Surfboards can have this weird tendency to feel real fragile whenever they’re out of the water.
Bumps against corners and car trunks, drops on rocks or asphalt, sun damage, overly-tightened tie downs, careless baggage handlers, messy cargo holds, etc. – can all lead to a situation where your board is looking worse for wear and needs to be repaired.
If you’re looking for a simple solution to keep your surfboards safe from out-of-water dings and damage, you’re going to want to get a board bag or two.
Picking a board bag is not too difficult, but you do have some options.
Types of Board Bags for Surfboards
Surfboard bags can fit in 3 main categories ranging in protection as well as price from low to high. What bag is right for you depends on what you’ll be using it for and maybe how clumsy you are when transporting your surfboards.
Surfboard Socks and Soft Bags
A surfboard sock is a lighter fabric knit – many are made of cotton – that slides over your surfboard.
Surfboard socks slide over the nose of your board and are closed at the tail, usually with a rope and cinch clip.
They come in a variety of shapes and sizes designed to fin a bunch of different types of surfboards.
You could even make your own out of some old beach towels, wetsuits, or boardshorts if you’re handy with scissors and a sewing machine.
The surfboard sock is perfect for everyday surfboard protection. It’s not going to be the best defense against major impacts or drops, but a soft bag will protect against minor dings, scratches, sun damage, and wax transfers.
Check out the best surfboard socks and covers.
Surfboard Day Bags
Surfboard day bags are typically constructed out of a foam padded fabric top and bottom that zipper together to secure your board.
Most day bags feature a shoulder sling and some storage pockets for wax, fins, tools, leashes, etc.
Surfboard day bags offer more protection than the sock with the addition of padded walls. This will allow your board to stand up to some harder impacts and drops.
It’s a good choice for road trips and surf excursions that require some hiking down to the beach.
Check out our recommendations for the best surfboard day bags.
Surfboard Travel Bags & Cases
Surfboard travel bags can either take the form of beefed-up day bags or hard-shell cases.
The soft-wall travel bags will feature even thicker layers of foam padding. The hard-shell travel bags will featured a padded interior that’s enclosed by a hard outer case.
These types of surfboard bags often come in larger sizes that allow for transportation of more than one surfboard. They also feature more room for storing your other surf equipment and accessories.
Larger travel bags will often feature wheels and handles for easy transport and maneuvering.
Travel bags are ideal for any sort of airline travel or off-road travel. These bags are designed to stand up to major impacts and being jostled around, dropped, or otherwise abused.
Check out our recommendations for the best surfboard travel bags.
Picking the Right Surfboard Bag
Aside from your intended use and need for a board bag, you’ll want to look for something that will:
- Fit your board or boards. Make sure to select a bag that matches the length and width of your surfboards.
- Fit your fins. Look for a bag with room to accommodate your fins – either with storage pockets, extra room, or slots in the bag itself.
- Provide the protection you need. Select a bag with enough padding and material that will protect your boards from whatever you’re buying the bag for.
- Last a while. Select a quality bag with zippers that will stand up to salt, stitching that will hold up to use, and material that won’t tear easily.