13 April 2008

Packing a Surfboard for Air Travel

After Googling "how to pack a surfboard" and consulting with well-traveled D, I armed myself with pipe insulation and 3 rolls of bubble wrap and got to work. This is my first time taking my board on an airplane, so we'll see in a few days how well I did.

First, remove all the wax from the surfboard. If you happen to be in possession of a warm sunny day, put the board outside deck up for a bit and let the sun do the work. It's easy then to take off the melty wax with a plastic scraper-thingy. Also remove the fins. Next, apply pipe insulation around the rails and on the nose and tail:Then wrap, and wrap, and wrap some more, with bubble wrap, securing the ends with tape:
Be sure to use a lot for extra protection. Next, try to slide the board into your heavyweight travel bag. When that proves impossible due to the thick layers of bubble wrap, but you've managed to push the board in so far that you can't pull it out again, call someone for assistance. Now strip everything off and start over.

This time, wind plastic wrap (bubble-free) around the board to hold the pipe insulation on the rails:
Then try a test insertion to see if it will fit in the board bag. Yes? Place a few sections of bubble wrap flat on the deck and bottom, taking care not to cover the rails, and secure them with more plastic wrap. (OK, so this is not very environmentally-friendly packaging, but at least most of it's reusable.) Slide/shove/swear the board into the bag, adding extra padding (more pipe insulation, rashguards, etc) in any empty spaces, and zip the bag shut.Lastly, cross your fingers, and get ready to smile sweetly and hand over $$ at the airport check-in counter!


  1. I would recommend to put some cartoon under the bubble bag, and try to cover as much surface as you can, just take it from the garbage, then bubble rap and tape.



  2. I used inflated 1" camping mattresses to cushion the deck, instead of bubble wrap. I did use the pipe insulation + day bag + coffin as well.

    1. The camping mattess is a good idea since I usually need something like that anyway to cushion my bad back against the hard beds in most places. Think I'll pick one up for next time.