Approximately 130 million Americans live in coastal communities but the majority of those live more than the veritable stone’s throw away. The beach is often reachable following a long walk or a short drive, and if you’re watching your wallet/the environment or just trying to save a few bucks, a bicycle might be your transport of choice.
That begs the question, if you have a 6’ to 12’ surfboard, a journey of several miles, and nothing but a bike to get you there, what are your options?
How to Carry a Surfboard on a Bike
There are a few ways you can carry a surfboard on your bike. It all depends on your budget and patience.
Buy a Bike Rack
A bike rack is a simple but sturdy contraption that attaches to the side or back of your bike. Just slip your surfboard inside and ride. It’ll stay safe and protected throughout the journey and you shouldn’t have too many issues maneuvering your bike.
Bike racks cater for boards of all sizes. They’re not necessarily a one-size-fits-all, however, and if you have a Longboard you should look for a rack designed specifically for these boards.
You can expect to pay between $80 and $200 on average for a bike rack and we’ve listed a few decent options below, all of which are available from Amazon (prices are relevant at the time of writing).
- Ho Stevie! = Study, safe, secure, and very affordable.
- Moved by Bikes Longboard Rack = Ideally suited for Longboards, with a wider spacing between the bars to allow for increased stability.
- Onefeng Sports Surfboard Rack = Easy to install and fits all types of bikes.
- Carver Surf Rack = A good and cheap option from Carver.
Make Your Own Bike Rack
If you don’t have the cash for a bike rack but are good at working with your hands, why not make your own? There are a few great guides on making bike racks, including this one, and the process is quite cheap and simple.
You will need some basic tools that you probably already have (screwdriver, drill, hacksaw) some cheap PVC pipe, bungee cords, and insulation. That’s really all you need.
Use a Surf Backpack
A surf backpack is designed to carry Shortboards and can be used when walking or cycling. It can be a cheaper option than a bike rack, but there are backpacks that will cost you upwards of $200, so it really all depends on the brand, material, and any additional functionality that the pack provides.
Summary: Ride Safe
Let’s be honest, we’ve all ridden with a surfboard under our arm. It’s the poor man’s bike rack, but it’s also a very risky strategy. You’re one strong gust of wind away from damaging your board, bike, and causing injury to yourself. It might be easier with Shortboards and short trips, but even then, there is an element of risk.
If you’re traveling by bike, keep the above recommendations in mind and splash the cash on a bike rack if you can afford it. Not only will it make your life easier, but if you need to make a lot of trips to the beach, it could save you from expensive repair and eventually pay for itself.