Packing your surfboards for a trip by airline

Packing your surfboards for surf trip is very important for airline flight. You go on a surf trip and the airline damages your favorite surfboard(s). Packing your surfboard(s) can make the difference between being ready for the first day’s surf trip or having to see the local ding repair specialist. Most surfers don’t understand that the airline baggage monkeys, who get paid a low wage, don’t care about your boards. I’ve heard stories about one traveler had his longboard being stood on so they could load the cargo hold on the plane.

Packing the board correctly for a surf trip is not as hard as it seems. I’ve packed many surfboards that went on a plane to some surf trip location, and packed for boards to be shipped after purchase at the local surf shops where I used to work.

First you can go to the local surf shop where they have gotten boards shipped in from China or Thailand. They will most like have bubble-pack, and a plastic bag that the board in the store came in.

Go and pick up packing tape. You can find it at a pack and ship store, Walmart, or just about any store that product.

Putting your surfboard into the plastic bag will help keep the tape glue off the bottom of your surfboard. Nothing makes your board go faster than tape glue. (Ha Ha). When you get the bag on your board you may need to cut off some excess bag so it will fit when you go to put into your board travel bag (a real important item for all flights). Leave yourself about 3-4 inches on both ends to ensure that you can fold it onto itself and have some extra nose and tail padding.

Tape it with the packing tape.(packing tape will pull off easily from the plastic when you want to unpack you board. Make some strips before getting started to help this go quickly and easily. Once the ends are taped, then wrap the nose, middle and rear sections of the board so the bag is tightly bound to the board.

Next take the foam noddles that you can get from Walmart (make sure the hole diameter is the large one). Take a razor knife or have someone who has those skills and cut only one side straight down the side leaving the other side intact. Take strips of tape and tape the noodles onto your rails from nose to tail (leaving a little more at the nose and tail where you can overlap some). Now take the bubble pack and wrap the board (make sure that the ends meet in the center of the bottom at the stringer (easier to tape). Fold the excess bubble pack on the nose and tail, but make sure that it’s not a big glob (you won’t get your board into the board bag) streamline for best usage.

With your board wrapped in this manner you are ready to put it into the board travel bag. Remember that you can add towels on both sides of your board to help pad it from damage as you head on your surf trip. When you get to your surf destination remember to systematically unpack your board. Don’t rip apart like it’s Christmas or your birthday. You’ll need to repack it just like before you left on your surf trip. Don’t forget to bring your tape with you. Once you’ve done this a few times it will get easier. This should help when the loaders and unloaders get hold of your new or favorite stick. Happy travels.

If you do get damage from an airline, you can call me for expert surfboard repairs at 321-956-3268 here in central Florida or you can email me at surfguys@surfguyssurf.com

Fixing Dings and Small Cracks in Your Surfboard

Regardless of whether you are a beginner or a pro, you’re going to get dings your surfboard. And with minor dings, you don’t want to drop your surfboard off at a surf shop to get it fixed. It could take days and cost you valuable surf time. So learn how to fix  surfboard dings and save money and time in the process.

Before you get started you need a basic surfboard ding repair kit. You can buy one from your local surfshop. It needs to include fiberglass cloth, resin, and catalyst of you can contact the Surfguy for materials (321)956-3268.

Time Required: 10-15 Minutes (or more depending on severity)

Here’s How:

  1. Isolate the dings on your surfboard. It’s good to scrape away all the wax or sand from around the ding. Then roughly use mid-grade sand paper and lightly sand about a inch diameter around the ding. Wipe away the dust.
  2. Using a razor blade, cut away the damaged fiber glass. Again, lightly sand away the rough edges of the remaining fiberglass.
  3. If any of the foam inside the ding is wet, you need to let it dry completely. You can use a hair dryer to speed up the process (on medium heat). Be careful to not overheat your surfboard.  Also, use masking tape to section off an area about an inch around the ding to stop any resin from dripping onto other parts of the surfboard.
  4. Using scissors, cut a section of cloth to completely cover the damaged area (dings).
  5. Pour the desired amount of resin into a sturdy plastic cup and add a few drops of catalyst. The more catalyst you add, the faster the resin will harden (and the more brittle it will be). So don’t over do it. Either way, you need to get to work at this point since the resin will immediately begin to harden. Solar fired resins are a great way to fix it without using catalyst (doesn’t work at night).
  6. Pour enough resin (with catalyst) to cover the entire ding and them place the cut section of cloth over the ding. The cloth will absorb the resin and adhere it to the surfboard ding. Make sure no resin is getting through your masking tape.
  7. Wait about 1-2 hours. Solar fired resins harden more quickly due to bright sunlight-vs-cloudy days. Make sure the resin is firm enough to sand. Then check out your work. The ding area should be totally covered, and the resin should be hard.
  8. Now, sand the ding with dry sandpaper to get it flat (be sure not to over-sand and re-open areas of your ding repair. Also, be sure not to sand areas outside around the ding where you might weaken your board’s original fiberglass. You can use wet sand paper to make it completely smooth at this point.
  9. You have learned how to fix a ding. Now, grab your surfboard and go rip.
  10. If all else fails contact the SURFGUY for 24 hour expert ding repair, all makes and all models 321-956-3268