Question for those with surfskis

For those of you surfski’ers out there. I am going to be purchasing a Huki S1-X (28lbs Vac Glass) :slight_smile: in the next few months. I have already installed a base rack system by Thule with 4’6" front/back spread, now just need the right saddle(s).

What do all of you use/like? The cheaper the better.



Thule saddle carriers

I have a V10 and use the Thule saddle carriers. FAR more secure than using foam blocks! One of the challenges you will have is loading your surf ski in windy conditions. The Thule saddle carriers are deep enough to help hold the surf ski within those saddles while you are loading it. It is no fun to get your ski most of the way onto your rack and have the wind blow it off. They are not cheap but are worth it.

Surfski - padded bars
Congratulations on the Huki!

I transport my surfski upside down on the Yakima round bars padded with pipe foam insulation that is tied on the bars with zip ties. This will work for you if the spread is right. For me the boat is supported on the flat part behind the seat and somewhere around the foot wells. I tie it on with ropes. No place to tie bow and stern lines so just make sure it is tied to the bars securely.


foam blocks

Surf board Pads
and upside down is the way to go. I have used the Thule saddle carriers a few years back, but in one of my trips, the cheap plastic broke down and my ski almost fly!

To avoid side way movement, I use a pair of surfboard attachments, so I can drive at any speed with both of my skis with no problem.


PS: As a rule, I try not to touch/put pressure on the hull of a ski and/or K-1. Their decks are much much stronger. Do not forget that this boats are not 70lbs British boats :smiley:

I’ve tried a lot
Old style Yakima cradles- not narrow enough and put too much pressure on the hull in small areas. Very bad.

Malone J cradles- generally quite good, although I had to pad them up with 1" foam to get a nice snug fit with a ski. A good choice if you are also using another boat and don’t feel like switching racks around.

Dakine (or similar) round bar pads: This is what I am switching to now. As Ice and others said, upside down on supportive but squishy foam is the way to go. Minimalist, cheap, no risk of damaging your boats. I just got tired of the wind noise from the Malones.

Actually, I’ll sell you the padded up Malone J cradles if you want them. 50% of whatever the lowest price you can find them for online plus postage. Email me if you want them.


Yakima Mako Saddles
I use Yakima Mako Saddles. I also use a bow and stern line. How, you ask? Put a loop around your bow, I use the same nylon material as my straps are made out of. Then take a full long tie down strap and run it in a loop, from the front bar of the rack to the loop over the bow. Then attach the front tie down to the bow loop. It would be better if I could show a photo, but hopefully you’ll get an idea of what I mean. For the stern, same deal, put a loop around the stern in front of the rudder and attach the stern tie down to that. Works great!

thanks njpaddler
I actually was able to find foam wedges to use with Yakima Mako saddles that fit perfectly with the Huki surfski. You just glue/epoxy the pads to the saddles and you have a perfect fit. Thanks for you advice though, may use the Thule saddle for other skis I may carry.


thank you for the advice Iceman
I actually talked to Jude (owner of Huki) and he has some dense foam wedges that he made to work specifically with the Yakima Mako saddle. You epoxy/glue the wedge to the saddle and you have a custom fit for the Huki ski. Luckily for me a fellow paddler out this way may have a set she wants to sell. :slight_smile:

I hear what you are saying about the strength of hull compared to other composite/poly kayaks. But its give and take, and I will TAKE the 25lb weight and give up the strength of 70lb kayak.


thank you Andrew
You should look at the Huki website to see what Jude has to offer. He sells dense foam wedges you can glue/epoxy to Yakima Mako saddles for the perfect fit. He’s the owner of Huki and uses them on all his skis/outriggers too.

The Malone J cradles look nice too. I will probably go with the Yakima Makos for now because a fellow paddler out this way may sell me hers with wedges already on.

Maybe in the future I’ll go the Malone route. I’ll let you know.

Thanks again,


thanks ladyjusticesusan
My only concern with nose and tail tiedowns is the stress it puts on the middle part of the boat where the saddles contact the hull.

I have a poly Tempest now that I just the nose and tail tiedown for, but with poly I’m not worried. But a custom carbon/kevlar ski at 24lbs, kinda sketchy.


Ez-Vee Roof Racks from Kayak Pro