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20 Tips When Traveling With A Skateboard

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The key to winning the travel game, especially when it comes to air travel, is to pack light and carry everything with you. Make sure your bag fits into the overhead bin to avoid losing anything, unless you spend too much time at the airport bar before your flight.

When traveling with a skateboard, it’s highly recommended to bring a skateboard bag. It helps protect your board and disassembling it can provide more room, but it can be inconvenient when putting your board back together. The best thing is to keep everything in one place and pack smart.

Once you check in your bag, you’ll likely navigate through chutes and conveyor belts. Hoping the guys handling your bag are gentle when loading it is slim. To save yourself from the stress of losing or damaging your bag, you want to be at the airport two hours before your flight leaves.

skateboarder traveling

20 Tips When Traveling With A Skateboard

Some of these tips are obvious but easy to forget, so make yourself a checklist to ensure you have everything you need. For example, I once forgot my skate shoes which sucked.

Knowing airline policies and getting familiar with the rules of traveling with a skateboard is half the battle. Often, you can get away with strapping a small skateboard to your backpack, but in case things go south, a skateboard bag should save you from having to leave your skateboard behind.

Domestic flights tend to be more lenient when it comes to carrying a skateboard on board, but you need to have a backup plan. Make sure to get to the gate early to be able to store your board in the overhead bin.

If you’re dealing with missing or damaged baggage, be prepared for a long wait. In most cases, if your bag didn’t show, you got to your flight late or your bag never made it on board.

Sometimes all you have to do is stick around until the next flight comes in, and more often than not, your bag will be on that flight. Airlines tend to do this when they have overbooked flights and can’t accommodate all the bags on board. Let’s go through a couple of tips.

1. Plan Ahead

When planning a trip and bringing skateboard, do your research in advance. Look up local skate spots and skateparks, as well as any rules or regulations regarding skating in the area. You should also research transportation options and make sure you have all necessary gear and equipment.

2. Disassemble Your Board (Optional)

Most airlines don’t allow you to bring a skateboard as a carry-on and checking in your bag is always possible, though fees apply. If you plan to check your skateboard as baggage, it’s best to disassemble it first. Remove the trucks and wheels, and pack them separately to protect them from damage. This will also make your skateboard easier to pack and transport.

disassembled skateboard

3. Check Airline Policies

If you plan to fly with your skateboard, it’s important to check the airline policies before you book your ticket. Some airlines may allow you to bring your skateboard as a carry-on item, while others may require it to be checked as baggage. Make sure you understand the airline’s policies and fees so you can avoid any surprises at the airport.

Every airline has its own rules, but usually, domestic flights are more relaxed about what you can bring on board. But don’t leave it to chance – try to get the details straight before you show up at the airport.

When you ask about it, most of the time you’ll just get some canned response about what the TSA allows for carry-on items. But every once in a while, you’ll run into a real person who can tell you if your gear will fit in the overhead bin.

If you do decide to check in your board, keep in mind that each airline has its own restrictions, double-check before you head to the airport.

4. Bring a Skate Tool

Bringing a skateboard tool is essential for any trip with your board. You never know when you might need to make adjustments or repairs on the go. Keep your tool handy in your skateboard bag or carry-on.

5. Use a Skateboard Bag

Speaking about skateboard bags, make sure you have one. It not only protects your board from damage, but it also makes it easier to transport. Look for a bag with padded straps for comfortable carrying and extra pockets for storing gear.

Many suitcases can’t even fit a 32″ deck so a backback or larger bag is a must have.

skateboard strapped to a bag for travel

6. Consider Bringing Soft Wheels

If you’re planning to also use your skateboard as a means of transportation a set of softer wheels could be an option. Soft wheels can handle rough surfaces better than hard wheels, making them a good choice for cruising around. They also provide a smoother ride on sidewalks and other uneven surfaces.

