The simple answer is yes. Leaving the board bare and exposing it to all sorts of physical elements can be risky. Regardless of the distance of travel, whether the beach is a few minutes or an hour’s drive, it is important that you keep your surfboard protected. After all, surfboards are a surfer’s most important equipment and investment.
Getting a surfboard bag can prevent dings and nicks or having a broken board. Investing in a good surfboard bag can also prolong the life of the board from unnecessary exposure to the elements. It protects the board from the sun and heat while keeping it insulated against any damage when not in use.
The simplest way to keep your surfboard safe and prolong its life is by storing it in a bag or cover. Surfboards vary in shapes and sizes and finding the perfect fitting bag can be challenging. A good bag should easily be able to store and protect the ‘entire’ surfboard and easily slide inside.
When selecting a surfboard bag, you should not only consider the size but also the shape of the surfboard and other essentials that will be placed inside the bag. The first thing you should check is the surfboard’s dimensions; length, width, and thickness of the board. Of the three, the length is the most important since bags are usually listed by length. The width and thickness, on the other hand, can affect the style of the bag.
Bags come in various styles and sizes and if the surfer doesn’t exactly know what style their board is then knowing its dimensions can be extremely useful. Regardless of the type of board, the surfboard bag must be able to fit properly to adequately protect the board.
If the bag is too small or too tight then taking or returning it can be a struggle. A bag that is too big can make safely transporting the surfboard difficult because it tends to be too loose and can actually damage the board. The ideal surfboard bag for a surfboard is one that lets the board easily slide inside and outside while keeping the board’s movement very minimal when inside the bag.
Surfboard Socks, also called stretch covers, are soft woven fabric covers that are less than 2 millimeters thick and considered the most lightweight surfboard bags. They are usually used for the safe storage of surfboards in a surfboard rack or within a surfboard travel bag for added protection.
Its primary purpose is to give protection to the board against the sun and any light scratches and dust. This type of bag is perfect for those who would like to simply shove the board inside the car without damaging the car’s interior.
Surfboard socks are made from soft woven fabrics that use a drawstring as a simple closure mechanism and polyester as a nose protector. This type of bag is good for short trips and local surfs. For long trips, surfboard socks can be used as an extra layer of padding when placed inside a day bag or travel bag for long flights. This bag may only offer little protection when traveling, but its main purpose is to protect the surfboard from any scratch, wax, dust, and also from the UV light.
Day Board Bags
Day board bags are the most common go-to bag for daily usage. This is because they are lightweight and considered perfect for protecting the surfboard whether placed inside the car or on the roof rack. This is a popular choice among surfers who would like to protect their surfboards from almost everything.
Day board bags are normally made from polyester, an exceptionally durable material that comes with a white or reflective tarp under its side. It also comes with a detachable or fixed shoulder strap and also a grab handle. These bags have a white or reflective silver on their side that is used to reflect the sunlight and heat. It also protects the surfboard from any delamination while preventing the wax from melting.
A day board bag is considered an all-rounder board bag because it is perfect for road trips and as a storage for the surfboard.
Surfboard Travel Bags
Similar to day board bags but 10 millimeters thicker in padding. This creates a thicker layer of protection when it comes to longer trips and greatly reduces the surfboard’s risk for damage. Surfboard Travel Bags are made of well-constructed durable polyester which provides its strength.
Similar to the day bags, some may include a reflective tarpaulin on the underside and reinforced padding on the nose for extra protection. Travel bags are suitable for long trips and for boards that need more protection than a day board. Check out The Rolls by Sympl for an innovative travel bag that can store 1 to 3 boards and minimizes the bulk with the ability to contract when less than 3 boards are packed; this bag can also be rolled up when not in use for efficient storage.
This is one of the most critical factors that must be taken into consideration when it comes to choosing a surfboard bag. When it comes to dimensions the length is the most important measurement to remember since this will be used to determine the bag’s mark. A good tip is to buy a surfboard bag that is a few inches longer than the length of your surfboard.
The second thing to check is your surfboard’s width. Shortboards, for example, are similar in length, but widths may differ depending on the specific type of surfboard. The best way to get the perfect fitting bag is to bring your surfboard to the store or compare measurements of your board with the bag’s dimensions.
It’s not just the surfboard’s size but of equal importance is your fin’s configuration which should be considered when buying a surfboard bag. Quads fins have a bigger footprint and require more room at the tail of the bag. Single fins might require a zipper for the fin to poke through.
A malfunctioning or poor-quality zipper could scratch the surfboard or might cause the owner to simply replace the surfboard bag altogether which is a total waste of money. The bag will not serve its purpose if it won’t open or close.
