Unless you live at the top of a mountain, you will surely have to transport your snowboard to the slopes. Unfortunately, fitting a board into your car might not be as easy as you think. Before you try cramming a several-hundred-dollar board into the backseat, ask yourself—will my snowboard even fit in the car?
Fitting a snowboard into the trunk or seat of a standard four-door sedan will be difficult if traveling with other passengers but larger vehicles such as trucks and SUVs may be able to accommodate your gear. Maximize space by lowering the seats and sliding your board in or add a board rack to the roof of your car.
For the safety of your car, your board, and you, it’s crucial that you secure all gear before setting off on the road. Depending on what you drive, you may be able to get your snowboard in the car without an additional setup. So, if you are curious if your vehicle is compatible with your adrenaline-pumping hobby, let’s find out!
Fitting a Snowboard into a Coupe or Four-Door Sedan
If you plan to head up the mountain in a four-door sedan or coupe, you will likely struggle to fit your board in the trunk. Most car trunks are not wide enough to accommodate an adult size board. For example, a 2016 Honda Civic has a trunk that measures 54.9 inches wide, whereas a snowboard for a 180 lbs adult can measure up to 63.5 inches. Even positioned diagonally, a snowboard will not fit in the trunk.
All hope is not lost, though. Depending on how many people you are traveling with, you may be able to get a snowboard in your vehicle. If you plan to snowboard either alone or with one other friend, you could lower the front passenger seat and slide a snowboard through to the back. From front to back, you could achieve a full 82 inches of space, which would be plenty of room for a snowboard.
Once your boards are in place, try securing them with the front and rear passenger seatbelts. This should hold them in place if you are traveling a relatively short distance on good roads. The only downsides are:
- You cannot ride with more than one passenger
- Your passenger will have to sit behind you
- Bumpy or winding roads may cause your boards to slip or slide
If you don’t have access to another vehicle, it is still possible to fit a snowboard in a coupe or four-door sedan. However, if you plan to travel with a family, you would be better off renting a larger vehicle or a mounted snowboard rack.
Fitting a Snowboard into an SUV
If you drive a medium- or large-size SUV, you are in luck. With just a few modifications, you can easily fit a family’s worth of snowboards and an additional four passengers inside your vehicle. You will just have to put down the back seats. Let’s take a look at how this works.
Similar to a Honda Civic or any other standard four-door sedan, an SUV’s trunk space is generally not wide enough to horizontally fit a snowboard. For example, a Ford Explorer has a trunk that measures only 48.1 inches wide. This is not enough space to fit a full-sized adult board. But an SUV’s saving grace is its extra-long body.
Whereas a sedan typically only has an additional second row of seats, a Ford Explorer comes with a third row. By simply lowering the third row of seats, you can more than double the amount of cargo space available for loading snowboards. Your family can then pile into the second row and, the next thing you know, you’re on your way up the mountain.
If you plan to use an SUV to transport your snowboards, be sure to:
- Pack your boards in board bags for added padding and protection
- Use bungee cords to secure them in place to prevent sliding in the back
- Pack your boots separately to save extra room
When well packed, everything should easily fit in the back of an SUV.
Fitting a Snowboard into a Pickup Truck
As a snowboarder, consider yourself the luckiest of all if you own a pickup truck. Thanks to a truck’s built-in storage bed, you can haul just about anything you need up the mountain, including your snowboards. Simply secure everything in the bed and head out.
Unlike an SUV, four-door sedan, or a coupe, even a medium-sized pickup truck can fit your gear without modification. For example, a Toyota Tacoma comes standard with a 74-inch bed. This is more than enough room to fit multiple snowboards in the back. Your family can then climb into the cabin and you’ll be ready to leave.
If you are concerned about your luggage being exposed to the environment as you drive, you can always pack your snowboards in board bags or close the bed using a bed cover. For the most part, transporting snowboards in an open bed should be fine but be careful if you drive over bumpy or winding roads. It’s well-known that luggage can fly out the back of an open truck bed.
What if Your Boards Refuse to Fit?
If you don’t have access to an SUV or pickup truck and plan to travel with more than one passenger, you may be wondering how to transport your snowboards up the slope. Since you cannot lower the seats in your car, you will likely have to install a board rack. Fortunately, racks are easy to attach and, even if your nearest rental company doesn’t have an available SUV or pickup truck, most national brands keep ski and snowboard racks in stock.
For cars with pre-existing top rail systems, simply:
- Snap the rack mounts onto your vehicle’s rails
- Work from the back to the front of your car
- Line the board rack up with the mounts and feed the bolts into place
- Open the rack to feed a wingnut onto each bolt
- Slide your snowboards into place and close the rack
If your car has a bare roof, you can still attach a snowboard rack but you will first have to install a clip kit and a set of crossbars. While this shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, it is one more thing to consider before installing a board rack:
- Clamp a clip kit into your car’s doorjamb—Some clip kits require you to drill holes into the roof of your car so be sure to find a clip kit that can clamp into place.
- Connect legs to the clips you’ve just installed – Leg kits should come with four legs that easily secure into the clips.
- Feed crossbars into the legs – Crossbars will allow you to mount a board rack using the same method shown above.
Once the board rack is securely mounted, slide your snowboards into place and close the rack. It will secure your equipment to the roof of the car while you drive to your favorite ski slope.
Whether your car can accommodate a snowboard depends a lot on the type of vehicle you have and the number of passengers you plan to bring. SUVs and pickup trucks should have enough cargo space to carry snowboards in the back but if you are taking a smaller sedan or coupe, you may have to rent a board rack for the journey. If you rent a board rack, be sure to check if your car has built-in roof mounts or if you will also need to install a clip kit.