New To Ski

5 Ways To Safely Secure Skis In A Truck Bed? (Bags, Racks & Containers)

by William Stupp | Updated: October 27th, 2022
truck in snow

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When time is precious and you want to get on the mountain it’s tempting to just wedge your skis in the back of the truck. However, take a few hairpins on the fast side and you’ll be doing untold damage to your pride and joy. So, how do you safely secure skis in your truck bed?

To safely transport skis in the bed of your truck, you’ll need a storage system. Some prefer commercial storage systems while other skiers like to craft their own internal storage rack.

pickup

If you don’t have a truck-bed read our guide on transporting skis in your vehicle.

1. Basic Option – Use a Ski Bag

The easiest way to transport skis in a truck bed is to simply put them in a ski bag. This will ensure the skis stay together without scratching and protect them from other items in the bed. The bag can be secured with bungee cords to ensure it will remain stable.

Some prefer to wedge the bag with other items in the bed to prevent unwanted movement. All of the above options will be adequate to transport your skis in your truck bed, but using some kind of rack or securing system will offer better protection.

2. Make Your Own Ski Rack

Crafting your own system to secure skis in your truck is easier than it sounds and it’s rewarding making your own rack from scratch.

ski trip car
Photo by Robert Tadlock licensed under
CC BY 2.0

One way to ensure your skis will remain secure in your truck bed is by building a ski rack. There are a few different styles that all work well.

For the simplest ski rack that rests on the bottom of the bed, all you need is wood, glue, carpet strips, or some other material to prevent the rack from sliding around. A CNC router will make building such a rack easier and will produce a better-finished product, but you can get by with a regular saw.

We’ll be following an example inspired by instructables.com user Enkidu. Under this method, your first step is designing the rack. If you’re into DIY, you probably already have design software that connects to your CNC.

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If not, you’ll need to draw a design over the wood with the number of slots you’d like your rack to have. Make sure the slots are the right size for your equipment.

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You should create two identical main pieces with slots and at least two connecting cross bars. If you’re making a bigger rack (with, say, four or more ski slots) you’ll probably want to include three connecting pieces.

At this point, you can cut out the lines you’ve to draw either by hand or using a programmed CNC. Sand the wood as required and then fit the cross beams into the side plates (the pieces with the slots). If it’s a good fit, apply wood glue to the relevant areas and secure it with clamps while it’s drying.

The next step is to cut out carpet strips (or any other kind of anti-slip material) and apply them using adhesive to the bottom of each side plate. You can also consider putting strips or some kind of foam into the slots (make sure you cut them wide enough) to make sure the wood doesn’t scuff your skis.

Create a Simple Ski Rack

A much simpler way to build your own ski rack involves using 2x4s, cut to fit the width of your truck. Following mavericktrickclub.com, user thunaman’s an example, and make sure the wood fits snuggly into the divot.

Then finish the rack by using thick bits of foam, which you roll up. Attach a portion to each piece of wood using velcro straps or anything else that can serve as rope. 

Then, you can undo the velcro and lay your skis on top of the foam so they don’t get damaged. Secure the velcro and job done! There’s your ski rack. Youtuber Brian Weekley has a useful video demonstrating how to complete such a project.

Alternatively, you can buy pairs of universal flat racks like these. They will have holes through which you can insert screws to secure the rack to the wood you’ll be using as beams. 

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The advantage of this kind of rack is that it doesn’t sit at the bottom of the bed so you’re free to pack whatever you can below.

3. Buy A Ski Racks Designed for Truck Beds

For those skiers who are DIY-phobes, there are a number of products on the market that can be easily added to your truck bed, turning it into a secure ski rack.

Similar to the DIY projects listed above, at least one company is making ski racks designed to safely secure skis in a truck bed. Bedsaverracks.com has a number of products that fit the bill. 

They function like the simple ski racks described above, fitting into the rails or slots in truck beds. Because they have systems that connect the beams to the actual truck bed, they are more secure than a simple 2x4 placed into a slot. 

Additionally, there are a number of companies making ski racks that sit on top of the bed of your truck rather than resting inside the bed. They are functionally very similar to the ski racks used on any kind of car.

4. Sliding Trays to Secure Your Skis

Another great option is investing in a sliding truck tray. These systems will essentially turn your bed into a two-story storage area.

They’re great because, separating your winter sports equipment from whatever else you may be carrying below, ensures your skis won’t interfere with, damage, or be damaged by anything else. 

If you’re considering going down this route, it’s best to put your skis in a bag before putting them in your tray. These trays tend to be pretty expensive, so note that there are a lot of great resources online for building your own DIY sliding try for those who have the know-how and want to save some money.

5. Secure Your Skis With a Rack or Bag

Having your own skis is a big sign that you’ve matured as a skier. Speaking for myself, owning a pair of skis made me feel a greater connection to the sport and has enabled me to improve my skills and get more out of a day on the mountain.

But no one can deny that getting your equipment to the mountain presents a much bigger challenge than simply picking your gear up from a rental shop at the base. Transporting skis can be tricky.

If you’re a skier who owns a truck, transporting your equipment in the bed sounds like the obvious solution. But simply throwing your skis in the back is a recipe for disaster. You’ll scratch your skis or they will damage something else you’re carrying.

At the very least, you need to put your skis in a ski bag if you plan on storing them in your truck bed. A better and more secure solution is to use some kind of bed-based rack, either one you’ve made yourself or a commercial rack designed for use in truck beds.

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