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How to ship a surfboard

surf travel

Moving a surfboard over long distances is no easy task. Airlines do allow you to travel with your surfboard, but this can result in high costs for extra baggage allowance. The alternative to this is to ship your surfboard directly to your destination using a courier. 

Shipping a surfboard is a relatively easy process. You can travel without having to lug your heavy boards around the airport and into a taxi. Instead, your surfboard arrives straight at your hotel where it's ready for you. 

Whether you’re planning a surf trip, moving to a new country, or want to send a surfboard to someone overseas, shipping it with a courier is possible. Follow this guide to learn exactly how to do this. 

Preparing your surfboard for shipping

When you’re ready to ship your surfboard, you need to make sure that you pack it safely. Surfboards are fragile, and long-distance shipping can be really rough on your precious board. Here are the steps you should take to prepare your board for this. 

Detach all removable parts

The first thing you need to do is take all of the removable parts off your board. Remove the fins and leash, and pack these separately. These parts are small and can easily be packed in your luggage. You want your board to be as flat as possible when shipping it.

cargo

Use a good protective bag

Pack your board into a bag that offers a great level of protection. This should be a padded surfboard bag that isn’t too loose. The board should have a little bit of wiggle room, but it shouldn’t be too tightly packed. 

Wrapping the board up with foam or bubble wrap for an extra layer of protection is a good idea. You can do this around the board before you insert it into the bag if there is enough space, or outside the bag. If you don’t wrap up the entire board, you should at least try to protect the sensitive edges with bubble wrap or foam.

In transit, boxes are often dropped and slammed down on their ends. Because of this, you’ll definitely want to make sure that the nose and tail of your board are well protected with a thick layer of padding. 

If you’re packing multiple surfboards into one package, then make sure that each of them is individually padded so that they don’t damage each other. If your boards have glassed on fins, then you’ll need to pay extra attention to wrapping the fins up with protective padding. 

Add an outer layer of cardboard

To ensure your surfboard is completely safe for shipping, cover the board in a protective cardboard coating. You could either put the surfboard into a big enough cardboard box or wrap cardboard sheets around the board for an additional layer of protection.

You could get two big boxes, and attach these together to form a box big enough for surfboards. If there are large empty spaces, you can add cushioning materials in here to keep the surfboard firmly in place and thickly wrapped up. This will make a big difference to the surfboard’s protection while it is in transit. 

packing a surfboard

Tape up all the edges

Finally, make sure that all of the edges are properly secured and taped up. Reinforce any seams or edges, and make sure that your board is completely sealed. Now it should be well-protected and ready to send. 

Don’t be afraid to send multiple surfboards

It’s generally the same price to ship about four surfboards as it is to ship just one. The price of shipping has more to do with the length of the box than the added weight of an extra surfboard. So if you’re considering bringing along a few extra boards, this could be a good opportunity. It’s generally easier to ship multiple boards with a courier than to fly with multiple boards. 

Buy the insurance

It’s tempting to avoid paying the insurance charge, but it really won’t be worth skipping if your valuable surfboard arrives in two pieces. Having the insurance paid gives you peace of mind knowing that you will be covered in case something goes wrong during transit.

Ship the surfboard to a business address

It’s usually way cheaper to ship a surfboard to a business address than a home address. This is because it’s easier for couriers to drop off parcels at businesses. Businesses are generally closer to storage and distribution centers, and there’s more chance that someone will be at the business to accept the delivery.

how to ship a surfboard

Inspect the surfboard before signing

As soon as you sign for your delivery, it means you’re accepting the delivery as it is, and any possible damage becomes your problem. Never just sign for your surfboard and blindly accept your package. Always inspect it properly before signing. 

Unbox your surfboard, unwrap it, and check the board carefully for any damages. Only sign the form if you’re happy with the condition the board is in. If you sign and accept the delivery, then any dings on your board become your problem. 

Conclusion

Shipping your surfboard to a new destination is not as scary as it may seem. As long as your board is well protected, the whole process can be relatively easy. Follow the steps above,  choose a trusted courier, and the shipping process shouldn’t be too bad. 

FAQ’s

How much does it cost to ship a surfboard?

This depends on the size of the surfboard and where the board is being shipped to. Prices could typically range between $25 to over $500 for longboards on long journeys.

What is the cheapest way to ship a surfboard?

This depends on the carrier. In the US, Greyhound or Amtrak is generally the cheapest option. Truck freight would be the next cheapest. Regular courier companies like Fed-Ex or UPS will be the most expensive.

Can you fly with a surfboard?

Yes, you can fly with a surfboard. Of course, this depends on the airline’s baggage allowances. You will often have to pay an additional charge for flying with a surfboard.