WINDSURF TRAVEL ADVICE - BOARD AND QUIVER BAG PACKING TIPS GUIDE
CAR AND VAN ROOF RACKS
Although we all love a picture of a ridiculous stack of gear on a hire car roof rack, we recommend you don’t overload these and pay attention to specific rack and vehicle weight limits – especially if using ‘travel roof racks’ such as inflatable models that are really only intended for surfboards rather than windsurfing boards and rigs.
Also watch your speed and pay attention to loads moving around the roof or sudden noises, pull over and check you’re not about to cause an accident. Yes, even if it’s windy and you’re excited.
Don’t over tighten the straps either and be careful that items such as sails are not crushed. (See sail rolling tip below.)
If it’s really windy, caution is required when you remove items or loads from the roof.
Some roof rack bags are secured to the roof from under the load, which is better for delicate, expensive items that then do not need to be tensioned from the top of the bag and helps you save time and safely pick just the sails and boards you want without taking everything down.
Watch out for overhead barriers at parking spots – especially if you’re tired after a long drive or an early start and are too stoked on seeing the conditions as you arrive!
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One good tip for roof racks/quiver bags/air travel – from ‘Secrets de Windsurf’ coach Eric Doux - is to roll all your sails together. (As pictured here with seven sails from 9.0 – 4.0 rolled together for a compact, but heavy, roll that fits well into a quiver/board bag.)
You could even consider using a hard plastic tube to pack a roll of sails into.
Don’t try and stuff bags full of as much as you can. When flying, pay careful attention to each individual airline’s limits and regulations and make sure you stick to the rules to avoid excess charges – but of course still try and get as much as you can into each bag to maximise value for money and what you can take.
For sure you might think you can get everything into 2 bags, but it might be cheaper and easier and less stressful and risky in the end to spread it between 3 bags.
Travelling with a collapsible cart can make life easier with large loads at airports or during transfers.
Otherwise, if you have strong enough bag roller wheels, double – or even triple - up wheeled bags at the airport into a ‘train’ and have some fun and grab attention at the same time!
Undo your boards’ air vent screws and tuck them in a footstrap’s Velcro before you fly or if you’re leaving your board in a hot car for long periods, even if it’s in a bag.
Pack your wet stuff in a special compartment or use a wetsuit bag (that can double as a changing matt to keep your feet clean!) or be prepared to either travel with wet stuff or not sail on your last day of a trip! Your vehicle may smell pretty bad too if not! (The day your car stinks always guarantees you a hot date though, it’s just inevitable!)
You can juggle and swap items from your carry on with your boardbag – such as extensions and bases with clothes – to avoid tipping the scales too far and staying under your limits.
Always pack some duct tape for extra security or in case your bag is ripped by baggage handlers or suffers zip failure.
READ MORE WINDSURF GEAR AND EQUIPMENT BUYING ADVICE
Boardbags should be well padded with quality closed-cell foam, but you can be smart and use other items like your harness (maybe remove the spreader bar) and wetsuit to add protection.
Always keep the polystyrene ‘nose cones’ and foam or cardboard tail protection that new boards are delivered with for your next trip or ask your local dealer for any in the trash pile.
Sails can be used to protect boards but beware of using too many in a boardbag and crushing the monofilm or battens. (See rolling tip above.)
Always try to rinse your gear to avoid sand getting - and staying – inside your bags to scuff paintwork or scratch equipment.
Checkout any bags in person and buy them in a real store and examine the fabric quality for tear-resistance.
Look for if any vital areas where you’ll drag them around have suitable abrasion-resistance.
Avoid flimsy plastic parts, although you should invest in bags with better quality plastic zips as plastic tends to jam/get stuck less with salt than metal. Always try to rinse your zippers to prolong their lifespan anyway.
Moisture-resistant fabric helps stop run-off water getting into and rusting your vehicle.
Reflective layers can help but have a limited lifespan so generally white or light-colored tarpaulin is best for tear and moisture resistance and light/heat deflection. Tarpaulin can also be wiped cleaned easily too.
BE ORGANIZED – BE READY!
If you follow the rule ‘all the toys, all the time’ you’ll always have the right board or sail for the conditions. The same goes for tools and spares.
Even if you have a tidy, organized van with placeholders for important accessories, keep your vital screwdrivers, batten tensioners, spare screws, line, fins, backup extensions and bases and so on in a special bag to avoid frustration at not having the right pieces to hand and miss an enjoyable session. (On a mission in your buddy’s vehicle, snapped a harness line and left your spares in your ‘organized’ van at home? Always have a grab bag packed!)
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CHECK OUT THIS WINDSURF TRAVEL BAG SIZING GUIDE TO HELP YOU CHOOSE
Our popular and functional soft goods range has grown with more hard-wearing bags to protect your precious toys. We don't skimp on quality here either and use the same design philosophy as with all our products. Only high-grade abrasion-resistant fabrics, closed-celled foam and quality zippers can find their way into one of our bags – no flimsy plastic parts - plus we make sure there are reflective materials right where they’re wanted along with durable rubber branding. We also specify generous amounts of WRP Fabric (Water-Repellent Polyester), which is easy to clean, moisture resistant and can take some serious travel abuse.