How to Strap a SUP to Your Roof Rack

Whether you have a stand up paddle board that is a hardboard or an inflatable you have to transport your SUP and here's our guide (and pro tips) on how to quickly and safely get you and your board where you need to go!

Did you know that you can strap your hard paddle board or even your inflated inflatable paddle board on the top of your car? 

This guide will be specifically for cars with roof racks. If you are a visual learner we have a video tutorial that you can find on our YouTube Channel, along with other blog posts with plenty of other guides on all things paddle boarding.

If you notice something we're missing contact us at or any of our social media accounts.

Let's begin!


What you need

To do this properly you need a roof rack on your car, straps, and of course, a stand up paddle board (hard or inflated inflatable).

For the straps we recommend a NRS 9 foot strap that you can purchase on Amazon or REI for about $15. These straps are easy to use, and won't damage your board, unlike ratchet style straps which are easily over-tightened and will permanently indent your board.

To be clear, you need one strap for each support beam (on a roof rack is 2) so you will need a set.

We strongly advise you to not strap on more than 3 SUPs on top of your car as that's when you don't have as much control over the straps and the wind will, more than likely, loosen them a little if you're traveling far distances.


Strapping the board on

Depending on the height of the car or yourself, this can be the most difficult part, but if you practice this will become easy.

You'll go ahead and balance the board on top of your head (example shown in photo below).

Pro Tip: When you're balancing it on top of your head it's helpful to know that the board is balanced where the handle is so place the center of your head against the handle.

how to put a paddleboard on your car

You'll lift and place or push from the back end of the vehicle (whichever is easiest for you).

The pad side has to be facing down and the tail end of the board forward on the car.

Then you'll center the board in the middle of the rack by standing at the back end of your car and adjusting until it looks correct (as shown in the photo below).

paddle board

Now you'll stand on the right side (passenger side) of your car and throw the straps over the top of your paddle board near the support beams of your roof rack leaving the buckles of the straps dangling on the rails (as shown in the picture below).

Pro Tip: Having the buckles be on the passenger side of the car provides safety for yourself if you need to pull off to tighten or adjust on the road.

stand up paddle board

Head over to the left side of the car, and loop the straps under their support beams and throw them back over to the right side, the side of the buckle.

Once you're back to the right side with the buckle you will loop under their support beams as you did with the left side and feed the strap through the buckles and tighten them down.

Pro Tip: You can twist the strap on top of the board to prevent the straps from making a lot of noise while you're driving.

how to strap a sup on your car

Check to make sure the board is secure and won't slide around by pushing and pulling on the stand up paddle board and ensure that it's staying in place. If it moves then you will tighten the straps.

To tighten you'll just pull on the loose strap coming from the buckle that you fed through earlier (as shown in picture below).

standup paddle board

Now you finish up you will tuck away the loose end of the strap to avoid the strap flying around and making noise while you are driving. There are two ways you can do this.

The first being that you can tie the loose end of the strap by tying it off to itself (as shown in the picture below).

paddle board strapped on vehicle

The second option is to just simply close the door on the strap and have it dangle in your car while you drive.

You did it! Great job!


Removing your board

To remove your board is just to work backwards from what you did to strap it on.

You'll begin by unsecuring the loose ends of the straps, next you'll loosen the buckle and pull the strap back through until it is free from it.

Once both ends are separated, pull the end of the strap off the board, place your straps back in your car or bag, grab your board off your car and enjoy your paddle!

Check out our other tutorials here and our Glide Paddle Boards that are made to last.


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