There are only a few solid options for carrying a rigid paddle board on the roof rack of your vehicle. After evaluating the options and getting feedback from the regulars in the Portland SUP community, the Yakima SUP Dawg roof rack stood out as the most appealing option, thanks to the ease of loading, security features, and capacity.
The SUP Dawg rack has a very well-thought-out design making it very user-friendly. It’s easy to install and carries boards securely. For long trips, the inclusion of a bow tie-down adds security, but for local trips to our paddle spots, I’ve never felt the need to use it as the straps hold boards securely.
- Includes everything needed to carry up to 2 SUP boards
- Tool-free installation
- Integrated rollers for easy loading of oversized SUP boards
- Fits Yakima round, factory, aero, and square bars
- Adjusts to boards up to 36” wide
- Soft padding cradles and protects boards
- Integrated strap management stows straps during travel
- Bow and Stern Tie-Down included
- SKS Locks included; locks racks and board
Installing the rack is simple. Place it on the bars and turn the knob until it’s secure. Each piece includes matching SKS (Yakima’s same key system) lock cores for security.
Both my hardboards are 14′ long performance racing boards, and though they’re quite long and can be challenging to manage at times, it’s easy to put them on the rack thanks to the rollers that ease the loading experience. Once the board is placed on the rack, I simply toss the straps over the board, position the rubber bits on the straps and cinch it down. The clever strap integration keeps the straps from flapping in the wind and out of the way, and a twist of the key offers some peace of mind when leaving the boards on the roof.
The rack will hold up to two boards; for stacking a second board, a form of foam padding like pool noodles between the boards is a good idea to protect the boards and adds a bit of compression to cradle them.
Though they’re a bit of an investment, (the Yakima SUP Dawg sells for $349.) it’s worth the peace of mind when transporting my full carbon race board, and I expect to get years of service from it. A less expensive option would be to add simple rack pads and straps; (I use this option on my van) however, this option takes time to secure the board each time you take it on and off. The push button to release the straps takes seconds, and as I’m paddling boarding on a regular basis, the ease and speed of loading was well worth the cost to me.
I’ve also received excellent customer support from Yakima for other products in the past, (I currently have a matching 2 bike hitch rack and the matching set looks nice) and expect the same here. Check it out at Yakima.com or support the site and shop for yours at retail partner REI.com.
Disclaimer: Yakima provided the SUP Dawg at a discounted price for this review.