How to Carry Your Surfboard

How to Carry Your Surfboard

Posted by phil kelly on

There actually is a right and wrong way to carry a surfboard. If you’re a first-timer or beginner, you’ll want to make sure you have this down so as to not look like a total Kook!

We could talk about all the ways to get your board to the beach, but we’re not going to here. We’ll save the review of roof racks, tailgate pads, bike racks and the myriad of other options for another time.

Carrying your surfboard from your vehicle to the waves is part of so-called surfing etiquette, and after you have been doing it for oodles of years, you never think about it. However, if someone is doing something strange, it pops out, and you’ll have to remember to watch that person in the line-up.

So, what are the basics of the right way to carry your surfboard? We’ll give some options later, based upon if you’re going up and down stairs or if you’re legging a 10-footer around. So:


  • Never drag the nose or tail of your board on the beach, it could hit a rock and now you have a ding.
  • Never drag your leash on the ground behind your board. You’ll trap junk in the Velcro and the leash won’t hold well.
  • Put the board under your arm with the top (wax side) facing away from you, and it vertical to the ground. Why? If you have it towards you, you’ll get wax all over the side of your suit! (Better the back of your arm that the whole side of your suit.)
  • If you’re a short boarder, you will probably have the nose first and the fins behind you. If you’re a long boarder (which usually means long fin) you might want to have the fin (s) in front so you can keep an eye on them.
  • If the board is too wide to carry under your arm, you might carry it on your hip. You’ll rest an inward rail on your hip and hold the outward rail with you hand. Board will be horizontal to the ground.

But what if you’ve got a hike to the beach or need to go up and down crowded stairs?

  • The Head Carry is really popular amongst long boarders or if you have a lot of hair. You’ll place the bottom of the surfboard on your head, fins up, nose pointing backwards and one hand on each side balancing it.
  • The Shoulder Carry is my favorite for long boards and stairs. The board will rest on the outside of your shoulder and down to your bent arm, so your forearm and hand are on the other side of the board. Best to have the bottom of the board on your shoulder and fins forward, so you can see them. I’ve found I can carry a 10-footer very easy this way.

If none of these work for you…you might have too big of a longboard surfboard or be related to T-Rex. It’s time to call a friend and have them help you!

Have fun in the surf, respect surf etiquette and local customs and be safe! And when you’re done, dry your gear with the Malo’o DryRack.

 P.S. since I first wrote this blog a couple of new items have come out. I know you're going to laugh but these work pretty well. The Board Buddy  is just a little piece of plastic that goes around your board and provides a handle. The other is a surfboard sling, which does exactly what it sounds like. In some future blog I'll tell you about the handle I'm putting in my new board!


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