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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Travelling with kit for the first time

    I'm thinking of taking my kit on holiday with me for the first time, so I have some questions.

    Which kit bag is a good one? Are inclusive wheels helpful to get the kit from car to airport terminal?

    How much wave kit can you get in your bag for your 30Kg?

    The flight is already booked with Thomas Cook Airlines. They say...
    "Surf boards, kite boards, body and boogie boards
    Up to 30 kg, max. dimensions: 300 cm length x 60 cm width x 50 cm height. Comprising 1 board + 1 mast + 1 sail"

    Does all this really apply if you are under 30Kg and within the dimensions? Can I not take two sails or at least a boom?

    Is your kit covered in transit by standard travel insurance?

    Can you get a 30Kg kit bag on/off a roof rack by yourself?

    Any other top travel tips?


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    South Devon
    We have travelled with Thomas Cook before and they are ok with kit. I usually get 1 board, 3 sails 2masts and a boom in a wheeled bag(Flying objects roller). We have moved to wheeled bags because all the trolleys are becoming more awkward to use and they have now started to put automatic sliding doors on some exits to UK airports which makes it difficult with anything slightly overhanging a trolley. So with a roller bag and a suitcase on castors we are rolling. Put the heavy stuff fins, extensions etc in the suitcase. Cant answer about loading on to a roof rack on your own but have loaded them on to a taxi roof in tenerife with the help of the driver no problem.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Meet the dims. and weight reqmts and they wont care whats inside.
    Be first to check in.
    Don't use a Prolimit "session bag" with wheels...unless you are happy to walk it through almost vertical (to make the wheels work) !!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Navegante's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    40 48'N 14 26'E -Western Med - West South Atlantic
    Quote Originally Posted by K-215 View Post
    Don't use a Prolimit "session bag" with wheels...unless you are happy to walk it through almost vertical (to make the wheels work) !!
    Oh yeah I can testify to that! Piece of rotting organic waste!

  5. #5
    Senior Member jknhismassivevan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    TC have always been very easygoing with kit in my 6 flights with them, first times I used a large 1m wide board bag and just stuffed 1 slalom board, 2 masts, 1 boom and 2 slalom sails in and they took it at 30Kg no stress at all at Gatwick. The next times I split it into 1 board in a board bag and sail bag, it came to the same 30Kg as the board bag was fitted vs over size and again no stress and they didn't weigh it ever on the way out.

    At Gatwick and on the return flights from Fuerte they wanted to check that the kit back fit the length requirement, they have a rectangle painted on the floor, if it fits in, it flies, that's about a 240cm diagonal distance from memory.

    I always expected some knock back on the 2 bags but always had the sails rolled together with the masts in the centre to look like 1 and had the answer ready of its 1 windsurfer, 1 board, 1 sail, 1 mast, 1 boom. 2 bags = 2 lighter bags, I'm only trying to help you guys out and if you want I can strap them together into 1 x 30Kg lump. I've never had to deploy that tactic.

    I would say in general as long as you are close to the rules the employees at check in don't care and once its through the over sized chute you are done. At Gatwick the oversized guys are super lazy so I always helpfully load the bags onto the conveyer, again it avoids any last minute scrutiny.
    The Windsurfer Formally Known as JKRR - TWFKJKRR or "Him in the Red Shorts"

  6. #6
    I have travelled with kit a lot, including with Thomas Cook to Cape Town. Their 30kgs board bag is not generous, but it is 'doable'.

    The key is to get a lightweight bag that fits what you want to take, and Flying Objects and Pro Limit now do bags that are geared up to be lighter, to help fit within with airline limits.

    I would say avoid any bags with wheels as, nice as they are, the wheels add 1kg or more, and that's then kit weight lost.
    Some bags have removable wheels, which can work for you if you can put those wheels in your suitcase at the airport – though they will then take up part of your suitcase weight allowance.

    Some 'triple' surfboard bags will also work for windsurf wave kit but remember that you need the bag to be long enough to take the mast.
    (That's 7' 6" or 8ft, in surfboard bag sizes, but check the bag width is enough too.)

    Once you have a bag, you can do a trial run to see what you can get in it. Use some accurate hand-held scales to weigh everything for this dummy run. Weigh each component as you add it to the bag and then weigh the total. You then juggle what you can and cannot take, knowing the true weights.

    If you have lightweight sails and rig components then you can get more in, and the fact is that some masts weigh 1.4 kgs for a 4m RDM, but other masts can be nearer 2kgs. Wave sail weights vary from 2.8kgs to 4.5kgs+ per size, depending one the brand! Ditch the sail bags for this trip.

    You can't do much about your board weight but you can remove the fins and straps (and you carry those in your suit case.)
    I also carry my harness in my suitcase, plus the back end of the boom.

    When packing, you also need nose cones to fit the board for extra protection at the ends. Some people also use pipe insulation foam strapped to the rails, but a good board bag means that shouldn't be necessary.

    With a 30kgs allowance, you should be able to get one board, two sails, a boom, and one mast. A third sail size may need a second mast and that can take the weight over the limit.

    Another option is to book two board bags on board, and that then makes life easier, as 2 X 30 = 60kgs.
    With 60kgs allowance spread over two bags you can have wheels, take two boards, and 3-4 sails etc.

    One other option is to get the board bag down to the 30kgs limit but then replace your suitcase with a Flying Objects boom bag. The sails and boom, fins and mast extension can then go in the boom bag, and the board and masts go in the board bag. Both bags are then padded out with your clothes and wetsuit.

    The boom bag is of course 170cms long, and the check-in desk staff may pass it as a 'suitcase' or may add an 'oversize' charge, depending on how generous they are feeling at the time.
    Last edited by basher; 2nd May 2018 at 10:24 AM.
    Now back in the UK.

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