× Tips and techniques for getting the most out of surfskiing.

Travelling with you Surfski

3 years 9 months ago #27255 by CJM
Just wanted to share my latest experience with travelling in high winds and my surkski.
Drove down to Wollongong yesterday from Sydney early in the morning. The winds were light and nothing to be concerned about when travelling on the freeway at 110km/hr. But on the way home the wind had picked up to Gale force. I had to pull over in fear of my kayak getting ripped off the roof. The whole car was shaking sideways from the wind. Luckily I had this device from Rhino-Rack to secure the nose. Easily opened up the bonnet, threw in the hatch fastener and secured the nose of my Epic V10.
What other options are there for securing your kayak to car?
I must say this simple strap worked a treat but surely people are travelling with other devices?
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3 years 9 months ago #27265 by WingSuit
Thule and some others make similar hood pinch strap hangers. My question is, wouldn't it need to be attached on both sides of the boat? The pictured setup would only secure it against wind from one side. If the wind shifts, do you just drive in reverse to get the line on the correct side?

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3 years 9 months ago #27267 by photofr
Replied by photofr on topic Travelling with you Surfski
Thule and Yakima both make rack extensions. The "poor man's way" is to attach a ladder on your rack, and place pads on both ends.

In my experience, using bow straps:
1. They need to pull right and left (not just left)
2. Bow straps leave marks on your ski, especially on longer trips (try going across the USA and back, and see the damages for yourself).
3. If you are going to use bow straps, you may want to flip your ski (hull facing the sky) and use your ski bow handle to secure the front end)

You may want to consider that side wind typically impacts the front of your car more than the rear. Since the bow has far more surface area, I’d remove the rudder and place the stern on the front of the car. It’s far from “common practice” but I assure you that it’s a day and night difference.

Personally, and looking at your setup (and since you already have saddles) I’d extend my bars to spread the load and to provide more ski support, and I would simply put the stern in front of the car. Try it both ways on the highway at high speed – if nothing else, it’s a nice way to break the boring long distance drive.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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3 years 9 months ago - 3 years 9 months ago #27271 by drjay9051
I have had great success with Goodboy racks

goodboykayaks.com/

Essentially 2 aluminum V bars . Simple. Ski secured with bungees at both V's. Some people use a cam strap for extra security (included with rack) in case a bungee breaks. I just use 2 bungees on each V bar.

Cost all of $200 plus of course the base rack be it Thule, Yakima etc.

Best money I have spent aside of course from money spent on skis.

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3 years 9 months ago #27277 by red_pepper
I also use Goodboy Racks, but I add tie-downs front and rear using parachute cord and a kind of modified half-hitch sliding knot. The boats are held securely in all kinds of wind and at freeway speeds, with no damage to boats (and I've carried them all across the country for thousands of miles).

I've attached photos of how I tied the boats when I had my Magnum.
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3 years 9 months ago #27279 by photofr
Replied by photofr on topic Travelling with you Surfski
:) perhaps we don't travel at the same speeds in the US. I once had a ski badly scuffed with the cover flapping in the wind. Another had similar problems and showed scuff marks on the bow following my tie-down version on the bow using straps.

I now avoid both, but to each his own if this works for you.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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3 years 9 months ago #27281 by red_pepper

photofr wrote: :) perhaps we don't travel at the same speeds in the US. I once had a ski badly scuffed with the cover flapping in the wind. Another had similar problems and showed scuff marks on the bow following my tie-down version on the bow using straps.

I now avoid both, but to each his own if this works for you.


I travel up to 80 mph. :) My covers (on a variety of Epic and Stellar skis plus some OC's) have never been a problem; not sure what cover you are using. As for tie-downs, I'm using parachute cord, which is far less likely to cause damage than a strap. I keep them taught, but they have a little stretch if there's a problem, and they don't have as much mass as a strap or the flat side of a strap (that tend to catch wind and buffet the strap).

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3 years 9 months ago #27282 by photofr
Replied by photofr on topic Travelling with you Surfski
80... that's what we used to do on the way to Whitefish MT, on an icy day ahahahah

Yeah, I can see where your lines would be better than the straps I used, but I wasn't about to try anything else.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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3 years 9 months ago #27283 by red_pepper
But I probably accelerate harder to 80... ;)

I've had more issues when travelling without a cover; black marks from cradles (not really an issue with the Goodboy V-bars), bug splatters, road grime, and strap marks. The covers also keep things a lot quieter. I had the plastic wrap on a customer's boat start to come apart and flap like crazy when bringing back a boat from my area rep; thankfully I had a cover for the boat and a set of boat cradles with me. I stopped at a rest area, put the boat in the cradles, and proceeded to remove the plastic wrap and place the boat in the cover. Problem solved...

