Are you planning to go on vacation or travel to a foreign country with your paddle board? Are you also clueless as to how you can do this? Well, this article will equip you with tips on how to fly with your paddleboard in tow without much hassle.

What’s your type?

Travelling to a foreign country requires you to consider your luggage weight. Though the market offers a wide variety of paddle boards to choose from, some of them are not ideal for travel. When planning your next vacation or weekend getaway, an inflatable type is a great pick. Inflatable boards are not only lightweight, but also easy to transport, especially when the body of water you’re headed to is miles away from your point of arrival.

Size does matter

While size matters when buying your board, the same applies even when you’re flying, as most airlines have size restrictions. As a rule of thumb, the size of your baggage should be under 155 inches. This may vary from one airline to another. Be sure to confirm with your airline their size restrictions before booking your flight.

Packing your paddleboard

For ease of transportation, you’ll need to pack your board in a well-padded bag. Paddleboards are delicate, and carrying them in a standard bag can damage them. Make sure the bag’s the right size, too. Generally, you should buy a bag that’s bigger than the size of your board.

Deflate your board and pack it inside your bag. Remember that at high altitudes, the air valve may inflate your board, causing it to crack or explode due to excessive pressure. So it’s imperative that you remove it prior to packing.

In case your board has screws or fins, make sure you have them removed before packing. Place a soft cloth or extra padding on delicate areas like the nose, rails, and trail. Luggage handlers may mishandle your baggage and may end up damaging it.

Avoid packing your fins screws, tools, and fins together with your board, or you may risk losing them. Pack them in one of your suitcases wrapped well with a piece of cloth to make things easy for you. Don’t forget to pack your pump and paddle.

In case you don’t have enough space, you can opt to leave your paddle behind and rent one when you reach your destination. However, before opting for a rental, get to know the charges and where to rent them. Also ensure that you’ve packed all the other things you’ll require. Write your address, name, and contact information on all your bags for easy identification.

Once you’ve done all of the above, take some time to familiarise yourself with your airline’s policies. For instance, some airlines don’t allow some tools in checked baggage. Get to know everything before you commence your trip, or you might inadvertently bring something on board that’s against the airport or airline rules.

Plan early

Budget your trip well and ensure your cards are loaded. Carry some cash for emergencies in the currency of the country you’re travelling to. Revisit your airline luggage charges and determine whether you have enough to cater for your flight to and fro.

Once you’re certain you have everything you need, you can call your airline and confirm your departure time. Try to be at the airline early enough to allow for the check-in and avoid any delays that may result in missed flights. Organise for a car to drop you at the airport beforehand so you don’t scramble when it’s time to leave.

Follow protocol

When you arrive at the airport, follow instructions, and be honest when asked questions by security. If there’s anything you’re unsure of, you can ask to avoid breaking the rules. More often than not, airport personnel are more than happy to help you out.  

Additional tips

  • When you reach your destination, you may need a vehicle to help you transport your board. Don’t forget to plan for additional transportation fees.
  • Double check your board for any faults before packing it.
  • Remember to keep track of your board pressure before packing it to ensure the same pressure levels are maintained when you reach your destination.
  • Wear a safety jacket when paddling.
  • In case you run out of space and opt to rent a paddle, ensure you have selected the right one that matches your board.

Travelling on an airplane with your paddleboard isn’t difficult if you put the above tips into practice. With ample preparation and implementation of these tips, you can travel and paddle anywhere in the world without a hitch.

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