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Traveling with a surfboard on a plane is like trying to get home from the grocery store without breaking any eggs. Most the time you'll be ok but every now and then you break every one... LAME! So here's a quick how-to on packing your surfboard to be "luggage handler proof"... or at least as close as it can be.
What you’ll need:
Foam Pipe Insulation: (4.5x surfboard length)
1x Fin Key/Allen Wrench
1x Roll Duct tape
1x Board Bag
Step 1: RETHINK your airline of choice. Before you buy your tickets, save yourself a chunk of change and make sure you check Surfline for the best, most surfer friendly airlines. Not just to pick the airlines that are the least hard on your surfboard but also the cheapest to take a board with you.
Step 2: Remove fins. Bust out that Allen Wrench and get to work. If you don’t pull em off, they’ll shred through any protective packaging you buy---which is a definite no no when it comes to like... you know... surfing your board once you land.
Step 3: Clean off your board. Run some warm water over the waxed surface and carefully scrape off that wax with a credit card or wax scraper. The last thing you want to do is have a melted wax apocalypse waiting for you when you land.
Step 4: Prep your Foam Pipe. Slit one edge—make the cut as straight as you can and slip your finished product over the rails. Cut off a few extra pieces and double reinforce the nose and tail as they are the most likely to get crunched by disgruntled TSA staff. For extra safety, you’ll want to cut a few pipes in half and lay them out over the face and bottom of the board.
Step 5: Duct tape season. Go to town. Leave no survivors. Step 5: For the extremely paranoid. Do you happen to have a board sock lying around in your garage? Use it. Your board should now be capable of surviving a direct shotgun blast or a small meteorite strike.
Extra precaution. Bring a tube of Solarez. In the event that someone really went out of their way to harm your baby, you can stop it from ruining your vacation with a quick patch job.
Step 6: Pack it all in. Put your monstrosity into a surfboard bag to shield it from all who would judge your handiwork with their accusing eyes.
Prepare your surfboard for the Apocalypse and your board may stand a chance... although I can't promise it. :)