We all know what plane travel can do to boards. Every surfer has a horror story about dinged-up noses, snapped fins or worse. But the humble car ride does more subtle damage over time we often neglect. Pressure dings, rail cracks or just the old Irish wax job - thankfully there are some easy fixes and workarounds that keep your sleds pristine for longer. Here are some key tips to protect your surfboards in the car...
Stack and Pack
Nose to tail? All on top? Or crisscross? There’s no one single best way to pack surfboards in a car because all vehicles and boards are different shapes and sizes. But, there are some fundamentals when keeping things safe. Stack everything so it’s neat and won’t topple over. Avoid noses digging into the flat bottom of another board. Keep fins clear from grinding on rails. You might be tempted to just chuck everything when it’s pumping, but take a tiny bit of time and you’ll avoid most unnecessary damage.
Watch out for knobs
No one likes dealing with a knob so this might sound like general life advice. It’s key when protecting your surfboards in a car too. Most of the time people put seats down to slide boards in the back. It leaves exposed metal clasps to the side, or maybe something protruding up from the back of the folded-down seat. A well-placed towel or tee should help cover things up if you don’t have any more heavy duty protection.
Keep your leashes out from between boards
You might not know it, but having a leash between two boards is a recipe for big long pressure dings that either span from rail to rail or go up your board like a snake. Ever wonder where that odd-shaped dent on the bottom of your board came from, this is probably the culprit. Take your leash right off if you’re really worried or just make sure they’re loose at the back instead of sandwiched in the quiver.
Choose the right boardcover
Space is at a premium in cars, so sliding in your quad travel cover isn’t going to cut it if you’re zipping to the local beach with a few friends. Board socks are gold for in-car protection against small knocks and unwanted wax rub off. The Creatures Aero Lite sock has been designed to be even more streamlined (we originally made it for our team guys to have something sleek and bulk free in the WSL locker rooms). If you want something with a little more protection for 4WDing, think about a Day Use Cover to slide your board in and out of.
Think outside the car
Jamming too much inside the car is an easy way to cause damage to your boards. Keep some tie downs handy just in case you need to put things on the roof. And, if you don’t have racks, these ones are a handy portable option that are also epic on hire cars when you want to avoid insurance excess.
So, with a tiny bit of thought and care it’s easy to keep your surfboards protected in your car. It’s helpful to have the right equipment, but stacking the right way, using towels and wetsuits for buffers, and keeping fibreglass away from metal are all solid options no matter what kind of kit you’re using.
To shop boardcovers and other premium surf accessories head to the Creatures online store here.