Any serious snowboarder knows there’s nothing like the familiarity of your own board to make the most of your technique when you’re out there carving it up on the slopes. But while some people may be daunted by the prospect of transporting oversized or awkward sports equipment on a flight, it’s actually not as hard as it might first appear.
Making Plans Ahead of Time
If you’ve made the decision to take your own snowboard with you to the French Alps, Canada, or any other exotic winter holiday destination, one of the very first things you’ll need to do is to arrange your airport transportation. You don’t want to start off your holiday by struggling with heavy equipment through a crowded, unfamiliar airport and on public transport. It’s imperative, however, that you advise your transport company what extra luggage and equipment you plan on bringing, so they can arrange an appropriate vehicle.
Know Before You Go
Depending on which airline you choose (and where you’re heading to) you will come up against different regulations and costs when it comes to transporting your snowboard. Budget airlines are likely to impose a surcharge, while some carriers may include it as part of your standard baggage allowance. The key is to check with the individual airline before booking the ticket: ignorance is never any excuse, and you could be faced with some unexpected costs if you don’t do your research.
Packing Your Snowboard
No matter whether your flight is super budget or you’ve splurged on business class, your snowboard’s not going to get any special treatment from the baggage handlers or down there in the hold! It is your responsibility to make sure that it’s well-packed and protected from knocks, and this is not something you should take lightly. If you’re serious enough to be taking your own snowboard on holiday it’s probably worth a quid or two, so investing in an appropriate bag or travel case is well worth the expense.
The very best protection is, naturally, a hard travel case, but that’s not always the most practical option – in terms of both expense and storage at your destination. The most common option is a padded snowboard bag, and the range is almost as extensive and diverse as regular luggage.
Many of the bells and whistles that come with padded snowboard bags are primarily for aesthetics, however there are certain aspects that should be considered mandatory – budget permitting of course.
If you purchase a bag with wheels attached it can mean the difference between struggling through the airport looking like a frazzled Ninja Turtle, or making an entrance as a cool-as-you-like semi-pro winter sportsperson, with all the gear and every idea. Any snowboarder will tell you that the benefits of having wheels far outweigh the extra cost.
Compression straps are essential to ensure the board doesn’t dislodge and move around during the flight. Some bags have both internal and external straps.
There’s a fine line (and one which you’ll have to walk yourself to make a decision) between size, manoeuvrability, and practicality when it comes to snowboard bags. Naturally, the more padding a bag has, the more protection it offers; but, conversely, the padding will of course increase the basic dimensions of the bag, making it more awkward to manoeuvre (for baggage handlers as well as you).
You also need to make sure you don’t waste valuable luggage space – so pack creatively. If you can, pack your boots, gloves, helmet, goggles, and even clothing (which can be used as extra padding) inside the bag, which can save on potential excess luggage charges. Don’t just throw it all in though; put soft items inside boots and helmets, for example, to maximise space.
At the Airport
Make sure you allow plenty of time to check in at the airport as you may be directed to a different place for oversized luggage. It’s also a good idea to ask for a ‘fragile’ label for your snowboard bag when you check in before you send it off at the mercy of the baggage handlers.
Shuttle Direct Loves Snowboards
At Shuttle Direct we don’t discriminate against snowboards – in fact we love them! We’re more than happy to take the hard work out of your winter holiday by transporting you and your snowboard direct from the airport to your accommodation – and back again. It’s super easy to make an online booking and our user-friendly system means that you’ll be able to make your travel arrangements and have a confirmation within seconds.
We’re Here to Help
Transporting sports equipment like snowboards is just part of our service at Shuttle Direct, but we do need to know ahead of time so we can dispatch the right vehicle for your transfer. If you’re planning to bring your snowboard with you on your winter holiday, it’s important that you advise us at the time of your booking. Just contact us if you require any assistance to finalise your booking.