So, you’re looking to take up ski and snowboard equipment up to the mountain! Both sports are loads of fun, and even though they’re made to take a beating, you still need to transport them with care. While they may be fine on snow, they can be damaged relatively easily in other types of environments. To save you from any hassle, I’ve decided to go ahead and write up a guide on exactly how to transport ski and snowboard equipment the most effective ways possible.
Whether you’re planning on transporting your skis or snowboard by plane or by vehicle, you need to know ahead of time what kind of space you have available and what the rules are. This goes double when it comes to flying by airplane and you should know the rules for the specific airline you’ll be traveling with.
Flying with Skis or Snowboard
If you’ve never traveled with your skis or snowboard before by air, it may sound a bit daunting. The good news is, that it’s typically not any more difficult than checking a regular piece of luggage! Again, it’s important to be aware of specific rules per your airline.
Snowboard and Ski Bags
Before you do anything else, you’re going to need a proper snowboard bag. You obviously aren’t going to be able to simply check your snowboard or skis in without any protection. Okay, technically you could but that’s only if you’re hoping for your board, skis, or bindings to get damaged!
As with any kind of travel, planning will be your best friend. With the right type of luggage, you’ll be able to breeze through security and the entire bag check process. In my personal opinion, I find wheeled snowboard bags to be the most convenient.
As you probably already know from traveling with regular suitcases, wheeled luggage is just more convenient. You don’t have to worry about getting a kink in your neck or wearing your upper body out from carrying it – not to mention the hand cramps!
Wheeled bags allow you to glide your board along without issue, moving between crowds seamlessly with more energy when you get to your destination. While it’s not a rule, wheeled options also tend to offer additional compartments to keep other gear like boots and outerwear organized and safe. Some even have room for ski helmets!
You may be able to save some cash by simply packing your helmet and/or boots in your carryon, but that’s not feasible for everyone. If you have space in your carryon, simply roll up your clothing and push it inside your boots and around them.
Many airlines will let you check in your ski bag and a boot bag as a single checked bag, however, so it’s important to check the specific policies in this regard. It could end up saving you quite a bit of money! Just remember that there’s always the chance that your boot bag doesn’t arrive to your destination, and boots are significantly more difficult to rent than a board or skis are , especially boots that you’ve taken the time to break in. No one wants to deal with blisters and discomfort when they should be simply enjoying the trip!
I highly recommend traveling with a backpack, even if you do have a ski or snowboard bag large enough to hold all of your clothing and other gear. A backpack is where you’ll be able to store your more delicate items safely. Electronic devices like laptops, cameras, toiletries, makeup, etc. will be placed here as putting them along with the rest of your board/ski bag is not the best idea and will not provide the protection they need.
If you really value the kind of organization that your “regular” suitcase can offer or if you can’t fit all of your clothing into your ski/snowboard bag, you may actually need an extra piece of luggage. You can always ship your gear ahead of time too, if the idea of carrying around so much luggage stresses you out.
- Roll Your Clothes Up – I mentioned this up earlier in the article, but simply rolling up your clothes and layers will honestly save you quite a bit of room in most cases, where you can slide them in your boots and between your skis, etc.
- Use Stuff Sacks – These are great for keeping smaller things like socks and underwear organized and ensure you don’t lose them among all the rest of your pack’s contents.
- Organize Clothing – Furthermore, try to keep your regular street clothing separate from your ski/snowboard clothes. This will save you time when it’s time to get changed, so you aren’t digging around frantically looking for your only nice shirt to go out to dinner in.
Transporting Skis and Snowboards by Car
If you are going to be using your own vehicle, then this won’t be too much of a problem. All you really need is a ski roof rack and you’re ready to go. This way, you can transport multiple pairs of skis or boards without taking up any space inside your car or SUV.
If you’re going to be using a rental car, then you can occasionally check with the rental company to see if they can rent a carrier for you. In many cases – particularly in areas where ski and snowboard tourists are common – this is a very real possibility but make sure you check this before you actually rent the car so you’re not stuck.
Now that you’re essentially a pro at not only packing skis and snowboards, but actually transporting them. The great news is that there are very modern solutions which make it pretty seamless. Once you’ve gone through the process a couple of times, you won’t have to stress out about it anymore, and it will become second nature to you. I hope this guide has helped you out, and that you have a better idea of how to go about transporting your gear. Thanks for tuning in, and we will see you again soon. Enjoy the snow!