Ski and snowboard racks mounted on your car are a great solution for transporting your winter equipment while keeping it out of the way. It is a great way to protect your equipment that could end up bent or broken otherwise. There are a lot of designs, but most of them have rails fixed in place by towers that attach or clamp to the roof of your car. There are some cars that have special fittings to make attaching racks easier or come with a factory-installed one. It is easy to install your own rack, but there are a few things you should be aware of before doing so.
1 - Check for Models Made by Your Car Company
Some car companies incorporate special fittings for ski and snowboard racks into their car models and then sell proprietary ski or snowboard racks. This makes the installation a breeze because the rack is specially made to fit your car and is usually installed or removed with ease. These fittings will also provide the best quality grip because they’ve been tested with your car model. The drawback of these proprietary models is that they are usually more expensive.
2 - Place the Rack on the Side
This is one of the most common blunders that people make when installing ski and snowboard racks. Most ski or snowboard racks come with rails that will hold the equipment. These are usually adjustable and can be set in a variety of positions. Even though it might seem like a good idea to set these in the middle of the roof it is better to position them close to the passenger or driver side. This will make loading and unloading easier as you won’t have to reach over your car to retrieve your skis or snowboard. Placing it on the side does not make a difference in the way your car behaves on the road, as a rack will make it be less aerodynamic regardless of its position.
3 - Magnetic Racks
Magnetic racks makes installation a breeze because you only have to attach 1 or 2 pieces to the car and they will be held down by magnetic force. There however, can be a drawback as the rack can move slightly during motion which can scratch the paint of your car. It is generally safe to use magnetic racks, but a solid grip will always be safer. Magnetic racks are great if you just want a temporary solution to carry your ski and snowboard racks.
4 - Remove Racks during Offseason
Having ski and snowboard racks is great but you should remove them when they will not be in use for a particularly long time. Racks affect the car’s aerodynamics and thus increase fuel consumption. For better fuel economy remove the rack during the summer or offseason.
5 - Use Lifters when Needed
If you notice that bindings scrape the top of your car while they are secured in the ski and snowboard racks then you need to install the plastic lifters included with most types of racks. This will raise their level and prevent any scratches to the roof of your car.