Dreaming of traveling the world but can’t imagine leaving your skateboard behind? Worried about the hassles and costs of renting abroad? Crossing your fingers and holding your breath as you go through the airport security, hoping you won’t hear those dreaded words – NOT ALLOWED.

Trust me, I’ve been there. with all those fears crowding my thoughts.

In all truthfulness, it isn’t as scary as I make it out to be. Most airlines are very lax on bringing skateboards on board and you are in for smooth sailing. Throughout my travels, I’ve hopped many borders with my skateboards and came to learn what works well and what makes my life more complicated (what to avoid).

Traveling with a skateboard has helped me build community way beyond my wildest dreams, and I’ve been able to navigate places with way more style! If you have the right board, taking it on an airplane isn’t a problem at all and If you are smart about how you travel, you can go on your own rolling adventures around the world!

Keep on reading to find out how.

Traveling with a Skateboard
Pretty Poison on Thursdays.
Photo: @amandaadraper

Why Travel with a Skateboard?

Why not travel with a skateboard? If you like to skate, and want to travel with a different perspective, I say go for it. It’s a must for me, thanks to the awesome skate-communities I get to be a part of. Every country I go to, I end up connecting with new people through skating, creating bonds that last a lifetime. While globe-trotting solo has its perks, any lonely spells are fixed at local skateparks (we have written previously about how to make friends when travelling).

The skateboard I usually travel with is a small-sized surf skateboard. It’s super convenient for me to get around, just attaching it to my backpack and stashing it in my accommodation when I’m not traveling with it. Seriously, having my skateboard with me while venturing to new places has been a total game-changer! There’ve been so many times I’ve been running late for a bus or train, and my skateboard has saved the day, giving me extra time my feet just couldn’t.

Street skating is super popular in loads of places in the US and Europe! From an exploration point of view, I’ve ended up in places I wouldn’t normally check out, all thanks to my skateboard. It’s usually the skateparks and pump tracks that are tucked away in the local parts of town, so I get to see a whole different side of the places I visit.

Traveling with a Skateboard
skate friends are forever.
Photo: @amandaadraper

Choosing the Right Skateboard

This part is important! The type of board you choose to roll with can make or break your travels. While longboards are fun for cruising and dancing, they’re not really the go-to for a gap-year backpacking adventure because of how big they are. You might just end up leaving it at some chill hostel,with false promises that you’ll be back soon. In my book, the best choices, size-wise, are a classic skateboard or a penny board. If you’re into surf skates, that’s cool too, as long as it’s a small-sized one!

Next up, ensuring your board is travel-ready is super essential! Bring along a travel bag to check in your gear and make sure it’s snug and secure. You don’t want it bumping into a gazillion things at the bottom of the plane. Scoping out skate bag options that work with your board and budget is a smart move. If you’re all about carrying on the board, I recommend taking off the bearings and wheels to make it fit in your carry-on bag or suitcase. That way, you’re all set for a worry-free travel!

Oh, and make sure not to forget – a t-tool is essential for anyone traveling with a skateboard! This little gadget ensures you can whip off the wheels and bearings and put them back on when you’re ready to roll! Keep it in your kit, and you’re golden!

Traveling with a Skateboard
Big smiles in Bali!
Photo: @amandaadraper

Packing Your Skateboard for Travel

Let’s talk about the differences between bringing your skateboard as a carry-on versus checked luggage when it comes to the best skateboard bags and backpacks on the market.

Carry-on:

Pros: You have easy access to your skateboard and a peace of mind knowing your board is right there with you. If the airline is chill, you might not have any extra fees to keep it as a carry-on.


Cons: It might not fit in the overhead compartment, and sitting with your board can be super uncomfy.

Checked Luggage:

Pros: No worries about lugging it through the airport! If it’s in a bag you won’t have to stress about scratches, and there’s way less hassle on the plane.


Cons: Without a skateboard bag, it could end up all scratched and dirty, and if it’s mishandled, you might have a broken board on your hands. Plus, there’s that in-flight stress wondering if your board is all good.

