Winter is departing in the northern hemisphere and as the temperature rises; surfers, experienced and not head to the call of the sea. For the past few weeks I have been seeing some huge mistakes being made by the novices that could damage your board and other people and vehicles.
The Science of it all
Your surfboard is a finely tuned aerodynamic craft. It has curves so it can fit into the wave face depending on the type of waves you ride and the boards have an upward lift on the nose and the tail. For some types of waves, the center of the board will be flat (low rocker).
Now imagine the board being ridden. The upward part of the nose when pressure is applied to the back will lift up because of the curve along with the pressure you are putting on the board. If you rode the board upside down, the board would be forced downwards. The nose would be scooping downwards and the curve would pile the water onto the board as well.
Now imagine the same thing but now with the force of air instead of water. From sticking your hands out the window as a child, you know that cupping your hand downwards will cause your hand to want to drop. Anything protruding above the flat surface with wind meeting it will be met with resistance. If something is not properly secured and wind can get under it; we know that the force of the wind will try to pry the object up in the least secured area.
Which way to go?
Now to add your surfboard to the equation.
With the force of the wind traveling across your car and being funneled up your windshield, you would not want your board to be facing upwards. An upside down board is pressing down and not lifting up so this lessens the stress on the racks and your board.
What happens if your racks start to fail or board begins to slide?
You need something to stop your board from flying away and that something is your fins!
So the correct way to strap your board on the roof is fins forward with the straps just behind the fin(s) and with the board upside down. Putting your board in a bag is a great idea too because trucks and other situations can lead to your board taking a direct hit from flying road debris.
So make your beach trip enjoyable! Be safe and be aware!