Surf Break Vacation Rental Key Amenity: Surfboard Racks

It’s the little things that count, outdoor showers, bottle cap opener, puca shell….surfboard racks!

Surfboard racks look great, save tons of space and are a real value add in a beach house or surf break vacation rental.

Surf vacation rental owners that install simple racks add value to the surf break vacation rental experience. It’s simply an easy way to make a surf traveler happy (not to mention keep boards from falling down from a rouge wind gust, ask me how I know).

So if you are going to install a surf board rack in your beach house or personal residence there are a couple of options:

1) Buy a pre made rack: There are some real good quality ones and some junk that will range anywhere from a low investment (around $30 bucks) to well over $100 for some high end gear. And you will have to consider what will work best for your space: horizontal wall mount or vertical standing? Personally, I like the horizontal mount as it free’s up tons of space and add lots of life to high wall space. In either case, don’t forget you will likely have to break out the construction equipment to mount it to the wall.

2) Construct your own custom surfboard rack: It’s actually really easy (and recommended). I completed this project the other day as I was furnishing up a new apartment in San Diego and have executed this project many times.

Here is what you need to know whether you are outfitting your beach house or surf vacation rental with a horizontal surfboard rackl:

Tools: Hand drill, 3/4″ Boring drill bit, 3/4″ Trim wood (molding), 3/4″ Dowel, Wood file, Wood Glue, Wood Saw, Patience, 1 1/2″ Screws, Measuring Tape, Pencil

Cost: about $30 in material + 45 Min

Savings: Up to $120 from retail purchase

The length of the Trim wood will depend on quantity of surfboards you intend to accommodate with the rack. Estimate that you will need 6″-8″ inches of length per board.


1. Cut Trim Wood: Use a chop saw or circular saw (any wood saw) to get the two trim pieces to desired length. There can be some flexibility at this point for the top and bottom rack… leaving a few inches of gap between the ceiling and the top of the rack.

2. Measure Hole Targets:Overlay the two trim pieces and mark on the on the face of the wood the spots where the dowel holes will be drilled. Mark, with a pencil, in the middle every 6″-8″ inches.

3. Drill Dowel Holes:With the trim pieces still overlaid, drill, with the boring bit, the holes into the trim. Many handheld drills have a level bubble that help to keep you driving home the holes straight…if not do your best to find a steady hand..but don’t stress to much I’ll touch on the remedy for this in a later step.

4. Cut Dowels: For smaller boards each dowel piece should be cut 14-19 inches (clearly smaller for smaller boards and longer for the big logs)

5. Test Holes for Straightness and Adjust:Now this is not rocket science and done is better than perfect. It is likely that on first test install the dowels may appear a bit googley-eyed. Don’t freak out, with a bit of muscle and some twisting and pulling the dowels will usually straighten out. If not, this is where the wood file comes in, work it out and try to get them as perpendicular as possible.

6. Find & Mark Wall Studs: There are a couple techniques to do this 1) use a stud finder or 2) tap or knock wall for the solid spots – the poor man’s technique, yet highly effective. Lastly, mark the center of the stud so you can reference it for the next step.

7. Mount Trim: This works best with the help of a buddy to hold the trim position while you drive the screws though the trim and drywall and into the studs. Big Tip: drilling some light pilot holes in the trim will really help to drive the screws home and keep them straight.

No Studs? No Problem….Surfboard are typically pretty light, if you can find studs get your butt down to the local hardware joint and ask for some “dry wall anchor screws” the expand in the dry wall and “anchor” whatever you are trying to hang to the wall….I did this with a 47″ LED TV that I was determined to get on a particular wall in my apartment…works in a jiffy

8. Install Dowels: In step 5 you should have been able to get the dowels pretty straight, now you will have the opportunity to “set” them with the wood glue. At this point, you should have shimmied them enough to look like this:

These are pretty damn straight…so to fix them slip some wood glue in there.

9. Clean up: Clean up the saw dust, place boards on rack and feel great about the accomplishment

This is the cheap, easy, good looking way to outfit your beach house or surf vacation rental with good clean surfboard racks.

Live Swell

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