Surfboard bags protect your boards against bumps and dings whilst you travel and make carrying your equipment that much easier. What’s more, your cars seats and house will be protected from any surfboard wax, water and dirt. In this guide we review the best surfboard bags, how to pack and use them, plus how to plan a surf trip and avoid airline fees. Check out the links in the table of contents below to get started.
Comparison of Surfboard Bags
|Name||Image||Price||Type||Size||Our Rating||Our Awards|
|Sock Cover by Ho Stevie!||Check Price||Sock||6′, 6’6″, 7′, 8′, 8’6″, 9’6″||4.5/5||Best Value |
|Shortboard Day Bag by Dakine||Check Price||Day Bag||6′, 6’3″, 6’6″, 7′||4/5|
|Longboard Day Bag by Dakine||Check Price||Day Bag||8′, 8’6″, 9’2″, 9’6″, 10’2″||4/5|
|Smuggler Surfboard Travel Bag (2+1) by Pro-Lite||Check Price||Travel Bag||6′, 6’3″, 6’6″, 6’10” |
(all 24″ wide)
|5/5||Best Overall |
|Shortboard Coffin Bag by Pro-Lite||Check Price||Coffin Bag||6’6″, 7′, 7’6″, 8′ |
(all 25″ wide)
|Longboard Coffin Bag by Pro-Lite||Check Price||Coffin Bag||9′, 9’6″, 10′ |
(all 25″ wide)
The Best Types of Surfing Board Bags
Below we do reviews of the best surfboard…
Surfboard Sock Covers
The surfboard sock cover is the simplest type of surfboard bag available. It’s usually made from a stretchable fabric material that covers the entire board and it has an opening at one end that can be tightened or loosened using string. Because it is just made from fabric it provides minimal damage protection but this also makes socks very cheap and they can be folded away easily when not in use. Socks tend to be strap less so they are harder to carry. They’re also useful for protecting your car seats from surfboard water, wax and grime. What’s more, they protect your surfboard against UV sunlight damage. A surfboard sock is best used when transporting your board in the car or storing your board away in your house.
- Made from durable fabric that’s reinforced at the nose.
- Affordably priced.
- Protects boards from UV damage and prevents wax from damaging car seats.
- Easy to slip on, pack away and wash.
- No pockets. Would have been good to have a small place to put your leash, fins and wax in.
- Sizes: 6′, 6’6″, 7′, 8′, 8’6″, 9’6″
- Colors: Black and white, blue and gray, red and gray
Simply the best surfboard sock that is available. If you have a thin surfboard then order the size that is listed. However, if your surfboard is thick then order one size bigger.
Surfboard Day Bags
Surfboard day bags are an upgrade from the sock cover due to a number of improvements, but this does make them slightly more expensive. They tend to be made from more durable materials than just fabric, plus they’re padded out so they provide better protection against travel bumps. They also usually come with a zip so it’s easier to access the board, plus there will be a strap or handle making it easier to carry. It’ll also usually have reflective material on the outside of the bag to stop the board from overheating and the wax from melting off. What’s more, day bags sometimes come with a one or two small side pockets. Surfboard day bags are best used if you go on a trip where you’ll be carrying the board for a distance as the strap makes things much easier.
Review of the Best Surfboard Day Bags from Dakine
Advantages & Disadvantages
- 1/4″ foam padding to provide protection against dings and bumps.
- Has a water resistant and heat reflective outer tarpaulin case. This keeps the surfboard cool on the inside, stopping the wax from melting.
- Good value for money compared with similar board in this range.
- Solid strap for carrying and zip for easy access.
- May want to upgrade to a surfboard travel bag if going on a flight as you’ll want extra protection.
The smaller travel bag option covers shortboards, whereas the other option is for longboards, with the only real difference being the size and shape, plus the additional of a small pocket on the longboard option. However, if you’re looking for something more substantial then check out the travel bag section below.
Surfboard Travel Bags
These surf luggage bags are used when you travel and need extra protection as your bag is likely to be tossed around by airport staff. A large surfboard bag will be able to carry several surfboards. It’ll have thick padding to prevent damage and will have a number of storage compartments for any extra items you want to carry. All of these improvements do come at an extra price, but it’s worth it if you have the money and care about your surfboard. Sometimes these surf luggage bags get called a coffin surfboard bag or double surfboard bag and they even get kitted out with wheels. If you care about your surfboards and don’t want them damaged when you go on holiday then a travel bag is worth the investment.
- False bottom for hiding your third board. Allows you to pretend there’s only 2 surfboards (which is a restriction on some airlines) and avoid their excessive fees.
- 10mm worth of padding protection and a good quality strong strap.
- Extra storage pockets for accessory items.
- Vent to allow air flow.
- Sized just for shortboards, not longboards.
- Sizes: 6′, 6’3″, 6’6″, 6’10” (all 24″ wide)
- Shape: Pointed for shortboards
- No. Surfboards: 3 (2 on display with 1 in a hidden compartment)
- Color: Gray
This brilliantly designed surfboard bag will fool airline ticket agents into thinking there’s only two surfboards whilst you hide your additional third one in the false bottom. Over time this will save you money on airline baggage fees.
