On a few occasions I’ve been fortunate enough to live withing biking distance of a surf break. One of my favorite activities to do in this situation is outfit a bicycle with a surfboard rack and use it for transportation to the beach.

Here are the bikes I’ve used for this. PVC construction inspired by http://www.rodndtube.com/surf/info/surf_racks/BicycleSurfboardRack.shtml.

GT Karakoram – 2007


I got this bicycle for free when I purchased my first mountain bike from someone on Craigslist in Glendale in late 2006. I took both bicycles back to Westwood via bus where I was promptly stopped and questioned by the police as to why I had two bikes with me on the bus. Neither showed up as reported missing so they let me out. The next year I moved to Santa Monica near Wilshire and 17th Street and put this together so I could ride to Venice Beach to surf in the morning. The ride was long and the waves were usually bad but I enjoyed every minute of it. In 2008 I moved too far from the coast for this to be practical so I donated the bicycle to Bikerowave and didn’t put another one together for ~10 years.

Shogun (unknown model) – 2017


When I started working at Google we moved to Santa Cruz and I rode the corp bus into Mountain View every morning. But if I got up early enough I could sneak in a quick session, usually at Steamer Lane, before work via bicycle. This bike, an unknown model built by Shogun, was discarded by one of my neighbors. I fixed it up and slapped an off-the-shelf surfboard rack on it so I could get right up to the cliff and lock it on the fence overlooking the ocean. It lasted almost a year until someone stole it from the carport while I was in the backyard putting my board in the shed.

Trek 800 – 2018


After the Shogun was stolen I picked up this from someone on Craigslist and rode it home in the rain. I opted to build another PVC rack this time as I was unimpressed with the one I bought for the Shogun. When we moved away from Santa Cruz I gave it away.

Univega Alpina Sport – 2020


When we moved to Long Beach I effectively gave up on surfing as the breakwater. Luckily, Belmont Shore is a great place to kiteboard and kite gear is pretty compact. I fit my rig onto the same PVC rack used earlier with some extra stuff on the back. It works, but the huge downside to this is that riding around when the wind is 20kts is not a great activity.

ET Cycles 720 – 2023


Kiteboarding is fun, but it’s quite different from surfing as you’re getting pulled by the wind instead of the waves. I was never able to shake this and eventually found myself back in the waves at Seal Beach. Seal Beach is arguably the best foil wave on the West Coast and I couldn’t be happier about the new sport. It’s a few miles from the building we live in so I was driving there. One night our catalytic converter was stolen and the wait for a replacement was 6+ months. This is how I discovered e-bikes and they are amazing, like riding downhill the whole way. I used an off the shelf rack for this build because the foil gets in the way of the PVC rack I’m familiar with. There’s also a box on the back that holds the mast high to prevent the wing from dragging during a turn.