Initial Impressions: Ho Stevie’s Surfboard Soft Racks Are So Easy

These inexpensive soft racks are marketed as easy to use and plenty strong. Let’s put them to the test.

byPeter Nelson|
Ho Stevie! Surfboard Soft Racks
Peter Nelson

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I recently reported on receiving Curve's Lockdown surfboard soft racks to test out, as I'm in the process of getting back into surfing after a several-year hiatus. So why not capitalize on the increase in fresh air and fitness, as well as increased possibility of losing a limb to a Great White Shark by also giving Ho Stevie's surfboard car roof rack padded system a try?

Upon my first interaction, it's not as substantial as the Curve units. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Plus, the buckles seem plenty strong. Peter Nelson

Brilliant Simplicity

To kick it off, Ho Stevie's soft racks come in a black drawstring bag with a carrying handle. It's not as big as Curve's bag—which enables extra cargo space for common items you'd carry at the beach—but it does the trick.

Then, the rack pads don't appear as substantial as Curve's, either, but they still seem to be of ample quality. The straps are one-inch wide webbing with enough length to not only mount up to any vehicle, but to accommodate one-to-three surfboards as well. Finally, the buckles that the straps run through are contained in a thick rubber shell, which will help avoid causing any nicks or tiny dents in my car's bodywork during use.

At first, I wasn't quite sure how the straps routed through the buckles, but a quick look at Ho Stevie's website cleared that up.

Peter Nelson

No Instruction, But Is It Really Needed?

At first, I found it to be a slight knock that no instructions were included. But here's how brilliantly simple these racks are: It's easy to denote which end is up. This then helped me figure out the following: the bottom straps run through the car to secure the racks to the roof, the top straps are for my board. It really is that easy.

In fact, I was compelled to carry on and mount these to my beloved 2002 Audi S4: with all four doors open, I had the racks and my board secured in a few minutes. I might be jumping the gun a tad with my upcoming head-to-head comparison, but honestly, if Curve's Lockdown straps can be assembled even quicker, I'll be mighty impressed.

Again, both the Ho Stevie system and Curve Lockdown are quite simple products. But still, feel free to chime in with any questions—I want to make sure this review is as thorough and consumer guidance-rich as possible. With that, look forward to a head-to-head comparison between these two popular soft rack products, and here's to me not getting bitten by a shark or knocked on conscious by a pod of dolphins.

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