Jim had a dilemma: how to conveniently store two stand-up (SUP) paddleboards in a tight space at the cottage without damaging the paddleboard fins, keeping them off the ground and protecting them from the elements. He came up with a great idea using materials he already had on hand. Best of all, the boards now effortlessly slide in and out under the bunkie and he even has room to spare for additional storage beneath.
Super Easy DIY for Paddleboard, Canoe or Kayak
Time at the lake is always more relaxing with a paddleboard, canoe or kayak in tow. It’s the perfect way to kick-start your weekend with some low-intensity exercise. Paddling among the reeds and lilypads, life becomes still and beautiful. While it’s wonderful to own a board or a boat to enjoy on the water, it’s another thing to try and find an ideal storage solution when they aren’t in use.
Not a Small Storage Feat
The average paddleboard is approximately 30” wide by 12’ long. Not a small piece of gear. Also, considering the cost, one wouldn’t want to just leave it out in the yard to get damaged and weathered through the seasons. With two paddleboards, it becomes an even more daunting task to find the best place to keep them accessible when the weekend rolls around without having to lug them through doors or up and down stairs or hills.
Looking around the cottage, Jim knew that space was limited. The shed wasn’t large enough to store two stand-up paddleboards; it was too cumbersome to bring the heavy boards in and out of the bunkie, up and down the stairs; and keeping them out in the yard would have exposed them to the elements. The best space available was under the bunkie in a small area approximately 3’ in height; however, this space needed a little something to make it better. “The issue was the paddleboards were being stored lying on the ground,” he says. “I wanted to get them off the ground. Every time I would take them out they were dirty. I would move them and the fin would catch on the ground and damage them.”
His solution? Build a double-wide rack with hard plastic rollers.
“I looked underneath the bunkie one day and thought, ‘hey, I have some room underneath here and could probably build something to hang and slide the paddleboards on.’” Now, when the paddleboards need to be stored, it’s an easy and effortless slide in and under the bunkie over the rollers. With limited bending and twisting, it’s also very easy on the back and doesn’t require huge muscles and awkward angles.
How to Build the Racks
Getting started, Jim measured the dimensions of both paddleboards to determine how wide and how long the racks needed to be. Each and every paddleboard (or canoe or kayak) is different so be sure to measure yours first.
Next, obtain your materials. Jim used corrugated plastic pipe (aka weeping tile) for the rollers, 2×6 lumber for the braces (you can use 2×4) and 2×2 lumber for the roller supports. The racks are held together with deck screws. Jim happened to have all these materials on-hand when he got started so it didn’t cost him extra to purchase. However, if you need to purchase these materials, they are all easily available for $60 or less at your local hardware store.
Here’s what you can obtain to build this double paddleboard rack (sourced from The Home Depot):
- MOLE-Pipe 20 Feet Expandable Corrugated Solid Pipe: $30
- Two 2x4x8 pieces of brown pressure-treated lumber: $10
- Three 2x2x8 pieces of brown pressure-treated lumber: $15
- Deck screws $5 (approx. 36)
Building the Racks
Since the space underneath the bunkie was tight, Jim built the rack frames in the yard first and then crawled underneath to screw them to the bunkie joists afterward. He built three racks to support the length of the two paddleboards.
He started by cutting his 2×6 lumber to make the braces that would be screwed to the floor joists of the bunkie. Each rack has two braces. Each brace is approximately 2’ long to allow enough space to lift and roll the paddleboards in and out from under the bunkie.
Next, he cut his 2×2 lumber wide enough to fit both paddleboards side-by-side, plus 4” on each end for the braces (approx. 70” wide). He then cut his corrugated plastic pipe (aka weeping tile) to fit over the 2×2 lumber in the middle (approx. 60”).
He slid the plastic pipe over the 2×2 lumber (to make the rollers) and screwed one 2×6 brace on each end of the 2×2 to make one assembled rack. He then repeated this two more times to make a total of three racks.
Once all three racks were assembled, Jim measured the length of the paddleboards from the tip of the board to the fins underneath. This would allow him to space the racks properly to support the boards but leave the fins to dangle out over the end so they don’t get damaged while in storage. Lastly, he crawled under the bunkie and screwed the three racks to the floor joists.
Jim is very happy with the way the racks turned out. “My wife was very impressed!” he says. The racks are very sturdy and do an excellent job at storing the boards. See for yourself below!
Have you tried this DIY project? Have a suggestion or comment? Please contribute in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you.