Transporting your paddleboard needs a bit of thought

We’ve been transporting boards of all shapes and sizes, for a long time, and we’ve tried most types of roof bars, racks and tie down systems. It’s got easier with isups, but many of you still like to keep them inflated and put them on the roof of your car, so here are some tips.

Transporting a standup paddleboard

How you transport a stand up paddleboard is determined by whether it’s an inflatable board or hard board.

If you have an isup, then the first thing to realise is that it was designed to be carried within the storage bag and that bag easily fits in the boot of a car, with the paddle and wetsuit.

When you deflate a paddle board, you have to push all the air out to completely collapse it, so it will fit neatly into the bag and be as compact as possible.

Once the board is deflated, you can then pack it in the boot of the car and then collapse the paddle down and put that alongside.

If you have room, then it is worth investing in a wet-bag or flexible bucket as they’re great for storing soggy wetsuits

transporting an isup in the boot of the car
sup tie down 757x321 1

Optionally, you may want to carry your board on the roof of the car on some roof bars or roof rack.

Carrying one board is easy and there is no problem with carrying either a hard board or inflatable paddle board strapped down.

You can see in the picture, how the straps are laid over the board.

One tip is to strap the board down, then push and pull the tail and nose of the board.  This wiggles the board and loosens the straps, so you can then re-tighten them, at which point you should be good to go for a long journey.

If you’re going to carry 2 boards on the roof, then you need to plan a bit more.

You can see in this picture, how the 2 boards are separated by a couple of foam rollers, something like pipe lagging/insulation.

It’s useful as it means that any variance in board shape / length /rocker doesn’t mean the boards are digging into each other.

The only downside is slippage, so you need to strap and then put an extra strap around the board at the front to double up on the security. For me, I also do a short run, before pulling over and checking for any movement.

standup paddle board roof racks scaled e1640802664519
board flag for use on roof rack

Overhanging of any car is always risky and possibly illegal.   What I mean by this is if you have a very small car and your board on the roof sticks out too far either end.

If your board does hand off the end, then it is worth carrying something like a brightly coloured flag or cloth, that can be tied onto the board.

This will give a good indication to other road users and pedestrians that the load you’re carrying is longer than your vehicle.

The picture shows a bright coloured flag.  If you have no tie on points, you could use a small rubber suction cup that is pushed onto the board if it has a flat surface, or maybe some tape.


We run regular beginner to improver wing sup surfing lessons.

With over 35 years experience, we are fully insured and certified with: