Rob Casey is the owner of SUP school Salmon Bay Paddle in Seattle, co-founder for the PSUPA and is the author of two paddling guides.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

10 Wheels for SUPs

One of the biggest issues with owning a SUP is carrying it. Last summer those renting boards from a surf shop by my house in Seattle had a 300 yard carry to the beach which included having to scurry across a busy two lane arterial with no crosswalk. I still remember the expressions on the faces of the renters as they got to the beach and realized if it was a minus tide day, their trek just got 100 yards longer. The shop rarely instructed their customers how to carry boards a long distance and provided none of the many wheeled options for SUPs. Boards were often dragged by their rails across the ground or dropped by the exhausted customers. Many would walk 25 yards, take a break, sigh, then move on again. Bummer.

Aside from the above example, most SUPs are heavy, too wide for many to reach across, and can be a nightmare in windy conditions. Walking with the board overhead or on your shoulders on a crowded sidewalk can be stressful as you swing the board around hoping to not take out a few folks.

There's a few wheeled options which will make any length of carry to be a lot easier. An issue of any wheeled device is the question of where to store it while on the water. Wheeled options allow you to keep the board out of the wind (lower profile), see pedestrians around you, and of course save a lot of angst getting your gear to the beach, or back to the car.

Imagine Surf owned by long time kayaker and surfer Corran Addison has two innnovative options. The Wheelie is a single compact wheel that snaps into any longboard finbox. The Duelie is a two wheeled option more stable than the single wheel Wheelie which also snaps into your finbox. If you have deck tie-downs or a backpack on you, both products can be carried on your board.

The Sticky Wheel is essentially two wheels on a bar with a suction cup in the middle. The company website has a good video showing it's use. Much like any wheeled device, there's the issue of where to put it if you don't have something to lock it to, or a car nearby to store it in.

SUP Wheels is a similar device to the Sticky Wheel with two wheels, but in this case there's two padded bars for the tail or your board to slip in between. Straps wrap around your fin to secure the device. The wheels do break down flat for storage on your board.

Water Brands 'SurfStow' is a product similiar to the SUP Carrier.

Another one I've seen while visiting Santa Cruz and other locations with strong surf culture - are the guys riding bikes with a surfboard attached. Somewhere I also saw an image of a guy using a kids trailer thing behind a bike, but with a board stuffed in the tent. Here's an option of a bicycle SUP carrier by Mule Transport Systems called the Surfboard/SUP Carrier/Trailer. See Pic Here. Their site has a few hand carry options as well - the Surfboard Transport System.

More specific to a particuliar board, Starboard has a wheel for their K-15 touring board, Here.

If none of these options work for you or you also have a kayak to carry, consider the many kayak wheels on the market. In the following link the Ouzel Cart and Washburne's Midwheels might work. Check these out at Northwest Outdoor Center in Seattle.


1 comment:

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