Have you caught the bug with the hottest new board sport? Stand Up Paddleboards (SUPs) may not be the biggest water sport (yet), but it is certainly the fastest growing. From recent visits to the ocean, and really any body of water, it seems like many have converted to SUPs. It is easy to see why stand up paddleboarding has swept the nation – it’s super fun, more approachable than surfing, and an excellent workout.
Paddleboarding offers the rider the ability to catch waves further out, ride smaller waves, or best of all, ride when and where there are no waves! The act of “standing on water” and paddling across rivers, lakes, or reservoirs is a novel idea and wasn’t possible in the realm of surfing. This has opened up opportunities for all the land-locked folk to get out and enjoy the nearest body of water. There is some resistance from “hardcore surfers” who claim SUPs are too easy or paddle boarders get in the way when surfing. But stand Up Paddleboarding, surfing, and any water sport for that matter are all about going out and enjoying the outdoors and having fun! Besides surfing legends like Laird Hamilton helped pioneer the sport.
With all the excitement over picking out your SUP, paddle, and other gear, storage of your paddleboard is often neglected. It’s easy to see why paddleboard storage is a low priority when all you can think about is your next session out on the water, but as soon as you get home with your board you’ll understand that storing your SUP is no trivial matter. If you’re used to surfing or other board sports, then transporting or storing your board might be as simple as throwing it in the trunk or standing it up in the corner of your room. Unfortunately, storing and transporting your SUP is a whole other beast. Additionally, with most SUPs costing $1000 or more, there is serious incentive to protect your investment and have proper storage and transportation methods in place.
With most SUPs being 8ft or longer, storing your SUP indoors becomes a real issue because most residential ceilings are only 8ft or 9ft tall. This rules out the option of standing your SUP upright in the corner. Additionally, the weight and sheer size of most paddleboards means a cheap do-it-yourself rack is out of the picture. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of rack and storage options available on StoreYourBoard that will let you easily and safely store your SUP. Below is a breakdown of the different types of racks we carry.
Wall racks are probably the most ubiquitous and diverse set of racks for SUP storage. When most people think “SUP rack,” the image that pops into their mind is most likely a wall rack. Wall racks are great because they make it easy to load and unload your SUP. This is especially important if you are going to be racking and removing your SUP board by yourself or if you are always going to have someone to help you. Wall racks give you the flexibility to mount as high or as low as you need on the wall in order to make it more accessible for you.
SUP wall racks come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and construction materials. For instance, we offer single board and multi-board options (up to three paddleboards per rack). Also, we offer everything from plastic to wood to stainless steel construction materials. Regarding the different styles of SUP racks we carry, some of our wall racks are oriented more towards display and showing off your board while some other racks are more utilitarian in trying to be as space efficient as possible. What type of paddleboard rack you choose will be up to your needs and wants.
Ceilings racks for stand up paddleboards are awesome if you are limited on space. They are by far the best option and sometimes the only options if you have a house or garage full of stuff on the floor and walls. Your ceiling space is almost never filled and is one of the most underutilized spaces for storage in general.
It may seem counter intuitive, but ceiling racks are also one of the safest places to keep your SUP. Having your paddleboard suspended up in the air will prevent any unwanted bumping into your board. Whether it be kids, cars, or pets, a ceiling rack keeps your SUP out of range and safely secured. We know how much SUPs can cost, so we see many customers pick the ceiling rack strictly based on safety concerns. The most important thing you need to consider about a SUP ceiling rack is whether or not you can easily load and unload it. If you are a strapping young lad or lass, you may be able to easily throw it up and bring it down. But if not, then you need to consider whether you will have someone to help you put your SUP into place depending on how heavy your board is. We offer single and multiboard SUP ceiling racks. One of the best ceiling SUP racks we offer has expandable capability so you can customize to your needs.
Freestanding racks are the best option if you are looking for a mobile storage solution or if you want to be able to store your SUP without damaging your walls and ceilings. Additionally, if you have concrete walls and drop ceilings, then a freestanding paddleboard rack may be your only option because wall and ceiling racks may not be feasible.
The majority of freestanding racks are going to hold your board level with the ground so that it won’t have any issue fitting inside typical residential buildings. As mentioned above, freestanding racks are great if you need a mobile solution. Whether you are a shop owner moving around boards on your showroom floor, or you just want to take your rack to and from your beach house, the freestanding rack is a great choice. There are also freestanding SUP racks that will hold your board vertically on display. These may be the least practical SUP racks, but are the coolest racks available. These vertical SUP display racks hold your board completely upright which looks awesome for display purposes and makes a great addition to retail shops. The word of caution on these racks though is that you must ensure you have adequate ceiling space. A typically residential ceiling is 8ft, so you must make sure that your board will fit in whatever space you have.
