10 Best Cars For Surfers 2023- Top Picks Buying Guide

cars for surfers

The kind of hobby that frequently necessitates careful planning when it comes to packing all the gear into a vehicle is surfing, much like cycling or camping.

The best cars for surfers are ones that will get you to the coast with the least amount of hassle, handling both boring motorway segments and windy roads to the coast, freeing you up to focus on where to catch the best waves.

From a business standpoint, wagons are completely uncool right now, and the majority of the companies that produced the first batch of surf wagons no longer produce them. What should a surfer do to find a cool ride that will get them to the beach and back with the least amount of headache? Consider looking at our list of the best cars for surfers.

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Best Cars For Surfers 2023

  • Volkswagen Bus
  • Subaru Outback
  • Mercedes G Wagon
  • Toyota Tacoma
  • Suzuki Jimny
  • Jeep Wrangler Islander
  • Ford Flex
  • Tesla Model X
  • Honda Jazz
  • Volkswagen California

Best Cars For Surfers Review

Here is a list of the best cars for surfers:

Volkswagen Bus

Best Cars For Surfers

You can’t go wrong with this classic surfer vehicle—officially known as the Volkswagen Type 2. The Bus or Microbus (as it is more affectionately referred to) was introduced by Volkswagen began exporting vehicles to the United States in 1950, but eventually stopped. by 1979.

The VW Bus will need a lot of maintenance, as do all classic cars, but if you’re a mechanical surfer willing to put in the time and effort, you’ll undoubtedly have the best mobile hangout on the beach this summer.


  • The iconic surfer vehicle
  • Tons of room inside for all your surfboards
  • Great hangout in between catching waves


  • Classic older vehicle means more maintenance
  • Lack of amenities
  • Lack of power compared to modern cars
  • Not the most reliable option

Subaru Outback

Subaru Outback
Best Cars For Surfers

Are you looking for a modern surf vehicle? You can guarantee some fun off-roading adventures with the Subaru Outback. The Outback has a roof rack and enough space inside with the seats folded down to add a few extra surfboards if you’re taking the entire surfing crew on your next adventure. Subarus are built for outdoor activities.


  • Plenty of space for your boards (roof rack and cargo space)
  • High performance and off-roading capabilities
  • Reliable and responsive handling
  • A top safety pick among the competition, earning a 5-star NHTSA safety rating


  • The roof isn’t as high as the Forester (if you exclusively want to put your boards inside)
  • Slow acceleration from the standard engine
  • The touch screen can be slow to respond

Mercedes G Wagon

Mercedes G Wagon
Best Cars For Surfers

Are you looking for a tough surfer car with a refined, opulent edge? If that’s the case, look no further than the heavy-duty Mercedes G Wagon. Though the steep price tag might scare you off, this forceful boxy workhorse with incredible performance and off-roading power will easily get you to the hardest-to-reach surfing spots that produce the monster waves you crave to conquer.


  • Superior performance power with V8 Biturbo engine
  • Built like a tank with impressive off-roading capabilities
  • Enough room inside for your surfboards


  • Hefty price tag
  • Ongoing maintenance can also get pricey
  • Steering resistance at lower speeds
  • Not as much cargo space as competitors (may need to add roof rack)

Toyota Tacoma

Toyota Tacoma
Best Cars For Surfers

The Toyota Tacoma is the best practical, reliable surfer vehicle. Its bed as a pickup truck has space for your surfboards, and all you have to do is strap them down! Its incredible off-roading capabilities make up for its lack of passenger space, allowing you to continue the adventure on any type of terrain.


  • Enough cargo space in the truck bed
  • Rugged off-roading capacity
  • Utilitarian, hassle-free reliability
  • Less expensive than other models listed


  • Limited rear-seat space for additional passengers
  • Acceleration slower than expected
  • Tall step-up height for shorter surfers

Suzuki Jimny

Suzuki Jimny
Best Cars For Surfers

Although the Suzuki Jimny has flaws, it’s very difficult not to love it despite these flaws. It will be a unique option for surfers thanks to the vibrant color options and carrying rack designed specifically for surfboards. However, you won’t be able to fit your family inside of it and still have room for luggage, and the driving experience is more akin to a classic off-roader, ping-ponging down the road with all the precision of a buzzed goose.


  • The bright color options
  • Surfboard-specific carrying rack


  • The boot space is dire
  • Cost more than you might expect

Jeep Wrangler Islander

Jeep Wrangler Islander
Best Cars For Surfers

The Jeep Wrangler Islander was designed with surfers in mind. In addition to providing a true open-air experience as you travel along the coast, the Freedom Top’s three-piece hardtop is detachable, making it the perfect vehicle for hauling all of your best surfboards. Your off-roading beach adventures will definitely advance with this tough and agile surfer vehicle’s high performance.


  • Removable Freedom Top to easily transport your best boards
  • Stellar off-road and four-wheel drive capacities
  • Rugged and durable
  • Great towing capacity if you need to bring extra surf equipment


  • Poor fuel economy makes it not ideal for driving long distance
  • Questionable reliability
  • Lots of noise from road, wind, engine, and tires

Ford Flex

Ford Flex
Best Cars For Surfers

The Ford Flex is the best flexible as far as cargo space goes. Because of its boxy shape and flat-folding seats, the Flex has plenty of interior space, but you can also mount roof racks to the top of the Flex’s long roof to hold all of your boards. Though this surfer vehicle has been discontinued, it is a practical, unassuming option that will get you from the beach back to your normal daily life without missing a beat.


