How To Pack Your Surfboard
1. Buy a heavy-duty board bag. Be sure to label the bag as “top load” or “fragile” with a marker or acrylic paint. Make sure the bag is roughly 6 inches longer than your longest board to leave room forcushioning. Consider how many boards will be in your quiver, as many bags have compartments to help separate boards. Although a hardcover plastic bag is heavier, it gives your boards more protection.
2. Remove the fins from your board. If you have removable travel fins (i.e. FCS, Future, O’Fish’l, or Excel Fins), take them off to make the board as flat as possible. Wrap the removed fins in a towel and keep them (and your fin key) with your board. If you have standard fins, cushion them with a fin box. They’re typically inexpensive, but you can make your own using polystyrene boxes if necessary.
3. Remove the old wax off your board. Skipping this step can cause your cold water wax to melt all over your board bag when you land in Puerto Rico.
4. Cut a slit vertically down one side of your pipe insulation, and secure it to the rails of your board with duct tape/shrink wrap.
5. Protect the nose and tail of your board with either bubble wrap or other towels and clothes that you’ll need. The pipe insulation used in the previous step can be used to reinforce the nose and tail as well, but be sure to cut a relief notch in the center of the nose and tail pieces of pipe. The larger the bubbles in the bubble wrap, the more protected your boards will be.
6. (OPTIONAL) Slide the board into a sock or bubble wrap bag if you have one.
7. Place the boards and fins in the bag with some extra padding (i.e. clothes, towels, wetsuits) at the ends to protect the nose and tail. If you’re bringing down more than one board–REMOVABLE FINS: place the largest board on bottom, and stack the rest of the boards so the rocker is running the same way. NONREMOVABLE FINS: place the boards deck up to even out the bulges in fin blocks on each side of the bag (rocker still running in same direction).
- Don’t pack hard items (i.e. the leash) in your board bag, as they could end up crushed against the board.
- Light carbon sandwich boards can explode from the low pressure inside airplanes. Open the caps to create airflow in the boards during flight, but be sure to close them before paddling out.
- Bring a ding repair kit in your other luggage to fix the inevitable dings that will happen. It should contain resin, catalyst, fiberglass cloth, fin rope, sand paper, a small tube of solarez, super glue and/or new skin.