Storing your stand up paddleboard somewhere safe in your home or business is one thing, but figuring out a way to get it safely to your favorite watering hole is something entirely different. Unfortunately, stuffing a SUP in your trunk or trying to pin it down to your roof with your arm out the window just isn’t going to cut it. Fortunately, we carry a selection of SUP car racks and other accessories that make transporting your stand up paddleboard a breeze.
Regarding SUP car transport, roof racks are really the only option unless you have a truck with a long bed. If you don’t have a truck, then skip to the next paragraph. But, if you do and want to carry your SUP in it, then we recommend using a SUP tailgate pad so that your board doesn’t get damaged as it rests against your tailgate. If you have a truck but don’t want to carry your paddleboard in the bed, then you may want to consider getting a truck bed rack system. This will allow you to easily transport your SUP (plus other goodies) and still leave the entire bed free for other gear. But, if you’re like the rest of us and have a car or SUV, then a roof rack is going to be the only option for you to transport your SUP.
In your research to find the best roof rack, you may have noticed there are only a couple of SUP roof rack options for cars and SUVs. There are two main types of roof racks: racks for vehicles without a built-in rack and racks for vehicles that already have a roof rack. This may seem confusing, but keep reading and it will all make sense.
If your car or SUV doesn’t have a built-in roof rack, then your only option is a soft roof rack. Soft roof racks are effectively just big pads that sit on your roof that are held in place with straps. These racks are great because they allow you to carry your paddleboard without having to purchase your vehicle’s specific roof rack system. This means that they are universal! The soft roof racks will work just as well on your small sedan as they will on a large SUV. Another great feature of this roof rack is that it is quickly removable. A single strap (per pad) is used to secure the pad down, so installation and removal is quick and easy.
The other type of SUP roof rack is designed to work with the factory or aftermarket roof rack that is already installed on your vehicle. These racks are effectively add-ons to your existing roof rack that make it easier and safer to transport your paddleboard. This category of SUP roof racks can be broken up into two types: pads and dedicated racks.
SUP rack pads are easy to understand – they are simply pads that wrap around your current roof rack bars to provide protection. Let’s imagine a scenario where you have an SUV with a built-in roof rack that has two crossbars. If you want to carry your SUP somewhere, you are going to need to strap your SUP to those crossbars. One option would be to strap it directly to those bars, but this is a bad idea. You will most likely dent or ding your board and fiberglass repairs can be expensive. The other option is to pad those crossbars so they don’t damage your board. This is what SUP rack pads do – they pad your vehicle’s roof rack crossbars. They are designed to help distribute the weight which will prevent damage to your board. Additionally, they come with heavy duty Velcro which makes attaching or removing them from your vehicle quick and easy. Please note that the rack pad itself is not enough for you to transport you SUP. You must also have some way to tie your board down to the crossbars. We recommend either a standard tie down or a locking tie down if you plan to leave your board unattended.
As mentioned above, the other type of SUP rack is an add-on rack that will attach to your built-in roof rack and make it safer and more convenient to transport your paddleboard. Unlike your vehicle’s roof rack, these dedicated SUP roof rack add-ons are specifically designed to deal with the issue of transporting stand up paddleboards. Some of the advantages of this type of rack include: conforming around your board for snug fit, padded resting area for your SUP, built-in strapping system for easy storage, and some even have a lock and key system for security. While this style of rack is typically the most expensive, the features offered are well worth the money and we recommend this style to any of our customers who have a built-in roof rack on their vehicle. For instance, if you are looking for a rack with all of these features, then we recommend checking out the Thule SUP Roof Rack.
OK, so you have a ceiling rack for storage at home, and you have a roof rack with pads for transporting your SUP to your lake or beach house, but how do you get your paddleboard all the way to the water? As fun as stand up paddleboarding is, as you can see, the size of SUPs do present some tricky logistical transportation issues. Luckily, there are products specifically designed to bridge the gap between your home and car to the water. Here at StoreYourBoard, we carry two different types of short-range SUP transport products: the dolly and the strap. The SUP strap is a convenient strap that loops around your board and then over your shoulder. This takes a big load off your arms and puts it on your whole body and allows you to carry your board much further without fatigue. The SUP dolly is a specialized wheel and cart system that takes almost all the weight off you and puts it on the dolly. One of the best features about the dolly is it is designed for hand or bike transport - you can easily tow it behind a bike. If you’re looking for the easiest method, then we definitely recommend the SUP dolly. It comes with large wheels that are great for going over steps and even through the sand. One of these short-range SUP transport products seem unnecessary at first, but once you realize how much energy you can save for actually paddling out on the water, then you’ll never want to go back.
We hope you’ve found this SUP Storage and Transport Guide helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our SUP Gear Experts at info@StoreYourBoard.com.