Flying with Surfboards
As if air travel wasn't filled with enough fees and baggage levies, we've got our prized quiver.
Bocas del Toro, as our an example destination, is not the best place to rent a board. For two main reasons, you're going to want your own boards there. First, the shops have a lousy selection of overpriced and waterlogged boards. Second, if you're surfing primo waves, you don't want to waste days trying out mediocre boards when you've got a great stick you already love.
Every airline charges by the bag, so pack em in. Layer in clothing to a) protect your stick and b) save on the other baggage fees the airline is looking to gouge you with.
For the best board bags, most will agree Dakine makes a stellar line of products. Which board bag depends on the size and whether you expect to be rolling it down the hallway (FYI: wheels don't really function in sand). I have something like this (see below) and it's works for both air travel and when I throw them on the roof or for storage. If all else is equal, go for a white bag. It reflects the light, whether from a roof rack or when that baggage guy leaves it on the tarmac for a half hour.
Aero California $35
Air France $55
Air New Zealand $0
Alaska $50/$75 - Under 80", $50 one way - Over 80" $75 one way
American Airlines $80 - One-way per bag under 75 lbs - Holiday Embargoes
American West $75
China Air $54.50
Continental $100 One-way - Embargoes
Hawaiian Air $80
Iberia $100 to 150 - Embargoes
Japan Air $42/$84 Under 108", $42 - Over 108" $84
Jet Blue $25
Korean Air $100-$150
Lan Chile $120
Lufthansa $10 per kg
Quantas - Free
TACA $50 Embargoes
Virgin Atlantic $50/$100