It's one of the biggest fears we have. Staring at an empty car, garage, or board rack with the reality that your stand up paddle board has been stolen. It happens. A stand up paddle board is an expensive piece of equipment and although they aren't disappearing left and right, having your board locked up at night or while you run in to get a burrito will definitely give you that peace of mind and help you sleep better at night...and for less than $40, it's definitely worth it. So, what sparked us to write this article?
We just received a letter from one of our readers who inquired as to what the best board locking system is. Although we're still waiting on samples from some companies so that we can make a comparison, we thought we'd fill you on what's been working so far. You are welcome to share your insights and recommendations by logging in and commenting at the bottom of this article. Well, here it goes...
There are two locking systems that have been working well for us so far: one for general board locking and another for locking boards on the roof racks of your car.
For locking the boards to the top of your vehicle, we have been using Steelcore Security Surf Carrier Straps. They work like traditional surfboard straps for your car, such as the popular straps produced by DaKine, with the exception that they have a lock and a cut resistant core made from cut resistant steel aircraft cable. From what we've been told, there's only been one cut through that Steel Core knows about and it was done at night with a power tool of some sort. The lock is weather resistant stainless steel and the buckle is made of hardened aircraft aluminum designed by top aerospace engineers. The point is, these things are tough and they're easy to use. Just strap your board on the roof and lock it with a small key. You can get yours here online or at your local surf shop They're between $80 and $100 US and well worth it. Get the longer ones to stack and lock several stand up paddle boards to your roof. Steelcore also makes a tailgate lock for locking boards to truck tailgates, though we've never used that model before.
For general board locking in the garage, behind the house, in the back of the truck, car, or van, or at the beach, we've been using DocksLocks. Locking a board with DocksLocks is as easy as locking up your bicycle. To lock you board, you simply clip a lock to the little bar in your leash plug, thread a coiled lock through the locking mechanism, and secure it to something.The lock is a numbered combination lock so you don't need to worry about another key. If your board doesn't have a leash plug, the kit includes a cleat that is easily installed inside the finbox with a screwdriver. It creates a place for the lock to hold. The complete system is under $40 and comes with one lock, the cable and a cleat. You can buy additional locks to be used with the same locking cable for just under $30 each. Although it isn't a bulletproof locking system, it'll take some strong tools and cutters to get through it, and if anything, it would probably deter a thief to an easier target. We've seen Surftech using these locks to secure their equipment at demo days and contest. You can order DocksLock here online or at your local surf shop.
These are two locking systems that we've been using for locking up boards. There are certainly others on the market and we look forward to trying them out as well in the near future.