Salt (NaCl) is composed of two elements, sodium (Na) and (Chloride). And the chloride contained in seawater causes corrosion in metal zippers. The fact is that seawater causes more damage to metal than rust. Good alternatives to metal zippers are those that use plastics in their construction. The AQUASEAL® zipper from YKK, for example, is made from high-quality plastics and half the weight of metal zippers. Making them ideal for use in water sports and saltwater conditions.
So, the next time you purchase a surfboard bag be sure to check it has a good zipper that is built to last.
This layer of protection plays a big role in keeping your surfboard safe by absorbing any drops or bumps. It serves as the bag’s inner protector and prevents any dings or cracks thus prolonging the life of the surfboard. For travel bags that can store multiple surfboards, it is important that the bag includes internal padding to separate the boards from one another. This can be easily enhanced with packing additional clothing and towels for extra protection.
Generally best for air travel. They will normally be around 0.5" inches (10mm) thick giving you plenty of padding for when you want to fly your boards somewhere. Don't rely on gentle baggage handlers; instead make sure you're prepared with a nice thick Surfboard Bag.
Foamies are super durable and less susceptible to severe dings, but many surfers assume that this foam construction means less need to correctly store and protect their board. Just as well, foamies are often the go-to choice for new, beginner surfers who might not know the necessity of foamie surfboard bags.
If you want to extend the longevity of your foamie, maintain its performance efficiency, and make the most out of your money, then we highly suggest utilizing the same amount of protection for a foamie as you would any other board!
The foam construction of a foamie surfboard might mean a bump on the rails won't hurt it as bad as a polyester or epoxy surfboard, but the foam will lose its hardiness over time due to sun exposure, and potential dry rot due to water build up. For simple and safe storage from the elements and to easily toss your foamie in the car without worrying about wax and sand on the seats, a surfboard sock is the ticket.
However, if you consistently use surfboard racks for your foamies, you should add an extra layer of protection with a legitimate lightweight surfboard bag. When tightened, the straps place pressure on the foam rails causing damaging indents, and over time this will lead to irreparable damage. Tying the board down while in a lightweight surfboard bag will provide the protection necessary to simply avoid this detriment. Double this protection by simultaneously using a sock and a bag.
And of course, for travel's sake (I mean, who doesn't love getting pitted on a foamie in Mexico or Costa Rica?!), stick to a travel board bag, even with a foamie. Just take note that foamies are generally super thick, so you'll need a board bag with enough room to comfortably fit these chunky rails, especially if you plan on taking more than one board with you.
When it comes to packing there are two possible approaches; either pack to its maximum or to just leave it bare. Most surfers often pack their surfboard together with other necessities such as towels, wetsuits, and extra clothes to pad out the bag and minimize any knocks while traveling.
Protect the Fins
The best way of protecting the fins is to simply remove them and pack the fins separately from the board. This is to prevent it from dinging the board during travel.
However, if the board has a glassed-on fin then adding extra protection can be done by using a cheap piece of foam that is big enough to cover the fin. You could also cut a hole to safely place the fin inside.
Protect the Rails
Protecting the rails of the board is essential because it is one of the most vulnerable areas during any travel. The rails can be easily protected from any dings by using foam tubing and wrapping it around the rails and securing it with tape. If there is no access to foam tubing, then another way to protect the rails is by using bubble wrap and cardboard.
Protect the Board
A simple way of protecting the board is by wrapping it inside a bubble wrap and securing it with some tape. Another method is by placing a board sock or stretch cover. Wrapping towels around the board can also be done.
Wrapping multiple boards for a multi travel bag can be challenging. However, a good practice is to always wrap them separately or placing towels or bubble wraps between them.
Inserting the surfboard inside the surfboard bag
When placing a single board inside a bag, it is important to remember which side has been waxed. Placing a sticker on the side of the bag as a guide to remember what part of the surfboard should be facing which side.
For multiple boards, remember to pack every board in the same direction. Place the longest and heaviest board below and the shortest and lightest board above. Avoid large spaces between boards, noses, and tails. Use paddings such as soft clothing or bubble wrap to fill in the gaps and minimize their movement. Most multi-travel bags have an internal strap for the boards for added security. Apply the right amount of pressure between the boards and be careful not to over tighten it which can damage the boards.
Label the surfboard bag
Placing a label both on the board and bag is essential because missing one can be as bad as damaging it. Placing a luggage tag that contains all the necessary information of the owner can help. Attaching an additional fragile strap, tag, or sticker can also make for easier identification.