5 Things to Consider When Traveling with Solid Paddleboards
You love solid paddle boards, but you also love paddling in cool places. It’s possible to take your board on the road, you just have to make sure you have the right gear. Here are four things to consider:
1. How far are you going?
A simple strap system like this is perfect if you’re just heading down the street. But you’ll need something more substantial for longer distances. It really comes down to speed. If you know you’re going to be going faster than 55 mph, you need a more substantial rack system from companies such as Thule or Yakima. These racks are designed to handle the weight of multiple boards and secure them at high speeds.
Do not use ratchet straps. Too many paddleboards have been damaged or even cracked from being cinched down too tightly. Use cam straps that you tighten by hand.
2. What are you driving?
If you have a truck, two paddle boards can travel on the highway with the BOTE tailgate pad, which has straps to secure them. Just keep it to two boards, as the straps will be too short for more than that.
3. How rugged is the place you’re going?
It’s important to cover your board to protect it from fading from the sun or damage from the straps (the combination of heat and tension can cause indentations on uncovered paddleboards). You have two options: a board sock or a board bag. A sock protects paddleboards from UV damage while a bag help protect it from all the elements. The BOTE team even has seen a board that survived a roof rack failure on the highway thanks to a board bag. Bottom line if you anticipate extreme conditions, a bag is worth the investment.
4. How will you store it when you get there?
Hotel elevators and paddleboards don’t mix. If you plan on storing them on top of your car when they’re not in use, you’re going to want to lock them down. Be sure to have the right long-term solution.
5. How will you get your gear to the water?
When you’re on the road, you’ll occasionally luck into easy boat ramp access. More often, you’re having to park in obscure lots and hike a ways to the water. A Travelink™ sling will not only save your strength for paddling, it keeps you hands-free to carry any other gear such as your Tackle Rac. You could also use your board bag, then roll it up and store in bungees while paddling.