into the forest.

Wide straps prevent rail rash on radical rides

Best Universal Surfboard Car Racks You Need This Year

On really rocky off-road terrain, thin bike straps can dig painfully into the rails with each brutal bump. But specialty Jeep racks utilize wide buckle and strap designs that distribute pressure evenly across the board.

The extra-wide pads found on brands like Surf Pups prevent painful pressure points by cradling the rails gently. Smart placement at nose and tail also minimizes strap contact with the deck for less rail rash.

Heavy rubber corner protectors allow pulling the straps ultra tight without crushing the rails, keeping the ride blissfully rattle-free.

Stackable rack segments for multi-board transport

The best surf safaris involve chasing various waves from beach to beach. Jeep-specific racks allow stacking multiple boards by using modular segments that clamp onto the bars.

Brands like Surf Pups sell extension kits that bolt on, allowing you to carry two or three boards on a trip. Segmented design leaves half the bars open when only packing one board for a lower profile.

The ability to safely carry a whole quiver makes Jeep racks ideal for surf trips to remote beaches. And segmented support pads prevent board-on-board rail damage.

Super-grip foam protects delicate soft tops

Best Universal Surfboard Car Racks You Need This Year

Soft top boards demand extra cradling to prevent pressure dents and cracks in the foam. On rough trails, they benefit hugely from the Jeep rack’s padded design.

High-density foam sleeves grip softly without allowing boards to slide and bump against each other. Bottom contour padding hugs the deck, while side rail savers keep point pressure off.

Multiple tie-downs spread forces evenly across the foam, keeping the deck dent-free. Sturdy Jeep-mounted racks allow transporting fragile sticks; getting softies to secret spots without damage.

For off-road surf quests, Jeep Wrangler board racks specially designed for 4×4 abuse keep your sticks safe. Wide straps, hardcore mounting points, and padding for soft tops let you chase perfect barrels on rugged trails. Your boards – and Jeep – will thank you.

Truck bed surf racks allow transport inside the bed for security

For surfers lucky enough to own a trusted truck, bed racks are the premier way to securely transport boards. Unlike roof setups, truck bed surfboard racks allow carrying sticks inside the bed for protection from weather and road debris.

Loading boards inside also deters opportunistic theft compared to unattended roof racks. And tailgate access means you can easily load, stack and lock boards for overnight beach trips.

From damp beach days to frosty mornings, the enclosed security of truck bed racks protects your prized sticks. Let’s explore why pickup racks are a must for board owners who drive trucks.

Shield boards from road debris using covered bed transport

Long highway drives can blast unprotected boards with nasty road debris like gravel and insects. But stashing sticks inside the bed creates a barrier against particle damage.

Truck bed surf racks position boards up and away from the outer bed walls, keeping them safely in the center. High speeds create significant force, so even small stones dent unprotected board rails.

The extra coverage of enclosed transport also blocks damage from sand, salt grime and road tar during beach commutes. Keep your board pristine by letting the bed take the beating.

Overnight security with easy tailgate loading

After an exhausting session, it’s tempting to leave boards strapped on top overnight. But unattended roof racks are an open invitation to thieves looking for a free board.

Truck bed storage allows securely locking boards inside and out of sight. Most racks position sticks in the front of the bed near the cab for easier access.

Grab hungry waves at dusk knowing your gear stays safely locked up. For extra security, utilize cable locks to thread through rack mounts as a deterrent.

Elevated support protects graphics and prevents slipping

Best Universal Surfboard Car Racks You Need This Year

Truck beds and tailgates see plenty of abuse that can damage the deck and bottom graphics. Elevated racks protect boards by lifting them well above the bed floor.

Cradles with padded cushioning and contour blocks support the rails while keeping the deck raised up. Rubberized cradles are also resistant to scratching and scuffing during loading.

Raised racks prevent slippage during sharp turns or sudden braking that sends loose boards sliding. Secure padding plus multiple tie-downs keep sticks firmly in place.

