Shipping a Surfboard: Safety and Expense concerns
August 7, 2014 1:49 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to ship a 9 foot longboard from Florida to Arizona. No, I'm not pre-planning for global warming + rising ocean = oceanfront property in Arizona.

For the sake of argument, this surfboard contains a lot of nostalgia. I've had it since high school and use it whenever I visit home. Further, it is both broad and hefty, which bodes well for using it as a stand-up paddle board (SUP) on the lakes/rivers in my area; having it means not buying an expensive SUP.

I would like to ship it from Sarasota, FL to Flagstaff, AZ. There is flexibility on either end. I need some ideas on how to do so without spending what a new longboard or SUP would cost.

I have checked with all relatives who frequently fly between FL and AZ. The earliest chance at them taking it on the airplane isn't until May 2015.

I've shipped bulky items with greyhound in the past at a surprisingly low cost, but their maximum package length is 82 inches (I'd need 108 inches.)

I could go to a UPS store and have them build a custom box, then ship it, but I've been seriously ripped off by this type of store in the past (EG they tried to charge me $50 for a cardboard box that was 'crafted' by just combining two cardboard boxes.)

I could try calling the big moving companies in the attempt to find one coming my way?

I could put up a craigslist ad in the attempt to find someone who is road-tripping my way?

Any suggestions? Thank You!
posted by MansRiot to Grab Bag (4 answers total)
A lot of surf shops deal online now and ship boards all over, including longboards, so you might want to check with local shops to see what they do, best packing practices, etc. If you want to go with a freight shipper, here's a forum post from '09 that gives a price & company website. Another place to check is, which can be a good place to find the best deal for hard-to-ship items.
posted by gimli at 2:30 PM on August 7, 2014

You can ship surfboards with FedEx. I know of a surf shop in SoCal that sells their boards online and ships FedEx.
posted by radioamy at 2:40 PM on August 7, 2014

From a bit more digging, it looks like the Fedex size limit is 165" total length + girth, which a 9' longboard in a box will exceed, and that's why surf shops ship shortboards via UPS & Fedex, but use freight options for longboards. Longboard House uses the shipper from that forum post in my earlier reply, and a few others I saw use Delta Cargo.
posted by gimli at 3:35 PM on August 7, 2014

The shipper from the forum post, Pilot Freight Services, quoted me $88 to fly it from Tampa to Phoenix. This is by far the lowest price and I'm going to jump on it. Thank you both for your efforts!
posted by MansRiot at 7:14 AM on August 8, 2014

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