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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Airline surfboard travel advice and tips

    Flying on Alaska Airlines to Cabo next month and bringing my beloved 7'3" egg. I currently have 2 day bags. One bag is for an old board I sold that is 7'2" and almost the entire board fits in it. Am I nuts to put my board in the small bag (with some padding for the tail where the bag doesn't zip all the way), inside the bigger 7'6" bag in lieu of a 200ish dollar travel bag? What about bubble wrap and duct tape over the board in only my larger day bag? Do I HAVE to buy a travel bag that I probably won't use all that often?

    Other airline surfboard travel tips? Thanks!

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    508
    The more beloved the board, the more I'd consider leaving it home and finding a good rental shop. Alaska has a pretty good reputation for moving gear, but even so, I've seen a lot of sad facebook/instagram posts from friends who have had boards lost or broken.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cravenmorhead View Post
    The more beloved the board, the more I'd consider leaving it home and finding a good rental shop. Alaska has a pretty good reputation for moving gear, but even so, I've seen a lot of sad facebook/instagram posts from friends who have had boards lost or broken.
    Thanks for the advice. It's beloved, but it wouldn't be the end of the world if I was compensated for it being lost/damaged.

    Gonna be in the Todos Santos and Cerritos area for the most part. When I was there 2 years ago they wanted like 20 USD a day for total beaters. Hoping to surf around 10 days, so would really like to avoid renting if I can.

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    In the shadow of the wasatch
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    2,305
    I think a day bag with tail padding, wrapped in bubble wrap and in another day bag would be ok. But I dont travel with boards often and when I do I have a travel bag.

    How much are they charging to fly your board?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    risin up to paradise...
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    180
    I think youíll be fine. Using 2 bags is essentially the same as a travel bag. Iíve flown with just a day bag and travel bags with multiple boards a lot, both with good results. Itís purely luck as thereís no shortage of posts of wrecked boards by the airline.
    I just flew Alaska to Costa Rica and with their self check in kiosks it only cost me $25 to bring 2 boards and my baggage. My new favorite airline!
    If Iím worried Iíll pad the rails with pipe insulation and use towels on the nose and tail. These days Iím too lazy and my boards are pretty used so I wouldnít mind an excuse to get a new board. My egg which I love I had shaped by the local Todos shaper was only $350. Probably a little more now but check out the selection at Todos Santos surf shop. Carlos and Paula are good people. Meisy is the local shaper.
    You see Cerritos has a new surf cam on Surfline? Not my favorite wave in the area but itís consistent. San Pedrito in pescadero is super fun but watch the rocks at low tide. Iíve spent a ton of time in Todos, hit me with any ?ís


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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Bull City
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    2,753
    I can't imagine enough bubble wrap and a tough enough soft bag to survive the baggage goons tossing 80-100 pound hard sided cases with wheels sticking out of them on top of your surfboard bag. I'd take beater board if checking it or ship a good one there in advance, ship it back from the hotel at the end of your trip.
    Go that way really REALLY fast. If something gets in your way, TURN!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    cow hampshire
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    3,629
    We've had good luck with pipe insulation, bubble wrap and towels. It might just be shit luck.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    PDX
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFugitive View Post
    I think a day bag with tail padding, wrapped in bubble wrap and in another day bag would be ok. But I dont travel with boards often and when I do I have a travel bag.

    How much are they charging to fly your board?
    Alaska Airlines charges 25 bones which seems to be about the best afaik. Along with being in the PNW makes all no brainier.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Murian View Post
    I think youíll be fine. Using 2 bags is essentially the same as a travel bag. Iíve flown with just a day bag and travel bags with multiple boards a lot, both with good results. Itís purely luck as thereís no shortage of posts of wrecked boards by the airline.
    I just flew Alaska to Costa Rica and with their self check in kiosks it only cost me $25 to bring 2 boards and my baggage. My new favorite airline!
    If Iím worried Iíll pad the rails with pipe insulation and use towels on the nose and tail. These days Iím too lazy and my boards are pretty used so I wouldnít mind an excuse to get a new board. My egg which I love I had shaped by the local Todos shaper was only $350. Probably a little more now but check out the selection at Todos Santos surf shop. Carlos and Paula are good people. Meisy is the local shaper.
    You see Cerritos has a new surf cam on Surfline? Not my favorite wave in the area but itís consistent. San Pedrito in pescadero is super fun but watch the rocks at low tide. Iíve spent a ton of time in Todos, hit me with any ?ís


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    Right on. Leaning towards double day bags and bubble wrap. Pipe insulation is a nice call too.

    Didn't make it to the surf shop last time, but will see what it's all about this trip hopefully.

    Cerritos and San Pedrito are the primary spots I'll end up I'm sure. But am open to the S swell areas closer to Cabo for some variety if it looks like they're working. Will have to jones out out the webcam for the next few weeks!

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    SBA/ASE
    Posts
    72
    Surfing has been declared the official state sport of California. So American Airlines and United both now just charge regular checked bag fees for flights to or from California for surfboard bags. no more $150 -$200 board bag fees. No mention of end date.
    As mentioned before , Alaska now charges $25 for boardbags. They didn’t even weigh bag on my return trip Loreto-LAX.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,757
    pip insulation or pool noodles. Just got back from cabo, my kitesurf board survived.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    PDX
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    Ended up going with two layers of bubble wrap inside of my day bag and my board made it both ways with no damage! Props to Alaska Airlines! Glad I took mine, so I could avoid spending more to ride unfamiliar beaters.

    Got the full range of conditions at Cerritos. Started off small and glassy (pictured), ended up large and hollow at times. Great time overall!

    Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Boulder
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    925
    Looks so very empty compared to my time there during Sante Semana haha. Good to know.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,757
    Quote Originally Posted by stalefish3169 View Post
    Ended up going with two layers of bubble wrap inside of my day bag and my board made it both ways with no damage! Props to Alaska Airlines! Glad I took mine, so I could avoid spending more to ride unfamiliar beaters.

    Got the full range of conditions at Cerritos. Started off small and glassy (pictured), ended up large and hollow at times. Great time overall!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using TGR Forums mobile app
    so empty. I surfed there before that castle and condos were built. I can not believe the size of that place.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    PDX
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    Quote Originally Posted by North View Post
    Looks so very empty compared to my time there during Sante Semana haha. Good to know.
    It was definitely more crowded at times. But early mornings were empty and vibe was good all day.

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