Surfboard Socks, Bags & Coffins
Surfboards get damaged. Dings, nicks, scratches and more. Fortunately, there is a quick and easy solution. Wrap your board!
There are three primary types of board bags. Each one has its own benefits and use. Lets take a look at which one is right for you and what you need to look for when you buy one.
The Surfboard Sock
The surfboard sock is the most light weight of the board protection options. It mainly serves to protect your board from scratches, sun damage and minor dings. It also does a good job at keeping wax, sand and water away from your stuff.
A surfboard sock would be the best option for you if you store your board in the garage or transport it inside of your car. It will protect it from getting dinged while stored and help keep sand and wax out of your car. SurfScience.com recommends a sock as a good investment for anyone.
The Surfboard Day Bag
The day bag provides all of the benefits of the sock and more. The most noticeable feature added is the strap which allows you to carry it over your shoulder. A day bag will also include about 5mm of padding to protect the board during transport. That isn't a ton of padding, but its enough to protect it if you bump into something. Day bags also do a good job of keeping your board from overheating. Most are covered in a reflective material and have insulation that keeps the board cool. This ensures you won't find a mess of wax inside when you open it up.
A surfboard day bag would be the best option for you if you carry your board a good bit. For those people that have a long walk to the beach (Trestles!) a day bag with a shoulder strap can be a lifesaver.
The Surfboard Coffin (Travel Bag)
The surfboard coffin is also known as a travel bag. It is used to take your surfboards on trips, especially those involving a plane. A coffin will usually have about 10mm of padding on it to protect your board from damage during transport. They are known as coffins because of how they look. They are usually 6 - 9 feet long and thick enough to carry a few boards. Some have wheels, some don't.
If you are planning a surf trip by car, train, boat or plane, a travel bag is a good investment.
What to Look For When Buying
There are a few things to look for when you go to buy a board bag.
Fit - Make sure it fits your board. Length should be obvious, the bag will be marked. It might be a good idea to buy a few inches up. You won't run into any trouble and that way you can use it if you ever get a slightly bigger board. Width is the next factor. Fish are wide, performance shortboards are not. Even if the case is the right length, make sure it fits your board's width. The best way to know for sure is to buy a bag when you buy your board. Don't leave the store without making sure it fits. Finally, nose shape. Surfboard bags come in three main nose shapes, pointed, semi-round and full round. Just make sure it fits the board you have.
Zipper - Most board bags that are discarded are thrown out because of a dead zipper. Your bag is of no use if it won't open or close. Make sure your bag has a good zipper that will last. It should be waterproof and rugger. YKK is a good brand, but there are others as well.
Padding - A cheap bag will skimp on padding. Check it out and give it a good squeeze before you buy any bag.
Accessories - Most bags will now come with a number of cool features like pockets, between board padding, etc. It is great to have a few pockets to keep an extra set of fins, some wax and a tube of ding repair. Check out the inside of a few bags and make sure you're getting one that works for your needs.
Thanks to Dakine for providing all of the images and help with the article.
Surfboard bags available at Swell.com
Surfboard bags help protect your boards from dings, nicks and scratches. Starting at $20, they are a good investment to protect your $600 surfboard. For lighter needs, grab a sock, if you plan on carrying it, go with a day bag and if you're getting on a plane, get a coffin.