Stack multiple boards upright with adjustable vertical storage

Racks that position boards vertically utilize the full height of truck beds for maximum capacity. This allows safely stacking multiple sticks on trips to the coast.

Look for designs with adjustable holders, padding and straps to secure boards upright. Some racks use removable risers and vertical posts to configure the layout.

Upright storage prevents board-on-board rail damage while keeping a low profile for garages. Bonus points if the design leaves open bed space for coolers and camping gear!

With enclosed protection, overnight security, and elevated padding, truck bed surfboard racks are the ultimate transportation for boards. Just be sure to measure beforehand – no one wants to discover their bed is too short after purchase!

Roof mount surfboard racks attach to existing crossbars for cars

Best Universal Surfboard Car Racks You Need This Year

Strapping surfboards to the roof is a time-tested method for smaller cars and sedans. Roof mount racks utilize existing crossbars or rails to securely fasten boards atop a variety of vehicles.

Compared to truck beds and rear mounts, roof racks maximize storage capacity. Multiple boards stack easily with minimal effect on handling. Just be sure to measure garage height before going overboard!

But not all roof mount systems are created equal. Let’s explore how to choose racks that properly cradle your board while withstanding highway speeds.

Match rack weight limits to your board’s size

Before hitting the racks, check the roof and crossbars weight limit on your car. Then match a rack rated for your board’s total weight when wet.

Longboards, epoxy boards and solid wood planks can top 25 pounds. Exceeding rack limits risks dangerous failures at speed. Also watch out for overloading with multiple boards.

Look for wide, cushioned bars with multiple strap anchor points to distribute weight securely. And don’t simply relay on friction pads – proper tie-downs keep boards locked in place.

Rubber-coated bars prevent rail damage

Bare roof rack bars easily scratch and ding exposed rails during bumpy rides. Quality bars utilize thick foam or rubber sleeves to pad contact points.

Coated bars also minimize vibration by gripping the board tightly. Directional and epoxy boards need extra cradling given their rigidity and low flex.

Pay attention to strap placements too. The best setups position buckles and anchors away from the rails to minimize abrasion at pressure points.

Contoured blocks & angled pads provide custom support

Flat bars can’t adequately support the curves and rocker profile of a surfboard. Contoured padding hugs the rails securely while preventing pressure dents.

Custom rests with angled front pads or side cradles grip the deck and nose without squeezing the rails. Bottom contour blocks prevent the racks from crushing delicate fins.

Tailor support to your board’s shape for stability. Longboards need different padding than shortboards. One-size-fits-all racks often fit no board well.

Thule, Yakima and Rhino Rack for trusted quality

Best Universal Surfboard Car Racks You Need This Year

Established brands like Thule, Yakima and Rhino Rack make reliable roof mount racks that hold up for years. While more costly, proven designs provide peace of mind.

Look for wide bars with durable, weather-resistant padding that won’t compress or degrade over time. Poor quality foam protects boards initially but soon crushes down.

Trusted rack brands may cost more initially but require fewer replacements. Cheap knockoff racks often fail quickly at speed. Your board’s worth the quality investment.

With the right padded, contoured and weight-rated roof mount, cars and sedans can securely transport surfboards using existing rails. Just take precautions for low clearance, properly tie down the load, and care for racks to ensure lasting performance.

Look for adjustable, rubber-coated roof rack mounts to prevent board damage

Strapping an unprotected surfboard to generic roof racks is asking for dings. The key is finding padded, adjustable mounts that firmly secure your board without crushed rails or deck damage.

Look for rubber-coated bars that grip boards without abrasion. Soft contour padding hugs the delicate rails to prevent pressure cracks. And rotating mounts conform to different board shapes for customized support.

A quality rack grips tightly while avoiding the infamous “rack rash” that ruins sessions. Let’s explore roof mount features that protect your board in transit.

Rotate and lock mounts to fit unique board shapes

Best Universal Surfboard Car Racks You Need This Year

One-size-fits-all racks never properly cradle boards. The ideal roof mounts rotate to contour to concaves, flatten out rocker, and support side rails.

