How to Make Your Own Car Ski Rack

How to Make Your Own Car Ski Rack
Though most skiers opt for manufactured ski racks that have conveniences like locking mechanisms and the ability to hold both snowboards and skis (some even have tilt angles for skis and snowboards with big bindings), it is possible to make your own ski carrier, as long as your car already has a factory-installed rack or you have bought a bar system from a company such as Thule or Yakima.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • 2, 2-by-4 boards
  • 6 mm perlon cord
  • Bicycle inner tubes (mountain bike tubes work best)
  • 12, 2-inch wood bolts or screws with fender washers
  • Saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Drill
  • Utility knife
  • Marker pen
Step 1
Place the 2-by-4s on your factory rack, spacing them so that they are centered on the rack.
Step 2
Mark the 2-by-4s with a pen so that 2 inches of each 2-by-4 extends past the roof railings on either side.
Step 3
Saw the 2-by-4s at the marked points and sand the ends smooth.
Step 4
Place the 2-by-4s on the ground, using the same spacing as you would on your roof rack (near the front and back of the rails; you may need to measure this distance with a tape measure).
Step 5
Place your skis across the 2-by-4s, tails pointed forward. Use single skis for this step, placing four skis on the 2-by-4s, spaced evenly. Mark the 2-by-4s with the pen on either side of the skis on each board. Make just one mark between each pair of skis. You should end up with six marked spaces on each 2-by-4, 3 holes for each pair of skis.
Step 6
Drill holes into the 2-by-4s at the marked spaces.
Step 7
Cut the inner tubes with the utility knife into four equal lengths.
Step 8
Place the end of the one inner tube strip at either the leftmost or rightmost hole. Use the utility knife to place a small cut in the inner tube above the hole.
Step 9
Place the washer over the cut and screw the bolt into the hole.
Step 10
Pull the inner tube tight, then place another cut with the utility knife above the next hole. Screw the bolt into the next hole. Repeat this procedure for the third hole in the 2-by-4, then trim the excess from the end of the inner tube.
Step 11
Repeat steps 8-10 with each of the other three strips of inner tube, using one strip per three holes.
Step 12
Place each finished two-by-four on your factory rails, so that one is near the back and one near the front. Use the 6 mm perlon cord to tie the 2-by-4s in place around the rails, using multiple overhand or square knots. You may want to make three or four loops with the cord around the 2-by4s.

Tips & Warnings

When stretching the inner tube to each hole, it is best to leave a ski in place and stretch the inner tube over the ski, so that the inner tube is not stretched too tightly.

Article Written By Candace Horgan

Candace Horgan has worked as a freelance journalist for more than 12 years. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Denver Post" and "Mix." Horgan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and history.

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