When it comes to bringing your inflatable board to and from your favorite paddling destination, you’ve got options. Some folks like using ropes, some roll the board up and shove it in the back seat, and a lot of paddlers use a few 15- or 20-foot cam straps on their car rack to get the job done.
Follow these Do’s and Don’ts for a smooth trip to the water’s edge.
DO buy high-quality straps with stainless steel cams with nice, sharp teeth to “bite” down when you cinch the strap
DO attempt to “spoon” the boards with each other, minimizing daylight between them, but DON’T get too caught up in perfection. Many boards of different shape, rocker and length simply don’t nest that well together.
DON’T throw the metal cam over the boards to the other side of your car! Throwing metal objects can put someone’s eye out! And seriously, an unlucky shot can ding your car or break your window.
DO hold the metal cam in your hand, and gather the remaining strap in your other hand to throw gracefully to the other side. Walk around, loop the strap under the your rack, and toss back over to the cam side, loop under the rack again, and cinch ‘em down.
DON’T succumb to the temptation of making all your straps perfectly flat! Add a twist. If the OCD person in you can’t handle this twist, you will be forced to listen to the loud, persistent buzzing of the taut strap in the wind as you drive. Your choice.
DO check your work. If you’re like me, your SUPs are worth more than your car, so make sure you tighten those straps.
DO remember that your board is inflatable, thus it’s always an option to deflate and roll it up if you brought too many friends and your straps aren’t long enough for the SUPStack!
Ashley Bean is a team rider for Hala Gear.