starboard 2024 inflatable sup paddle boards

How To Travel With Your Windsurfing Gear

Are you planning a windsurfing vacation in the coming months? Whether you’re road-tripping or traveling by airplane, there are tips to make taking your equipment with you easier. Travel stress is never fun; eliminate yours by learning how to travel with your windsurfing gear. Use the tips below to ensure your vacation planning is a breeze so that you can enjoy every second of it!

GreenWaterSportsLLC 219363 Travel Windsurfing Gear Infographic1

Gather the Gear You Must Take With You

To give yourself a visual representation, lay out your gear before packing it away. This allows you to see what necessary accessories you need to bring, like the sail, and what accessories you could get away with leaving at home, like a wetsuit. You never want to overpack, especially on an airplane, and you don’t want to forget anything because it can be challenging to find what you need once you reach your destination.

Double-Check Airline Restrictions

For airplane travel, you should double-check the airline restrictions before booking a ticket. It could become a nightmare if you purchase a ticket with an airline that doesn’t allow oversized luggage or equipment. Plus, you might not get your money back if you didn’t purchase travel insurance when you booked your flight.

Thoroughly read through the instructions for luggage and carry-ons with the airline of your choosing. Juxtapose several options to find the airline that suits your needs. We also recommend purchasing travel insurance just in case the flight gets canceled, you need to reschedule, or any other mishap occurs. However, prepare to pay an extra baggage fee because your equipment will likely be heavier than the weight limit.

Double-Check Your Vehicle Storage

For road travel, double-checking your available vehicle storage space is a great idea. Because windsurfing gear can be more cumbersome, many people choose to place it in a trailer, but that isn’t always an option for everyone. Your next best storage option for road travel is a car roof rack. If you don’t have this on your vehicle, you may need to borrow one from friends or family or rent an SUV with one.

Aside from the roof rack, is there enough trunk storage to house the rest of your gear? Remember, you also need a separate suitcase for your personal belongings. It will be frustrating to learn on the day of your travels that your equipment and belongings don’t fit in the car, so double-check beforehand!

How To Pack Your Windsurfing Gear

There are a lot of different items that make up your windsurfing gear. You will have rigging equipment, masts, sails, booms, and the board. Therefore, find suitable bags to ensure that your equipment doesn’t get damaged and that it remains secure.

To pack your rigging gear, we recommend using a single-board bag. This bag is in the shape of a boom, perfect for rigging equipment, and it’s lightweight. Typically, this bag can fit a two-piece mast along with the rest of your rigging gear.

To pack your board, it must go in an oversized bag. Do not use a bag that conforms perfectly to the board because it could damage it. You can prevent wear and tear by placing softer things on top of the board within the oversized bag.

For example, set the board in the bag, then place your harness, towels, and sandals on top to help cushion everything. Pay attention to the tail of the windsurf board because this is the most crucial component to secure and protect during travel—without it, you wouldn’t be able to windsurf!

Consider Traveling With Inflatable Gear

Do you know what would make traveling with windsurfing equipment less complicated? Inflatable equipment! It’s travel-friendly because everything is compact and easily fits in smaller bags. You could even bring an inflatable windsurf paddle board to enjoy more than one water sport on your vacation!

To pack this type of gear, ensure no remaining air is in the board. Then, gently roll the material up and place it in a duffle bag. Your rigging gear can go in the same single-board bag as before. You don’t have to use inflatable equipment, but it can make traveling easier.

Get to the Airport Early

If you’re a frequent traveler by plane, you’re probably familiar with the rule of arriving at the airport at least two hours before your flight takes off. You should do this every time you have a flight, in case there are any issues with TSA or checking in. In addition, when you’re carrying heavy equipment, we suggest arriving at the airport even earlier to avoid any issues.

You can make it easier to navigate through the checkpoints in the airport by checking into your flight before arriving. Usually, airlines have an app you can download to check yourself in. This way, when you arrive for your flight, you can quickly drop off your windsurf board and gear at the check-in counter.

Suggestions for Windsurfing Destinations

Now that you’re familiar with how to travel with your windsurfing gear, where do you plan on going? Several destinations around the world provide the perfect conditions for the ultimate windsurfing adventure.

Outer Banks, North Carolina

Thanks to the popular Netflix show Outer Banks, this location is getting a lot of attention, and for a good reason! With strong winds and gentle waves, a windsurfer of any skill level will enjoy these waters. Plus, the OBX is one of the most accessible East Coast windsurfing destinations.

Aruba

Have you ever heard of the “Hi Winds Kitesurfing and Windsurfing Tournament?” Water sports enthusiasts flock to these warm waters every July to compete. This is also a popular destination because of its consistent wind speeds.

Canary Islands, Spain

Crossing the pond into Europe, the Canary Islands of Spain are also great places to travel for windsurfing. This destination also hosts competitions and tournaments. The beaches on these islands are perfect for this water sport, and the destination, in general, is fun to explore!

Whether traveling locally by car or flying to a completely different country for windsurfing, it’s essential to prepare. Traveling with heavy gear is much different than traveling with one suitcase. You need to solve many logistical issues to ensure your trip goes off without a hitch. Use the tips above to help eliminate the stress surrounding your vacation planning!

Join over 25k+ subscribers and sign up to our newsletter to receive news and deals...


About the author: Julian Kidd
I have been an avid stand up paddle boarder since 2009. I retired from a decade of professional kiteboarding to focus on SUP. Green Water Sports grew from this love of all things SUP. As well as being a keen paddle boarder, I'm a football fan, closet petrol head, web tinkerer, husband and father.