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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Hilton Head Island - OB, SD
    Posts
    2,160
    Images
    26

    Economy Car Surf Racks

    So I bought a new SUV for the wife and I have now inherited our 2010 ford focus. I have always just packed my boards into my SUV, but now that I have a car that can only accommodate my short boards I am looking into surf racks. I found some nice surf racks from Thule for under 100 bucks, but it sounds like I will need to purchase a Thule base rak that the surf racks clip onto.

    Can anyone give me some advice on solid, cheap surf racks for economy cars. How easy are the installs and what is the over all damage? I can get by with a soft rack, but they damage your paint and if I make runs up to the washout or down to Florida I don't want the soft top flip flopping in the wind on the highway.

    I figure there should be quite a few people on swell info that have rack system installed on a non-Suv

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Stayin' Classy in San Diego
    Posts
    1,486
    I've got a set of Yaks with 2 sets of SurfThangs. I’ve thrown a Santa Monica Hardshell loaded with boards and gear on it, no problem. I keep some ratcheting straps in the trunk for stuff like that. I picked em up cheap off Craigs a couple years back for about a buck fitty. You have to buy the base rack system in order to attach any of the carrier (bike, kayak, surfboard, kids) systems. I don't know about Thule, but Yaks have different clips specific to your model of car, Yakima calls them “QClips”. Making sure everything is properly aligned is the most difficult part of installation. You have to have the posts (Yakima calls them Q Towers) in the right place on the car and the right width apart on the cross members. Yakima keeps all of this online for your car’s make and model, pretty easy. Most dealers will either install them for free if you purchase through them or charge you around 50$ to 100$ to install them for you. Least that's what Rack-IT in Kearny and the Trek place in Vista quoted me back when I bought them. I decided to just do it myself. No damage to the car or paint. If you find putting together IKEA furniture a challenge and don’t own all the tools to do so (an allen key and a screwdriver), I wouldn’t recommend it. If you’re like me and think rebuilding iPhones and Edelbrock carburetors are drinking games and when someone asks you for a screwdriver, you ask them “Torx, Pentalobe, Philips, flathead or Vodka and OJ?” this will be a 20 minute piece of cake. If you’re somewhere in between those two extremes, you shouldn’t have any problem; but it will probably take you an afternoon.

    One caveat, I'm not a fan of the Yakima SurfThang strap thingys. They're fundamentally just big rubber bands. They seem fine when I'm going under 65, but when I hit 80-90; my boards start getting a little bouncy. I really want to get a set of the Inno ratcheting straps. They fit on Thule or Yak racks and from what people tell me are real solid. Just never seem to get around to it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Long Island
    Posts
    36
    Check out Rhino or Inno Racks. I got my Rhino for about $80. I forgot where though sorry. Also most other attachments (bicycle, ski, kayak etc...) will hook up to it. It works great, I also use it for Home Depot/Lowes runs for 2x4's, ply wood etc... works great. I think it is cheaper because it is not advertised as much. I do recomend you get the plastic wind fairing to reduce noise.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Brooklyn
    Posts
    151
    These are not cheap, but I have a set of Inno racks that lock www.innoracks.com/details/ina744/. I've had them for a couple of years and they are pretty sweet. If someone really wants your boards they can cut the cables or bust the lock, but it does offer some level of protection. So far so good - no whistling, shifting, strap flapping, etc. I make regular trips of around 250 miles each way with a longboard and two shortboards and I drive fairly fast - 70-80 mph. No issues whatsoever.

    You'll have to buy base racks in addition, so it gets a little pricey. I bought a used CRV and it already had the base racks. I think the inno racks were like $150. I think they took me 10 minutes to install and it's pretty easy to load/unload boards.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Salisbury, Md
    Posts
    14
    I bought Inno racks from Orsracksdirect.com which also carry Thule and Yakima. They have sales every now and then. One thing about Inno racks: you will need the faring to prevent whistling noise. The Inno board locker works great but not what I would call "economy". Racks were ordered specific for the make of car (Honda Accord) and fit very well. The clamps are secured with locks. After several years of use there has been no damage to car paint.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Brooklyn
    Posts
    151
    Quote Originally Posted by sozohealer View Post
    I bought Inno racks from Orsracksdirect.com which also carry Thule and Yakima. They have sales every now and then. One thing about Inno racks: you will need the faring to prevent whistling noise. The Inno board locker works great but not what I would call "economy". Racks were ordered specific for the make of car (Honda Accord) and fit very well. The clamps are secured with locks. After several years of use there has been no damage to car paint.
    Maybe it depends on the vehicle, but I have not had any whistling with Inno board locker racks at speeds up to 85 mph and I don't have a faring.

    And you're right, they're definitely not economy. I ordered through ors as well and the only issue I had was that the board locker was on back order so it took a couple of weeks before they shipped my order.

  7. #7
    I have a tiny 2011 Hyundai Accent that I put Thule on that cost about $300 at REI. I hope it holds my 9'4" because the bars are very close together. It looks real cool so let's hope it holds during the ride down 55 to the shore where I surf. I have the surfboard accessory with bungees for the short rides up and down the beacj for low and high tide spots.

  8. #8
    Same thing happened to me. I searched high and low on ebay for thule to save bucks, but after getting mailed the wrong stuff, I broke down and got a deal from a local bike shop for the new Traverse and fit kit - I already had the load bars.

    I'm about to list my FCS double soft rack on ebay to sell. It's works pretty good, straps are almost 2 inches wide.
    PM me of you're interested.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Stayin' Classy in San Diego
    Posts
    1,486
    Quote Originally Posted by Gfootr View Post
    Same thing happened to me. I searched high and low on ebay for thule to save bucks, but after getting mailed the wrong stuff, I broke down and got a deal from a local bike shop for the new Traverse and fit kit - I already had the load bars.

    I'm about to list my FCS double soft rack on ebay to sell. It's works pretty good, straps are almost 2 inches wide.
    PM me of you're interested.
    Don't get rid of your travel racks! What're u gonna put on the rental? I got some FCS softies that I stuff in my board case, work great as extra padding. Strap em on the roof right in front of the rental guys and then throw 70 lb.s of boards and gear on em. Never gotten any grief. Just drive Island style instead of speedracer. Have brought back a beat up rental or two.

  10. #10
    ZaGaff - "Don't get rid of your travel racks! What're u gonna put on the rental? "

    I here ya. Still have a single soft rack for traveling. Pack it anytime I know I'm landing near waves, you never know.

    Going to the thule hard racks, just don't need the double soft any more.