How to Pack your Surfboard Bag for your Next Surf Trip
Surf trips are the best type of trips, no question about it. But there’s nothing worse than showing up to your beachside cabana, opening your board bag, and seeing some busted sticks! And believe it or not, it’s pretty common. At some point it’ll happen to you. Even the best packed surfboards can be smashed by a talented Airport Bag Handler. Sometimes I feel like it’s sport for them.
However, there are some great tips to keep in mind when packing your boards. Following these tips will make packing easier and give you a good chance of getting to your destination with your boards intact.
Choosing a board bag. There are a lot of board bags to choose from, but for good reason. You’ll want to get a bag for the type of surfboards you have and for how many you plan on traveling with. For example, if you’re going to bring 3 shortboards, grab a triple bag. Here are a couple pointers on board bags
- Get the right size. Get a bag that is only a little bigger than your biggest board. This will ensure there’s not too much extra space in the bag.
- Compress or Expand. If you have more than one board or plan to get more in the future, get a bag that can compress or expand with straps.
- Wheels are great. Whether you’re bringing more than one board or have longer boards, wheels are so nice to have on those long walks through the airport or to your hotel. I always find myself walking with my board bag on trips.
- Luggage Handlers are impressive. They’ll destroy your bag in ways you never imagined, so padding is your friend to keep your surfboard protected.
- Put a towel or pad on the bottom of the bag before putting your first board in. The board’s bottom is fragile so it helps to have extra padding.
- Go to a fabric or upholstery store and buy some cushion foam. Use scissors and cut this foam to the shape of the nose and tail of your board bag. The nose and tail areas always have extra space in the bag and are common places for dings.
Use your towels, wetsuits, and clothes for padding the boards instead of getting a lot of foam. This will double as needed padding and allow you to bring less luggage. On most surf trips, I usually ONLY check a surfboard bag because my clothes, wetsuits, and toiletries are in the bag :)
Board bags that Surfcare likes:
Be careful, Surfboard Bag fees can be extremely high! Here’s a helpful article on which airlines to fly based on board bag fees. Surfline Surfboard Baggage Fees by Airline Updated 2020