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3 years 9 months ago - 3 years 9 months ago #27284 by Kiwi Dave
I've also had problems with cross winds carrying my skis / kayak. Something I did to help out was to make some custom composite cradles directly off the boat(s) where they sit in the roof rack cradles. This avoids having a point load where the cradle meets the boat ... I've never liked how little the cradles contact the boat and you can imagine what happens with a twisting motion when a big gust hits the front of the ski.

Here are some I made for my SES, they still have the peel-ply on but once this is removed i line with 5mm EVA foam and they're complete. They reduce the boat movement and ensure 100% contact so the strapping load is nicely distributed :)

Full run down of how I made these is here for anyone who might wish to do the same:
paddlesports.co.nz/index.php?threads/mak...-for-those-boats.22/
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The following user(s) said Thank You: Uffilation

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3 years 9 months ago #27285 by photofr
Replied by photofr on topic Travelling with you Surfski
I feel like there are many different ways that work well for carrying a surfski on a car or truck; different schools for different folks.

Perhaps we should focus on what doesn’t work:
In France, for instance, I have heard of so many FAILURES. Usually, it’s just ski damage where you strap it down, unfortunately, I have never heard of a broken skis during transport before coming to France. Here’s what I am seeing…

Strap damages:
Don’t use ratchet straps.
Hand tighten your ski with quality straps, ideally a 2” wide strap.
Drive a little, pull over, and retighten the whole system before taking on huge distances.
Try not to tighten the system like a madman (I have seen this guy put his entire weight on the straps).
Use a cradle if you want to make sure to minimize strap damages.

Breaking a ski with side wind:
Don’t blame your small car. I had a 3 cylinder car for 3 years, with a 20 feet long surfski 24/7 on the roof in Hawaii; plenty of wind, not one single transport damage.
Spread your bars to their max. Use bar spreaders if need be, because it’s cheaper than buying a new ski. Use a ladder if you are on a super tight budget.

Racks, Cradles / Saddles:
For the most part, French people are using cheap racks. Some have just come off their roofs completely. Perhaps it’s absurd, but I’d rather use no racks on a car rather than use a 45 euro version.
I like Thule racks better, but I like Yakima’s saddles. They are just super simple and offer ample support for my taste.
The V Cradle doesn’t make too much sense to me. Perhaps great for the bow, but I fail to see how a V-shaped cradle will provide more support than a rounded shaped one.

There’s little doubt in my mind that a longer roof (think Volvo V70 XC), huge bar spread, and a shorter ski will make a huge difference (that’s just pure physics). I fail to see where strapping down the bow is necessary: a statement I can make after having driven 1000’s upon 1000’s of miles with a surfski on the roof of various cars. Trust that my college car was a royal piece of $&#^% - a Suzuki Swift, 3 doors, with a 1.3 liter engine.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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3 years 9 months ago #27286 by seajak
Replied by seajak on topic Travelling with you Surfski
I always use tie downs at the bow and stern of my boats as a safety measure when I know I'm going to be traveling at highway speeds. I have a friend who had a a sea kayak come off the car roof when the racks failed. It only had a tie down at the stern and was badly damaged but at least it didn't fly into a following car. One of the scariest moments I've had driving was when a surfboard flew off the car in front of me at 110kph. I had nowhere to go as I was in the centre lane of a three lane freeway and no time to stop. Fortunately the board blew off to one side otherwise it was coming straight through my windscreen. I use good quality racks and they are unlikely to fail but I'd rather be safe than sorry.

cheers,
clay

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3 years 9 months ago - 3 years 9 months ago #27287 by Punches
Replied by Punches on topic Travelling with you Surfski
It's not very aesthetically pleasing but transporting your ski with the stern pointing forward makes a significant difference in crosswinds. You need to adjust your cradles to suit and setting them up so the ski sits as low to the cross bar as possible without the bailer catching makes a big difference. Bow and stern straps are good insurance and using parachute chord makes a lot of sense to me.

I'm a fan of the V bar types because they stretch the cradle base for the boat on small cars. In Australia you should be able to source one of these with custom shapes to fit various hull shapes. I can't remember the supplier but I'm sure someone here will. My paddle back shuttle buddy has one and we carry two skis stern first in 30-40 knot winds.

My 1975 VW Type 2 is rock solid with 3 skis on the roof. The skis never move because the distance between the cross bars is almost 3 metres. Driving is another matter in strong crosswinds but at least the skis are safe.

