How to Reduce the Wind Noise of a Surfboard Roof Rack

Updated April 17, 2017

For surfers that are not fortunate enough to live within walking or biking distance from the beach, transporting a surfboard (or multiple boards) can sometimes be a hassle. The most common and practical way to get your boards to the beach is to use surfboard racks. While surf roof racks are fairly inexpensive and easy to use, they sometimes make a loud buzzing noise that can become extremely annoying and distracting while you are on the way to the beach. A few simple adjustments can fix the problem.

Make sure boards are properly loaded on the surf racks before leaving for the beach. Place one board with its fins up and the nose pointed forward directly on the foam pads of the racks. Place a towel flat across the top of the board. Continue to stack additional boards in the same manner, placing a towel between each one.

Place a towel on top of the final board and loosely pull the straps through the metal clamps, making sure that the straps are not twisted (just as you would with a seat belt in a car). If a strap is twisted, pull it out, straighten and reinsert into the clamp. As you pull the straps through the clamps, they will be gripped and held in place.

Give the straps an additional pull so that they are as tight as possible without damaging or cracking the boards. Make sure that there is no space between the boards and no wiggle room, as this will lead to loud wind noise.

Check the tightness of the straps underneath the boards, touching the roof of your car. Make sure that there is no slack at all. There must not be any space beneath the racks and the roof. Use an additional towel, or piece of foam, to stuff under the strap (if you notice that there is space).

Open all four doors of your car. Take the loose end of a strap (it will be clamped tight, but the excess end will hang loose), twist it once and place it inside the car. Shut the car door directly on the strap, holding it into place. Repeat this with all four of the straps, making sure to close the driver's side door last. The twist in the strap will prevent any obnoxious wind noise.


If you experience wind noise while driving and it gets to be unbearable, pull over and readjust racks. Pull straps tight and stuff more towels or foam into any open spaces.


Never place your boards fins-down on surf racks; this is a disaster waiting to happen because it creates space for the wind to blow them off the vehicle.

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About the Author

Sean Chappell has been a freelance writer since 2005 and also lived and worked throughout Europe for three years as a certified TEFL teacher. Chappell's work has been published on business blogs such as He has a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in journalism/Spanish from Brigham Young University-Hawaii.