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Airline travel with gear
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wsurfn1426



Joined: 20 Mar 2004
Posts: 215

PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have traveled domestically from TX with SWA to Hatteras and The Gorge probably 10 times. I have travelled to Bonaire on United twice. I have been lucky so far with just a NP double bag with wheels. I have brought two boards in the bag a few times, but you have to get the footstraps off and hope the airline doesn't ask to inspect it. I have always been grateful it had wheels. I think it has paid off many times when I had a lot unexpected luggage carrying to do. I have also had good luck so far with the inflatable Handirack system with my rental cars. I wish I was a normal sized human and could rent decent gear ( which should be most peoples first option), but if you have no choice, you learn to deal with it.
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capetonian



Joined: 11 Aug 2006
Posts: 1099
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

7176 wrote:
Capetonian

Am I correct that you use a double bag and place the sails in the lower section?


No, I use a single bag that is slightly too big for the board so I can fit the extra padding and other equipment.

I have a double board bag, but it is heavier than my single bag so I prefer to use the single.
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capetonian



Joined: 11 Aug 2006
Posts: 1099
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dmilovich wrote:
I've made the mistake of not getting a high quality bag and not padding correctly (particularly the rails!), and gotten a bunch of damage, so definitely beware.

The best bags out there are easily the Epic Gear Pro Travel Bag, which is a double bag that's wheeled, designed and built by Steve Gottlieb of Aerotech Sails.

These are the best designed bags that I've seen and will fit a board, sails and a mast and boom. Or two boards and some stuff. Capetonian's advice is right on. Sails on bottom, pool noodles or polyethylene foam padding on the rails, nose, tail (yep, the bag is well padded, but I put extra padding on the rails in particular).

Be sure to pad or remove the boom/mast fitting or you will have a ding in your deck!

Epic's website doesn't show them really, but you can buy them from Isthmus Sailboards, a very professional shop. Their web site has them: https://isthmussailboards.com/epic-gear-pro-travel-bag.html

They come in two sizes, both of which are wheeled, which makes them much more useful and the wheeled back section protects the tails nicely. Not cheap, but worth every dollar in design and quality!

Lastly, with any bag, put a few straps around them in case the zippers blow so the bag doesn't open up if that happens. We had a TSA guy last year break one of our zipper pulls as we watched. Bring straps for that eventuality!


I haven't seen the Epic Gear bag in person but with the bags that I have (Neil Pryde and Prolimit) I find the padding material they use is designed for longevity as much as padding, so it tends to be heavy for the amount of padding it provides. I prefer to use less long lasting but lighter padding material that provides more impact absorbency such as pool noodles and be able to put the padding exactly where it is needed. The weight of the Epic Gear bag concerns me if trying to stay within weight limits. At 20 lbs that's a heavy bag. All the bags I have are under 10 lbs, but don't have wheels. I guess as in everything else in life, travel bags are a compromise - heavy with wheels or lighter without wheels. No such thing as the perfect bag.
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