Living on the west coast near the ocean means plenty of choices for outdoor activities.
And with the ocean so close to 90 percent of the state it’s easy to realize that surfing and stand up paddle boarding are the preferred option for recreational fun. But surfboards are not something you put in your pocket or strap on your back for a days outing. They require transportation and ultimately a place to put them when you aren’t using them.

So what if you could combine two aspects of a storage problem. Like taking your surfboard and putting it somewhere that is dead space …like a wall in your apartment. What if you could find a storage solution that not only stored your surfboard but allowed you to hang your surfboard in a way that made it look more like artwork than just a play toy.

Hawaiian Gun Rack® a local small business that hand crafts surfboard racks has designed several stylish options for all kinds of surfboards and paddle boards that are extremely affordable and versatile.

paddle board racks

Some of the surf racks are for indoors and are made using bent birch wood sandwiched between decorative woods like Mahogany or Hawaiian Koa that will fit almost any accent already in your home, office or apartment. What makes them unique is their ability to be used in non-traditional formats. Like say …angling a paddle board to fill an empty wall in your one bedroom apartment next to the beach. Like this bamboo Tahoe paddle board used for yoga in the mornings and now acts as sustainable art in a lovely one bedroom bungalow. The owner chose the light bamboo paddle board rack made by Hawaiian Gun Rack to turn their storage problem into art.

As an example another alternative to displaying or storing your surfboard on a wall you can utilize some of that over head space with ceiling racks that attach to the rafters. Several companies make ceiling surf racks that are fairly affordable and if you don’t have the time to do it yourself, then here are some great alternatives that Hawaiian Gun Rack sells at affordable prices.



The Hawaiian Gun Rack® surfboard ceiling rack combines an old fashioned look to their wood line of surf racks that can handle just about any job and look really stylish doing it. They’re affordable and easy to install. Using rope with a unique knotting system that allows for some adjustability and wood struts covered with cork neoprene padding that protect the surfboard.

These simple looking and affordable racks add a touch of “old school” flare and they customize each rack to fit your board or boards …just tell them how far you want the board to hang from the ceiling and the maximum width of the board and they do the rest. When your ceiling rack arrives a few days later …all you have to do is drill a pilot hole into the ceiling joist and screw in the eye bolts. Maybe takes 15 minutes max. These are great for garage or in home display if you want something more stylish than a pair of metal tubes.

A couple of tips when planning to install a ceiling rack…

1. Make sure you know where the wood joists are. In most modern day houses they are either 16 or 24 inches on center and that’s something to consider when installing thru a drywall or stucco covered ceiling. It’s not a good idea to hang anything off drywall.
2. Figure out how far you will have to reach to put the surfboard into the surf rack. If you have a taller ceiling you don’t want to struggle by leaning on your toes or using the “toss and hope” method while attempting to put your expensive surfboard or paddle board into place.
3. And don’t forget about the Fin …some surfboard’s have a 12” fin and you will want to make sure it’s not dangling down at eye level.

metal surf rack

metal ceiling surf rack

The metal ceiling surf racks are all fairly similar …squashed U shaped bent tubing that is usually powder coated or painted for protection against the outdoors. They are good for garage storage where the weather may seep in from time to time and, except for one brand, usually designed to be used with one surfboard per rack. Some of them are hollow tubes and others are solid with foam tubing for the surfboard’s protection. These are usually used for garage storage but if you want something with a more metallic look for an “industrial look” these work great.

The Expandable Ceiling surf rack is unique in that it has “add on” rack arm components that bolt into the base unit.(you have to buy the base unit first to properly combine these add on arms). This rack system will allow you to add up to 2 more boards for a total of 3 surfboards that can be hung, one under the other, from the ceiling.



We highly recommend not installing these systems into just drywall or stucco. Safety should always be the main concern and it’s hard to see to other side of the drywall to tell if the drywall has been compromised by water damage or has cracked from old age. Even though there are many drywall anchors that say they can hold weights over 50 lbs. if you look at the small print almost all of them warn against mounting them into ceilings.

Here are some other decorative ideas…

If the surfboard is long enough and the rafters are close enough you can always slant the boards across the ceiling using the color of your surfboards as the decorative accent. And if you have a slanted ceiling you can use the Hawaiian Gun Rack® ceiling surf rack because it is made with rope that can be adjusted for a short and a long side allowing the surfboard to now act as hanging tapestry.

Hawaiian Gun Rack created and invented using more decorative storage solutions and are experts in design and installation so if you have a particular need or a question please don’t hesitate to call.

