|Behold the humble swim noodle (only shortened)|
Swim noodles offer a quick and easy way to strap a canoe, kayak or even a bunch of boards or poles, skis or whatever to the top of your car without scratching the roof. Get the ones with the holes in the center if you can. They work best in this application
1. Enough swim noodles to cover the rack bars you want to pad.
2. A large, very sharp knife
3. Zip ties
- Cut the swim noodles to the length you need to cover the bar where you want it padded - lengthwise as shown above in figure 2.
- Split them only halfway through so that you have a slit along one side as shown in figure 3.
- Wrap the noodle over the bar. The foam noodles are wonderfully adaptable to any shape bar of an inch or two across.
If you're mounting the pads on the roof rack, it's a good idea to secure them with lightweight zip ties if you're traveling any distance to keep them from rolling and coming loose. In a pinch you can secure the noodles with duct tape. On canoe trips, I always carry duct tape in case someone pokes a hole in one of the canoes. Tie a zip tie at either end of the noodle and one in the middle if it's an especially long stretch as shown in Figure 6.
You can also use foam noodles to pad the arms of a canoe rack or canoe trailer to provide extra padding and make your boats more secure.
The whole point of this is that noodles are cheap at the end of the summer season and it's wonderfully handy to have an assortment of them around for toting your boats!