Currently own Fenn Elite S, Renegade Double
Previously owned Epic V8, Think Legend, Stellar SES

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3 years 9 months ago #27295 by Uffilation
that VW plus 3 skis = coolest combo imaginable

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2 years 4 months ago - 2 years 4 months ago #30901 by TC SURF SKI downunder
No eBay APP ID défined in Kunena configuration10mm White Closed cell polyethylene foam is your new friend.

This is my first contribution - so forgive if the main point has been suggested before.

First - for a variety of reasons - I prefer upright transportation of skis (reason 1 - the strongest part of the ski - the start of the front deck - is where I'd prefer most strap pressure and reason 2 - I have a high car (Nissan Navara / Frontier).

For the Navara - I use the front most point on the factory roof rails with a Thule Cross Bar and the rear point is a removable sports bar (with a Thule Cross Bar to get same height as front). So close to 3 meters between the front and the rear. I have 140 cm bars so can fit three skis. The front have 3 really high Aluminium Holders - see the attached.



These are excellent for 2 reasons. First ensuring the V10's stay still until I can get the straps on (yes I do this almost immediately). Second they make it really difficult to not centre in the cradle. I also have a second cross bar with ROLA kayak holders immediately after these which take more of the ski weight and spread the hull pressure.

On both - after the initial strap is on (Ludovic's suggestion for 2 inch straps is brilliant)- I insert the pads of 10mm white foam (these are wider than each of the saddles) - which does a great job of spreading the load of the kayak holders (especially on the V10GT).

The rear I have two of the same front Aluminium carriers - plus the Hully Rollers in the centre. Tying the straps on the rear I also use the same 10mm white foam.

I have tried other saddles like the Mako, plus others - but this seems the best set-up I've used. I'd LOVE Cliff's V Bars with more curved V Bars to suit the front shape of the V10 as I suspect they'd spread terrifically the pressure on the hull.

So think about the 10mm White Foam.

Second - the value of nose holder. On the more commercial 4x4's I've had (Navara, Jeep Wrangler, Land Rover Defender - and my old 1989 F150) - they all have great spots to attach the nose. HOWEVER - I would not use a nose holder as the ladder chassis does have movement relative to the body (especially the Navara dual cab and the F150) On a rougher road or going over a train line - having three contact points could cause extra load on the front (and ski damage). A car or a Monocoque SUV would not have this issue. Plus the distance of more than 2 metres means the need for the front nose holder is significantly less.

Again - apologies in advance if the main point - 10mm white foam - has been made.

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2 years 4 months ago #30906 by Ole
Replied by Ole on topic Travelling with your Surfski
Do you have some pics of the configuration on your Nissan?

Thanks,

Ozean OSS3 SL, OSS4 SL, OSS1

Previously: Fenn Elite Glide, DD3 Albatross (2x), Vajda Hawx 43, Think Uno Max, Think Evo II, Epic V8, Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 sports

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2 years 4 months ago #30911 by Fath2o
Replied by Fath2o on topic Travelling with you Surfski
I would advise caution loading your ski on the roof with the tail facing forward. The steering system can be damaged if the rudder is not secured or removed. I am partial to the ladder, pool noodles (or equivalent) and rope approach. Works great. I have been using rope to secure paddle craft to racks for decades with no failures. Much easier to use than straps once you learn a cache of good knots. My racks are set up with dock cleats and rope to secure items from surfskis to hundreds of kilos of lumber (on commercial racks of course).
What ever mouse trap you decide, good luck.

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2 years 4 months ago #30912 by Wombat661
I have not driven far with my surfski yet.
For what is worth, as an engineering fellow, I cringe each time I see a single rope holding the front and/or tail of the ski. If the purpose is to prevent the front of the ski from lifting up and flying up, that is great. However, if the purpose is prevent the ski from moving due to a side wind gust, a single rope puts a lot of stress on the ski. There is a big down force component while is trying to hold the ski from moving side to side.

Two ropes tying to the left and right side of the hood would be a much better solution.

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2 years 4 months ago #30913 by nwsurfskier
If it's available to you I'd recommend V bars. I've had a set of Goodboy V bars for several years carrying V10 ultra, 75mph on freeway, going slower of course with 40mph crosswinds. No issues and it takes less than a minute to strap it down with the bungy setup.
The following user(s) said Thank You: TC SURF SKI downunder

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2 years 4 months ago #30917 by Ranga
Replied by Ranga on topic Travelling with you Surfski
No sure about the steering being damaged loading a ski backwards, it just looks silly!

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