The big question most surfers considering an RTW seem to have is Is it worth bringing my surfboard on my RTW?


A lot of our passengers do think about taking a surfboard round the world. But the RTW airlines have been losing money during the recession, and have increased baggage charges for all passengers. Disproportionately this is causing quite a bit of financial pain for surfers. Well the short answer is – sometimes. The general rule is that your board will come out of your luggage allowance; so if you’re following the sun, and just need some shorts, thongs and a couple of pairs of pants then yup, its do-able. If you're going to a wedding and taking your kilt and a full pack - then no – hire a board as you go. From chatting to a few surfers you can hire a board from $45-$75 a week in Bali, a bit more on a daily rate. The airlines have been a bit canny here - excess baggage seems to mirror the cost of board hire...


Here are most RTW airlines surfboard rules as of September 2010.


Air New Zealand

As part of your two-bag limit up to 32 kg and up to 2.5 metres on Air NZ and 1.8 metres on Air NZ Link. Again worth reading the small print. Full rules are here



The general rule is that it comes out of your luggage allowance of 23kgs but there are a few exceptions so you may need to pre-purchase excess luggage. Full rules are here



Will accept short surfboards as long as they do not exceed the maximum dimensions and weight restrictions, as part of your free checked baggage allowance. Full rules are here



Free within your baggage allowance of 20kg or 2 pieces if via the States. Full rules are here



Free within your baggage allowance of 20kg. Full rules are here


Singapore airlines

Free within your baggage allowance of 20kg

A standard charge of 6 kg will be applied on the surfboard if its weight together with the customer’s other checked baggage exceeds the free allowance entitled to the customer. This will apply up to a maximum excess of 15 kg, after which the normal excess baggage charges will apply. This special charge is only applicable to one surfboard per customer. Any additional surfboards shall be charged according to the standard excess baggage charges. The surfboard must be properly packed for transportation. Full rules are here


A few friendly disclaimers here

Airline surfboard charges can change at any time and seem to be changing week to week.

Watch codeshare flights - the rules are diffrent - yopu will need to check on their websites.

The low cost carriers do seem to charge more - be careful

RTW airlines usually allow you to take a small board of around 6 foot within your baggage allowances but some do charge more – see the links above.

Bring a credit card to check-in  in case you're charged excess board fees.

Pease don’t shout at us if some info here has changed but do please do let us know if any of the rules above or urls have changed.

Generally speaking if you go through the States then you will get 2 pieces of luggage - BUT NOT ALWAYS


Surfline has some excellent advice here which I will happily quote

Always call before booking to confirm the going rate, number of boards per bag and any embargos. But remember, even if you call ahead and confirm over the phone how much an airline charges in excess baggage fees, you may still find yourself being stuck at the ticket window with a ridiculous surcharge, and no, it doesn't matter what you were told on the phone. Smile as you check in. Be chatty and friendly. There doesn't seem to be much of a fixed policy, so it's really the luck of the draw. Being nice and making friends definitely helps.


By Stuart for