Surfing might have started in Tahiti, but it’s a pretty Australian thing to do – I think we’re the only country in the world that would actually call a town Surfer’s Paradise. Millions of us like to get out there and ride the waves, and we pretty much lead the world in developing new techniques and board styles.
Why is surfing so popular in Australia? Partly it’s because it fits our coastal lifestyle, but mostly it’s because we have some of the world’s most amazing surfing beaches. The trouble is they’re not all so easy to get to. There’s an obvious solution, of course – combine surfing with a bit of off-road touring. At the wheel of your trusty 4wd you can reach any beach, and maybe even catch some surf away from the crowds.
You do need to think about how you’re going to pack your board, though. Even a full-size Ute or wagon can struggle a bit if you prefer to surf a longboard – those things are anywhere from nine to 14 feet long – and in a crossover or compact SUV a seven-foot shortboard can be a tight fit too. A lot of people just last them to the roof rack, but we’ve seen a few boards that have been badly scarred by the hooks on an ocky.
Surfboards, obviously, are pretty big, and although they’re not all that heavy they do tend to shift around if you give them the chance. That makes them vulnerable to damage from your other gear, fasteners or the roof rack itself.
If you want to make sure your surfboard gets to the beach in perfect condition you really need a specialised carrier for it. These are easy enough to find in most accessory shops, but honestly, a lot of the ones we’ve seen are too flimsy to trust a good board to.
When we decided to add a board carrier to our range there was an obvious place to look – Front Runner. This South African company makes the best roof racks we’ve seen yet, along with a range of top-grade accessories for them. One of those accessories is a surf and paddle board carrier, and it’s exactly what we wanted for our customers.
The Front Runner board carrier mounts securely to the company’s roof racks, and shares their rock steady, powder-coated steel construction. In fact it can also be mounted on just about any flat surface, so it’s pretty versatile. A single carrier can hold one or two boards, and it’s compact enough that you can mount two of them side by side on most racks for a total of four boards.
To make sure boards are safe in transit, the carrier uses weather-resistant high density rubber cushions to protect the surface; the board is held on the cushions by Front Runner’s clever Stratchit straps, which can be easily tightened down to hold your boards securely in place without damaging the surface. They’re also easy to release, saving you time when you get to the beach.
This carrier will adjust to fit any length or shape of board. If you fancy catching some surf this summer, and want to make sure you get
there with your gear in perfect condition, this is the way to carry it.