Thule roofracks

I fitted Thule roofracks to my car in preparation for buying a surfski. I have since fitted them out with Thule Kayak Carriers, and my Fenn Swordfish now travels in (very expensive) style.

Loading up my new Fenn Swordfish at The Paddling Centre
Loading up my new Fenn Swordfish at The Paddling Centre

The set-up for my Audi A3 (http://www.thule.co.za/Products/Details.aspx?id=2556) is as follows:

  • Thule Rapid System footpack 754 (R1350)
  • Thule WingBar 961 (R1250)
  • Kit 1038 – for all cars  (R599)
  • Thule One Key System 544, 4 cylinders, optional (R279)

Get your set-up here: http://www.thule.co.za/Products/AppGuide.aspx

My honest opinion:

  1. Once again, I am not blown away by Thule’s product. Thule seems to have a stranglehold on carriers in South Africa, and there are simply not that many alternative options.
  2. The feet are overly bulky, and extend to the side of the car in an un-aerodynamic, bulky and unattractive manner. I am sure the designers could have come up with a sexier design. That being said, I am equally disappointed in the Audi designers for not providing some kind of fix-points for roof-racks.
  3. Don’t bother with the “One Key System”. It locks the covers of the footpack closed, thereby blocking access to the bolt that fastens each foot to the car. The only problem is you could simply break this cover with your bare hands, thereby allowing t he racks to be removed / stolen from the car. The locks should have been designed to engage the actual foot or fastening bolt itself. They are totally ineffective and a waste of money.
  4. The instructions are over-complex. I spent ages measuring everything according to the diagrams, but was not happy with the end result. I went back to Good t’ Go and they helped me fit it by eye.
  5. The rubber strips that slot into the top of the Aerobars are also feeble, and after carrying my ski on one trip, they are already damaged.

We had a stonking south-easter blowing this weekend which made driving with a surfski on the car quite nerve-wrecking with the ski shifting badly on the racks; I rushed to buy a Thule Kayak Carrier this morning, which means that my set-up has now cost me  R4877.00 which I think is ridiculous.

A quick read through some www.surfski.info forums will educate you of some surfski transport do’s and don’t s.

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David

Outdoor adventure enthusiast living on the Garden Route.

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