Last week was a crazy week. After surf wax melted to my dashboard, a day later while taking the car in for my weekly car wash to clean the salt off, I heard a loud POP sound.  I figured it was the already broken plastic thing on the top of my hatchback (ignore in pic), so I didn’t worry.  A few hours later while getting ready for a paddle, I noticed one of my Yakima roof rack towers was broken and the bar was hanging partially over the side of the car.


If this happens to you on the road far from a good rack store, you’re still in business using a bit of creativity.  Remove the other tower (unbroken one) then store the bar in your car.

Then think like a surfer without a rack

  • Look for a towel, yoga mat thin block of foam and place on the roof in the location of your previous bar (ideally at same level as other bar or remove the other bar. .
  • Place your board(s) on top of the material and other bar.
  • Then place your strap or rope over the board then through your doors and secure both ends in the car so the board is tight above you. If using rope or your strap doesn’t have a buckle use a Truckers Hitch to get the most security – unless you’re one of those boater or trucker types that knows 5 other better ways to tie things down – but us non industrial minded types stick to granny knots and trucker’s hitches. If you have one of those roof rails with holes in it,
  • See my post here on how to tie it down.
  • Attach rope or strap to each end of the board or kayak and to each bumper.
  • Test the board after tightening to make sure it’s secure, pulling and pushing from each end.

About Rob Casey – Named a pioneer in the SUP industry by Stand Up Journal, Rob is the author of “Stand Up Paddling Flat Water to Surf and Rivers” and “Kayaking Puget Sound and the San Juans, 60 Trips.” Rob owns SUP and Kayak school Salmon Bay Paddle in Seattle. He also runs several paddling races.


Salmon Bay Paddle SUP Tips