So, you’ve read our beginner’s guide to surfing, got yourself a board, and are ready to start riding waves. One thing you’ll want to be investing in, is a surfboard bag. Our guide focuses on the best surfboard travel bags, for day to day use and overseas trips.
We’d recommend always using a surfboard travel bag to protect your ride. It doesn’t matter whether you’re cycling, driving, or going to Hawaii by plane, a top surfboard bag is your first and only line of defense to preventing scratches, dents and more.
This guide doesn’t just explain who needs a travel bag, but it also uncovers the best surfboard bags for the money.
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Who Needs a Surfboard Travel Bag?
Every surfer should invest in a surfboard travel bag. Your board is your most expensive (and most important) piece of kit. So, it makes sense to protect it.
Any small impact can cause damage to your board, whether that be holes, cracks or dents. Of course, there are repair kits available if the unthinkable happens, but a repaired board is never going to feel the same as one that’s straight without any prior damage.
In our list of the best surfboard travel bags below, we’ll be focusing on top brands, offering excellent value for money.
What To Look For in Your Surfboard Travel Bag
A bag’s a bag, right? Well, not exactly.
Whilst most can be mounted easily on a car or bike, and most have the necessary protection to be flown as checked in luggage on flights, some bags have additional features worth thinking about.
If you’re heading on a flight, there’s a good chance you’ll be lugging your board around from the airport, to a car, and then to a hotel. In this case, you might want to upgrade to a surfboard travel bag that incorporates wheels, rather than having to carry your board.
You’ll also want to check if there’s a shoulder strap, or handle to make lugging your board around as easy as possible.
Although you’ll be able to stash a spare leash, fins, wax and more inside a surfboard bag, it’s better to find one that has additional pockets, designed to store exactly those items.
There are surfboard bags out there offering capacity for multiple boards, but we’d advise against them. When only one board is being shifted around, it’s going to be too loose in the bag. And, when shifting multiple boards, there’s always the chance one board could damage the other.
And that leads us right onto protection. Many of the best surfboard travel bags will incorporate special features such as additional internal padding, being constructed from a water resistant material on the external of the bag, and reinforced zippers.
The Best Surfboard Travel Bags
You’ve probably already uncovered a ton of reviews online. The problem is, there are so many different surf bags available, it’s hard to know which one to choose.
So, we’ve searched high and low, blended our experience with different surf bag brands and come up with a list of the best surfboard bags that offer the greatest value for money.
FCS Day All Purpose
If you’ve already been researching surfboard bags, there’s a good chance you’ve come across FCS. FCS are a leading surf brand when it comes to the manufacture and distribution of accessories for boards such as fins, board grips and of course bags.
There’s nothing wrong with going for a cheap surfboard bag, but you’re going to find them incredibly heavy. And, that’s not going to help you when lugging it around to your local riding spot.
FCS surfboard bags were already considered to be lightweight. However, the upgraded FCS Day All Purpose bag is 30% lighter than before.
The fit of the FCS surfboard bag is second to none. It’s not annoyingly tight, but still manages to fit almost any board thanks to its contoured stretch fit.
The problem with most tight fitting surfboard travel bags is they lack breathability. But, FCS have incorporated armadillo strip that keeps fit and protection in place, but helps with ventilation too.
The 5mm padding offered by the FCS board case is more than enough. And that’s coupled with huge amounts of rail protection (again, the foam here contours around the rail), so the top, bottom and sides of your board are always protected.
Like many surfers, I’m a huge fan of Dakine. I’ve used their products for surfing, but also for mountain biking too. And, the Dakine shuttle makes #2 on our list of the best surfboard travel bags.
The focus from Dakine here, is a minimalist surf bag, meaning that cost is kept down to a bare minimum. But that doesn’t mean fit or protection are compromised.
You’ll get plenty of protection thanks to the foam padding and heat resistant external material. Padding certainly isn’t lacking here, at ¼ inch (or over 6mm). Which is actually more padding than is offered by the FCS board bag mentioned above.
Finally, like all the best surfboard bags, it incorporates a heavy duty coil zipper, designed to stand the test of time.
If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to the FCS bag mentioned above, then the Dakine surf bag is for you.
Kona Surf Co. Protector
Of all the surf board bags on this list, the Kona Surf Co. offer the biggest range in terms of sizing; there’s a bag here for every type of board (6ft-10ft). So, whether you’re riding a shortboard or longboard, you’ll be able to find exactly what you need.
We like the Kona Surf Co. board bag as it’s easy to transport; it has both a carry handle and shoulder strap, unlike a lot of board bags on the market. And, the integrated fin slot certainly makes it easy to pack.
And, you get the same protection here as you would on the FCS Day bag; 5mm of padded foam. That means no more scratches or dents!
The exterior is lightweight, reflective, and waterproof.
Which is The Best Surfboard Travel Bag?
The FCS is the most expensive surfboard travel bag on this list, but, it has the same protection (5mm padding) as the much cheaper Kona Surf.
However, when looking for adequate protection, range of sizes and price, we’re picking the Kona as the best surfboard travel bag.