Roof bars are an excellent accessory to any vehicle! In this post we will look at my preferred method of attaching my board to the roof and making sure it stays there throughout your journey.
The first step is to check that your bars are securely attached (and are correct for the vehicle!) before progressing. I have a set of Yakima Aerobars on my car but the following steps will work with any type as you don't require any screw attachment points. I use 3 straps, a very short 1m strap that is used to attach the handle to the front bar.
This could be as short as 0.5m but I don't have one available. The other 2 straps really depend on your boards thickness and width, however straps of 3-3.5m should be able to go around 1 board.
Place the board on the car with the deck pad down, nose pointing towards the front of the car
All boards are designed with a slight curve in them so making this curve go towards the car makes the board more likely to be pushed into the bars rather than blown up, adding tension to the straps.
Align the centre carry handle just behind the front roof bar.
As this is the centre of mass of the board this is where the board will pivot from. if you put it in front of the bar it will just fall onto the bonnet.
Attach the handle to the front bar
Tighten the strap so you can push the board back 15-20cm, this keeps the metalwork on the strap from getting in between the bar and the board when tightening the next straps.
As the role of this is primarily to prevent the board sliding backwards and, if the straps snap (possible but very unlikely) it means your board isn't bouncing down the motorway behind you.
Put the straps over the board
Here the ratchets are aligned with the top edge of the board so when you tighten them you won't have to move them very much. Note in the first picture how they are rolled up, most people roll around the metal ratchet for storage; I however have started doing this the other way around as you can throw the strap over the car without the metal work being damaged.
Keep it tidy
Some will say its just perfectionism however, folds or twists in the straps can cause damage to both the board and the strap over time. Keeping them flat on the board and around the bars will prevent any additional ware and tare on them.
Tighten and lock off
Tighten the straps until you cannot pull them any tighter then, give one final yank downwards. Tying it off is very simple; if you don't have much length left in your strap you can pull the tail through however, doubling it up makes it easier to untie at your destination.
Attach your leg leash to the bars
By attaching your leg leash to the bars prevents the leash dragging behind your car. Should your straps fail, for any reason, the leash will provide the "last resort" attachment thus keeping your board attached to the roof bars so you will not lose the board completely. This provides a short term attachment until you can pull over at a safe location.