If you are traveling around the world looking for perfect waves, there is a good chance that you have experienced airline companies damaging your boards. In general luggage handlers don’t really care about your board so it is wise to properly pack and protect your favorite stick.
Here are a few surfboard packing tips for flying :
1 HEAVY DUTY SURFBOARD BAG
The best thing you can do is buy yourself a really good heavy duty board bag with thick foam padding on the inside. There are many types of board bags, from inflatable to hard covers. Do some research but don’t save money on a cheap board bag. Buy a bag that is 15 to 20 cm longer than your board. This additional length leaves room for cushioning.
2 REMOVE OR PROTECT FINS
If you have removable surfboard fins always remove them before you travel. This is to prevent them from catching on surrounding objects. If you have glass on fins buy a fin box or make your own with a polystyrene block.
3 FOAM PIPE INSULATION
Cut foam pipe or use foam noodles to protect the rails of your surfboard. Cut only one side straight down the side and duct tape them onto the rails. Do the same with the nose and tail of your board. This will most definitely protect these areas that needs the most attention. But you can also protect the deck and bottom of your board this way for peace of mind.
4 BUBBLE WRAP
If you want really good protection cover your board or parts of it with plastic bubble wrap. It is lightweight and cushions impacts well.
5 SURFBOARD SOCK
For extra protection put your board in a board sock. There are many different types from wool to cotton, simple or beautifully designed. The board sock will serve as an extra layer of protection and can be quite handy when traveling short distances.
6 TOWELS AND WETSUIT
Before you slide your board into your board bag cover your board with some towels, clothes or your wetsuit. It will serve as an extra layer of protection, especially at the ends or rails.
Always write down “FRAGILE” or “HANDLE WITH CARE” on top of your surfboard. I personally always ask the lady at the counter to put some stickers on.
8 FOAM NOSE/TAIL PROTECTORS
Lately there have been many surfing products available to protect the nose and tail of your surfboard. Foam nose and tail protectors are quite handy and cheap and can save you a lot of hassle.