Methods To Transport Surfboards In Truck Bed

A surfboard is a fragile piece of fun – taking care of it when going from one body of water to another one is crucial.

Having said that, ironically, you might have thought, “Is there a way to transport my board in the back of a truck? I don’t want to get a rack just for that…”.

Don’t fret – while the bed isn’t of the comfiest places to haul a surfboard in, as long as you follow the tips I detail in this post, you’ll be fine.

Use the tailgate

A tailgate is not just a part of a truck that is used for keeping stuff contained in the bed – you may also use it strategically for helping you move a surfboard from place to place, or even a paddleboard if you wish.

How, you ask? Well, it’s quite simple really. The idea is to use the tailgate as somewhat of a brace to prop your surfboard to, and tie it down.

Though I wouldn’t do it exactly as in the video above. Instead of the straps, I would opt for bungee cords instead.

The bungee cords can be wrapped around the fins, to secure the board in place better. Otherwise, it may start inching its way out of the bed during travel.

I’d suggest going for at least two bungee cords – you really want to strap it down good so no movement happens.

I would also consider weighing the front down, that is, the point which is propped by the cab side. Because if you just do what the video entails, the board could theoretically get picked up a bit by the wind during faster travel.

Just throw the stuff you bring to the water on that front to provide some weight, but be sure it’s nothing too tough – you definitely do not want to dent the board. Just enough to provide some support.

You can’t forget about putting something soft between the actual tailgate and surfboard either – a cut pool noodle works wonders. Or you can go for something a little more professional, like this Dakine pad you can find on Amazon. It makes easy work of hooking up a surfboard in a pinch, as it comes with designated cam buckles.

A tailgate pad made specifically for bicycles might work too, though it would be harder to fit surfboards onto, as they don’t come with those useful cam buckles you can cinch your board with.

What about loading the surfboard tail first?

I’ve heard of a few people doing this. But I don’t think it’s the smarter way.

When you put a surfboard tail first into a truck bed, sure, tying it down there becomes much easier, but same couldn’t be said about the tailgate side.

I’d rather cinch the board down real good close to the tailgate, as opposed to the bed side. The bed side is easier to weigh down anyway. Just my take on this.

Oh and also, don’t forget to put some reflective material at the end of your surfboard. That’ll make it easier to see for others, and may just be a requirement depending on where you live.

The bed extender way

A bed extender can prove to be a great accessory to secure your surfboards to, securely.

Truck bed extender being used for tying down a surfboard, three in this case. Notice the pool noodle attached to the top rail of the extender, to prevent damage to the boards.
Image by bigwalton15 from

Why would you want to use one? Well, the main idea is that you’ll get some extra bed space this way. Using the tailgate might just not cut it, and because an extender needs a dropped tailgate, that’s where you get your extra inches.

You’ll also get some very secure points to attach the front of your surfboards to, as opposed to a plain tailgate. Hook up a pool noodle, and you’ll have a safe place for those boards to ride onto.

This Rough Country option from Amazon will work for most.

What if your truck is a short bed?

Depends on how long your surfboard is. If it’s a 10 foot SUP, chances are you’re going to have a hard time transporting such a thing in the back of your truck.

In that case, you may look into solutions for investing in a ladder rack of sorts, where you can use up the truck’s cab as a base too.

Other than that, you can always try positioning the board in the back of a truck a bit on the diagonal. That can make it fit just a bit further.

Should I put a bag over the board?

It’s not a bad idea at all. If you’re going to be traveling longer distances to the water, a bag can prove to add more resistance to your surfboard, particularly so if you’re thinking of hauling more than one at once.

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