Aside from the unique design, the bag is well padded and comes with a number of storage compartments. The only drawback to the bag is that it isn’t the right size for longboards.
Review of the Best Coffin Surfboard Travel Bags from Pro-Lite
Coffin Surfboard Bag for Shortboards
- Sizes: 6’6″, 7′, 7’6″, 8′ (all 25″ wide)
- No. Surfboards: White
- Color: Navy blue
- Tons of internal space, allowing for up to 4 boards! Even possible to fit 5 thin boards.
- Loads of extra storage compartments for wetsuits, fins and more.
- Non-corrosive, high strength zips to prevent breakages.
- Comes with wheels making transportation that much easier.
- Thick 10mm padded protection.
- Might be too large if carrying only a single surfboard.
The Pro-Lite Wheeled Coffin Travel Bag is for the serious surfer that travels, ideal for anyone carrying 2-4 surfboards per trip. It contains everything you could want in a surfboard travel bag.
Whilst some of the bags below didn’t make the above list, each one stands out in it’s own particular way or is the best in it’s unique product category:
Eco-friendly Surfboard Bag
Made with hemp and using an environmentally friendly manufacturing process, this surfboard bag from Wave Tribe is perfect for the environmentally conscious travel surfer.
Stand Up Paddle Board Bag
This BIC Sport Sup Bag is a bestseller that comes in a range of sizes, from 9 to 14 foot. Made from high quality, durable materials it’s had a number of raving reviews online.
Very affordable, the Wham-O bodyboard bag can carry up to 2 boogie boards and comes with backpack straps for easy carrying. It even has spare room for a pocket storage which is ideal for other gear.
The Wave Zone Skimboard Bag can easily hold 2 skimboards and comes with a shoulder trap which makes carrying a breeze. Available in Black, Blue and Red – plus from sizes 42″ up to 59″.
What to look for when buying a surfboard bag?
Size and shape
First, consider the size of your bag and choose one that will match the size of your surfboard e.g. an 8ft board will need a longboard surf bag. You might also need to think about the height of the bag if your surfboard fins are glassed on and non-removable – there’s even bags that come with fin zips for this. Plus don’t forget the width especially if you have longboard. I’d recommend getting a bag that is a few inches bigger than your biggest surfboard. Also, double check the nose shape of your bag. If your surfboard has a wide nose then it won’t fit a bag with a pointed tip.
Check the thickness of the padding as thicker padded bags are especially needed when transporting your board on a plane. Sock covers won’t provide protection when doing any type of distance travel. Typically, surfboard day bags have 1/8″ to 1/4″ padding whereas surfboard travel bags have 10mm to 15mm padding.
Pockets and storage compartments
Keeping all of your equipment together in one spot can be handy. Bigger sized surfboard travel bags are known to include a number of storage pockets for any accessories you might have and some even have large enough room for wetsuits and all your luggage. On the other hand, a surfboard day bag may not have any pockets at all – so consider how much extra storage room you need.
Material quality & accessories
Surfboard bags with better quality building materials are generally higher priced bags, so if you want a more durable bag then you’re going to have to pay more. However, there’s a couple of other things you can check for that will signify quality and make your bag last longer.
Check that the nose of the bag is reinforced with extra fabric as this is one area that commonly rips. Day bags should also have reflective material on the outside to prevent overheating and the wax from melting.
See what type of zip the bag uses because this is an area that frequently breaks. Double zips are even better and they can still work if one of the zips break.
Some surfboard travel bags even come with a false bottom! An airline might have a 2 surfboard limit but you can use the hidden compartment in the bag to show the airline your 2 surfboards and then keep the third one hidden whilst you check your luggage in.
Surf bag prices can vary greatly:
- At the lower end, surfboard sock covers range from $20 to $60.
- Surfboard day bags can go from as little as $40, with higher priced ones costing up to $150.
- Of course the most expensive type is the surfboard travel bag which normally starts at around $100. Premium versions with wheels and multiple surfboards in them can sometimes go up to $400 to $500 or more.
Alternatives for carrying Surfboards
In addition to the items on the packing list above, other things you might want to consider include:
Surfboard Car Rack
Necessary for any surfing road trip – you can use this surfboard car rack to transport your boards on the roof of your vehicle. The reason why it’s one of the best selling car racks is simply because it is strong, secure, lockable and adjustable.
Wetsuit Bag / Wet Bag
Very affordable and ideal for taking off your wetsuit and then storing it away. This wetsuit bag will prevent water from dripping in your car or house as you change out of your wetsuit. Once placed inside of the bag, it becomes waterproof as you close it up.
Waterproof Pouch / Surf Dry Bag
Perfect for storing your wallet, keys and phone in as you head down to the beach. This waterproof pouch will stop both water and sand from damaging your possessions.
Surfboard Sling / Surfboard Carrier
A unique design and alternative to the day bag, this surfboard sling helps you to carry those bulky longboards to and from the beach.