7. Pack Light

When traveling with a skateboard, it’s important to pack light. Only bring the essentials, such as your skateboard, shoes, and protective gear. Try to avoid overpacking, as this can make it more difficult to transport your gear.

8. Bring Protective Gear

This doesn’t apply to every skater but for those that pad up, don’t forget to bring protective gear. You never know when you might encounter new terrain or unfamiliar skate spots. Make sure you have a helmet, pads, and other protective gear to keep you safe.

9. Know Your Limits

When traveling with your skateboard, it’s important to know your limits. Don’t attempt tricks or maneuvers that you’re not comfortable with, especially in unfamiliar surroundings. Always prioritize safety and take it slow when trying new things.

10. Bring Spare Parts

It’s always a good idea to bring spare parts when traveling with your skateboard. This includes extra wheels, bearings, and trucks. These spare parts can come in handy if something on your board breaks or needs to be replaced.

Skateboard hardware, such as screws and bolts. A bearing or two and axle nuts should be part of your standard inventory anyway but don’t forget to bring them along.

11. Check Out The Scene

If you’re traveling to a new area to skate, try to connect with local skaters. They can show you the best spots and give you insider tips on the local skate scene. This can also help you make new friends and connections in the skateboarding community.

12. Check the Skateboarding Laws

Before traveling with your skateboard, make sure to check the local laws of your destination. Some cities and countries have strict regulations on skateboarding, and you don’t want to end up with a hefty fine.

13. Use Packing Cubes

Packing cubes can help you stay organized when traveling with your skateboard. Use them to separate your skateboarding gear from your clothes and other belongings.

14. Don’t forget your Skate Shoes

When traveling with your skateboard, make sure to wear the right shoes. Skateboarding shoes are designed to provide the support and grip you need when riding, so don’t forget to pack them.

15. Inspect Your Skateboard

Before traveling, check your skateboard deck for any cracks or damage. You don’t want to arrive at your destination only to find that your board is unrideable. Inspect your bearings, axle nuts, bolts, bushings and check your trucks for cracks.

broken skateboard bearing

16. Pack a First Aid Kit

Skateboarding can be dangerous, so it’s always a good idea to pack a first aid kit. Make sure to include bandages, antiseptic, and other essentials.

17. Bring a Backup Deck

If there are no local shops at your destination and you’re planning on skating every day, it’s a good idea to bring a backup board. Snapping your deck is not uncommon and ending your sesh with not shop around would just suck.

18. Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance can provide peace of mind when traveling with your skateboard. Make sure to choose a policy that covers skateboarding accidents and damage to your equipment.

19. Dealing With Lost Baggage

Dealing with lost or messed up baggage is a total pain! If you find yourself in this situation, get ready for a long wait. Your bag might have never made it onto the plane, or maybe you were running a little late and your luggage missed the cut-off time. Whatever the reason, it’s a bummer.

If your bag is MIA, you can try waiting around until the next flight comes in. Chances are, your bag might be on that flight instead. Airlines often have to transfer luggage from one flight to another when space is limited, especially for oversized bags like skateboards. It’s a bit of a hassle, but it’s worth a shot.

If you can’t wait at the airport, make sure you leave a phone number or address where they can reach you once they find your bag. However, don’t hold your breath. Airlines sometimes hire third-party delivery companies to bring your bags to you, and they’re not always the best.

You might be better off getting your bag yourself if you can. These days you can easiliy trace your bag using Apple Air tags.

20. Don’t Forget The Essentials

In any case, make sure you pack a backpack with some essentials, like a change of clothes, deodorant, and a toothbrush. Waiting for your luggage to show up can be a real drag, so it’s best to be prepared.

Final Words

Traveling with a skateboard requires some planning and preparation to avoid problems and make the trip go smoothly. Some important tips to follow include knowing airline policies, using a skateboard bag to protect your board, disassembling your board before checking it in, packing light, and bringing protective gear and spare parts.

Additionally, doing research on local skate spots and regulations, as well as transportation options, can help you plan ahead and make the most of your trip.

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