Holidays are the best times for a getaway at the beach. These days, it seems like there are hundreds of eager people hauling their surfing, kayaking, or windsurfing equipment on top of their vehicles, ready to hit the water!
However, there are dangers to transporting windsurfing equipment on your car roof racks.
According to a study conducted in 2016 by the American Automobile Association (AAA), more than 200,000 crashes, 39,000 injuries, and 500 deaths were caused by objects falling from a vehicle. Most of the time these accidents were avoidable and were probably caused by improper installation of equipment, compromised cargo holds, or inappropriate use of tie-down straps.
Accidents involving watersports equipment occur regularly, and many of them happen while speeding down the road.
The Windsurfing Rig
Before we get into the safety aspects of securing your windsurfing equipment to your vehicle, let's have a quick look at basic setup.
A windsurfing rig is typically made up of a sail, mast, mast foot, and boom.
Image Source: ImproveWindsurfing
The windsurfing boards can be divided into three categories: longboards, shortboards, and mid-length boards. The ideal size will depend on your skill level, with larger boards recommended for beginners due to their better stability.
The length of the windsurfing board typically ranges from 2.2m to 3.5 and its width varies from 0.7m to 1.11m.
The whole equipment can weigh around 30kg, depending on the material the board is made of.
How to Transport Windsurfing Equipment
Surf equipment is heavy, bulky, and expensive and so the best way to transport windsurfing equipment is by putting it in a separate trailer. However, this can be expensive.
Of course, you could try stuffing it inside the car, but this is really only possible when you’re traveling alone and in a big vehicle. And all that unsecured equipment can cause a lot of damage to the occupant in the case of an accident.
So, if you’re traveling with friends or family, the best way to transport windsurfing equipment is by tying it down on the roof rack. This frees up more space for passengers and supplies inside the car.
Image Source: Surfer Today
Strapping the equipment on top of your car may seem difficult but not when you have the proper gear like a tie down strap from WRAPTIE™.
Strapping It Down
Let's get into the best and safest way to secure your watersports equipment for the long haul.
- Before starting, make sure your safety approved roof rack bars are properly secured to the roof of your vehicle.
- And it's a good tip to put soft pads on the roof rack bars to avoid damaging the windsurfing equipment.
- First up, lay the board on the roof rack pads with its fins up. The portion of the board with the fin should be pointed toward the windshield. This will prevent the board from slipping back since the fin will catch the strap before it completely slides away from the vehicle.
- If you have only one board to secure we recommend you grab a Wraptie™ 180 and get ready to ie it down!
- With the WRAPTIE™ in hand, secure the Fast Grab End to your roof rack.
- Next, take the remaining WRAPTIE™ and run it across the board, around the other side of the roof rack and then STRETCH until tight.
- Run the same end of the WRAPTIE™ back along itself making sure that the hook and loop tabs are aligned and firmly press together. Keep going until you have no more length to secure - And that's it! (WRAPTIE™ straps are rated to 50kg (110 lbs) with a minimum of 3 x tabs fully engaged)
- Repeat the process using the second tie down strap on the other end of the board.
- Once you are done, give the board or boat a push and see if moves. If not then everything should be good to go!
*PRO Tip - Use a WRAPTIE™ GRIPPER for extra grip on the boards
Some Tips on Transporting Windsurfing Equipment
Here are additional tips on how to transport windsurfing equipment safely using a roof rack strap:
- Check the straps regularly for damage. Constant exposure to the elements causes reactions that degrade the quality of the fibers in the tie down straps.
- If you decide to use a regular tie down strap the buckle is prone to becoming brittle due to the elements and the constant tension. Make sure to check regularly for cracks, rust, or other forms of damage that can reduce its effectivity.
- Use gear bags to store the mast, boom, and sails instead of putting them as loose items on the rack. This makes them easier to store and secure for transport using a tie down strap. Keep board bags on to reduce damage to the equipment.
- Avoid putting too many things on the roof rack. You’ll be putting yourself and those behind you at risk, especially in rainy and windy conditions. The excess baggage is more prone to slipping, especially on inclines. They may also obscure the vision of the drivers behind you and increase the chances of accidents.
- Always follow manufacturer guidelines on how to use tie down straps. Know the break strength and working load limit of the roof rack strap to identify what kind of equipment you can use it with.
- WRAPTIE™ straps do not vibrate when traveling at high speed due to their unique design. However, if you choose to use regular tie down straps, prevent vibrations by adding a half twist in the tie down strap.
The Best Windsurfing Straps Are WRAPTIE™ Straps
WRAPTIE™ is a multi-purpose tie down strap that can be used to secure any item in place. It can be used as a kayak strap, a windsurfing strap, or on almost anything that needs to be tied down to a steady position.
WRAPTIE™ is made of recycled materials sewn together to create a tough tie down strap with a rated strength of up to 50kg (110lbs) when at least 3 x tabs are fully engaged. Check out the short video below to see how quick and effective it really is.
For transporting windsurfing equipment, the best item to get is the WRAPTIE™ Twin Packs. You can use each strap to secure the upper and lower portion of the windsurfing gear on your car roof rack.