Snowboarding is one of the most thrilling sports in the world, but it’s not without its risks. Traveling with your snowboard can be a challenge, especially on flights. You need to know how to pack your board bag correctly so that you don’t damage it during transport. Here are some tips for packing your snowboard bag for air travel:
Step 1: Do You Need A Board Bag?
There are two ways to transport your snowboard: via air travel or via ground transportation. If you’re flying, then you will definitely need a board bag. However, if you’re driving to your destination and want to transport your snowboard in the trunk or backseat area of your car, then a duffel bag is fine for transporting it during this portion of the trip.
Step 2: Consider Your Flight And Destination
- Consider the airline you are flying with. Check with the airline to see if they allow snowboards and whether or not there are any restrictions on board size, weight, or otherwise.
- Check with airport security about baggage restrictions. This can be done by phone or in person at your destination airport.
- Ask the airline if there are any restrictions regarding how your board should be packed in your luggage. Some airlines require that skis and/or snowboards be packed in a specific way, as well as whether they can be placed next to each other so they don’t knock into each other during flight (this is especially important when flying internationally). You’ll want to make sure your bag will comply with these guidelines before heading out for the airport!
Step 3: Get your board bag ready
Make sure your board bag is clean, dry and empty. This is the most important step in the process of preparing your snowboard bag for air travel. The reason why it’s so important to make sure that your board bag is clean and dry is because it can create cracks on the surface of your board which will weaken its performance. If you have ever seen an old snowboarder with an oil stain on their jacket or pants then you know what I am talking about!
When packing up my gear in preparation for travelling by plane I tend to go through this process:
- Clean off any dirt from both sides with soap and water (no need to use harsh chemicals)
- Dry off both sides with a towel (use microfiber towels because they absorb more water than regular cotton)
Step 4: Pack your boots
The last thing you want to do is put your boots in the bottom of your snowboard bag only to find out that they’re crushed when you arrive at your destination. To prevent this from happening, it’s best to purchase a boot bag or protective case that will allow your boots to sit upright while being transported. For example, Burton’s Tri-Fold Boot Bag includes foam padding that prevents damage while also providing ventilation so the boots don’t get too warm while in transit.
As mentioned above, there are two types of bindings: step-in and lace-up/strap systems—each requires different care when traveling with them. If you have a strap system binding on your board and are planning on traveling via plane (or any other form of transportation), remove these bindings from both feet before placing them inside your bag. This will ensure no damage occurs during travel and allows for easier access once you’ve arrived at your destination.
Step 5: Pack your bindings and accessories
Your bindings are going to be the other bulky items you have in your bag. If you’re not too close to the weight limit, it’s best not to pack them with your board. This is because they need more padding and protection than anything else in your bag so they don’t get banged around. You can place them on top of the ski or snowboard when it’s time to put them on at the resort, but when traveling by plane or train, make sure they’re packed separately from each other and from any outerwear (and especially snowboard boots).
If you want extra peace of mind, consider purchasing a protective sleeve for your bindings—especially if they’re expensive pieces—to ensure that nothing happens during transit.
Step 6: Pack your outerwear, goggles and helmet
Most people forget to pack their outerwear, but it’s vitally important to have your outerwear. The last thing you want is to be in the middle of an epic powder session and realize that you forgot your jacket or hat at home.
To pack your outerwear, lay out your jacket and pants on top of a suitcase or duffel bag. Put anything else like scarves or gloves inside the jacket pockets then zip it up and place the pants overtop of them so they don’t get crushed by other things in the suitcase/duffel bag. It’s best if they’re packed vertically so they take up less space while taking up less room horizontally would make it difficult for them not get creased when placed on top of things like shirts, sweaters and other garments that should be rolled rather than folded in order to keep their shape when being worn out on ski trips later down the road (this includes long johns as well). More specifically though:
- Snowboard Bag – If possible I recommend having multiple snowboard bags because most airlines allow only one carry-on item per person but if you’re flying somewhere where there aren’t very strict rules about this sort of thing then go ahead and bring along three bags – one for each board plus one more which will hold all accessories such as goggles/helmet/outerwear etcetera…
Step 7: Add a snowboard tool
You can use a credit card to tighten and loosen your bindings.
- To tighten the bindings, hold it flat against the front of the boot with your thumb on one side and fingers on the other.
- Slide it up until you reach the top of where you want to tighten them (you may have to pull back on them slightly).
- Now, place your thumb at an angle on top with fingers still underneath and press down firmly until you feel resistance. This will keep your board securely in place while traveling.
Step 8: Protect all of that with a travel bag/luggage protector
Once you have your bag all packed up, it’s time to protect it. You can purchase a travel bag/luggage protector, but you can also make one yourself by simply covering the entire inside of the bag with plastic wrap. This will keep the snowboard from being damaged by other pieces of luggage or from getting wet and freezing during air travel.
When making your own protection for your board, be sure not to get any holes in the plastic wrap that could let moisture in. If there are any holes in your protection layer (such as from using scissors), duct tape can easily fix that problem!
It’s important to protect your board
As you’re packing your bag, it’s important to protect your board. Padded snowboard bags can be purchased online or at specialty stores, but if you don’t have one, there are several ways to protect your board in transit:
- Use a soft-sided duffel bag as a carry-on with the snowboard strapped to the outside of the bag. (This is what I do!)
- Place an old pillowcase over each end and secure with rubber bands or tape to keep them from shifting inside the duffel bag.
- If you’re traveling on an airplane without checked luggage and want to use a hard shell snowboard box or case, place another pillowcase over each side and secure with rubber bands or tape before placing inside whatever box/case you’ve purchased.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get back to packing those other essentials!
The last thing you want when traveling with your snowboard is to not have it ready for use at your destination. You’ll want to make sure that all of the gear is protected and easy to carry. A good bag can help with this, but it’s important to know what kind of bag will work best for you based on what kind of travel plans you have!