Standup Paddleboard Car Roof Rack




Introduction: Standup Paddleboard Car Roof Rack

About: Hobby Builder. Practical Creativity. Lifehacks. Instagram: #dk25projects

DIY Poolnoodle Roof rack • thick pool noodles • vinyl coated clothing wire • Zip ties

For Straps: Kanulock Straps - nylon coated wire straps with lock! Whatever cuts nylon, doesn't cut wire. Whatever cuts wire, doesn't cut nylon.

Step 1: The Design

Improved pool noodle roof rack. With my first design and this design, I got up to 90mph with 2 boards on my BMW (Kanulock straps) and it held solid! This is an improved design taking the roof and board shape into consideration as well as adding vinyl tubing & pipes inside the noodles.

Length of rack = 85% of car roof length

Width of rack = depends on board width but with decent amount of space to the roof edge

Works great on naked roof! Matrix style vs 2 single noodles prevents roof from denting in bc of weight distribution. Supplies needed:

  • A sketch with your measurements of your roof
  • Your Paddle boards as models
  • 3 thick pool noodles
  • 2-3 thin pool noodles
  • Vinyl coated clothing wire
  • Zip ties to secure ends of wire
  • Measuring tape
  • Marker
  • Xacto-knife
  • Wire Cutter
  • Cargo straps (run thru frame of car)
  • (Preferential: extra pool noodle pieces to cushion edges of board, depending on the straps, they may or may not leave marks or dents the tighter you'll pull the straps. And tying the straps tight and secure should be your first concern)

Step 2: Cutting the Noodles in Place

The Length of this rack should be about 85% of your car roof length, mostly depending on the concavity of your car roof tho. It needs to fit. No wobble, no excess! Safety first!

  • Line up the noodles in a grid and cut them accordingly.
  • thick noodles build the outside of the rack because of the shape of your board (see Pic)
  • pull clothing wire thru the noodles tentatively so you are able to see how it lines up without them rolling off the board and also to keep them in place to not lose track of their position
  • cut/correct accordingly

Step 3: Insert and Cut Vinyl Tubing & Pipe

I've used both, but really the use of either is fine as well as preferential as well as a fitting question. Thin and thick pool noodles do not have the same inner diameter. That was my main reason to use vinyl pipe on the thin noodles and vinyl tubing on the big noodles. Find whatever pipe or tube you want as long as it fits snug.

The main reason for this design is being able to really tighten the wire, without it eventually cutting thru the pool noodle, rupturing it and you having to redo the whole thing OR even worse, causing an accident on your Drive.

Step 4: Wiring the Rack

This step is super important!

  • Every pool noodle NEEDS to be connected with adjacents! Even if that means the wire runs thru the tube/pipe twice or triple.
  • Pull tight as you go. Find something to cause a stop "in pull" where you start, like a clamp OR
  • if you already know your wire's path, you may already zip tie the wire on its first round so that it allows you to pull the wire tight thru the rest of the tubes/pipes.
  • This step may require a few attempts. It's ok. As long as the end result is TIGHT!

Step 5: Securing the Ends

  • Zip tie and cut the remaining pieces off.
  • Go a bit extra on the wire and tug it into the tube in case the rack does loosen up a bit, which it will over time, so it doesn't become undone and you can easily tighten it again.

Step 6: Fitting & Tying the Board Down

  • The noodles should NOT go further out than your board.
  • If so, retie it. You may or may not have to cut off more from the horizontal noodles
  • For Straps I can recommend:
  • regardless of straps, it helps to cushion the edges of your board when tying it tight. And you want the straps to be tight! Safety should be your first concern.

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    4 years ago on Step 6

    Interesting concept for securing a SUP on a car top without roof rack. I drive a small hatch with no gutters so have used tie downs or soft racks for surf boards in the past. With new SUPs in our lives I was wondering how to go. I’m sure this concept will work, especially for me - only driving 500 metres to the nearest lake. However, I would also be a bit concerned about travelling at such high speeds. Having said that, those lockable racks have stainless steel wire - pretty strong stuff so a lot stronger than the nylon webbing we have used on smaller boards. I think I will experiment with suaged loops rather than cable ties. Even UV treated cable ties don’t perform reliably outside in Oz.


    4 years ago

    I really like the concept of this design


    I have NO confidence in zip-ties holding the vinyl covered wire. I predict that the vinyl will rip under stress and then the zip-tie will slide off.

    Also; you don't have the pvc pipe and vinyl tubing in your list of supplies.


    5 years ago

    Think this would work for a small kayak on a Honda Fit?


    6 years ago

    I know we are supposed to make positive and constructive comments, but I have to say this

    Yes this is a well thought out a carried out project


    It is thoughtless, irresponsible and dangerous to try this out by travelling at 90mph. If the project failed the board would have been a missile travelling at 90mph, and could have caused a very nasty accident.


    Reply 5 years ago

    A missile? How exactly? If anything was failing it wouldnt be the rack but the straps. So, claim dismissed.


    Reply 5 years ago

    Thanks for your concern but these are heavy accusations for well out thoughts! Do you honestly think I'm that stupid to not consider that or to recklessly speed up from 0 to 90mph? First of all what are your concerns in terms of "failing"? It is tied solid thru the frame. The rack is more cushion and protection than carry only. I drive 70 on average. No reckless bs here.