So you have got your dream stand up paddle board and it is time to get it to the water! To safely transport your gear in your truck you are going to need a tailgate rack. A tailgate rack securely fastens your board in the back of your pickup, perfect for the casual paddler on a weekend mission.
Tailgate racks are different from truck roof racks. Roof racks are a more serious piece of kit that can travel more than one board. Tailgate racks are perfect for the more laidback paddle boarder just going down the road with their hard paddle board. Also, they are often the cheaper option for paddle board transportation solutions.
Keen to learn more about paddle board tailgate racks for trucks? The GILI Sports team is here for you. In this article, we outline what to look for in a tailgate rack and the top 6 best paddle board tailgate racks for trucks. Keep reading to get all your questions answered.
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Both tailgate racks and truck racks are used to transport stand up paddle boards. They do differ in their design and mounting methods, offering varying solutions depending on the adventure seeker's needs.
Padded tailgate racks are best for inflatable stand up paddle boards and individual lighter paddle boards. They are perfect for quick solo missions to the local lake or shoreline to get your paddle fixed. Mounted truck racks are best for multiple, heavier, and longer pieces of equipment, giving you more versatility in transport solutions.
We will get into more of the finer details below so you can determine what you need.
Tailgate racks are specifically designed to attach to the tailgate of a pickup truck. They typically consist of foam padding and adjustable straps that secure the paddle boards to the tailgate. The foam padding protects the truck's surface and prevents the boards from shifting during transport.
These racks are specifically designed to attach to the tailgate of a truck using adjustable straps or webbing. They typically have hooks or buckles that secure the rack to the tailgate, while the foam padding provides a cushioned surface for the paddle boards while using a lot of space in the bed of the truck.
These padded racks are best for one individual board. They are temporary and can easily be removed and installed. Generally, tailgate racks are cheaper than truck racks.
Truck racks, also commonly known as roof racks, are designed to mount on the roof of a truck. They are generally more versatile and can carry various types of cargo, including paddle boards. Truck racks typically feature crossbars or a specialized rack system that provides multiple attachment points for securing different types of gear.
Truck racks come in different configurations and mounting systems. Some roof racks require the installation of crossbars on the truck's roof, onto which the paddle boards can be secured. Other truck racks are a soft design and use adjustable straps to secure the truck body to the roof.
Mounted truck racks are best for larger, heavier, or multiple paddle boards. They can be removed but some racks require drilling holes for installation, so permanent markings. These racks are often more expensive but they free up the bed of the truck for more storage.
Choosing the right paddle board tailgate rack involves considering a few key factors to ensure it meets your specific needs. From appropriate padding to the length and width of the rack, we have outlined everything you need to think about to help you make an informed decision:
While we’ve found plenty of great paddle board tailgate racks during our search, these are the top picks in our eyes for a number of reasons.
Dakine’s Tailgate Surf Pad helps protect stand-up paddle boards while you are driving to and from your favorite spot. This tailgate rack offers a 28-inch wide pad, perfect to accommodate even the burliest tailgate, and lengthened board straps now accommodate the largest of boards.
The pad features contoured raised foam with padded flaps designed to drape over the tailgate for added protection. Adjustable straps easily secure the pad to the tailgate and keep it in place, while the top cam strap keeps your board centered on the foam. Meanwhile, a soft fleece backing is watching out for your rig's paint job.
VAMO’s Truck Tailgate pads are designed to give your board a soft ride while integrating durability and strength. Perfect to get your paddle board from home to the water and back again!
DORSAL’s Truck Tailgate Surf Pad for SUPs is an excellent option for casual paddlers wanting to get their board to the water. The quality material is reliable and long-lasting, while the design is simple to install and use.
Onefeng Sport’s Tailgate Surf Pad is our top pick for the best on a budget tailgate rack. This product is affordable and gets the job done. Sure, there are no frills, but what else do you need?
The Block Surf tailgate rack is designed to fit most truck tail gates so your paddle board doesn't shift from side to side. This rack incorporates a quick strap system for easy loading and unloading. A mesh carrying case is also included.
Easy folding tailgate pad for transporting stand up paddle boards or surfboards. The Alfa Gear Tailgate Pad is lightweight, easy to set up, and offers great protection for your boards in transit.
Tailgate racks are a fantastic transportation solution for those looking to get their paddle board down to the nearby waters in their pickups. These padded racks offer security and protection, to stop your board from sliding in the back or getting damaged while in transit.
It is important to consider your needs before purchasing a rack. You may find a roof rack is better suited for your adventures. Or you may discover one of these best paddle board tailgate racks for trucks is the one for you!
Sure you can put a paddle board in the back of a truck! We do recommend using a tailgate rack for padding to avoid any damage to your board and to secure it in place while you drive. If you have a short pick-up, it is always best to be aware of how far your stand up paddle board is over-hanging the tailgate.
There are several options to transport a paddle board in a truck. Either get hold of a tailgate rack to have the board in the pick up bed, add some roof bars and have the board on top, or choose to go for an inflatable paddle board for a space saving option. A truck gives you plenty of space to play around with when transporting your paddle boards.
To transport multiple paddle boards, we do recommend using a roof rack with ratchet straps to secure the boards in place. Some tailgate racks give the option for multiple boards, however, they are best used for single paddle boards.
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