Best way to pack boards for air travel?
I'm trying to figure out the logistics for my wife and I for an end of the year trip. We want to take an iSonic 121 (75 cm wide), a Quad 92 and a Quad 74, an 8.4 and 490 mast, a 7.0 and 460 mast, a 5.5/5.0/4.5/4.0 and a 400 and 370 mast, 3 booms, 2 wetsuits, 2 harness, etc. Our luggage allowance is 2 bags per person of 23 kg per bag, so 4 bags between the 2 of us. So I was thinking 1 bag for clothes, 1 double bag for wave boards, 1 double bag for iSonic plus couple of sails, and rest of gear in a dakine rapid transit bag. Since the local shops don't stock any double bags there is no way for me to test if this works. Looking on the NP website their double bags weigh 10-14 kg, so I'm worried 2 wave boards will push the bag over 23 kg.
Anybody had any experience trying to do similar, or any good suggestions?
The bag it self is indeed heavy, I can't remember exactly how much my doubble boardbag weights, but one Sonic 85 plus one 6.7 rig (mast and boom included) gave me something around 27-28 kg the last time I was out travelling.
2 iSonic (117 & 117 Wide) Carbon in a Starboard iSonic Double Board Bag with extra proctection is exactly 23 kgs.
Hope this help.
All the best
Depending on your airlines "policy" re: windsurfing gear, they may not count any of your gear bags as
"luggage" in your 2 bags per traveler scenario.
My last trip I took about the same amount of gear, Continental Airlines.... Newark, NJ to Bonaire NA and the cost was $850 USD for the WS gear.
I had it all in 3 bags.... 2 boards in a double travel padded bag..... booms, small sails, harnesses and bases etc. in a large boom travel bag..... masts and large sails in the 3rd long sail.mast bag.
You can never tell what they are going to take as luggage and what they will charge.
A classic topic for windsurfers, the Travellers Lament. Or the Curse of the Airline Checkin.
Sounds like a great trip proposal, but also speaking from many ugly experiences, a quick tally of your equipment wishlist above takes us over 4 x23kg of equipment alone inc the inevitable "etc" (mast base/s, extns, fins etc) - this stuff adds up + FAST.
That's without allowing for clothes - and no real allowance for bag weight/s.
See if you can select an airline with a "user friendly" sporting goods baggage policy(getting VERY scarce these days - many used to exist, but these days drying up quicker than Global credit). If that fails, take a look at airline privilege membership (not the free Frequent Flyer miles but a paid membership to some airline “bonus” program eg Qantas Club; which often include extra baggage allowances and often(sometimes!!) ensures a softer enforcement of the cash register at the checkin scales…
You can then wine+dine in the Club Lounge to celebrate your checkin success ( or drown your sorrows )preflight at their expense either way, included ! Joking ! (but only half!)
Road freight : Pack/ship by truck a mix of clothes and equipment in advance. Hasn’t been seen to work on to many international trips especially involving crossing water though! Works best as an out+back travel mode, not effective for ongoing multistop trips.
Rental : arrange to rent some (or all) of your equipment at destination/s. Again, many variables apply as to viability and doesn’t sound ideal compared with using your own well fitted and tuned gear but many times we have seen the rental option emerge as nowhere near as “bad” once many/all factors are considered, inc airline and transit damage, which seems to prevail on heavily loaded and minimal packed oversize bags. (try it !)
Last one : Good Luck ! Seriously, in the end - these days - it really does start to count. A lot .
Cheers ~ Ian
Take only 1 board and 1 rig, the one that you really want to use.
Rent all the rest if necessary.
When I traveled to MAui, i took two masts, two booms 4 sails and one board. The airline I was with did charge for over weight and over length, $50 for each. So I expected at the end of trip to have paid $200. I packed sail, masts into quiver bag, board in single wall bag then sandwiched booms between the two, used roof ties to hold together, then wrapped in clear plastic wrap and duct tape creating one tight package that came just under the 100lb max and 9' max.
I did take the whole package to the airport two weeks before traveling, went up to the airline i was traveling with's check in counter (when not busy) and asked to weigh the package as well get the possible blessing of traveling with this, they ended up putting a note on my file that i had pre checked and they thought was it good. When i came back to fly out that was on my flight record as well the person at the check in counter thought that the package was so well put together that they only charged me $50.
Coming home i had to pay $75 dollars (must not have smiled as nice to the check attendant). Still way better than the $200 i had expected as well the just having the equipment with me allowed me to get more sailing days balanced with family days then renting equipment.
I believe that since I knew what the requirements were, as well went early to check, as well be as friendly as possible you have a way better chance than if you plead ignorance.
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