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Advice needed: Airline travel with a water ski

ShannonShannon Posts: 6 Baller
I will be travelling overseas with my slalom water ski next month. I have a soft-sided bag for it, but wonder if others find this adequate for checked baggage on an airline? Or do I need to get a hard-sided case? Any other advice that I need for air travel with a ski? Thanks in advance for your help.
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Comments

  • Keith MenardKeith Menard Posts: 560 Crazy Baller
    I wrapped mine in bubble wrap and then put it in a snowboard bag with my vest. I stopped at Perf Ski on the way home...got one of those sleeves with the fin protector...put that in the snowboard bag with my vest...no issue.
    Shannonschaferandjules
  • gjohnsongjohnson Posts: 309 Solid Baller
    Buy a sport tube. Performance sells them.
    Greg Johnson ~ Team Beer
    ShannonOldboyIIvtjc
  • bigskieridahobigskieridaho Posts: 940 Crazy Baller
    Sport tube.
    Shannon
  • The_MSThe_MS Posts: 5,271 Mega Baller
    Sport tube or nothing.
    Shut up and ski
    Shannon
  • aupatkingaupatking Posts: 1,289 Mega Baller
    Hard sided Sport-Tube. The size 2 will easily fit one ski, if you either have soft boots or releasable boots so you can pack it blank. The 3 will fit anything you can pack. Still I put it in a neo-sleeve and wrap my vest around it.
    Shannon
  • SivotaSivota Posts: 117 Baller
    Flown many times using a long snowboard bag. The Radar travel bag looks good. Currently we use a Reflex bag. It takes up to a 67" ski with enough room further to protect the tips. We put pipe insulation round the edges and then fill any space with impacts, clothing, towels etc. No problems so far - transatlantic and European flights ...
    Shannon
  • ShannonShannon Posts: 6 Baller
    Thanks so much everyone.
  • OldboyIIOldboyII Posts: 586 Solid Baller
    I travel with sportube-1 and extra bag. Blank ski with rtp and almost all ski things - in tube. Front boot and other stuff - in the bag.
    Last year friend arrived to holidays with a ski broken in two pieces in soft padded bag. She was a bit upset....
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,962 Mega Baller
    I have traveled many times (but not internationally) with a Dakine snowboard bag and my slalom ski. I put a fin protector on the ski, wrap some towels around it and put it in the bag I take to the lake. Then I pack my vest and anything else soft around that in the snowboard bag.

    I have done this many times with no issues. I expect a Sporttube provides more protection but I also wonder if baggage handlers treat hard cases more roughly.

    I have traveled many times with golf clubs in a soft sided Club Glove bag and haven't had issues with my clubs either. I am nervous each time I travel with either though.
    Mark Shaffer
    andjules
  • DanEDanE Posts: 885 Crazy Baller
    @OldboyII If they managed to snap a ski in half I highly doubt a sporttube would have made a difference. Probably still a broken ski...and a broken sporttube
  • dhofertdhofert Posts: 215 Baller
    I have only traveled one time with my ski. Padded radar bag with a fin protector and a towel wrapped from boot forward. There and back no problem with Southwest.
  • The_MSThe_MS Posts: 5,271 Mega Baller
    edited July 2018
    Your paying how much to fly? How much to ski when you get there? What is your ski worth? How much fun will you have without your ski?
    I got 28 years in the baggage business so do yourself a favor and get a solid case.
    The TSA will be the ones you need to watch. They never put anything back in place and love to put the bags in places that surely will have issues with finding its way to the plane.
    Shut up and ski
    OldboyIIDekejimskimmosley899ski6jones
  • DanEDanE Posts: 885 Crazy Baller
    edited July 2018
    Fwiw I own a sporttube 3. Got tired of the airlines repeatedly bending the wheelaxle out of shape. Just use my padded Masterline deluxe slalom roller instead.
  • DaveDDaveD Posts: 808 Crazy Baller
    You might want to check the airlines policy on damage coverage. A long time ago, One airline told me they would not cover damage to sporting equipment not in a hard case. Haven't flown with my ski since so I have no idea what the deal is now.
    The_MS
  • jhughesjhughes Posts: 950 Mega Baller
    Never had a problem with the soft Dakine bag exactly how @Chef23 described. Dozens of flights. I'd rather have that than a rigid case.
    schaferandjules
  • DanEDanE Posts: 885 Crazy Baller
    @DaveD Last time i bothered to check no coverage from the airline hard case or not, can't remember which though.
  • KillerKiller Posts: 396 ★★★★Quad Panda Award Recipient ★★★★
    Pretty sure it's MCO they take the oversize on an elevator. Makes me nervous every time I watch my ski go wherever they take it...

