My bike rack broke a few weeks ago. (Truth be told, it rusted away – salty sea air.) Anyway, time for a new one. I opted for the Carver Surf Rack (with back rack). It ran me $110 at my local surf shop. It was a prettier penny that I would have like to have spent. However, I am happy with the product thus far. You can get it with out the rack on the back, but I find that back rack incredibly useful for storage and transport of other items (like towels, wetsuits and so on). It travels with my 9′ board down to my 6’8″ very well. It claims to hold anything up to 10′, but I don’t have anything bigger than 9′ to test with.
My only complaints about it are two fold. First, the instructions were brutally sparse. The one page of cryptic notes didn’t help at all. Nor did it explain the bag of bits and pieces. (I think a lot of these “pieces” are contingency piece for fitment for all different kinds of bikes. It seems my bike didn’t need most of them.) But after looking at the bike and the pieces I had, I managed to figure out the puzzle and put it all together.
Second, I’d be happier if the bungee hook ring was farther away from the board. (See 3rd image) As it is now, the bungee hook rubs right on the rail of the board. And when you are riding a mile to the beach every day, all those bumps could add up to a nasty groove in the fiberglass. As a solution, I’ll either hook the bungee on the rack (4th image) or I’ll put my rash guard or towel under the bungee cords.
Also, I’ve tried riding with the rack hanging off both sides of the bike, but I’ll tell you, I definitely prefer having it opposite of which ever side the kick stand leans out on. Getting your foot down to bring the kick stand up can be difficult with a board in the way.
Finally, remember, your bike will be super lopsided, so never rely on anything but yourself to hold the bike up when you have a board in the rack.