The Best Auto Surfboard Racks for 2022

The Best Auto Surfboard Racks for 2022

popular mechanics; Courtesy INNO

If all surfers have one thing in common, it’s that they want to get their boards safely to and from the beach. Surfboards are often made of delicate foam and fiberglass, so scratches and dents should be avoided. Once you’re done surfing, the board is also likely to have sand and salt residue that will contaminate a car’s interior, so mounting it on the outside with a specialized surfboard rack is the best way to get the job done. The roof of a vehicle offers the most real estate when it comes to carrying planks. Appropriate roof racks provide straps to hold the craft securely, along with soft materials to cradle the board and protect it from scratches.

The best surfboard racks

What to consider?

There are two main types of vehicle surfboard racks; which are mounted directly on a bare roof and which on a pre-installed roof mount with crossbeam. The crossbar type offers more durability and more versatility when it comes to swapping attachments for things like bike racks or ski boxes. However, the simpler roof straps offer convenience and are strong enough for lightweight boards. Some racks are also equipped to carry multiple surfboards, with the ability to be adapted for other small watercraft, such as kayaks.

How we selected

Popular mechanics chose these products based on personal vehicle experiences, as well as reviews from publications such as The Drive, SurferToday and Windsurfing Mag. We also select from a wide range of features and price points to suit different needs and budgets. All of the surf carriers listed below will fit universally, as long as your vehicle has enough room for a typical roof rack system.

For more great ways to carry your gear, check out our picks for the best bike roof racks, best kayak roof racks, and best tow bar racks.

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Best Overall


Lockable roof rack for surfboards

Key specs:

Width 32 inch
Weight 10 pounds
Hold tight 1-3 plates

Buy budget



Key specs:

Rack width 19-28 inches
Weight 1.4 pounds
Hold tight 1-3 plates

Best Value


surf path

Key specs:

Rack width 20-30 inches
Weight 1 pound
Hold tight 1 plate

Best multi carrier


Curve Soft Surfboard Rack

Key specs:

Rack width 20 inch
Weight 3.3 pounds
Hold tight 1-3 plates

Best Multifunction


Inflatable Carrier

Key specs:

Width 38.5 inches
Weight 5.75 pounds
Hold tight 1 plate

Best for Pickups


Tailgate Surfboard Pad

Key specs:

Width 26 inch
Weight 1.3 pounds
Hold tight 1-2 plates

Best Premium Option


SUP Taxi XT Surfboard rack

Claw Homer
Talon Homer is a South Carolina writer and photographer born with a love for cars, gaming and advanced technology.

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