Surf Trip Prep 101: How to Pack a Surfboard Bag
Spring is here, which means warmer weather, warmer water, and leftover swell from winter. Before long, south swells will begin to pick up. For many surfers, south swell season is synonymous with surf trip season. Summer is swell season in the southern hemisphere and Central America. During Central America’s rainy season, from May to September, powerful south swells travel up from the Antarctic and meet the many reefs, points, and sand bars of the Central American Pacific coast, forming world-class, tropical waves. Surf trip season will soon be upon us. To make the most of your next surf trip, continue reading below for Surf Trip Prep 101: How to Pack a Surfboard.
Decide what boards you need
The first step towards packing your boards is deciding which boards you’ll need to bring. I typically pack my go-to high-performance shortboard for critical waves and a fish/ groveler for those rare days between swells. If you’re traveling to Indo, taking a Maldives boat trip, or planning a strike mission to some lesser-known outer reef in Latin America, you’ll want to forego the fish or groveler in favor of a step-up or mini-gun.
Look up the airline's surfboard bag policy
Every airline seems to have different policies regarding surfboard travel bags. Some have length requirements, some have weight requirements, and some just slap you in the face with hundreds of dollars of fees. So, you don’t blow your entire surf trip budget getting your boards to and from your destination, look up the airline's surfboard baggage policy ahead of time.
Pack the surf trip essentials
Obviously, bringing your own boards on a surf trip is a must, but don’t forget the often-overlooked items, like extra fins, wax, sunscreen, and first aid equipment. While many modern surf trip destinations have surf shops, there are still some far-flung corners of the earth where things like surf wax are hard to come by, and losing a fin means you’ll be running a twin fin set up for the rest of your trip. The Dirtbag comes with two accessory pockets to store your surf trip essentials. Additionally, the Dirtbag has an internal compartment large enough to fit two wetsuits.
Pack your board with care
It’s unlikely that the baggage handler manhandling your surfboard bag to and from the plane surfs and understands how delicate surf crafts can be. No matter how many "fragile" or "handle with care" stickers you slap on your board bag, chances are, it’s in for a rough trip. To prevent any unwanted dings during transit, pack your board as securely as possible. If you’re using a standard surfboard travel bag or a day bag, you will need extra padding. Pipe insulators or pool noodles make for quality rail protection. Secure the outline of your board with the previously mentioned pipe insulator/ pool noodles and hold it together using bubble wrap and tape. I like to add a layer of cardboard underneath the bubble wrap to create a hard protective layer. Sweatpants, beach towels, and yoga mats can be used to further protect the nose and tail of your board. If you’re packing a swallowtail, use a flattened cardboard box to protect the fragile tail design. If you’re transporting your boards in a dirtbag, leave the bubble wrap at home. Our signature surfboard travel bags are the most padded surfboard bags on the market. These board bags feature 25mm high-density EVA foam protection around the rails, 20mm PE foam protection along the rocker, and 10mm PE foam protection along the deck.
Don’t forget the straps!
Getting your boards safely on and off the plane is only half the battle. Once you get to your destination, your boards must make it to your hotel. Straps are an absolute must for surf travel. Dirtbags come complete with a one-of-a-kind integrated racking system. The Universal Racking System allows your surfboard bag to strap to virtually any vehicle you’ll encounter on your next surf trip, including, but not limited to, taxis, tuk-tuks, sketchy school buses, and Toyotas that may be older than you.
Make the most of this surf trip season with the Dirtbag Supply Co. Spend less time and money on ding repair and spend more time in the water when you travel with the most padded surfboard travel bag on the market. Order your Dirtbag, here, and stay tuned to the blog for more surf travel tips and news.