The Ultimate Guide to Surf Tripping: How to Travel with Your Board
You've been squirreling away money and now you've got enough for a little adventure. Instead of blowing it all on something frivolous, you've decided to do the right thing and embark on a surf trip. Brilliant choice! But hold your seahorses! There's quite a lot that needs to be sorted before you can hit those foreign waves with your board intact. Fear not, we've got you covered with the ultimate guide to surf tripping.
1. Choose the Right Airline
Sure, budget airlines like Spirit or Avianca might seem cheaper on the surface, but you're likely to be nickel-and-dimed for all the extras - bags, food, water, even bathroom breaks. Plus, these airlines are notorious for their lackluster service. If your board is lost or damaged, they'll do little to help. Your surf trip deserves better. It's worth spending a little extra for peace of mind. Trustworthy airlines such as American, Hawaiian, JetBlue, and United not only handle fragile items with care, but they also allow you to check your surfboard bag for free (as your one included checked bag).
2. Invest in a Quality Board Bag
Surfboards aren't cheap, and discovering a big ding in a foreign land is the last thing you want. Although it might sting to spend hundreds of dollars on a bag, a high-quality one will last forever and save you from countless headaches. We recommend the FCS Travel 2. This bag can snugly fit three boards and comes with sufficient padding to keep them safe. What's more, you can pack some clothes in there for added protection.
3. Pack Your Boards Correctly
If you're using a coffin-style board bag, you've got all the padding, tie-downs, and accessories you need. You just need to put it all together intelligently. However, with a more basic bag, it's going to be a bit of a dance. You want to protect your board as much as possible, especially at points where it's likely to break or ding. Consider using cut pool noodles around the rails and pack soft clothes (avoiding items with zippers or buttons) strategically on the top and bottom of your board. Remember, there will likely be other stuff on top of your board on the plane, so any hard materials pose a risk of pushing into the fiberglass.
4. Bring the Right Stuff
Your board and boardshorts aren't the only essentials for a surf trip. If you're aiming to hit some more remote and less crowded spots - fantastic! But be aware that these places often lack well-stocked surf shops. So, come prepared. Bring two of everything, just in case: fins, leashes, tail pads. Also, pack a small repair kit - something like Solar Rez should do the trick. Don't forget a couple of bars of wax, too. Many places might not have easy access to wax or it could be expensive. The point is to be prepared for anything - you're going on this trip to surf, so don't let anything get in the way.
Turning your dream surf trip into reality doesn't have to be a daunting task. With a little preparation and these handy tips in mind, you're all set to take on the world's best waves. Safe travels and happy surfing! Remember, the ocean is a vast and beautiful playground. Respect it, enjoy it, and most importantly, have an unforgettable adventure.