Packing a surfboard for a big getaway can be a nightmare and can create some unwanted stress as you get ready for the surf trip that you just paid top dollar to go on. The last thing you want to do is to be stressing about whether or not your boards are going to handle the barrage of airport workers slamming your boards onto cargo carriers, when you’d rather be dreaming about some of the best places to surf in the world!
Here is your guide to handling this situation like a seasoned traveler…
First things first, supplies and prep work: considering most of us are not surfing tropical water year round, I would advise you to strip the crusty old wax off your board and wait until you reach your destination to apply some fresh new wax, and to do so accordingly based on the climate you’ll be surfing in. Remove your fins as well if you have Futures or FCS fins set up, and if you happen to have glass on fins I would suggest going down to your local surf shop and buying a fin block – this will protect your fins from snapping off in transit.
Next on the list is to get some clear packing tape – duct tape will do, but the clear packing tape comes off your board easier and does not leave any sticky residue. The board bag you use should at least be a few inches longer than your boards to allow for room when you pack the nose and tail. You will want to protect the most important parts of your board like your nose, rails and tail; it would definitely be a trip killer to have a busted stick from not packing these areas properly. A great way to kill two birds with one stone is to use items you are already bringing on your trip to cover these areas – towels will do perfectly, shirts can be used, and if you want, bubble wrap can be used on these areas as well. The ideal wrapping situation would be to wrap the important areas with your towels and bubble wrap, and then to tape them down so they do not move. Another alternative to towels on the rail would be to boogie on down to your local hardware store and pick up some grey pipe insulation: cut this down the middle and apply to your rails with some tape to ensure no movement – this is a great way to save some space and can be reused on multiple surf trips.
After packing your boards, your last task is to go to the refrigerator and get a cold beer and reward yourself for your hard work – you most likely worked up quite the sweat during this process! The final tip comes into place at the airport, after handing off your board bag to the airport agents and they begin to inspecting it, chat them up a little and send some good vibes their way – believe me, they are not stoked to lug your bag around… A few good vibes can go a long way!