In this article, I will be reviewing the possible ways to travel with a surfboard. Either by foot, car, scooter, bicycle or by a plane. Why to even travel with a surfboard? Well, I think exploring the local coastline is definitely something every surfer is dreaming of, but many of us just won’t settle for that and try to explore the overseas territories as well. But what we all, surfers have in common is to find the perfect wave at the perfect spot.
If you are privileged enough to live right by the ocean, you are obviously better off just grabbing the board, tuck it under your shoulder and hop to the beach. But, in case you live more than a few blocks away, where running through the streets in your wetsuit might seem or feel odd, you could grab your wetsuit and a towel, get changed at a beach and voila! Easy as that.
Car – Your best companion to help transport the board further out from your home surf breaks. There are two main options to store your board while transporting it – inside or out.
Inside the car
Storing your surfboard in the car is probably the best way when considering aerodynamics and the constant worry about your board popping out at high speeds. The only downside is that it takes a lot of valuable space inside, especially when you have a hatchback or a sedan.
It is advisable to store the board inside a travel or a cover bag – in case you don’t want to worry about the dings when turning or bumping down the road. If you own a panel-van, wagon or a mini-van – many people choose to store the board by hanging it on the roof or on the sidewalls. If a hatchback or a sedan is what you got – a folded down passenger seat or a rear seat on your car will do the trick for storing your surfboard. Make sure to watch out for the dings, since a loose board might bump into sharp objects around the car.
Outside the car
There are many roof racks available on the market that could carry up to 6 boards or more on a car, even if you don’t have roof rails! Check out these soft roof racks by Creatures of Leisure. If you already have roof rails and a roof rack – you could simply chuck your surfboard into the board bag and tie down the bag on the racks using tension straps. It is advisable to check the tightness of the boards and bags every now and then. Another tip is to tuck all the loose straps somewhere closed – since they might start flapping on high speeds.
As the years go by – Travelling overseas with your surfboard is getting more popular among surfers. Sure, it is easy to fly to your destination and rent a board from a local surf store, but is it really worth it? Most of the times when you go on a holiday – you take a cab or somebody takes you down to the airport anyway, where you have to get a trolley and carry your belongings to the customs, which makes carrying the surfboard easy as well.
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Pro’s when traveling with a surfboard:
- You can tuck all the soft belongings inside the bag. Shirts, Jeans, Socks, Underwear, Towel, Wetsuit – you name it. This method actually helps to protect the board from dings.
- You can ride your own personal board overseas and collect more memories on it by doing so. Hurray!
- It is easy to go through the customs as they will usually bring your oversized luggage before the checked baggage belt starts running anyway.
- Most international flights DO NOT CHARGE YOU EXTRA for the board that’s under 6.6ft / 2 meters tall.
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& Con’s when traveling with a surfboard:
- Heavy and inconvenient when you mind traveling with oversized luggage.
- Most Airlines don’t pay to fix your board after it’s being ripped open while in the search for hidden drugs.
- If your surfboard is taller than 6.6ft or 2 meters, they might charge you extra on international flights.
If you are lucky enough to live right by the sea, a bicycle might be your best option when going to the beach for a surf.
Why? Cycling works as a warm-up and gets your heart pumping before jumping in to catch some waves. How to cycle to the beach with a surfboard? Tuck the board under your shoulder or get some bicycle surfboard racks. However, It is not a good idea to travel long distances with the board tucked under your shoulder since it may twist your back and hurt your disks in long term.
If the surf breaks stretch out miles away – Bicycle comes handy if you could get surfboard racks fitted to your bike. Simply cruise down the beach, lock the bike and hop in!
Scooter is a popular way to transport the surfboard in areas where the weather for surfing is good all year round.
Densely populated areas like Indonesia, using a scooter is the best way to get scoot around the island and get to the breaks since the roads are narrow and traffic is hectic. It would take ages when using a car, bicycle or go by foot if you would like to explore the various popular breaks nearby. Transporting a surfboard with a scooter is like a bicycle since scooters have racks similarly designed like the ones for bicycles. Though it is easy and convenient to use a scooter, one must be sure of their skills when operating a scooter with a 6 feet tall surfboard by the side of the scooter.
Things to consider when riding a scooter with surf racks and a surfboard:
- You have a 6 feet tall board by your side. Make sure you have legroom when stopping and turning the scooter.
- Make sure the board is attached well enough on the racks so it would not slip out.
- Always wear a helmet.
- Be aware of the effects of side-winds when the weather gets windy.
- Make sure you have a safe place to store the scooter key when going for a surf!
Hopefully, you found that guide helpful when choosing new ways to transport your surfboard.