How To Transport Surfboard: Ultimate Guide

Surfing is an excellent hobby and sport, but there are some issues, such as transportation. A regular longboard is over nine feet, and transporting the board to the beach can be a problem.

Here are different ways of transporting the Surfboard

1. Put your surfboard in the car

Surfboard in the sedan – passenger side

Depending on the size and type of your car, there are different ways of fitting the board in the car.

For a board under 7 ft, you can lay back in the passenger seat and place the board. When playing with the board, there are different ways of placing the board, facing up or down. Facing up, keep the seat clean (no wax getting on), but if you are driving long with strong sun, it may melt the wax.

Placing the board facing down is better, but place old clothes or towels if you do not want the wax getting on the seat.

When getting the board in and out of your vehicle, do it slowly so you do not damage the board, especially fins/fin boxes.

For Board Over 8 ft, most medium hatch-back or SUVs will be fine if you lay down the middle seat and put the board from the boot. The board will generally sit on the passenger seat or easily fit between the driver’s seat and the passenger seat.

For a large-size sedan, If you put the back seat down (some cars will not have this feature) and put the board from the boot and the passenger side flattened, the 9-footer will fit it.

Another trick for fitting an 8 ft board is to put the board diagonally for a short trip.

Always think about safety. Now and then, We see people placing the board on the dashboard because it does not otherwise. However, If you get involved in an accident, the board may hit the front window and break the window or hit you. So it’s generally not recommended to put the board on the dashboard.

If you are putting a longboard, be extra careful with where the centre fin is. Their fins are relatively large, and it can damage both the fin itself and the board if you misplace it.

2. Put the board on the roof.

There are two different ways of putting the board on the roof. You can purchase a strap to secure the board if you have an existing solid roof rack. Alternatively, you can purchase a soft roof rack if you do not have a roof rack.

A car with a roof rack
Lockable Surfboard Strap that goes onto the exiting roof rack
Soft Roof Rack

Let’s look at the different options in detail.

Hard Roof RackSoft Roof Rack
PriceExpensive ( IF including installation)
The strap is around $60-70
Cheap, and No additional installation is required.
$ 50-100.
NoiseLess noiseNoisy at high speed
Safe in RainNo water leakWater can leak through the strap, into the car
Safety Can lock the boardUnable to secure the board.
Other issuesStraps can damage the rubber seal of the car.
Summary of Hard vs Sorf Roof rack
Soft roof rack with a surfboard

A soft roof rack is an excellent option if you are starting and do not want to spend too much on the accessory. It can carry 1-4 boards ( depending on the design and size) and is very easy to use.

There are two straps; one secures the rack with the car, and the other secures the board on the top. It uses a simple tool to tighten and loosen the strap, and it does not require excessive strength.

Strap securing mechanic

When placing a board, always place it facing down with the nose facing forward. This will ensure efficient aerodynamics, and the wax of the board will help the board securely attach to the rack.

One of the soft roof rack’s downsides is water leakage and high-speed noise.

Because the soft roof rack gets secured on the door frame, the strap will leave a very small gap, which allows the water to trickle down on rainy days.

This gap will allow water to get in when it rains.
With repeated usage, the strap may wear out the rubber seal of the car door.

The noise worsens when the vehicle travels over 70km/h, especially on windy days.

Lastly, consider using the board bag when putting the board on the roof. I do not recommend placing the board directly on the roof rack because tightening the strap may dent the fibreglass.

3. Bike Rack

This type of rack fits pretty much any vehicle with two wheels. You can put them on a push bike, scooter, or electric bike.

The only downside of carrying the board on the side is its size. You must be well aware of your surroundings to ensure you don’t bump into people or things.

4. Carrying with hands.

You must carry the board whether you walk to the beach from your car or home.

Depending on the surfboard size and. your arm length, you may need to carry the board in different ways.

  1. Overhead
  2. Underarm.
  3. Draggin – Do not drag the board unless it’s surfing the school’s board and they ask you to do it. you will damage it.
  4. Use the leash as a shoulder strap (see below)
  5. Use a board bag – most bags come with shoulder straps and a handle. However, do not leave the bag on the beach – it may get stolen.
A leash can be used as a shoulder strap

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need To Buy A Surfboard Cover?

For longboard, investing in descend surfboard cover is recommended. It’s challenging to handle the longboard, and the glassing is quite fragile. Once the glass is cracked ( dinged), the board absorbs water.

Once the water gets in the board, it will make it heavy and cause further damage by separating the glassing from the foam.

Therefore prevention is the key. There are some cheap options, such as a sock. However, sock provides minimal production; it’s the same as putting the towel over the board. Invest 60-100 dollars on the surfboard bag; it will keep the board safe and your car clean.

Can I Leave Surfboard In A Hot Car?

Leaving the surfboard in a heated car is not recommended because the wax of the board can melt.

Melted wax ruins the car seat, but sticking them back to the board is tough, especially when the board remains hot.

How Fast Can You Drive With Surfboard On the Roof

There is no official guide on how fast you can drive with a surfboard on top. I have driven up to 80km an hour with a surfboard on the soft roof rack.

An installed roof rack makes it much more secure as the air can travel between the car and the board. With the installed roof rack, I have driven 110km/h with three boards on the top without issue.

How To Protect Surfboard From Being Stolen.

If you are using a softboard roof rack, you cannot prevent people from taking your board. You must leave the board inside the car. However, if you have an installed roof rack, there are straps you can lock using a key.

If you cannot secure the board, keep it inside the car. It may cause your wax to melt, but It’s better to do that than lose a surfboard.


My name is James, the person behind With 15 years of experience in surfing, I am excited to help you on the journey to becoming a competent surfer.

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