How to deal with a broken roof rack..

Last week was a crazy week. After surf wax melted to my dashboard, a day later while taking the car in for my weekly car wash to clean the salt off, I heard a loud POP sound.  I figured it was the already broken plastic thing on the top of my hatchback (ignore in pic), so I didn't worry.  A few hours later while getting ready for a paddle, I noticed one of my Yakima roof rack towers was broken and the bar was hanging partially over the side of the car. Uh oh. (see picture) 


I pulled the bar back into place then taped it to the roof rail with foil tape which I use for board dings.Rack & Road, a rack shop near me and the guys there worked on finding me a Yakima tower that would match my others. They did find one with a hand tightened screw. I also contacted a favorite paddling shop NW Outdoor Center but they didn't have extra parts.  If Rack & Road hadn't worked out I would have to purchase 4 new towers, approx $168. Certainly worth starting new but during my slow season, I'd rather spend the remainder on something else.

Taking it home, I re-installed the tower but couldn't tighten the screw enough to properly secure the tower to the rack (was wobbly).  Back to the Rack & Road store, they fished out a wrench tightened screw (excuse my lack of tool/parts vocab). After some work, the guy there got it to tighten properly, leaving the tower secure to the roof rail - good to go!

Back at home, I did the shake test where I push up hard on all the bars and push and pull them side to side to make sure the rack is secure.

Rack Pads - I use both store bought pads that slide over the bars and insulation pipe foam. Both work great. Sponsors donated the pads but I'll soon be using only the insulation foam as they stick better to the boards and when surfing at spots where localism is a problem, I don't like showing up looking like an advertisement and getting wax on my car in another location. Hasn't happened to me but friends have experienced it.  :)

Roof Rack Solution if Entire Rack is Broken: Worse case if this happens to you on the road far from a good rack store, you're still in business using a bit of creativity.  Remove the other tower (unbroken one) then store the bar in your car.  Then think like a surfer without a rack - look for a towel, yoga mat thin block of foam and place on the roof in the location of your previous bar (ideally at same level as other bar).

Place your board(s) on top of the material and other bar.  Tie the board to your existing bar as you normally do.  Then place your strap or rope over the board then through your doors and secure both ends in the car so the board is tight above you. If using rope or your strap doesn't have a buckle use a Truckers Hitch to get the most security - unless you're one of those boater or trucker types that knows 5 other better ways to tie things down - but us non industrial minded types stick to granny knots and trucker's hitches. If you have one of those roof rails with holes in it, see my post here on how to tie it down. Test the board after tightening to make sure it's secure. If it's a touch loose on the roof pad end, consider attaching a strap or rope to your bumper. Attach via your leash plug.

Don't Try This at Home...
If that doesn't work try this innovate method of building your own roof rack from the Red Green Show.  Starts at 7:35.

We don't recommend this one





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