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If you’re a surfer, you know how hard it can be to get your boards to the beach, especially if you don’t live close. Hard surf racks can be installed on most vehicles, making things easier, and soft racks are an option if you don’t want to spend time or money. Still, not every car can equally carry a surfboard or three, especially long boards and paddle boards. If you’re a surfer who’s car shopping, you’ll want to know what the best cars for surfers are. 

A green 2021 Subaru Outback with surfboards on top.
2021 Subaru Outback | Subaru

What makes a vehicle one of the best cars for surfers?

A sizeable car is great for putting your surfboard or surfboards either in or on it. You’ll also want something that can withstand the wear and tear of the outdoor elements you’ll undoubtedly with you. Sand, salt and wax have a way of staying on everything for ages. Something that’s rugged and easy to clean is a good option for surfers. 

With that said, here are the five best cars for surfers:

Subaru Outback

A blue 2021 Subaru Outback parked on a mountainside with kayaks on top.
2021 Subaru Outback | Subaru

The Subaru Outback is a great choice for surfers because it’s basically built for adventure. Look at all the pictures of people in the woods/mountains/oceans with their Subarus! A Subaru must be designed for the adventurous.

The Outback is easy to clean and comes with a roof rack. One person on Reddit planned on putting their surfboards inside of their Subaru, and wanted to know if they could put in internal racks. If that’s more your speed, you may want to check out the Forester, which has a higher roof. 

Chevy Suburban

A gray 2021 Chevy Suburban against a white background.
2021 Chevrolet Suburban | Chevrolet

The biggest downside to the Chevy Suburban is also its biggest advantage when it comes to transporting surfboards: its size. The Chevy Suburban is a massive vehicle that’s terrible on gas and probably not great for the environment, either. If you have a need for a larger vehicle than average though, and you happen to be a surfer, the Suburban is a great option. (Not to mention heavier vehicles tend to be safer.)

It’s easy to put racks on a Suburban and transport your board, but it’s also easy to open up the trunk, put down the back seats, and stick a couple of surfboards in the back as well. If you won’t have any passengers in back, you’d be surprised at how many surfboards you can carry.

Toyota Tacoma

A person skateboards in front of a 2021 Toyota Tacoma.
2021 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

A pickup truck is probably the easiest way to transport your surfboard to the beach. Just toss it in the back, throw a strap over it so it’s secure, and you’re good to go. The best part of the Toyota Tacoma is that you won’t get the inside of your vehicle dirty. The biggest downside is that it can be more difficult to transport a long board (if it’s really long) or a paddle board because too much may stick out of the bed of the truck. 

Ram Promaster City Wagon

A man and woman sit inside a Ram Promaster City Wagon writing in notebooks.
2021 Ram Promaster City Wagon | Ram

Don’t let the “City” name fool you – this Ram van is a great choice for carrying your surfboards. This is also a great option if you’ve always kinda wanted to look like a mobile dry cleaner (or you are a mobile dry cleaner). You can buy roof racks for your boards, but why would you when you can just open the doors and gently set your boards inside?

Tesla Model X


The Surprisingly Poor IIHS Rating the 2021 Chevy Silverado Received

The Tesla Model X is the largest Tesla out there. It’s a great choice for surfers, who tend to be more environmentally conscious than the average bear (except for polar bears, who are in serious trouble and are probably very environmentally conscious).

Worried about putting a surfboard in your Model X? Loads of people have done it. There are posts all over that great big expanse of nothingness and everythingness called the internet detailing just how people have fit 9’ and 10’ boards inside of their Model X. If you’d rather not get your Tesla sandy and salty, you can always buy surf racks and put them on top. 

As an added bonus, Tesla once made a Tesla surfboard. You won’t get one if you buy a Model X, as only 200 were made, but Tesla gets some street (sand?) cred for having once made a surfable surfboard.

When it comes down to it, any vehicle can be a great option for surfers. If you’re determined and creative, you can find a way to put nearly any surfboard on or in your vehicle. If you want to make life easier though (and who doesn’t), take a look at some of these options.