Jibstyle Jenna: How to pack your gear?…without getting over-charged

Posted By: The Ski Channel on January 19, 2010 11:14 am


This Week Slopestyle Barbie answers more of your questions. First up, how to pack your gear?

Airlines have made it increasingly harder to fly with gear these days. It seems they have forgotten that it is actually a customer service. Yet the jibs in Park City, pow in the Rockies, and peaks in Canada ain’t going to ski themselves folks. Meaning we are going to need to find a way to pack our to-pay-for-checked bags and carry on to make sure our gear gets to our snow destination with us in the cheapest way possible.

I am not trying to knock the airlines directly, but they are ‘hobby-ists,’ meaning they tend to favor certain sport traveling over others. You know exactly what I mean; golfing. Golf clubs are considered for executive or business travel and are not considered oversize luggage (even though they are metal sticks and rocks in a bag). Surfboards cost up to $100 a bag to travel with and skis and snowboards can get charged at a minimum of $20 over the usual cost of luggage as “oversized.”

I think the formula is starting to become prevalent here. We need to disguise all sport gear as golf clubs. Kiteboarder’s have been doing it for years, packing all their gear in specifically made “golf bags” made by our favorite kite brands. I traveled to Hatteras, North Carolina earlier this fall with two kites and a board in a “golf bag” on Delta and ended up paying the standard bag fee with no extra charges for a 75 pound bag.

This is exactly how we need to be treating our ski and snowboard gear. Some airlines will not charge extra for regular snow gear baggage, especially if you are flying to a well known resort port, but it’s best not to take a $20 chance that could be spent on Smart Wool socks instead! So in conclusion, we need to be consolidating all our gear into “golf bags.”

The best way to do this is actually to get a kiteboard “golf bag.” BEST kiteboarding and Naish both make very large golf bags that are long enough to fit skis or a snowboard and the rest of your gear. You could use a standard golf bag as well, just make sure to measure the length of your ride’s before you purchase, as they may not be as long as the kite bags. When you get to the airport make sure to stick to your act and explain that you are bringing your clubs. They may question, but don’t flinch. Plaid pants and golf shoes may be a way to arrive in character, but not necessary. If they question, assure your kind-neighborhood-flight-check-in-attendant that it is business travel and you are merely making a stop-over in Vail.