What makes the best surf car for the Low Country?
I have always been a car lover and am fascinated by the different types of vehicles I see transporting surfboards to the beach everyday. You end up seeing some pretty ridiculous stuff. Like a Porsche with a 7 foot fun board in the front seat or a lifted F-250 with a short board strapped to the roof. There is no shortage of bizarre ways to transport your board to the beach, but I prefer to do it a little more thought out. This summer I decided to document some of my favorite surf cars based on functionality, but mainly aesthetics. Let me start of by saying I am very biased because my life revolves around surfing and transporting surf gear. My needs are definitely a little more extreme than the weekend surfer who just needs a car that will fit their board.
For the sake of this "review" lets just assume all the cars below or used for the sole purpose of surfing and would not be daily drivers. I love any older model 4x4 that has that classic surf car look. Old Jeep Wranglers, Land Rover Defenders, Broncos, and FJs are some of the classics that I love. Over the summer I managed to spot some pretty cool ones. There is something so nostalgic about these vehicles. Every time I spot a one I immediately think of sand in the tire tread, wetsuits in the trunk, and late evening surfs parked on the dunes.
What makes all these cars (trucks) great though? Is it the ease of throwing a board and wetsuit in the bed? Is it the feeling you get driving it? Is it the way the car makes you feel? To me its a mix of all of these things and it all really depends on what you're looking for. I guess for me, it's the feeling the car gives me. All of the cars below remind me of being a kid and my first job working at Nantucket Surfari. There's no better feeling than finishing a day of work/surfing with the crew hanging in the parking lot having a sunset beer with wet wetsuits piled into the bed of trucks.
Unlike back north, here in Charleston there's no real need for a 4x4 but if you plan to travel to Florida or to OBX it's always a nice thing to have. A Subaru may be a better choice for a daily driver and a surf car, but for me nothing will be better than a big 4x4 to pack all your buddies and gear into.
It may seem cliche and stupid but cars play a huge role in our surfing lives. The amount of time spent driving up and down the coast chasing hurricane swell or even just a typical day checking the different spots on Folly Beach, we spend a lot of time in our cars with the people we surf with. Piling all your gear and friends and going to "check the next spot" is a daily occurrence so why not do it in style?