Do you love riding the rails or dropping into a barrel? Then chances are you’re a surfer that has a prized board. Given that your board is the thing that allows you to catch waves, it makes sense that you’d do everything possible to protect it.
That’s especially important if you ever need to ship your board. This article will tell you what you need to know about shipping surfboards through FedEx, including how to pack your board and how much shipping will set you back!
Shipping Surfboards FedEx In 2023
FedEx ships surfboards if they measure less than nine feet with the box in 2023. Usually, this means you can ship shortboards without trouble, but longboards may need to be shipped via a freight company. Boards should be wrapped in bubble wrap and a blanket before boxing with styrofoam attached to the nose, tail, and rails.
I’ve got a lot more to share with you about shipping surfboards through FedEx, so make sure you check out this entire article!
Does FedEx Ship Surfboards?
Yes, FedEx can ship surfboards; however, the ability to do so depends on the length of the board.
Indeed, FedEx’s maximum package sizes are 108 inches (nine feet) in length or 165 inches in length plus girth.
That said, most shortboard surfboards range from five to seven feet. Therefore, they are eligible for FedEx shipping because they fall within the size limits.
However, longboards tend to be around eight feet long, so they may be too long for shipping with FedEx once the length of the box is taken into consideration.
Because of these shipping limitations, many surf shops ship shortboards using FedEx but use freight options for longboards.
Is It Safe To Ship A Surfboard Through FedEx?
Here, the answer depends. That said, FedEx does its best to treat all items in its possession with care, but sometimes things go wrong.
That’s especially true when it comes to surfboards. For example, they are made from fiberglass and are extremely fragile.
Therefore, it’s essential to package your board with care (more packing tips are provided in the next section) using a combination of bubble wrap, cardboard, and foam padding.
In most cases, careful packaging is enough to keep a board safe during shipping.
Still, your board may sustain some minor cosmetic damage during the shipping process despite your best efforts. Usually, this damage can be fixed with some repairs at home.
But, if there is extensive damage to the box, open it while the FedEx driver is still present. Then, note the condition to the driver and refuse the shipment if there is a lot of damage.
Moreover, doing so will cause the board to get shipped back to the sender for repair, evaluation, or replacement.
How Do I Pack A Surfboard For Shipping Through FedEx?
As mentioned above, surfboards are incredibly fragile and need to be packaged carefully to make it through the shipping process unharmed.
Below, I’ve provided some tips for packing your board for shipping. For starters, here are some of the materials you’ll need when packing a surfboard:
- A box that fits your board (appliance boxes or taping two boxes together)
- Filling material (e.g., bubble wrap, foam, blankets)
- Bumper (e.g., polystyrene)
- Duct tape
- Packing tape
- Permanent marker
Once you’ve assembled your materials, follow the steps below to package your surfboard with ease.
1. Remove Or Protect Fins
If your board has removable fins, take them out, and bubble wrap them separately. On the other hand, if your board has glassed-in fins, cut a piece of cardboard to cover them.
2. Create cushion Layers
You’ll want to cushion your board with at least three different layers. For example, use either a board sock or a padded board bag as a first layer, protecting the board from scratches.
Then, use bubble wrap to create the second layer. That said, simply wrap bubble wrap around the board and secure it using duct tape.
Also, pay special attention to the rails, nose, and tail as these are the most vulnerable areas.
Moreover, blankets work well as a third layer by providing extra padding and protection. But, feel free to skip this step if adding the extra weight makes shipping too expensive.
3. Add Extra Padding, Bumpers, & Stability
Create a bumper for your board by cutting out two small bars of polystyrene (styrofoam) and place one bar at the top of the box (nose) and one at the bottom (tail).
Further, polystyrene is lightweight, strong, and shock-resistant, adding stability to your package and protecting your board from drops during the shipping process.
4. Place The Board In The Box & Seal
After wrapping up your board, place it inside the shipping box. After that, fill the sides and any open spaces with bubble wrap or towels to prevent the board from moving around in the box.
Once you’ve finished, secure the box with packing tape. Then, use a permanent marker to write “Fragile” and “Up” on the top of the box.
Although it’s not guaranteed, it may help your box stay rails side up during shipping.
5. Attach Your Shipping Label
In addition to the shipping label, add your email and phone number in case the board gets lost.
How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Surfboard Through FedEx?
Surfboard shipping prices depend on the distance traveled, the shipping service selected, the size of the board, and even current gas prices.
So, if you have a good idea of where your board is going, shipping time, and the board’s dimensions, then using FedEx’s price calculator tool helps you get an accurate quote.
Without that information, I can only provide very rough estimates on surfboard shipping prices.
What’s more, prices seem to vary quite a bit from surf shop to surf shop, so these estimates likely won’t be beneficial.
Still, you can expect to pay somewhere around $95 to ship a board less than eight feet through FedEx Ground. For priority shipping, expect to pay at least $125.
In many cases, FedEx can ship your surfboard as long as your board and box are less than nine feet long.
Given how fragile they are, shipping surfboards come with some risk, but it should arrive in good condition if you package the board carefully.