    I have used soft cases in the past and I think mostly, if you can pack the ski well they work just fine, and frankly they are easier for TSA to inspect than a sportube. Ski is obviously not as well protected though, yet I don't think that is an issue MOST of the time.

    One of the biggest reasons I use a sport tube is because for most airlines they will only cover damage IF your gear is in a hard case.
  • jjackkrashjjackkrash Posts: 566 Crazy Baller
    In college I used a big PVC pipe, two end caps, and screwed on a roller wheel and a handle. It worked great and I managed to fit two jumpers and slalom ski in it. I'd probably just buy a hard case now, though.
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,207 Mega Baller
    @Chef23 do you happen to know which bag you have and do you think it could hold a 70 inch ski? Looking to do more flying with my gear and debating something like that vs something like a Radar wheelie bag.
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,962 Mega Baller
    edited July 2018
    @UWSkier I am not certain which bag I have but I think it is either 180 or 185cm long. It holds a 68.5 inch ski easily. I would think it would hold a 70 inch ski.

    This bag is 190cm which would definitely hold a 70 inch ski. https://www.evo.com/ski-bags/dakine-fall-line-roller-bag?image=115930/516549/dakine-fall-line-ski-roller-bag-black.jpg&pt_source=googleads&pt_medium=cpc&pt_campaign=GSC_Bags&pt_adgroup=PLA_Bags&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9rrY4biN3AIVhIrICh3JbwINEAQYAiABEgJL-PD_BwE
    Mark Shaffer
  • harddockharddock Posts: 168 Baller
    Dakine ski bags are the same as snowboard just longer. Master line had a3 event that you could move an apartment with. Sport tube splits in half and everytime TSA gets a looky your lucky you get everything back!
  • andjulesandjules Posts: 820 Crazy Baller
    +1 for soft waterski bag inside soft alpine/snowboard bag
    cheap alpine ski bag (fits towel, rope, shorty, vest)
    Took this setup to Florida, Portugal, Spain & Thailand. No issues.
  • BlueSkiBlueSki Posts: 684 Crazy Baller
    edited July 2018
    @harddock, If you put your gear in a snowboard bag that fits in the Sport Tube, you will likely have better luck having everything repacked in the bag and case.
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,207 Mega Baller
    I found this bag online and after reading tons of great reviews, decided to give it a shot for my next trip. I'll be flying with this a week from today. Looking forward to it! Unfortunate name, but great product that's very well-thought-out. I posted a series of short videos to demonstrate how it works on my IG.



  • SivotaSivota Posts: 117 Baller
    Update on 5 July post above. We used the Reflex bag and the snowboard bag London to Washington Dulles/JFK to London. TSA opened the bags on our return flight. No damage and both skis fine.
    UWSkier
  • ShannonShannon Posts: 6 Baller
    Thanks to all who provided advice. I bought a sport tube, with a TSA lock, and although TSA opened it both on the way out and the way back, and although JetBlue lost it for two days (!), the ski came back fine. Just a word of info: TSA is required to check oversize bags going in and out of the country, and this process may take up to 5 hours at a busy airport like JFK. So if you need your ski to arrive with you, you need to book long layovers.
    BuoyChaser
  • OldboyIIOldboyII Posts: 586 Solid Baller
    edited August 2018
    I travel both with Tube and padded soft bag (50/50) depending on car transfer. If I share smaller one it is hard to find place for tube. So far so good.
    But I feel a little paranoid when travel with soft bag - always inspecting the ski and always suspect that there may be invisible cracks in the ski :/

    One of my ski companions got Goode broken into two parts in soft padded bag. Holiday was lost.
    The_MS
  • Keith MenardKeith Menard Posts: 560 Crazy Baller


  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,207 Mega Baller
    I just flew cross country twice in the past two weeks with my ski and all my gear in the bag I posted about in the videos above. Aside from TSA opening it both ways and messing with my padding scheme on the way there by moving stuff around, it worked flawlessly! I highly recommend the douchebag (what happens when you let internet polls name your company... boaty mcboatface anyone?). https://douchebags.com/the-douchebag

    One 69.5" ski with bindings and all my gear fit just fine. I imagine I could get two skis in there if I staggered the boots appropriately or removed the boots from one of them and placed them lower in the bag.
  • DonTDonT Posts: 60 Baller
    it seems like this has been discussed a bit - but I'm going to pile on anyway - maybe it will be me my first Panda. Going to Waterski Costa Rica in Feb, with 2 skis, Radars with Profile & Lyric Bindings. Sportube 2 or 3? Easy to remove bindings if needed.
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