Brands like Dakine make racks with pivoting board holders that conform to short, long, and fun shapes. Lockable cradles prevent your custom alignment from shifting in transit.

Dialing-in the ideal angle for your board ensures the padding hugs tightly without leaving gaps that allow bouncing at speed.

Avoid pressure cracks with flexible rail savers

Solid roof rack padding pushes unevenly on rigid board rails, risking pressure cracks and stress points.

Quality rubberized bars flex to match the rail shape. Thick urethane construction absorbs vibration and conforms closely to the rails without squeezing.

Rubber-coated bars also resist scratching delicate artwork, and provide grip without abrasion. Durable materials withstand sun, salt and weathering for long life.

Wide contact patches prevent pressure dents

Narrow contact points from thin pads or straps distribute force unevenly, creating risk for rail dents. Wide rubber bars spread pressure for even cradling.

Wider pads also allow firmly snugging racks against the board without over-squeezing delicate edges. A tight hold prevents bounces while avoiding impressions.

Pay attention to strap placement too – buckles crossing the rails at speed ask for trouble. Position them between contact points for clear deck space.

Contour padding matches unique board shapes

Surfboards aren’t flat slabs; complex curves need padded racks that match the profile.

Custom rests with angled front pads or side cradles grip the deck and nose without squeezing the down rails. Bottom contours prevent crushing delicate fins.

Racks mimicking the board’s shape allow a tight grip at all contact points for decreased road vibration and damage.

Driving safely with a surfboard requires premium padding and fully adjustable mounts. Take time to contour racks to your board’s profile. Quality rubberized cradles firmly secure sticks while preventing pressure dents for endless sessions.

Ratchet straps or padded crossbars secure the surfboard during transport

Best Universal Surfboard Car Racks You Need This Year

Simply tossing a surfboard on generic roof racks is asking for trouble at highway speeds. Proper tie-downs using ratchet straps or padded crossbars are essential for securing sticks in transit.

Loose boards bounce wildly, damaging rails and fins. Worse, uncontrolled motion risks the board flying off the car. Take the time to properly strap sticks for smooth, safe transport to the waves.

Let’s look at strap systems, cradling bars and other mounting methods that eliminate wiggle room and road vibration.

Snug ratchet straps immobilize boards at the nose/tail

High-tension ratchet tie downs compress boards firmly into the padding without dangerous wiggle room. Straps positioned at the nose and tail keep the whole board static.

Cinch the straps as tight as possible without overly compressing the rails. Boards shouldn’t have room to bounce against the padding while driving.

Wide rubber strap bodies prevent compression damage where the strap crosses the board. Buckle bumpers also defend rails from abrasion.

Padded crossbars grip boards for customized stabilization

Best Universal Surfboard Car Racks You Need This Year

Foam-covered crossbars allow safely transporting unstrapped boards. The padding hugs the rails tightly to avoid slippage at speed.

Unlike friction pads, crossbar racks compress the entire board length. This provides even stabilization of flexing or twisting forces.

The bars can be positioned at a slight angle to better match a board’s rocker or contours. Custom supporting the full profile prevents bouncing.

Front nose stabilizers defend from wind lift

Light, lifted noses are prone to catching wind at speed. Nose stabilizer blocks or angled front straps counteract air lifting the nose on highway drives.

The front strap should compress across the sweet spot behind the nose for maximum hold. Stabilizer blocks also hug the nose without obstructing strap access.

Driving without a nose-down force risks the wind peeling the front of the board off the rack. Suddenly losing nose traction flips boards violently.

Contoured padding matches unique board shapes

Unlike bicycles, no two surfboards have the same shape. Unique profiles, rockers and rails need customized stabilization.

Look for rack paddings molding to concaves, flattened rocker curves and bottom contours. Conforming to the exact shape provides grip without gaps.

Padding hugging every unique curve allows firmly cinching straps across the closest contact points. Mismatched padding squeezes unequally.

Whether you choose straps, crossbars or blocks, take time securing boards to prevent bounce and slippage. Proper tie-downs let you focus on finding that perfect wave, not keeping boards stable in transit.

