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5 Ways To Transport A Paddle Board Without A Roof Rack

Paddle board next to car without roof racks

You don’t have to live near a body of water to enjoy stand up paddling. There are many ways to transport a paddle board without a roof rack, and even without a car. In this article, we’ll show you five different ways to get your paddle boarding gear from A to B. Let’s dive right in!

How Do You Transport a Paddle Board Without a Roof Rack?

There are several alternatives to roof racks when you want to transport a paddle board:

  • Transport Belts
  • SUP Trolley
  • Car Trunk
Transport A Board Without Roof Rack
Source: Shutterstock

Transport Belts

Tie-down straps or belts are vital to secure a board to the roof rack – but they can be very useful even without one. To transport a SUP on the car with just that, you also need a few EVA foam blocks. These are placed between the car roof and the board to prevent shifting and damage to surfaces.

The transport belts are attached through the open doors of the car. So, place the foam blocks on the car roof, balance the paddle board on them, and wrap at least two straps around the board. Then thread them through the open doors and secure them at the other end. Tighten the straps so that they are connected inside the car. This way it will be harder for someone to steal them.

Don’t forget to close the car doors before you start driving! 😉

Pelican Tie Down Strap with Buckle Bumper

  • heavy-duty
  • 15 ft long, 1 inch wide
  • for loads up to 500 lbs (227 kg)
  • UV resistant
  • plastic buckle bumper

SUP Trolley

A SUP trolley is a small two-wheeled cart placed underneath the board which is then in turn strapped onto the car. This is a practical solution because it allows you to transport the craft easily even after you detach it from the car.

SUP Trolley
Source: Surfshop Andreas

Apart from using the standard trailer hitch that you might have on your car, you can also get a special multitrack trailer. With this, you can transport not only SUP carts, but also luggage boxes, bike racks, and more.

As per usual, multiple tension straps will be necessary to secure the board to the trolley and to the car.

Pelican Canoe Kayak and SUP Transport Cart

  • universal – for canoe, kayak & SUP 
  • carries up to 175lbs (80kg)
  • 7.5ft. (2,2m) adjustable strap included
  • aluminum frame and soft foam handles
  • lightweight and corrosion-resistant

Car Trunk

Besides the inflatable paddle boards, you can also transport normal SUPs in the trunk. In this case, you’ll need to secure them in the trunk so they don’t slide around – or fall out!

In addition, consider padding to keep the board from coming into direct contact with hard surfaces. Wrapping it in a soft fabric can help you avoid scratches and dents on your SUP, or holes if it’s inflatable. Some options for good padding are a SUP sock, a special SUP travel bag, or simply a thicker blanket.

Note that in some places you will need to attach an alert signal to the end of the board that sticks out from the vehicle. This is usually a red flag made from a piece of cloth or plastic film that you tie or tape to the board. This is because other drivers need to know that you have cargo with excess length.

KONA SURF Insulated SUP Travel Bag

  • foam padding
  • insulating case
  • waterproof lining
  • carrying handles
  • shoulder strap

How To Transport A Paddle Board Wihtout A Car

If you don’t have to go far to reach you SUP destination, consider taking the bicycle!

Bike Trailer

Apart from transporting your SUP by car, a bicycle is a good idea if your paddling spot is within reach on two wheels. In this case, you can buy a bike trailer that you attach to the back of the bike and haul the SUP on it.

As opposed to the buggy, a bike trailer doesn’t have the special features that make attaching a SUP to it quick and easy. Instead, you have to take great care to securely attach the SUP and protect it from impact.

Transport SUP With A Bike Trailer
Source: Amazon

Last but not least, biking with a paddle board in tow can be challenging for newbies. So take some time before your trip to get used to maneuvering safely.

Still, because of the extra weight, a bike trailer is best suited for transporting only inflatable SUPs or small waveboards.

SUP Wheels Evolution X Inflatable Board Carrier

  • includes a strap with rubber handle
  • plastic wheels (never flat)
  • works on sandy underground
  • UV resistant, saltwater safe
  • floats in water


Inflatable SUPs are a great solution if you don’t have a roof rack or don’t want to use it. When deflated, they can be rolled up and stowed in a backpack, suitcase, or simply in the car trunk. The paddles are usually either telescopic or can be taken apart into parts.

In case you want to pre-inflate your SUP and transport it in this state, be advised that you shouldn’t leave it like that for too long. When exposed to strong sunlight, the air pressure in inflated SUPs can rise to the point where the seams burst. You definitely don’t want that to happen.

Ideally, you should inflate the board to a certain point and take an electric pump with you so you can top off the pressure right before paddling.

Read also: What SUP Pump Adapter Do I Need for My Inflatable SUP?

Retrospec iSup Ruck Sack

  • foam padding
  • insulating case
  • waterproof lining
  • carrying handles
  • shoulder strap

Final Thoughts

You see, there are many ways to transport a paddle board without a roof rack. Even if you don’t own a car at all, there are ways to get the gear to your desired destination. If you do have a vehicle, you can also transport other watersports equipment. Read our article on how to lock a kayak to a roof rack for more information.

If you have any questions, feel free to use the comment section below or get in touch via email!

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