flying with boats and paddles? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 08-13-2010   #1
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 245
flying with boats and paddles?

I am trying very hard to take my boat back to Portugal with me, and I have a flight lined up with US Airways that takes kayaks for $100. But I am a little worried about how to package the paddle?

If I put it on top of the boat (Jackson Fun) it sticks out a ull blade over the bow, looking very easy to snap off. not much better on the sides, and the bottom, well that seems like asking for trouble!!

so what is the general consensus? separate paddle package maybe? leave it on the outside of the bag so that it is at least obvious?

Thanks for any information!!

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Old 09-12-2010   #2
Pucon Chile Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 133
Wrapping your paddle is easier than you think...

I have coached and instructed over 200 boat fliers how to pack their kayaks for flight as the director of New River Academy. We typically fly with a play boat and paddle bundle. And have packed paddles with boats too. Here's how...

A. Brace your paddle on top of your kayak. Your goal is to protect the paddle from breaking.

B. Use your pfd, thermarest, shoes, sleeping bag, anything with support to fill the space between your paddle and boat on each end.

C. Secure, secure, secure it. Clear packing tape is better and cheaper than duct tape in this case. Get your "baby" snug and fit to your kayak.

D. Test your paddle wrap... Can your boat fall upside down onto your paddle blade?

E. You don't have to have a boat bag. As a matter of point I really dislike them because I travel internationally for months at a time. A boat bag is an awkward piece of luggage. I like the idea of having a disposable boat wrap. Tarps also can serve many other purposes: ground cloth, dish drying area, dry area for roadside truck camping, kitchen rain protection, and they are practically disposable.

Boat WRap Goals: to protect your boat from airport abrasion and to hide your "kayak" label if you are trying to get a "surf board" rate.

Easy things you can wrap your kayak with that are disposable:
tarp and blanket. I once bought a $2 blanket at a thrift store in San Jose Costa Rica.

Oh.. here is an article I wrote a few years ago.

How to Fly with Your Kayak

Keep Kayaking.
David Hughes
Owner- Pucón Kayak Hostel
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Old 09-12-2010   #3
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 245
good advice David, Thank you for the response. I did very much what you said for bracing, I used a compressed sleeping bag on the bow to support the paddle, and the rest of it lay across the boat securely. I packed the whole thing full (and had to remove 30 lbs in the check-in line).

the ways I differed from your suggestions were that I did have a ten foot bag for a six foot kayak, but I also left the paddle on the outside of the bag so that people could tell that there was something to be wary of. I also took my seven2 paddle as it is more flexible (and disposable) than my bent werner.

thanks for the advice, at least it will be around for the next generation of flyers
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