Let’s say you’re ditching winter, flying south to warm weather and even warmer water. Of course you want to take your paddleboard along, but how’s that going to work? Don’t be the guy trying to stuff your SUP into the overhead bin – read on for our top tips for traveling with your stand-up paddleboard.
Research your Airline
Destination, airfare and most convenient days/times – that’s pretty much how we choose our airline. But it’s worth researching airlines ahead of time, because their SUP restrictions are going to vary. Some airlines, like Hawaiian, are pretty accommodating, while others are going to limit you to a 9’6. Fees run the gamut too, so find out what it’s going to cost before you’re standing at check-in.
Pack it Right
If you’re going to trust your SUP to the baggage crew, make sure it’s protected. There are tons of board bags out there, but you’re going to want something extra padded. Alternately, you can cushion your board with bubble wrap to keep it safe. A 3-piece travel paddle is your best bet as a carry-on item. Otherwise, try to fit your paddle into your board bag and protect the angle of the blade from bending pressure. And don’t forget your fin…..you can easily stuff that into a suitcase.
Or… Go the Inflatable Route
Nearly every major board manufacturer has a sweet inflatable in the line-up these days – have you seen the Heavenly Air? – and this is the easiest option by far. Our version folds down into a backpack and weighs in around 30 pounds fully packed. The durable material of the board makes baggage check-in stress free. Once again, a 3-piece travel paddle would be your best bet and fitting it into the backpack is no problem. Just make sure the angle of the blade is protected from bending pressure. The Heavenly Air inflates in a snap and is the perfect all-around board for your winter SUP trip.