Author Topic: How I travel with my board... if helpful  (Read 2039 times)

Dusk Patrol

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How I travel with my board... if helpful
« on: June 28, 2018, 12:41:26 PM »
Evan's post prompts me to share my process for travelling with a SUP. In agonizing detail.  But thereís a reason behind every bullet point of madness.  Hopefully it will help anyone considering it. 

Why take my own SUP?  Surprisingly few surf shops carry quality surf SUPS. And even if you find a good shop, you have the travel to and from that shop, plus the cost and the inconvenience to you and those you travel with. It can eat up what time you have on your trip.

My solution is to have my own board, always on my rental car, and secure enough so that I can be on a walk or eating at a restaurant without having to worry about the board being stolen.

I generally fly Alaska, so the board travels just as a normal piece of luggage. Because Iím a mid-tier frequent  Alaska flyer, I get two pieces of luggage for free. One of which is the board. Thatís nice.
The travel board of choice is a Blue Planet Fun Stick at 9í4Ē, which is comfortably under Alaska and some othersí length limitation (of 9í5Ē or 9í6Ē). It also has the SupGrip handle allowing for running a locking strap through for security.  The board bag also has an opening where the handle is located, which is a godsend. Itís so much easier to carry a full board bag by the handle instead of by an handle hanging off the bag edge.  Instead of wrapping the board in bubble wrap, I use a second lighter board bag inside the travel bag. (I also cut a handle hole in the interior bag.)  This allows the TSA to just unzip one, then unzip the inside one to satisfy their curiosity.  I heard a story of a one piece  paddle being cut in half to inspect the interior, so I want to remove any obstacles to the TSA doing what they think their job is.   I also throw my paddle bag and paddle in the board bag.

I go to the airport with the board with  my usual rack and straps.

If curbside check in is available, use it. A generous tip is totally worth the alternative of schlepping through the terminal.     

If  curbside check in is not available, I drop our luggage and my patient and understanding wife off at the terminal, where she waits until I return from dropping off the car at the offsite parking.  (The goal here is to avoid transporting your board from parking to the terminal.)

I return to the terminal and move board/luggage to counter, then take the board to wherever the oversize luggage drop off may be.

Process is reversed at the destination: Pick up luggage from carousel, and go find board at oversize luggage; deposit all of the above, together with angelic wife, at curbside, while I go pick up the rental car (hopefully on-site) and return to the arrival area and load up.

In an otherwise unused outside pocket of my suitcase I  have a (i) small pair of EVA pads, (ii) two locking Kanulock  straps and one regular strap. 

The end destination product is my board on the rental car, handle down, with one Kanulock strap running through the handle for security, and the other two straps holding the board. I can do that inside a bag or just the board alone. Heat-wise, the bag is reflective facing upward, and the board is white facing upward (on the car).  Be careful if the paddle is still in the board bag when cinching down the straps.   

Is it worth all the trouble?  It is if you use the board enough. The annoying parts are at the airport and the inconvenience to those youíre travelling with, but if I hustle, itís not too bad. And the freedom of just being able to squeeze in a trip to a break on my own schedule is definitely worth it.       
« Last Edit: June 28, 2018, 12:47:15 PM by Dusk Patrol »
Bullet V2; RS 14x26; JL Destroyer 9'8; BluePlanet 9'4


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