Tips for Flying with Snowboards and Skis

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When ski or snowboard is life (or both), you know that one of the many challenges that lie ahead is having to fly with them. Once you know when you go and get the tickets, the only thing left for you to do is…packing. It may sound easy peasy for someone who doesn’t ski, but anyone flying with skis/snowboard before knows what we mean. You need a lot of gear to hit the slopes, which makes the packing quite tricky.

Is it possible to fly with your snowboard and skis?

Flying with skis and snowboards isn’t the most challenging thing to do in the world. Many airlines let you check your snowboard/skis like a regular-sized bag. It’s quite easy to travel and check a snowboard or ski-specific bag. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have to follow some specific rules, though.

Even though flying with snowboards and skis sounds easy, you want to make it as easy as possible. It’s the part when you’re just going to have to keep reading for finding out our tips.

Buy the right snowboards and skis bag!

As long as you’re planning carefully and you follow some tips, it shouldn’t be that stressful to fly with snowboard and ski gear. Unlike any standard luggage, snowboard and skis are quite heavy and cumbersome most of the times. When you buy an excellent snowboard bag and ski bag though, traveling and walking through the airport isn’t going to be awful anymore.

From all the variety of models out there, the wheeled snowboard and ski bag is a perfect choice nine times out of ten. A big ski bag is going to let you pack clothes, gloves, and any bulky items. It’s pretty standard for skiers to only travel with the skis bag and a backpack since they’re packing the clothes in the big skis bag. Not only the solution is excellent, but it is also adding more padding for protecting your gear.

Snowboarders, on the other hand, are traveling with a roller bag easier. They’re more substantial and more comfortable to carry around, while also allowing the snowboarder to pack clothes and gear with the snowboard.

You can also find snowboard and skis bags that feature individual compartments for boots, which are always a challenge to pack.

Should you get a boot bag or not?

More often than not, the airlines have strict policies regarding ski and snowboard baggage, which is why they check both the snowboard/ski bag AND the boot bag. It’s comfortable for one to pack a snowboard/ski boot bag when flying, especially for financial reasons. Should your baggage get lost at destination though, it’s not going to be easy for you to rent boots, mainly because they may be custom made for the perfect fit. It’s the reason for which many snowboarders and skiers take their boots while flying as carry-on luggage. You may very well Velcro the power straps together, tie the laces, and hang them to the carry-on. It’s the best way to make sure that both your skis/snowboard boots and your bag get to the destination.

When you are entirely confident that the airline is going to fly all of your bags, the boot bag is a solid choice since it organizes your gear very lovely. Frankly, boots aren’t comfortable to manage in the narrow aisle of the airplane. If your mind is set on carrying the snowboard/skis boots on, it’s better that you take them off of the backpack while on the airplane. The risk for hitting someone with the boots while you’re getting to your seat is pretty high otherwise.

Do you need a unique backpack?

It’s not only the skis/snowboard bag that you have to pack when flying, but also a reliable backpack. You can find models that feature a helmet carrying system, as we all know that helmet can get damaged while traveling.

Backpacks are also great for storing small items or electronics that may get lost and damages in the checked snowboard/ski bag.

What are the best ways to pack the snowboard/ski bag for flying?

Even though each skier/snowboard can decide what works for them, here are some suggestions to try, especially if you’re a newbie:

  1. Go with a different suitcase for clothes

If you go for the organization that a traditional suitcase provides, or if you don’t have the space to fit everything inside the snowboard/ski bag, you should consider buying a suitcase. It can make the flying more complicated, but you’ll have the space you need for packing your gear and clothes.

  1. You only need the board bag and the backpack

It’s probably the most popular method amongst the skiers and snowboarders out there. It’s not complicated, and you don’t have many bags to deal with. You may only have to check one bag, which cuts down your spending on fees. It does take some organizational skills to pack all the clothes and gear in just one bag, but it takes your flying to the next level, for sure.

  1. You can always ship the gear ahead

In all fairness, it’s more expensive than checking the bags through your airline, but many skiers/snowboarders like sending the equipment in advance. It allows them to travel light and don’t stress out about carrying a cumbersome snowboard bag. If it sounds appealing to you, don’t hesitate to do it since it reduces a lot of the pressure you feel when flying with your ski/snowboard gear.

Last set of tips: how to pack for the snowboard/ski trip

Even though it may take a lot of practice and patience until you get it right, here are some tips to keep in mind next time you’re packing your snowboard/ski bag:

  • Use stuff sacks for various items (socks and underwear) for remaining organized. It’s also easier to keep an eye on the small things you travel with. When the underwear gets dirty, it’s more comfortable to store it in a stuff sack.
  • Roll up the layers and clothes into cute burritos for organizing the snowboard/ski bag. You have a lot of vertical space, unlike the regular suitcase, in which case folding is the way to go.
  • Try to organize vertically, with ski clothes on one end and the street clothes on the other. It’s going to win you time in the morning when you cannot remember where you’ve packed the long underwear. Use the bindings as dividers for the “compartments.”
  • Put clothes on one side and skis/snowboard on the other, imagining yourself a vertical line down the middle of the bag. You pack them on both sides, according to the categories.