Antique Koa Surfboard Treasure

Antique Koa Surfboard

koa surfboardHard to believe, but one day Meredith happened by a local pawn shop in Lahaina and discovers what looks like a vintage Surfboard made of solid Hawaiian Koa hanging from the rafters. The board’s dimensions suggest it could be what the Hawaiian’s referred to as an Alaia Board (pronounced: ah-LIE-ah). It resembles a 1920’s Tom Blake “Waikiki 25” series board in overall shape, but its pristine condition and spoon style nose indicates it was probably made in the late 1940’s. You can see more history about these boards at this link – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaia.

Meredith fell in love with the board and tried to buy it on the spot, but the owner wasn’t going to part with it. The store owner said he got it from Dale Velzy, who had recently passed away, and with Dale’s son working in the store; it was probably an easy assumption to believe the owner was telling the truth.

Several months went by and she pursued the purchase every chance she got …until one day, armed with a friend, and as reluctant as the store owner may have been, he couldn’t compete against two pretty smiles. She finally convinced him to part with this surfer’s treasure.

She now had this beautiful 13 foot vintage surf board and wanted to decorate her home with it, but wasn’t sure exactly how to go about making that happen until she discovered a small California designer who makes unique handcrafted surfboard storage and display racks thru his company’s website: www.hawaiiangunrack.com,

Dennis commented; …“her home has high vaulted ceilings and long white walls in the main entrance that open into a spacious living room accented in rich Mahogany trim. It would have been a shame not to put it in the entrance of her home instead of up on a wall somewhere hidden deeper in the house”.

floor pedestalSo after several emails they agreed it should be mounted vertically along a particular wall at the entrance of her home. We came up with a design using a handmade floor pedestal made of Mahogany and a wave inspired etched glass front that would help to protect the tail of the board and add decorative features to enhance its display. We then “locked” the board in place with custom made wall clips that will hold the top of the Alaia in place.

So now in true “Aloha” fashion the board greets all of her guests as they enter this beautiful colonial style Hawaiian home. What a lucky guy!

Paddle Board Storage 2015

Three simple steps you should know…

First … how much does your paddle board weigh?
Usually the manufacturer’s website will typically list the board’s weight and your store representative should know as well. But in the event you can’t find it quickly, here’s a simple method using your bathroom scale…
1. Weigh yourself – don’t tell anybody 
2. …then pick up the board and weigh yourself and the board.
3. Subtract the weights and the difference is a close approximation of the board’s weight.

Paddle boards are not little short boards that you can just put anywhere. You will have to take into consideration its bulk, weight and the thickness of the rails (its sides) before you just throw it up on the wall. Also make sure you know the dimensions of the paddle board rack that you intend to use, as some of the storage systems can’t hold thickness over 5 inches. This is crucial as the thickness of the newer touring and racing boards are typically at least 6 inches. This will save you time and headaches from “returns” that don’t fit. Also make sure you understand how the board will fit in the rack as some of the paddle board racks systems are designed for minimal space and require the SUP to orient in a specific way. Which is cool if you have limited area for storage …or you want something more for display.

Second …now decide where you want to hang it

Olo paddle board rack

Olo paddle board rack by HawaiianGunRack

…Indoors or outdoors? …in the garage, by the boat house or in the living room – yeah …in the living room. You will be able to find most of the better made storage systems at www.hawaiiangunrack.com. A California company that designs and manufactures several types of wall racks that take your storage problem and turn them into art …or at the very least help integrate the paddle board into your living space with a very nice flare. An excellent company that not only designs and manufactures their own brand but also carries other American made brands and they test the racks that they carry to make sure they do what they claim.

The Olo Big Board paddle board rack, rated to hold up to 40 lbs., can store your paddle board either deck out or fin out and only extends from the wall about 12 ½ inches. Made of wood (two colors to choose from) and it does a really nice job of showing only the board. It almost looks as if it’s suspended on the wall. You can pair it with a Hawaiian Gun Rack designed paddle rack of the same wood color.

Now for Heavy duty outside or near the elements storage they carry the gatekeeper metal racks that come in several styles depending on how much space you have to play with and the number of boards you may want to store. Families usually have a couple of boards now that everyone realizes how much fun it is to paddle out on a sunny day. These are powder coated and will hold up to the elements if you have a boat house and want to store the board outside.

Third … What is your wall made of? Very important because you need to know what type of hardware and tools you will need and this in turn will help you to determine if you can install it yourself or require some expert assistance. Below are a few of the more standard wall types…
1. – Drywall on wood studs (most modern-day homes)
2. – Lathe and plaster construction (Pre 1950’s homes – not recommended for storage)
3. – Drywall with metal studs (most modern offices – also not a good idea to put any real weight on)
4. – Brick or cinder block (usually in the garage and some older beach style homes)

If you want more in depth information on how to store your paddle boards, check back here as we are working on a DIY primer about the different types of walls and the kinds of hardware and their pros and cons.