Select a surfboard roof rack with anti-theft features for peace of mind

Nothing kills your stoke faster than returning to find your prized board stolen off the car. Quality surfboard racks now offer integrated locks and cables to securely protect your gear.

Locking mechanisms range from simple looped straps to high-tech keyed systems. While adding cost, the security of anti-theft racks provides peace of mind on road trips.

Let’s explore smart locked-down options to deter opportunistic board theft when transporting your quiver.

Keyed lock straps prevent tampering with boards

Best Universal Surfboard Car Racks You Need This Year

Replacing standard straps with lockable versions is an easy upgrade. Ratchet buckles with integrated key tumblers allow fully securing boards.

Keyed straps protect against thieves cutting regular straps to swipe sticks. The custom ratchet mechanisms also resist tampering or re-adjustments.

Remember to stow backup strap keys in a safe place! Brands like Surfstrap offer spare keys in case your primary set gets lost or buried in the sand.

Mounts with unique lock interfaces deter board theft

Sophisticated rack systems feature custom mounts or bars with integrated locks activated at the twist of a key.

The proprietary interface prevents standard tools from removing the locked board holders. Thieves must destroy the entire rack to access your board.

However, always stow the unique “key” wrench/tool in a separate bag. Otherwise, you’re as stuck as the criminal if it gets lost!

Retractable board cables secure sticks directly

For maximal security, retractable steel cables attach directly to the board’s fin or leash plug.

Weaving cables through the rack and board itself requires power tools to defeat. This deters smash-and-grabs in parking lots or trailheads.

Cables do add hassle securing boards after each session. But the extra peace of mind is worth the inconvenience for expensive quivers.

Lockable racks encourage using security measures

Best Universal Surfboard Car Racks You Need This Year

The main benefit of integrated locks is convenience. No more fumbling with padlocks and chains at the beach.

The quick twist of a key ensures you take a few moments to secure boards every time. Non-lockable racks often get ignored in the parking rush.

Built-in locks make responsibility hard to avoid after surfing. Anti-theft racks protect your gear from crime both opportunistic and determined.

Utilizing the latest lock tech helps protect your prized sticks and lets you sleep soundly between sessions. Don’t throw away cash on a dream board only to feed it to thieves – invest in a rack you can lock down.

Carry multiple boards with extendable or stackable roof top surfboard racks

For surfers with a full quiver at their disposal, adjustable roof racks allow transporting a stack of boards in one go. Extendable systems hold multiple sticks tightly and securely on existing crossbars.

Hauling a single board to each session means wasted trips back and forth. The right expandable rack carries the whole gang safely when roaming to various breaks.

Let’s check out multi-board capacity roof options that protect your sticks while maximizing cargo space.

Clamp-on extenders hold multiple boards side-by-side

Modular roof rack systems utilize segments that bolt together for adjustable length. This allows flanking one rack with identical units to hold boards side-by-side.

Brands like Surf Seeker sell clamp-on stacker sections to double or triple capacity. Width depends only on your car’s roof space and crossbar load limit.

The ability to safely carry a shortboard, fish shape and funboard on one trip enables chasing various waves. Modularity means removing segments when not fully loaded.

Vertical posts allow stacking boards in layers

For maximum quiver capacity, vertical risers mount between crossbars to stack boards in layers. Surf Stacker makes adjustable poles that act as roof “shelving.”

The height between crossbars determines the number of stackable levels. Measure carefully before buying – you don’t want to smack poles on low garages!

Risers work best with rubberized crossbars or cradles that compress the profile without tie-downs. Too many straps makes unstacking a chore.

Reinforced bars and weight limits for multi-board loads

Best Universal Surfboard Car Racks You Need This Year

Hauling a stack of surfboards demands roof racks rated for heavy use. Load limits nearing 100lbs are ideal for triple board stacks.

And extendable systems use reinforced bars and custom clamps between segments. Weak connections risk losing boards at speed when heavily loaded across multiple feet.

