Keeping your snowboard safe when travelling

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For any passionate snowboarder, travelling abroad to experience the best boarding destinations in the world is a rite of passage. Although the UK is blessed with many wonders, snow-capped mountains and great conditions are the two things we don’t have and this is a major stumbling block for all the adrenaline-junkies out there. Despite the introduction of a few man-made slopes such as Chill Factore, that still isn’t enough for some people who want to experience the real thing – which is why an increasing number of people are heading oversees for the ideal boarding experience.

If you are planning to take a winter break to polish up on your snowboarding skills, then the chances are that you will be taking your own board with you, which can be quite a tricky job. With the increasing costs involved in running an airplane, many airlines are looking to squeeze as much money as possible out of you to foot the bill, so you could end up paying extortionate prices for your luggage.

Add to the mix the over-eager baggage handlers who manhandle your equipment and the chances of you getting your board out of the country in one piece can become an ever decreasing possibility – by the time you’ve left the airport your out of pocket and have nothing to board with.

So if you are looking to take a snow-vacation with your board this summer then here are some useful tips to keep it safe when travelling:

  • Packaging –keeping your board as protected as possible is the aim of the game when you are taking it abroad, so make sure that you keep it wrapped with as much padding as possible, in order to keep the baggage handlers at bay. Also, there are many companies out there that manufacture snowboard travel bags, which are specifically designed to give as much protection to your board by protecting it from the elements. If your board is special to you and you don’t want to see it damaged, then it’s definitely in your best interests to keep it under wraps!
  • Costs – not all airliners are out to get you, with many offering special deals for passengers carrying sporting equipment for such an occasion, meaning that you won’t have to spend a fortune on travelling expenses. Before settling on the ‘low-cost’ airlines that offer cheap flights, be cautious as the luggage fees can be quite costly – always shop around with various companies to see what the best package is for you.
  • Security – the level of security in airports is at an astronomical level, with any possibility of a ‘threat’ being dealt with in the strictest fashion.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who still try to break the rules and will often take advantage of your larger travel cases, as you could potentially become a target for drug smugglers (this does happen!). So always make sure you pack your gear securely, or consider getting it professionally done at the airport.

TIP: If you are still unsure about airline risks to your board, then consider shipping the gear directly to your destination using a private courier service.

Paul James Is an avid skier from the UK working with Freeze Pro Shop

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