Surfing runs in our family. Being one with the waves is not alien for any of us. Last week, it was time my younger brother was introduced to the adrenaline rush. He is of the ambitious type and does not stay in one place. So after he got his new board wet for the first time, I reminded him about the importance of keeping that longboard in pristine condition for all his trips.
Traveling with a shiny surfboard is a perilous thing after you’ve taken a liking to it. It is susceptible to dings and nasty airline handlers. He didn’t take it quite seriously. I guess young blood and papa-don’t-preach don’t mix. But lucky for him; he has his elder brother. I went easy on him and already bought him one to make things easier since this was his first time. But I did conduct some research on the best one to buy for him before waving my credit card.
So how to choose an ideal travel bag?
A surfboard is susceptible to a lot of things besides dings, nicks, breakage, delamination, fading, scratches and cracks. You might be tempted to make do with board socks or day bags. But if that surfboard is the next best thing you love after beer, you need to invest in a good surfboard bag. The ideal one will have the following qualities:
- Killer design for showing off;
- Higher capacity for carrying your extras;
- Protection from ultraviolet rays;
- Comprehensive padding;
- Compliance with airline specifications;
- Shoulder straps, additional interior pockets, zippers, click-locks or wheels;
I have hand-picked five of them as starters.
Durable Daybag Cover for SHORTBOARDs to LONGBOARDs
As far as starter day bags go, this is the best longboard surfboard bag which you can get your hands on. At the $50 mark, the lowest size starts from 6 feet, enough for your shortboard or longboard to fit snugly.
It comes along with a zipper and reinforced patches at the nose as well as the tail.
Surprisingly enough, they have provided additional pockets for the removable shoulder strap and wax. Thick padding and tarpaulin material provide ample protection. Available in 6 sizes and amazing bang for your buck, you can’t go wrong with this bag. Mediocre design though.
Curve NEW Surfboard Bag Day Surfboard Cover – Supermodel LONGBOARD
Catchy name! This one ticks almost all the boxes with lightweight construction and reflective sides. Curve has erred on the side of caution and made these bags extra spacious. The lowest size is 7’6, with the largest on at 10’2. These bags are also wide enough to have a 24” to 26” wide surfboards glide in with ease.
It does have a Velcro fin slot, which I found irksome. But it wears out very quickly or is prone to wear and tear. Also, people with the ‘Secret Weapon’ will be disappointed, as this is not compatible with the 4” thick surfboards.
Curve Surfboard Bag Travel LONGBOARD
Another great offering from Curve, this one features reinforced nose and tail zones. Not just on the outsides as patches, but with extra thick 20 ¾” foam on the inside. The rest of the foam padding is quite thick at 7 mm. A unique TPSS system holds the tail firmly inside the bag. Other attractive options include a PK big tooth, anti-corrosive nylon zipper for this rounder longboard carrying case.
As compared to the SUPERMODEL, the foam is thicker. There is no side pocket to store wetsuit or gear. But the quality is unbeatable if you shell out $20 extra.
Surfboard Socks for SHORTBOARDs, Fun Boards, LONGBOARDs by Quiver9
If you still decide to go with socks, then Quiver9 has an interesting product for you. This surfboard sock has a nice, camo design to satisfy your stylish alter-ego. The material is tough for a sock and has reinforced nose section.
The company touts a 100% stretchy material, which delivers on the promise. The closure is minimalistic with a drawstring at the back. It should work with any type of board. But I have only tested it with a step up. It works well, fits snugly and retains its shape, which is a welcome surprise as compared to other socks.
Wave Tribe Surfboard Sock Skull
This sock is from Wave Tribe and is supposed to appeal to your ‘wilder side’, with a skull pattern. To be honest, the pattern is kind of a bummer. It would’ve been nice with one or two skulls at the max with a classic white against black theme.
Anyway, the standard features are all there – stretchable fabric, 5mm thick nose made from hemp and a drawstring. The thing that sets this sock apart is that Wave Tribe uses recycled materials, but even then the quality is top notch. Additionally, it is available for rounded, pointed or hybrid boards as well.
Surfboard Sling / Surfboard Carrier – LONGBOARD over 7’6 by Curve
If you are not looking for comprehensive cover, then a sling might be an interesting choice. It does leave your surfboard exposed. The sling is a convenience with an adjustable, padded shoulder strap and a Velcro wrap-around, but without the bulkiness of the longboard travel bags or your typical longboard surfboard bag.
This sling from Curve has a high ground clearance and is made from a high quality 600D polycanvas material which is also water-resistant. The curve has also provided pockets to carry your wetsuit or gear. However, you should note that the sling is only suitable for boards which are over 7.6’ long.
Which One Should You Go For?
It all depends on the type of longboard you are looking for.
The first three options fit are proper bags in essence. The socks and the sling are not so much ‘bags’ as they are pieces of cloth wrapped around your board, at best. Given the choices above, your best bet is to choose a proper ‘bag’ for complete peace of mind.