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Why Travelling With A Snowboard Bag Is The Worst

And How To Avoid It

Kim-Rune Hansen resorts to desperate measures. Photo: Sami Touriniemi

So the folks at SHERPR got in touch about their specialist courier service, one that aims to take the hassle out of getting your snowboard gear to the mountains.

Our initial thoughts were “hassle? What hassle?” After all, packing a snowboard bag for a shred trip is one of life’s joys; the air crackling with anticipation with every pair of socks haphazardly stuffed into a binding. Snowboard bags are the tits, surely?

“Even just a short spell on a public transport system will leave you wishing that you’d never been born”

However, just as a new mother subconsciously stows away the trauma of childbirth in order to have half a chance of even considering doing it again, we weren’t seeing the whole picture.

And then we remembered: actually getting your gear from your house is the Very Worst Thing about snowboarding – here’s why:

Public Transport

If your journey to the mountains involves even just a short spell on a public transport system, then you may find yourself wishing that you’d never been born.

What can already be a right pisser at the best of times soon becomes something much, much worse. The obstacles are legion, and include automatic ticket gates, tutting bus drivers, cramped luggage racks, slow walkers, seat hoggers, and anything designed to get you from one level to another. Especially stairs. Seriously, fuck stairs.

“Have You Got A Dead Body In There?”

This humdinger ties in pretty closely with the previous point. As sure as night follows day, someone will spot you heaving your bag across town, and take the time to air out this fusty turd of a non-joke.

They will make an effort to attract your attention with a raised voice, and maybe a finger pointed in triumph at your bag, but there’s no need for either; you knew what they were going to say before the thought had even eased itself out of its metaphorical wingback chair, and wheezed its way to the brain’s speech centre.

Don’t say it. For the love of God, PLEASE don’t say it. Photo: Matt Georges

Then in the aftermath, as your polite chuckle hangs in the air surrounded by a fog of concentrated loathing, the offender will return to their copy of the Metro, convinced that, thanks to their contribution, the world is now a better, happier place to live.

Meanwhile you’re left to fantasise about how sweetly ironic it’d be to actually stick their lifeless corpse in your bag, before remembering that the guy who made the exact same joke on the previous leg of your journey is already taking up too much space.

Airline Fees

Let’s take the often extortionate cost of booking a board bag on your flight as a given, and move straight on to the next hurdle: Excess Baggage fees.

Unless you’ve got next-level organisational skills, the weight of your board bag has probably crept over the airline’s maximum allowance. If you’re on a late flight home and managed to squeeze in a cheeky morning’s shred, then stuffed everything in to your bag before it had a chance to dry, it’s a sure thing.

“The chances of you talking your way out of an additional fee are slimmer than ever”

Here’s where you need serious negotiation skills; with budget airlines facing crises on all fronts, the chances of you talking your way out of an additional fee are slimmer than ever. Unless you’ve got the charm of Connery-era Bond, or the eyebrows of Austin Powers, you’ll probably lose this one.

The Dangers Of Pissing About

A snowboard bag is an effective visual reminder that, yes, you’re about to go snowboarding. On holiday. With your snowboard. While you wait for check-in desks to open or for shuttle buses to pick you up, the potential for over-excitement can reach critical levels.

The next thing you know, you’re attempting to surf your bag down the up escalator, inevitably shredding every square inch of exposed skin on the cheese-grater steps.

Worse still, you may take someone else out, like this guy nearly did in the end section of Lame. We’ve gif-ed if for your pleasure below, but for best results check out his polite-yet-futile screams of “MA’AM! MAAA’AAM!!” in the original clip.

Whether it’s yourself being carted to hospital, or someone else that you’re praying isn’t the litigious type, your holiday is probably over before it’s even begun.

Lost Luggage

An airline’s primary function is to keep its planes either in the right part of the air, or on the right part of the ground, depending on the time of day.

It doesn’t end there, of course, but Looking After Your Bags doesn’t often feel very high on the priority list. It’s most likely buried in the lower order, sandwiched between Inspire Some Lazy Material For A Second-Rate Stand-Up’s Next Corporate Gig, and Explore All Possible Meanings And Manifestations Of ‘Kafkaesque’.

“Choose leasurewear and matching luggage”: Aline ‘Renton’ Bock goes Trainspotting. Photo: Matt Georges

If you’ve never had a bag go missing from a flight, then you’ve never known true pain. It delivers all the inconvenience of not having your stuff, combined with the hopelessness of trying to find someone – anyone – who knows where it might have gone or how it might be found, sprinkled with a liberal helping of knowing that this shit is all someone else’s fault.

Car Troubles

Not flying? Good for you. Still, road tripping with a board bag brings its own problems.

A long journey to the mountains feels a whole lot longer when your face is pressed against the window, with a board-bag handle making a cosy home for itself in between your ribs.

Then on the way back, it’s the same but with an added boot-stink element. The joys.

Once more into the breach... Photo: Matt Georges

“If you’ve never had a bag go missing from a flight, then you’ve never known true pain”

So it’s hell on toast, that much is assured – but what about the alternatives?

You could always hire your gear when you get there, of course. Just make sure you find a rental shop that knows its onions, though; we’ve seen far too many shonky setups with binding angles set to zero-zero (or worse, the dreaded ‘Tommy Pickles From Rugrats’) to last a lifetime.

Then there’s SHERPR. Using their online form, you can arrange a collection from your home or office, and send your board to the mountains ahead of you. Once you’ve secured the labels and booked a pickup slot, all of the above becomes Somebody Else’s Problem.

Bear in mind that someone will need to take delivery of the gear, which might not suit those who have booked self-catering accommodation – but if you’re staying at a chalet, or just crashing with a mate, then a quick heads-up ought to do it.

Prices start at £65 one-way and £105 return – a little more than you’d pay an airline, but worth it once you’ve factored in the convenience. For an extra tenner there’s a ‘Premium Packaging‘ option; send your stuff in a secure, re-usable, courier-approved box for even more peace of mind.

Failing that, you’re stuck with a board bag – and only a strict regime of bicep curls, calming breathing techniques and hypnosis lessons will save you. Godspeed.

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