How To Fly With A Snowboard On A Plane

Gareth Simpson

by Gareth Simpson

October 18, 2019

How to Fly with Snowboards & Gear

Each airline has its own policy when it comes to fees for extra bags. If you are planning your next snowboard vacation then efficiently packing needs to be a top priority for you. To that end, the following guidelines and tips can be a game changer for you. They will help you beat the airline companies at their own game.

The cheapest way to ship a snowboard

For starters, use the snowboard bag as checked baggage. Nowadays, most airliners allow traveling with a snowboard. Even though each airliner has its own specific rules, some things are the same pretty much everywhere. The main differences are in the weight and size of the bag, as well as the checking cost.

What’s common with many airlines like United, Delta, Southwest, American, Air Canada, and Frontier, is that they allow one snowboard bag and one boot bag as one checked bag per person. However, there is a weight restriction attached to that, and it varies from one to another airline.

How much does a snowboard weigh is a relative question as there are various boards with various weights. But you don’t need to focus solely on the weight of the snowboard, but you need to consider the weight of the boot bag as well. Their joint weight is what counts when making the check-in as they are counted as one checked bag. Typically, airlines tolerate weighs of up to 12 kg. Some airlines allow the snowboard bag and the boot bag to weight more, while with others the limit is even lower. That is why you need to check that with the airliner before booking a flight. Just visit their respective websites and you can learn what are their weight restrictions, or if there are any other.

Packing Tips When flying With a Snowboard

First of all, make a list of the airliners that fly to the destination of your snowboarding vacation. If it is a popular destination then it is very likely that quite a few airliners fly to there. Start checking which ones allow highest checking weight for a snowboard bag and one boot bag. The ones that allow most weight should be on top of your list. Also, check if there are any specific requirements for flying with a snowboarding bag.

Choosing an Airline

Chances are that your snowboard bag and one boot bag won’t weight more than the smallest weight allowed by the most modest airliners, but that’s not the point. The trick is to go with the one that allows you the most weight because you will add a few more stuff in both your snowboard bag and one boot bag. Truth is that no one goes on holiday with just their snowboarding equipment, but with other stuff as well.

You can cram as much as possible sports and casual clothing and accessories as possible, but not more than the allowed check-in weight. Stuff like jackets, socks, shirts, sweatshirts, and so on.

Another important to have in mind is there is no need to pack heavy when going on a snowboarding vacation. There is no need for fancy suits or dresses that you won’t wear. Pack the essentials, and plan for exactly the number of days you will be staying. That way you will only need just an additional backpack and nothing more. That’s the ideal scenario that will generate the most savings when flying with a snowboard.

How To Pack Your Snowboarders Bag

Before you start, take everything you intend to pack and lay it on the floor. That way you can easier plan what to fit in the snowboarder’s bag, what can go in the boot bag, and what in your backpack.

  • Step #1

First of all place the board with the bindings up. The socks need to be rolled up and placed inside each boot.

  • Step #2

The snowboard boots need to be angled with the soles against the bindings. The toes need to be facing each other.

  • Step #3

Fold the pants in and make a roll. Roll them around two-thirds of their length. That way they can easily snug next to one boot. The remaining pant flap can be used to cover the boot’s top.

  • Step #4

Grab the jacket and fold it in half. Roll it up halfway and fit it besides the remaining boot. The remaining part of the jacket flap can be used to cover the boot.

  • Step #5

Grab the glove liner, the mitts, the gloves, the spare lens, and the goggle, and put them inside the helmet. The helmet needs to be on the middle of the snowboard, with its inside facing down. The goggles need to be between the liner and gloves.

  • Step #6

Grab what’s remain; smaller accessories like a facemask, headband, or beanie, and tucked them on the side of the helmet. That way you can fill any space between the bindings and the helmet.

That’s how you pack the snowboard essentials in your snowboard bag.

Other Practical Tips When Flying With a Snowboard

  • If you opt to put a lock on your snowboarder bag, make sure that it is compliant with the TSA rules. That way if needed, the TSA can safely open the bag and inspect it. TSA locks can be bought from various places, including the place where you bought your snowboarder’s bag.
  • Before going to the airport, make sure that your bags don’t cross the allowed weight limit. As mentioned earlier, each airline has a different weight limit for snowboarder and boot bag. If your bag is over the weight limit, you will be asked to pay extra.
  • Make sure you have packet of the basic necessities. The list of the most basic things you will need include snowboard, boots, bindings, helmet, hat, gloves, jacket, and toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, etc.)

How to Choose the Best Possible Snowboard Bag

Choosing a quality bag is of great importance. So yes, that means buying an expensive one, but the alternative is much worse. The simple truth is that the cheap ones will fail you after just one season. In some cases, they won’t even get you through the season. This is something that any seasonal snowboarder agrees that is true and will recommend the same approach. Go with the top brands, and don’t be fooled by some cheap knock offs.

At the same time, that doesn’t mean to buy the biggest one out there. The idea of buying a huge one might be tempting knowing how much additional stuff you can fit in there. But then, think of the weight restrictions and the extra burden you will need to carry.

How you plan to use the bag is another thing to consider. Some are great for storage while others are easy to carry around the airport. Maybe you need it to transfer the snowboard out to the slopes. Whatever the use, you need to keep that in mind when choosing. Nowadays, there are all sorts and each is better suited for one thing on account on something else.

The Shoulder Bag

This type of bag is either carried on one of the shoulders or by the straps with the hands. The biggest downside is that you need to carry all that weight. A shoulder bag can be perfect if you need a good storage solution. It can effectively protect the snowboard, bindings, and boots together, and protected from dust. Also, it is great when transporting in a vehicle. On the other hand, if you spend a lot of time on airports, this might not be the ideal solution. Waiting in line with a heavy bag on your hands is not something that is recommendable.

The Roller Bag

Roller bags, in general, are a bit more expensive, but come with much more features like clothing pockets and boot pockets. There are even some that come with a separator for additional boards. Plus, weight is not much of an issue with the roller bag as you don’t need to carry it with you around the airport. If you are a frequent traveler, spend plenty of time in and out of airports, then a roller bag is a perfect solution for you.

Conclusion

Let’s be honest, snowboarding can be quite costly, starting from the lodging and all the way to the flight tickets. However, why pay the maximum price for everything. Above we have explained in details what you need in order to spend as less as possible on your flight while traveling with all of your snowboarding equipment.

Packing your snowboarding equipment shouldn’t be rocket science as it is not. Just follow the guidelines and soon enough all of your friends will be asking you how you do it and what’s your secret. Plus, you know what it takes to choose a suitable snowboard bag, which is another super important aspect of the flying with your snowboard experience.

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