Flying with Kayak Paddle

I’d like to take my kayak paddle with me, but it won’t fit in the duffle bag and I don’t want to pay $35 EACH WAY to check it in my paddle bag. A friend said they heard sometimes you can gate check it – basically like a carry on – but it was one of those third-hand, don’t know details comments. I’m flying Delta. I’ll try calling them directly tomorrow but wondered about the experiences of others. (It’s a two-piece paddle, but it’s still 45 inches long.)

You could mail it to
yourself…both ways

Calling = worthless
Whoever answers the phone will make up something to tell you so that their “response time” appears to be fast.

Then when you get to the counter or gate the policy made up by the employee there will be entirely different.

You need to find a clear, unambiguous written policy on the web site.

Since there will be no such thing, you risk getting screwed if you show up and just hope for the best.

I didn’t know they had enough lift. Using a wing?

I took mine on the plane
I had a bag and it fit in the overhead. No comment from anyone.

What matters for checked luggage …
Is the overall dimensions. If I recall, on the last few trips I took flying with an inflatable SUP and a paddle in a checked duffel bag, the length plus circumference of the bag was supposed to be less than 62" and the overall length less tha some other length that I don’t recall.

My bag came to about 40" long but relatively skinny and had no problems checking it in even though it was in reality a few " over the limit. It looks comparable to a bag of golf clubs so most don’t even ask what’s inside.

So, if you find a long and skinny duffle bag that is worth checking in (checked bags cost something like $30 each way on many flights), stuff the paddle inside some clothes and beach items and check it in.

Might be able to take as carry on but that will likely depend on the mood of whoever is working that day and you still may need to pay extra…

I keep a 4-piece paddle for just such occasions - these fit in a carry on!

Don’t have long enough dufflebag
My dufflebag is about 36 inches long. I also have to bring sleeping bag, PFD, clothing, so I don’t think I have any good options. I have a paddle bag, but can’t fit the other stuff in it and dont want to pay for the extra bag. I wish Southwest flew out of here. I know I’m probably SOL, just wondered if the experienced people on this site had an idea I didn’t think of that doesn’t involve buy a new paddle or new duffle bag (I’d do the latter if something was available here, too late to shop internet).

where’s the paddle need to go?
might be worth looking into shipping it to yourself for pickup at a UPS Store, if there’s one at your destination.

Not enough time
I waited too long, thinking it would fit in my duffle. Plus, too many other logistical issues. After the comment above about the long skinny bag, I suddenly remembered a long ski bag I have and dug that up – but it is 72 inches long and TOTAL linear inches can’t exceed 62 inches. Oh well, maybe this discussion will help someone else consider their options more than a couple days before departure.

Hard-sided golf travel case
I have flown with my entire paddling kit by putting it in a hard-sided golf travel case. That included 2 pairs of split paddles, pfd, dry suit, safety gear, etc. Just make sure you leave the flares at home.

Last option - heat gun
If you feel up to it, take the heat gun and separate the paddle blades from the shaft and you got a 4-piece paddle. Some marine goop on the other side of your landing point and you are good. Not sure if a hair dryer would be enough to do it, so you need to think about the return leg of the trip too.

source for long skinny duffel?
Kocho- Do you happen to have the make, model, and source for your long skinny duffel? I have been looking for exactly that without much luck. Thanks!

well, she IS ‘little red’…