The Ultimate Guide to Packing & Shipping Surfboards

Surfboard (Flickr CC by Andy Welsher)

Surfboard’s Idiot’s Guide to Packing & Shipping Surfboards is perfect for the budget surfer who doesn’t mind spending a bit more time packing their surfboard. For those that have the cash and want to save on time you can always pad your surfboard with the same foam shown below and buy one of those durable surfboard bags instead.

You can pick up all the necessary packing supplies at your local shipping, packing, or surfboard supply store for around $40.

Surfboard Shipping & Packing

Surfboard Packing List:

Surfboard box
Packing tape
Plastic bagging
Packing foam (sheets)
Bubble wrap (optional)
Utility knife

Step 1: Cut off the boxes’ excess length. IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure you only cut one end of the box so you preserve one set of folding flaps (used to seal the box – see photo below).

How much excess should I cut off?

Step 2: You’ll want about 2" of space on each end of the box from the nose and tail of your board and the extra space needed to cut the folding flaps on one the end. Measure the height of the existing flaps to see how much extra you’ll need before you cut the excess off the other end.

Step 3: Once you’ve downsized your box on one side only), cut your folding flaps on the end you just cut.

Step 4: Tear your foam strips into 24 inch wide sheets so each sheet can be folded in half.

Step 5: Slip your surfboards into a plastic bag which will prevent them from getting that nasty adhesive residue left by packing tape then cinch both ends of the plastic bag either with tie wraps or a knot.

Step 6: Wrap both ends with packing tape so your board doesn’t move around in the plastic bag.

Step 7: Fold a 24 inch wide foam sheet in half and tape to the top of the board that will sit on the bottom of the box.

Step 8: Place your second board directly on top (make sure your second board also has its own plastic bag) and tape the two boards together.

Step 9: Take your 24 inch wide foam sheet and fold in half once again. Wrap the rails of BOTH boards with your sheet of foam and packing tape and make sure that the foam wraps around both boards so that the top and bottom of your ‘board sandwich’ are protected.

Step 10: Take another 24 inch wide foam sheet and begin wrapping the nose and tail as shown in the photo below.

Step 11: Fold in half and tape down the extra foam sheets to the top and bottom of your boards.

Step 12: Insert your packed ‘board sandwich’ into the box and stuff both ends of the box with shirts, jackets, towels, or extra foam/bubble wrap. Make sure that you’ve padded the box so that your board doesn’t move around.

Step 13: Seal the box with packing tape and be sure to use one of those red fragile stickers.

Secret Tip: I highly recommend using a handle bar to carry your box through the airport. You can buy something similar at the store but I actually make my handle bar out of tape (see photos below).

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2 Responses to “ The Ultimate Guide to Packing & Shipping Surfboards ”

  1. Great info on shipping boards! A lot of useful info if you have a used board or any board that you want to ship off.

  2. I also heard that some airlines aren’t letting you check them on anymore. Might be worth it to send your board ahead of you so it’s there when you arrive.

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