Flying with a paddle

I’m just wondering if any of you have had problems carrying a 2-piece paddle on a flight lately. I am up in Freeport, ME and was forunate to find a Werner Shula for a hundred bucks at the Bean store and wondering if I’ll be OK carrying it on the plane. I know there will be room for it, but my bigger concern is if the TSA agents are going to consider it some kind of assanine weapon. Any first-hand experiences would be really appreciated. Thanks!


I always had to check them.
I had my two piece Werner paddles in a padded case but they had to be checked. For the last several years I have traveled with two 4 piece lendal paddles which also get checked but they fit nicely into a gear bag. Maybe the airlines have relaxed the rules in the last couple of years you might want to check with your airline carrier or TSA directly.

Get Ready To
Check It.

Flying with a paddle
We flew to Savannah, GA out of Boston recently and were able, after we told the check-in people at USAIR that the paddles weren’t aluminum, to carry them on.

These were 2, 4-piece Lendals carried in a Lendal paddle bag. Other friends have been able to do this also, although they’ve also had to check the bag through as luggage. It seems to depend on the airline.

Pack it well
and check it. I fly with kayaks and paddles all the time. A 2 piece is too big to check on most airlines.

I had to check my Ikelos
The airline wouldn’t let me carry it on. I bought a $30 plastic gun case from WallMart to keep it safe. Works great.

check it
wrap it up REAL good with whatever you can and check. it’s anybodies guess if they’ll let you carry-on. I’ve just about missed my flight trying…

now I use an 8"DIA X 48"LONG black PVC pipe w/caps that hold 2 breakdown AT paddles.


Mail it.
Bean can give you a box and the USPS insured postage would be about $13.

As Already Mentioned…
Box it and check it in. Don’t try to carry onboard, otherwise TSA will rip the box open at best. At worse, they would try confiscate it as a potential weapon.

If you check it in, all they are going to do is xray and sniff it for bomb potential.


I think trying to carry it on is out of the question. I fly constantly, and I have flown with my banjo before and I know what you all mean about it being hit-or-miss. I think I’ll go back over to the Bean store and try to score a box and just ship it home or check it with the airline.

Thanks for all the fast responses!

keep going to Walmart
and look for a gun case. Seems they are getting out of the gun business, though they will still have ammo.

Dont know if there is stock in Falmouth. There is in North Windham.

use a ski/snowboard case
On advice from experienced racers, we purchased a ski/snowboard hard case. We looked at gun cases and hard golf cases before we made the decision.

We are flying to the yukon in june with at least two (2 piece) wing paddles.

The ski case will expand lengthwise to fit most paddle lengths.


Worth It For Frequent Flyers
but since I fly with the paddle only once or twice a year. Made a cardboard box for the paddle and have flew across the country four times already with this.

Just crumple up some newspaper and stuff the around the blades. And, mark “FRAGILE” all over the box.


Airline Paddle
So what if I have a One piece paddle?

Same Thing…

– Last Updated: Feb-21-07 3:16 PM EST –

you can make a box and check it in. It may cost more because of oversize length but that depends on the airline.

I fly with a waveski, around 8' long, in a padded bag. Cost additional $100 each way. The boxed 2 piece paddle doesn't cost anything extra since I travel light anyway and usually have one duffle bag of clothes.

If you doing it one time, box the one piece, check the cost and maybe use a shipping company. If plan to travel more than once or twice a year, invest in a two piece so it fits in "luggage" size container.


extra charge
I’ll let you know what our experience is, but I think the airlines will treat our ski case as one of our allowable bags without an extra charge.

think the ski case will expand long enough to hold a one piece paddle. Haven’t measured it to see how long we could go since we only have two piece paddles.

Werner Shuna, DJ MD.

– Last Updated: Feb-21-07 9:46 PM EST –

That is a superb paddle.

My review: "Although I own a several Werners, for an overall great high angle paddle, I give the nod to the Shuna. One point deducted because of the price, which I find high for all Werner products. " Guess what, DJ... you got that point back with your bargain price. You scored a 10/10 paddle, bra.

You got a good deal, esp if it is the lightweight crossed fiber transparent type fiberglass blade.

Good luck.

Check it and…
expect to have the box opened each and every time. We have.

Flying with paddles

– Last Updated: Feb-22-07 6:34 AM EST –

I flew to Croatia in 2002 carrying a two piece Euro paddle. I lashed the two pieces together with 100 feet of fancy knotted line to make it look softer and less threatening. There were three flight segments each way. On five of the six segments there was no problem; I carried it on and put it in the overhead bin. In Amsterdam on the way home there was a group of five officials discussing the paddle. I asked them what the problem was. I was told they were concerned about the potential use of the paddle as a weapon and I might have to check it. I asked if they were talking about an excess baggage charge. I was told that that was not an issue. I said they could duct tape it to the outside of the plane as long as they did not charge me for it. End of problem

When I flew to Viet Nam in 2004 I checked two Greenland paddles, no charge for three flights over. When I was leaving Hanoi to come home, I was told that I would have to pay 2,225,000 Dong ($140) to bring them home. The ticket agent was very nice, but said it that was the rule and he had no discretion. I paid the money and went through security. As I was walking down the concourse the ticket agent came running after me and said he had found a loophole and it would only cost me 400,000 Dong ($25).

Sorry, but no matter
how fast you stroke you ain’t gonna get off the ground. Even with a GP.


Somebody had to say it.