What type of wall is it?

When designing art that is going to be hanging on your walls whether it’s surfboards or pictures of surfers you need to understand the foundation of what you will be installing into to create a safe environment for you display. These are some standard types of interior wall construction and simple suggestions on what hardware to use.

Wood Frame with drywall.

Typical dyrwall is 5/8″ thick and attached to 2″ by 4″ wood studs. Standard construction techniques will find the wall studs at every 16″ on center. You can start with a modern day stud finder or use the old fashioned method of taking a penny nail and nailing it into the walls until you find the stud and measure from there. A simpler technique, if you don’t want to put holes in your walls, is to start by locating the electrical outlet on the wall as they are usually attached to a stud. You can work your way out from there to determine where you want to hang your board.

I always recommend attaching to the wood stud via wood screws or lag bolts and those come in different sizes depending on the job and weight load at hand. You have to include the weight of the surf rack or snowboard rack when figuring out your weight loads.

If you decide that the display location of your surfboard is not near any studs and you want to use some of the drywall anchors on the market, then you have to find the right anchor for the right job. You have to be very careful with the drywall anchors that are available. They’re weight limit capacities are only 1/4 of the weight that’s published on the box and drywall can become brittle over time and will breakdowns if it gets wet. It is a good idea to investigate the age of your home to determine the walls integrity. There are several brands of drywall anchors; Toggler snaptoggle bolts are very strong and come in different sizes and claim some amazing weigh limits. But you have to remember it’s not just about the bolt because if the drywall has been compromised in anyway then the drywall itself will be the failing part. There are plastic ones and metal ones from other companies as well.

Lathe and Plaster Construction…

Older construction format that stopped in the late 1950’s. Builders used thinner studs that had wooden slats and sometime “chicken wire” attached to the studs so that a mortar could be spread across the form to give you a solid looking textured wall …(for more detail click here). These are the hardest walls to attach anything to because the mortar is probably so old you can put your finger thru it and the slats or metal mesh aren’t strong enough to hold any real weight. If you can find the stud then you are fairly safe with smaller snowboards and skateboards. The studs are typically thinner and are placed with different spacing depending on the lathe or metal mesh used. You can use wing nuts, but I personally don’t trust this type of wall because of it’s age. It’s strong enough to hold the wall up but I wouldn’t put my favorite Classic long board on it with out making sure it can hold the weigh.

Brick or Cinder block Construction….

If you want to install into these type of walls you will usually need an impact drill and they make special anchors for cinder block and brick walls that usually have some form of a casing that you have to put into the hole that you drill and then a bolt that screws in or fills in the void sticks via friction.  Check out this website for more detailed information on all of the different types of wall anchors

As always if you have any questions just drop us an email.


Decorating Ideas …Getting Started

Follow this simple check list…

  1. What kind of interior wall do you have. (i.e. is it drywall on wood studs (most modern-day homes), Lathe and plaster construction (Pre 1950’s homes), drywall with metal studs (most modern offices), brick or cinder block (usually in the garage and some beach style homes) this is important for two reasons. 1. because you need to know what type of hardware and tools you may need and 2. because you will want to know whether you can install it yourself or require some expert advice.
  2. How much does the surfboard board or snowboard you want to hang on the wall weigh. (simple test – weigh yourself on your bathroom scale and then pick up the board and weigh the both of you and subtract the difference to give you a close approximation). This will allow you to pick the right surf rack or snowboard rack for the type of storage you want. This will save you money by not having to purchase a surf rack that is big, bulky and twice as expensive
  3. Now decide where you want to hang it. (in the house, over the sofa, in a stairwell or in the foyer or in the garage). Location will determine whether you want something functional or something more stylish.

These 3 simple tasks will then help you to determine which products on the open market are better suited to fulfill your needs.

If you want to hang your surfboard indoors you may want a more decorative surf rack that won’t take up a lot of space and will add to your home decor.  surf-boardLook at www.hawaiiangunrack.com as they have very nice racks that come in different styles. They also offer some amazing eco-friendly stand up paddle board racks made out of natural and caramelized Bamboo. These surfboard racks are extremely well made and give your board the appearance that it is floating on the wall.

If you want to place the surfboards in the garage or you have several surfboards that need to be stored off the ground then check out www.hawaiiangunrack.com as they have a great selection of the best surf racks available. They test the racks to make sure they will hold the weights they claim and they continually search out for only the best racks to offer you so you won’t have to waste a lot of time searching the web. They also offer the lowest pricing available and monthly “SPECIALS” with free shipping,

If you have any specific questions please let us know.