Last Updated on May 16, 2022 by Editor
If you enjoy paddleboarding and have to cover long distances to reach a good SUP location, you can agree that transporting your solid paddleboard can be quite challenging- but this shouldn’t hold you back. With the best car roof rack system, you can easily and safely carry all your paddleboard gear and have plenty of room in the car for your friends and family.
Luckily for you, there are dozens of superb roof racks in the market that you can choose from. However, not every roof rack out there will be perfect for you as they vary significantly in terms of type, sizes, capacity, and prices. Some racks only work with specific systems like some Thule racks work with only Thule crossbars while others are only compatible with oval, square, or round bars.
Different roof racks offer varying board capacity; for instance, some can carry more than two boards of the same sizes while others allow you to transport boards with differing widths. As such, you need to make sure you choose one that fits perfectly atop your car and can securely accommodate the width and weight of your boards on longer road trips.
In this article, we’re going to review some of the best car roof racks for solid paddleboards out there to help you make an informed decision and pick the best-suited product.
Note: If you are thinking of buy an inflatable SUP, you won’t need a roof rack as they can be quickly deflated and stored in a boot.
1. Thule SUP Taxi XT
- Equipped with new Speed-Link mounting system for convenient, tool-free mounting to Thule rack systems, round bars and most factory racks
- Exclusive, telescoping design delivers a custom fit for board widths up to 34" wide
- Heavy-duty, steel reinforced webbing and spring loaded locking cam provide unsurpassed security for your boards
The Thule SUP Taxi XT is another great roof rack that’s incredibly easy to install and offers unparalleled security for your paddleboards during transit.
Thule SUP taxi is, hands down, the easiest rack to mount on your car’s roof as it’s offered full assembled with mounting system, meaning you don’t need any tools to install it. The mounting system typically comprises rubberized aluminum straps that securely wraps around virtually any crossbar for proper installation of the carrier. This makes mounting and detaching the board carrier quite straightforward and easy for anyone.
The carrier boasts a telescopic design that allows you to fit a vast range of paddleboards of up to 34 inches in width. This means you can adjust it accordingly to perfectly fit the size of your paddleboard. The Thule SUP Taxi XT is also made of heavy-duty steel for added strength and durability.
The rack’s spring-loaded locking mechanism offers added security for your boards during harsh weather conditions. It also comes with an extra locking strap that helps tightly hold down your paddleboards to the rack while providing added security. The strap is designed easy to tighten and lock using a key.
The rubberized padding ensures your boards are well protected from damage while loading, unloading, and even during transit. What’s more, is that this carrier is designed compatible with virtually any car rack crossbar out there, but most ideal for rounded crossbars and Thule racks.
Overall, this rack offers you a secure and easy way to transport your SUP paddleboards. It’s super-easy to install and a breeze to use.
2. Thule Surfboard and SUP racks
- Corrosion-resistant stainless steel Flip Fit Brackets fits all Thule Rack Systems, round bars and most factory racks (no loose parts)
- Exclusive telescoping design delivers a custom fit for board widths up to 34" wide
- Dual loading design allows for transport of two boards with maximum stability
The SportsRack SUP roof rack offers you a convenient and secure way to transport up to two boards with varying widths.
This rack is uniquely designed perfect for any car, but especially if your vehicle doesn’t have any pre-installed roof rack or trails. These racks feature oval-shaped aluminum bars across the cutouts for added stability. And reinforced straps attached to the chromate buckles that run through your car’s door openings to hold the rack firmly in position.
It features two extra straps that hold your paddleboards firmly in place and has non-skid bottoms that help eliminate sliding and protect your car’s finish from getting damaged. They are also durable and robust enough to support the weight of heavier paddleboards.
This rack is also adjustable, which makes it convenient for you when carrying paddleboards of varying width sizes. You may also like that it comes with stern and bow tie-downs that help secure your boards in place even when you’re in high-speeds.
One of the main highlight features of this roof rack is its versatility as it comes compatible with nearly any car roof type out there. This means that you’re less likely to experience compatibility issues when installing this roof rack.