  • Lots of roomy cargo space due to a boxy shape
  • The raised driving position feels more like a crossover SUV
  • Optional EcoBoost V6 engine will add some serious pep


  • “Acceptable” rating in IIHS crash test
  • No automatic emergency brake system
  • Some advanced features are only available in more expensive trims
  • Optional EcoBoost could cost you at the pump

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X
Best Cars For Surfers

If you’re an environmentally-conscious surfer who wants to preserve the purity of the waves you ride, the Tesla Model X may be the best surfer vehicle for you. It is the largest Tesla model, so you can fit a few surfboards inside, but installing a roof rack storage on top may be challenging due to the intricate falcon-wing doors.

However, the Model X has the great towing capacity, so obtaining extra space for all your surf equipment should not be an issue if you prefer to not get your supremely fancy interior all sandy.


  • Instant and ridiculously powerful acceleration
  • Gas-free ride to the beach
  • Comfortable ride
  • Travels long distances between charges (up to 348 miles)
  • Great towing capacity (up to 5,000 lbs) if extra cargo space is needed


  • High price tag
  • A nontraditional steering wheel can throw you off
  • Not as much cargo space inside as competitors

Honda Jazz

Honda Jazz
Best Cars For Surfers

The Honda Jazz will be completely redesigned in 2020, but the current model is one of the most adaptable hatchbacks on the market. In addition to being available for incredibly low prices, used models are also in much better shape than comparable Ford Fiestas (thanks in large part to the Jazz’s more sophisticated customer base).


  • Can be easily flipped up
  • The load space is 354 liters with the back seats up or 1314 liters when they are folded.
  • Planks or a surfboard can fit because the front passenger seat can be folded.


  • The engines aren’t turbocharged
  • They feel a bit underpowered

Volkswagen California

Volkswagen California
Best Cars For Surfers

Although the Volkswagen California, based on the Transporter van, is an expensive option (even used), a campervan had to be included on our list of the top vehicles for surfers. The Cali is available in two variations: Both the Coast and the Ocean have spaces for four people to sit and sleep, but the Ocean is better equipped.


  • The engines on offer are both 2.0-liter
  • The Coast is a more slimline version of the Ocean


  • An expensive undertaking

This guide will go over how to wash a car at home and some frequently asked questions about best practices for washing cars in order to assist you in keeping your car clean.

Best Cars For Surfers: The Basics Info.

Before we get into the details, let’s talk about how to transport a surfboard safely. This includes safeguarding the board itself and preventing harm to the vehicle that is transporting it.

Everyone has seen the surfer who carelessly tosses their board in the back of a car or bungee-cords it to the roof. Or, even worse, left the surfboard partially hanging out the car window. These circumstances may present risks to the board, the car, and the passengers.

Failure to protect and secure the surfboard can result in:

  • Damage to the Surfboard: Inside a car, a loose surfboard is vulnerable to fiberglass dings and dents. A board with this damage looks bad and performs poorly. Additionally, surface abrasions can cut skin, which is the last thing anyone wants when swimming. Unsecured boards on the roof are vulnerable to surface damage from scratching or destruction if they fall off.
  • Damage to the Vehicle: If a longboard’s nose pushes into the windshield of a small vehicle, it can be disastrous. The plastic trim or upholstery of a car are not fans of a crisp fin or dent-filled rail. Even wax has the potential to transfer to interior surfaces, particularly on a warm summer day.
  • Loose objects in a car of any size can become projectiles and hurt passengers. Additionally, big, unsecured objects like a surfboard can get in the way of normal driving, particularly in the event of a panic stop or accident. Not to mention the possibility of a surfboard getting loose striking and hurting people inside of cars.

Types Of Surfboards

The best cars for surfers can be found by knowing what kind of board you typically use to ride the waves, especially if you want to store the surfboard inside the car or in a cargo bed.

  • Shortboard: The most popular type of surfboard, a shortboard is usually between 5.5 and 6.5 feet long.
  • Longboards: Longboards are frequently used as a starting point for new surfers, but their length of 8 to 10 feet necessitates special attention to the mode of transportation.
  • Mid-Length: As its name suggests, a mid-length board lies halfway between a shortboard and a longboard. But for smaller vehicles, a length of up to 8.5 feet can make interior safe storage impossible.
  • Experienced surfers prefer gun boards for large waves, but a length of up to 10 feet usually relegates this surfboard to the roof. Additionally, an interior is best left out of a four-fin setup.
  • Funboard: Because funboards have multiple fin configurations and sizes that resemble mid-lengths, they can present storage problems.

The Bottom Line

Don’t let driving a car stop you from going surfing; after all, you aren’t surfing in the car! If you have to choose a daily activity that isn’t particularly surf-focused (for whatever reasons), you can find ways to make it work for a board-hauler, whether it’s every morning before work or just on the occasional weekend.

For practically any car you can think of, there are racks, straps, and even trailers available. Visit an outdoor gear store, get organized, and get out there on that board. No more excuses.

Choose the option that best fits you, and that is the best car for surfers!

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