Stackable and expandable racks stay rock-solid, but always cinch boards tightly and drive cautiously until you’re used to the wind resistance.

Measure roof clearance with racks fully extended

Before hitting the highway with towering stacked boards, measure overall height with the racks fully extended. Low tunnels, garages and overhangs demand awareness.

Drive surface streets until you’re confident clearing obstacles at speed with loaded racks. Damage from height miscalculations gets expensive – and dangerous – quickly.

Test stack configurations at home before lengthy trips. Too often, overconfidence ruins perfectly good boards and cars in an instant.

Surfing quivers demand versatile roof racks. Extendable and stackable systems allow safely transporting multiple sticks atop almost any car. Just take precautions for height, weight limits and road clearance when fully loaded.

Compare costs: Basic foam blocks vs premium padded & lockable surfboard racks

Best Universal Surfboard Car Racks You Need This Year

For avid surfers, transporting your board safely and securely is a top priority. When it comes to surfboard car racks, you have two main options – basic foam blocks or premium padded and lockable racks. While foam blocks are cheaper upfront, premium racks offer more protection and security for your valuable board. Here we’ll compare the costs and benefits of both options to help you decide which is best for your needs.

Foam blocks are the most budget-friendly option, typically ranging from $10-$30 per set. They consist of a pair of carved foam blocks that cradle the board on top of your vehicle. While blocks cushion and stabilize the board during transport, they provide minimal protection. The board is exposed to the elements and can easily shift or fall off if not tied down properly. Foam blocks work best for soft-top boards and can scratch or ding hard epoxy boards. They’re a good short-term solution for budget-minded surfers or those not transporting boards frequently.

Premium padded and lockable racks offer more protection and security, ranging $150-$400 for quality racks. Thick foam padding across the entire rack prevents board dings and damage. Sturdier construction and straps lock the board firmly in place for safe transport. Many include additional space for a second board or paddle. Higher-end versions even have anti-sway cradles to prevent board movement at highway speeds. Premium racks are the best choice if you frequently drive far distances, own multiple boards, or have invested in an expensive custom board. The extra upfront cost provides peace of mind that your board will arrive safely.

When comparing costs, also consider the vehicle you plan to mount the rack on. Foam blocks can work on most factory roof racks. But premium racks often require aftermarket crossbars or racks with a flat mounting surface. Factor in $150-$300 for a roof rack system for your car if needed. And don’t forget the cost of proper tie-down straps which are essential for securing your board and preventing roof rack damage.

For maximum convenience, premium racks allow you to lock your board in place. This gives peace of mind when leaving your car unattended, especially if traveling. Lockable racks range from $50 for simple rubber-coated steel cables to $150 for retractable coated stainless steel cables secured with keyed locks. Foam blocks won’t stop a determined thief without separate locks and cables. So factor in the cost of an anti-theft locking system if security is a concern.

When tallying the costs, don’t forget maintenance. Foam blocks require replacing every year or two as they wear down. Premium racks are built to last 5+ years with proper care. Higher quality paddings, frames and mounting hardware withstand exposure to sun, salt and moisture much better. While pricier upfront, they save money long-term by avoiding constant block replacement.

For heavy travelers, the cost of premium racks can be justified by potential board damage they help prevent. Dings, pressure dents and delamination can significantly decrease a board’s value and performance. Just one repair job of $100+ negates the cost difference versus basic foam blocks. For expensive boards, preventing even minor damage can represent major savings.

While foam blocks work for infrequent short trips, serious surfers or those driving long distances should invest in premium racks. The upfront cost quickly pays for itself through added security, protection and longevity. Properly caring for a quality rack will keep your boards safe for years to come. And you can’t put a price on the peace of mind of rolling up to the beach knowing your prized board arrived in flawless condition.

When deciding between basic foam blocks or premium racks, carefully consider your budget, needs and typical usage. While premium racks carry a higher upfront cost, they pay dividends over time through enhanced security, protection and durability. Investing in a quality rack will provide cost savings and peace of mind over the long run.