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I have checked my 'golf' bag 4 times with no issues. It's a bit of a win/break-even proposition really. If you get cleanly through security even once ( ~$100-$200 per flight for a surfboard bag ) then you will have already broken even on your bag ( $125-$150 ).
This has worked even when I've flown to places where us cheaters are regular (Hawaii).
No one can guarantee it will work for you, but it's a gamble that pays for itself.
Here's a thread on this topic from 2010:
My 2013 answer after 3 years: I *still* think it depends on the agent at the counter. Some'll let you slide, others will quote that airline's baggage fee policy verbatim and make you pay.
Keeping bags under 50 pounds seems like a good idea, so as to not trigger any 'overweight' flags in addition to size and/or contents.
If it's obvious there isn't any golf gear, I certainly wouldn't volunteer the word "board" if/when asked about the contents. If I'm asked, I say "parachutes" and reveal a kite if necessary...
Yea. This last trip i took to maui i said f$@k it. 38 bucks a month for a 4x6x8 storage unit. I left a couple of twin tips on the island along with my kids beach stuff, car seats, snorkel gear, and some clothing. Pretty much all the stuff that sucks dragging through the airport and Gettin charged for. Im looking forward to filling it with a beater surfboard or two next trip. Just an idea. If u go twice a year its cheaper for the whole storage unit than it is to fly ur "golf bag" back and forth and not to mention convenience. Just an excuse to buy another board for the mainland....right? And btw the storage place isnt a randown ragtag storage facility in industrial kahului or anything. Its secure and in kihei
Col. Kiteman, which storage facility do you use? That sounds like a pretty awesome idea.
As far as golf bags go. I've lugged my Litewave "Golf Bag" on 12 trip legs. I've only gotten caught once, in Maui.
The real trick is keeping that sucker under 50 lbs on a return leg, when your gear is a bit wet still. I carry a handscale with me on trips to make sure that I have a fair margin of error.
I also carry one putter with me that I have situated in the bag in such a way that it's the first thing that pops up when I unzip. That's saved me twice already.
That's great, I could even convince myself I wasn't lying about the golf bag if I did that! Sounds like we should be making some carbon, ultra lightweight putters that are useless for putting but good for looking like clubs. Wow if the airlines would just be reasonable about this we wouldn't have to be so creative.
What's in the bag sir
Keep it under 50lbs. What the f** does it matter to them what's inside.
Its worked every time, 3x in 2012 Hawaii and FL.... and EVERY time TSA opens the bag and leaves their little note inside though
My biggest fear is one day TSA is going to catch a zipper on my kite and rip the canopy. I've seen how they open and close those bags SO do what you can to protect them.
This is some great info for a trip I'm planning to Maui hopefully by August. My mom is just moving from the big island to Maui so naturally it's time to go visit. She'll be about 8 miles from kite beach and I'm thinking I'd be best off just lugging the kites back/forth and either purchasing a board there to keep at her house or just reselling it at the end of the trip.
Ideally though, after looking at this thread, maybe there's someone out there wanting to trade usage of their directional board in Maui for storing it at my mom's place for whenever you're visiting.
So what I do is stick my kites in those Dakine Compression sacks before stuffing them into the golf bag. That's usually enough peace of mind for me.
TBH, I worry more about my board than anything else. I have this custom Carbon Fiber board from Nomad. I mean I love this thing. I'd fight Whitey for it. Kites can squish, but if they crack my board...
I'm in the same boat. Unless they are cutting the bag open the kites should be okay, but I do worry about my NHP getting dinged.
To assuage my fears I've cut up a pool noodle to create foam hot dog buns that I put around each board tip.
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