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Old 06-20-2016   #1
San Diego, California
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 24
Flying with kayaking gear

So, I will be traveling a lot with my kayak this year, I was wondering what the most efficient way to get around the airport is.
I read that you should arrive 3 hours early. Is this true, it seems excessive?
Is it worth switching from a 1 piece paddle to a 2 or 4 piece paddle that can fit in my kayak or suitcase?
How can I make sure that my kayak gets on the plane with me?
Any other tips n tricks to navigate the airport better?

Thanks, Owen

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Old 06-21-2016   #2
Enfield, New Hampshire
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 332
If you are visiting places where ww kayaking is popular, and I presume you are, have you considered just renting all the stuff? All the well known kayaking locales at least in the US have one or more shops that would rent boats. This would definitely save you a lot of inter airport hassles.

whichever way, have a great trip.

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Old 06-21-2016   #3
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032
There have been a lot of blog articles written about this - do some searches. Where Is Baer ? has a pretty good write-up. I've never had an issue w/ just putting a paddle a ski bag and checking it, but sometimes extra charges can be an issue.

If you fly Southwest you're good to go (I think maybe Frontier too?) - but always read, print out, understand the official baggage rules. If you're flying many other airlines, there's no guarantee how it's going to go and arriving early is smart.

Know, the rules, dress up your boat to make it look like whatever you need to claim it is (such as, Waveski), and call ahead and get it printed on your reservation that you'll be bringing said equipment so when you check in and they give you shit you can say you got approval verbally and it's on your reservation. Be super friendly and tell the attendant that his/her mother must really love her.

I can't remember where I read this, but it was my favorite quote ever on the subject. Scott Lindgren was asked how he manages to fly with his boats, given the many expeditions he's done, and his answer was (paraphrased), "I walk up to the counter with my kayak and don't take no for an answer."
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Old 06-21-2016   #4
San Diego, California
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 24
Thanks KSC, just the info I needed!

Thanks, Owen
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