How to strap boards to your car

How to strap  boards to your car

Detailed instructions and tips on how to safely and efficiently strap a board to your car.

At Blue Planet we load boards to cars, trucks, and vans on a daily basis and we learned a thing or two that we share in this post.  Watch the video and/ or scroll through the photos for complete instructions on how to secure boards to your vehicle safely and efficiently.

Let's start with the fastest way to strap a board to your car:  The one strap "30 second" method, which is only recommended if you have solid roof racks and a good, long strap and for short trips at lower speeds.   Two straps are more secure, so if in doubt, use the two-strap method.

The one strap method uses one strap that loops around the board to tighten both front and back at once.  Caution: this method puts tension pulling the two crossbars together, which can cause them to slide closer to each other which will loosen the strap, so don't use this if your crossbars are not super solid on your car.

one strap method throw strap

One strap method step 1: throw strap over the fins, place buckle end on top of the board.


slide strap under board

Step 2: slide strap underneath front rack.


slide under both racks

Step 3: slide strap under back rack.

loop strap over nose of board

Step 4: loop strap over the nose of the board.


single strap method instructions

Step 5: bring strap back under back rack bar.

bring back strap under both racks

Step 6: return strap back under front rack bar on the front side.


tighten roof rack strap

Step 7: put strap through buckle from bottom up and tighten.


put end of strap inside car door

Step 8: secure end of the strap inside the car door to keep it from flapping.


stop humming noise with twice

Put twists in the straps to prevent humming noise.





how to strap board to truck tail gate rack

Padded tailgate racks are a good way to transport boards with a pickup truck.


strapping SUP to tail gate

The board straps onto the pad, for longer boards, add another strap in the truck bed and attach a red flag if the board extends more than 4 feet past the bumper.


how to strap board to car without roof racks

If your car does not have roof racks, watch this video on how to strap boards to a car without racks:


kanu lock locking surfboard straps

Locking straps with steep cables inside the nylon strap, like the Kanu Lock straps, are a good way to secure your boards to your car.


strap board to car with two straps

Strapping board to car using the two-strap method.


attaching two boards to car

Staggering fins to load more than one board to your car.

stacking boards on car

When stacking boards, make sure to pad any pressure points.  For surfboards, put something in between boards to keep wax from sticking to the bottom of the boards.

loading two boards on car

The strap goes under roof rack, close to boards, and back over.


how not to strap board to car

Don't do this: Don't loop the straps around the end of the rack as in the photo, this allows the boards to slide sideways.  Instead, loop it around the roof rack bar close to the boards so the boards can't move sideways.

strapping two board to car

using cam buckle to tighten board to vehicle

Always put the strap into the cam buckle from the bottom up, never from the top down!


boards flying off car on highway

Boards that are not secured properly can be dangerous, please be safe!


put strap on before boards when making two stacks

When loading two stacks of boards, put the strap on the roof rack before loading the boards to make it easier.


Then flip the strap over the board(s) after loading.


aerodynamics of boards on car roof rack

When driving at high speeds, the air gets deflected upward by the windshield and creates a strong lifting force on the boards, make sure your straps and racks can handle this force.


use oh shit strap for safety

Add an "Oh sh#t" strap to secure loads on longer trips or when driving at higher speeds: loop a strap over the top of the boards and through the car to secure boards directly to car in case of rack failure.


how to strap several boards to car

Done right, transporting multiple boards is not a problem.


prius loaded with SUP boards how to strap board to car

Can you transport more than 20 Stand Up Paddleboards with a Prius?  Yes!

Aloha, Robert Stehlik



  1. Robert  Stehlik Robert Stehlik

    As explained in the video, some people are adamant about having the fins forward but there is really no good reason for that. If the board gets loose it will lift up, not slide backwards. The board is actually more aerodynamic with the nose forward, so either way works well.

  2. Robert  Stehlik Robert Stehlik

    please go to:

    If it's available, we can set you up

  3. Yael Yael

    Hi! I have a 2019 Volkswagen Jetta that I'm looking to add hard racks to in order to transport longboards. It has no roof racks or rails from the manufacturer, and I can't find any online that will fit my car. Would you be able to provide a link to the racks that you use on the Prius?

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