When it comes to surfboard racks, the two main options are a hard rack or a soft rack. Soft surfboard racks are a popular choice for many reasons. However, there are also a few disadvantages to a soft rack. Whether or not a soft rack is the right choice depends on what vehicle the rack will be used on, as well as where the surfboards will be transported.
Soft racks usually consist of a pad and strap system. The pads of the rack sit on top of the car. A set of strong straps is then wrapped around the pads, and through the windows of the car. The straps secure inside the car, at the ceiling. After the surfboards are placed on the pads, another set of straps wraps around the top of the boards and secures them to the pads. Most soft rack straps have buckles that make it simple to ensure that the surfboards are tightly secured and will not move during transit.
The simplicity of a soft rack gives it several advantages. Because they are lightweight, flexible and uncomplicated, they are very easy to put on or take off of a vehicle. For people who do not always use the same vehicle to transport boards, these racks are an excellent option, since they can be moved and remounted so easily. In addition, because of their straightforward design, soft racks are also usually much less expensive than other rack styles.
In addition, soft racks can be mounted to a wide range of vehicles, from cars to vans. Vehicle gutters are not needed to mount these racks. Soft racks can also be mounted to a vehicle that already has permanent top crossbars.
The disadvantages of a soft surfboard rack become apparent when surfboards are being transported over longer distances or at faster speeds. Soft racks are not as durable or sturdy as hard racks. For this reason, they are designed more for short trips. Over longer trips, the straps of the racks can sometimes fray. In addition, soft racks should not be used at speeds over about 45 miles per hour. At these speeds, boards strapped to soft racks may catch the wind, which could cause the board to shift. However, in almost any other circumstance, soft racks are usually an ideal choice.
One of the most reliable soft racks is the Block Surf Wrap-Rax Single. This rack consists of two pads that cushion the board during transit. The straps of the rack are extremely durable. The simple design makes this rack particularly easy to mount onto a vehicle. The rack can safely hold between one and three surfboards.
For those who need to transport more surfboards, another excellent soft rack choice is the Block Surf Wrap-Rax Double. This rack functions in a manner very similar to the Block Surf Wrap-Rax Single, and features soft pads and heavy duty buckles. However, the pads of this rack are doubled, so up to six surfboards can be transported at a time.
Another fantastic soft surfboard rack option is the Ocean & Earth Multipurpose Rack. This rack is designed to carry whatever is necessary, from surfboards to snow gear. For this reason, it is the perfect option when boards of varying sizes need to be transported. The rack is adjustable and offers the maximum amount of padding and protection.