For installation, this rack includes detailed instructions that guide you through the entire process of mounting or dismounting it from your car’s roof.
Overall, this roof rack includes everything you may need to safely transport your two paddleboards to the beach for some adventure.
3. INNO Racks
- Holds up to 3 shortboards or 2 longboards
- Floating strap system for easy loading
- Ratcheting mechanism for secure tightening
The INNO rack tops our list as an excellent roof rack that comes packed with plenty of impressive features for secure transporting of all your paddleboards.
To begin with, this roof rack offers utmost versatility as it’s designed compatible with round, square, aerodynamic, and most factory crossbars. It comes equipped with two ratcheting straps made of stainless rubber-coated steel that helps to hold your paddleboards in place securely. The straps are strong and resistant to rust and corrosion, making it pretty durable.
One of the highlight features of this roof rack is the crane mechanism that maintains your straps arched, allowing you to effortlessly and conveniently slide in your paddleboards. The padding on the bottom helps ensure your boards don’t slide, while top padding protects your board’s finish from getting damaged while still holding it in place.
Its user-friendly design allows you to quickly tighten down your boards as well as easily remove them by a push of a button. The locking mechanism helps to prevent tampering of your loaded paddleboards and prevent access to the release button.
Another great thing about this roof rack is that it can comfortably accommodate your three short boards or even two long paddleboards. This allows you to go surfing with your friends or family.
This locking roof rack will be the best car rack choice for you if you’re looking for something versatile, easy to mount, and with a safe locking mechanism.
4. Curve Surfboard Soft Rack (Straps only system)
- WORLDS SMALLEST surfboard soft racks – perfect for travel!
- 'MINI-ME' style soft racks without bulky foam - 6x4x3” / 2lb pack size grasps in palm of one hand and fits easy in luggage
- LOCKDOWN SINGLE LOOP system eliminates surfboard movement and fits most vehicles with a roof - great for rental cars with bare roof or side rails
The Curve Surfboard soft rack is designed compatible with a vast range of roof setups, including a majority of car roofs out there.
It is specially made to allow easy transportation of up to two SUP paddleboards, four short boards, or three long ones. Its unique, patented cocoon lockdown system will enable you to wrap a single loop around your boards and securely attach to your car’s roof.
This makes it perfect for use on cars without fixed racks, preferably cars with four doors or with two front doors and two rear windows. You can also use it on cars with rails and those without crossbars. The foam padding helps ensure your board’s finish and contact points remain well protected.
As a strap only system, this soft rack comes equipped with 600D polycanvas straps, which are securely fastened with a heavy-duty zinc reinforced cam buckle to provide ample tension. This helps keep your boards in place, preventing them from sliding, lifting, and fluttering even with strong winds blowing.
Another massive benefit of this rack is that it offers a single load point for every rack tightening, making it easy for you to access your paddleboards. Not to mention that it is not permanently fixed on your car’s roof, so you only install it when you want to transport your boards. When not in use, you can safely store it in the included compact carrier bag.
As you’ve seen from our review, bringing your paddleboards with you to your adventures should be hectic as long as you have the right roof rack installed on your car. All the car roof racks on our list offer an easy and convenient way to transport your boards to the beach.
Virtually all of them come with a mounting system for easy installation and features a locking mechanism that ensures your boards remain secure and properly in place throughout the entire trip. Some come with unique features such as the padded foam to ensure your boards are well-protected from getting damaged during transit.
Most of the roof racks on our list can hold up to two or three standard paddleboards while some can carry up to four such as the INNO locking rack as well as the Curve Surfboard soft rack. However, the board capacity of your rack will hugely depend on the board type.
Nearly all of the reviewed roof racks have a locking mechanism, do you can rest assured no one can tamper with your boards while you’re away from your vehicle.
When it comes to choosing the best one for you, be sure first to check that it’s compatible with your car then consider other features such as board capacity, locking system, loading system, and ease of mounting.