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Transporting your surfski

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9 years 11 months ago #21078 by Yellowfin
Hey guys, if you have both options available, is it better to transport your surfski upright or upside down on your vehicle over longer distances?

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9 years 11 months ago #21079 by [email protected]
I think the biggest issue is keeping the ski straight - you don't want it slipping sideways.

The rails are generally very strong so if it's upside down resting on the rails it should be ok (although I have seen stress fractures in the gelcoat from tightening the straps too hard.)

The Thule cradles are gentle on the ski - but can collapse if you're driving in very strong crosswinds.

On balance, right-way-up gets my vote as being gentler on the hull.

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...
The following user(s) said Thank You: Yellowfin

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9 years 11 months ago #21097 by LaPerouser
At the risk of contradicting the (in)famous Mr Mousley :laugh:

I'm going to vote for upside down :silly:

Most years I do a 2000km round trip with a ski on the roof, and I've tried both ways.

As Robin said, the biggest risk is with sideways movement, especially in strong crosswinds.

I used to travel upright using Thule cradles, until the trip when I came up a ramp onto a high level bridge and was hit by 60-70km crosswinds. The wind was so strong it pushed the cradles across the roof rack bar (!), leaving the ski at a 45degree angle (even though tie down was looped around the roof rack bar).

Since then, I always tie on upside down.

But I don't use the standard tie down straps which are usually v narrow and can damage the hull as Robin points out.

I use much wider seatbelt straps which spread the load over a much wider hull area than the Thule cradles. I've also got recessed plastic buckles for tightening the straps, ie no damage from the metal buckles found on standard straps.

I've found this much safer for long trips, although for short trips it probably doesn't matter much - as long as you don't over tighten the straps!

Hope this helps.

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9 years 11 months ago #21098 by Metro
Replied by Metro on topic Transporting your surfski
To rekindle a conversation that has been had on this forum a couple of times, including of late, for long and / or windy trips, I think that V racks are the only way to go.

I agree with both Rob and LaP that Thule cradles will give way in truly strong winds and that has happend to me on more than one occasion. Let's face it, in truly strong winds we should not be driving around with 6 meter boats on our roof. But, given that we like to paddle in the wind, often times that is the only way. In those conditions, in my opinion V racks are far superior to any other option. I use V racks at all times. Looks awful on the car, but I drive a piece of crap.

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9 years 11 months ago #21099 by [email protected]
What?! Someone disagrees with me (gasp!)

I should have said that I have fixed cradles (not Thule) on my car that look pretty nasty but are well padded and which haven't broken (either the cradle, car or boat!) in very high crosswinds...

As an added bonus, the cradles make it easier to find my car in a parking lot :-)

So given my unique arrangement, I'll still vote for right-way-up!

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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9 years 11 months ago - 9 years 11 months ago #21100 by uk_exile
Replied by uk_exile on topic Transporting your surfski
If on open road I also tie down at bow. Simple small rope or webbing onto front of vehicle. Better be safe than sorry

www.3news.co.nz/Truck-driver-critical-af...ing-impaled-by-canoe
Last edit: 9 years 11 months ago by [email protected]. Reason: Fixed link

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9 years 11 months ago #21102 by Chris329a
Replied by Chris329a on topic Transporting your surfski
I use these www.ajkayakequipment.com/page2.htm

The best thing is that you can't overtighten as they just squash down. They grip the kayak nicely. I use them as makeshift stands too in the garage.....

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9 years 11 months ago #21104 by mtnsutton
Replied by mtnsutton on topic Transporting your surfski
Well here's a vote for upside down. I have a small pickup with a shell on it. One rack mounted on the shell and one rack mounted on the cab. Great distance between racks and the hight offset between the cab and shell matches the inverted hull shape. Racks are an older style Yakima and can be adjusted to fit the hull edge well. I pad the tie down straps with one to two layers of insulite type closed cell foam strips. Strips are approximately 50cm (20in) long 10cm (4in) wide and 13mm (1/2in) thick. a small oval hole to fit the strap is cut approximately 2cm from each end. High wind is not a problem and I actually get better fuel mileage with the boat on top!

Creativity Cures Complacency

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9 years 11 months ago #21110 by Yellowfin
Replied by Yellowfin on topic Transporting your surfski
Thanks to all for the helpful hints!

After all that i'm having a proper rack designed and aluminium welded (to carry 2 skis) that attaches to the thule bars. Expensive, but seeing that the bug has bitten, it'll be worth it in the long run.

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