When it comes to packing protective Gear, it can be a breeze – I usually clip my helmet on my backpack and stash my knee pads inside. Sometimes, I’ve even grabbed gear when I got to my destination, sometimes skateparks will have a skate shop not too far away you can rent from.

Regulations and restrictions are super important! Every airline has its own rules for traveling with a skateboard. The transportation security administration in the US says skateboards are allowed in carry-on bags, you should just check with your airline for any further restrictions. But in other countries like the Mexico City and Indonesia airports, I wasn’t able to get past the security clearance, making it mandatory to check it in,  that’s when a skate bag really comes in handy!

Protective skate bag
Skate travel bag
Girls skate bag

Finding Skateboard-Friendly Destinations

Finding a good place to skate is always step one in planning an epic skate trip! Usually, spotting skateparks and ramps on Google Maps is a breeze, but I really love using the surfer today skatepark finder to uncover all the gnarly spots. I also like to ask the locals where they skate when I land at my destination.

If you prefer street skating, just make sure you are following the local laws and ordinances.in a few parts of Australia, gearing up with a helmet and kneepads is mandatory, and you could get fined $1,000 if you choose not to! And in Japan, street skating is illegal in some spots around busy roads in the city. So, it’s super important to do your homework when planning to skate in a new place. It’s not just about the laws, some streets are just not made for skating! 

Back in Florida, where I’m from, finding smooth spots to skate is easy, but here in Portugal, the gravel’s a bit rough, so I mostly stick to skateparks.

Discovering a local skatepark may just  also be your ticket to bonding with local skaters! Your average tourist doesn’t usually hit up the local skatepark, so it’s a golden chance to connect with the locals! Picking up a bit of the local lingo is a good move to connect. When I went to a skatepark in Mexico, dropping a ¡Qué Chido! After watching some cool skate skills helped me start chatting with the people at the skatepark.

Safety and Etiquette

When it comes to Safety Gear, it’s so important to be safe and wear knee/elbow pads and a helmet. You most definitely should think about the places you’re skating. In less developed countries, the bowls are usually not maintained as often. Falling off the board is highly probable. If you’re street skating, maybe you don’t need all that gear, but when you’re shredding a ramp or bowl and feeling a bit unsure, it’s always better safe than sorry. 

And always, always make sure you’re Respecting the local Culture of the place you are traveling to. I have found some places don’t enjoy the street skating scene as much and they focus more on designated skate areas like skateparks or pump tracks. When I was in the Mexico City airport, the security guards were really unhappy with me skating with them, but in Miami– no one blinks an eye! Every place is different. As long as you do your research on the skate etiquette of the place you are traveling to and respect the locals all should be good.

If you hit an emergency, having travel insurance is essential! It’s such a relief knowing I don’t have to stress about those massive medical bills if I hit an unfortunate fall. Another cool safety hack I’m all about is packing a mini first aid kit when I’m out skating. It’s just so handy for dealing with those minor scrapes and stumbles.

Traveling with a Skateboard

FAQs About How To Travel With A Skateboard

Here is what people normally ask me about how to travel with a skateboard:

Final Thoughts

Skating past captivating rice fields, with wind blowing through my hair, and exchanging waves to locals in Bali had to be the highlight of my trip! And the bonds I formed at the skatepark in Mazunte, Mexico were pure magic. leaving me with lifelong friends! It’s all about the connections and experiences we share while skating together.

Wherever my skateboard takes me, I find my global tribe! Gliding through unfamiliar streets, feeling the rush of the unknown beneath my board, it’s more than just keeping fit – it’s about crafting a community on the go! Seriously, I can’t even picture how different my travels would be without my skateboard by my side.

Doing a bit of homework on airline policies, getting yourself a solid skate bag, and respecting the local rules of the places you visit – that’s your ticket to an unforgettable adventure! So, gear up, stay stoked, and let the wheels guide your adventure!

Traveling with a Skateboard
YEWWWW.
Photo: @amandaadraper

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