Traveling with skis or snowboards can be a huge hassle.
They are big and unwieldy.
I love to ski but hate lugging my skis around when traveling. They also make doing anything other than skiing on your trip a pain. Where the hell do you store a 2m bag of heavy skis when you’re not on the slopes?
Luckily, I am here to teach you how to ship skis.
Instead of taking your skis on the plane with you (Which can cost a hefty surcharge), companies have recognized the problem and are developing solutions to make your life easier. You can ship them ahead to the ski resort and pick them up at your destination.
Japan has been doing this for years, and companies have started doing the same in the United States.
In this article, we will guide you through how to ship your skis or snowboard so you can focus on enjoying your trip instead of worrying about hauling equipment. We’ll cover everything from choosing a shipping company to packing and tracking your shipment.
So, let’s dive in and see how easy it is to ship your skis and hit the slopes without the added stress.
Why Ship Your Skis
Shipping your skis or snowboards is convenient. No more hauling heavy equipment through busy airports or paying additional fees for oversized luggage.
But there are other reasons to consider shipping your skis as well.
- Cheaper than airline fees
- Less stress and hassle at the airport
- No need to carry bulky equipment
- More convenient and door-to-door service
- Reduced risk of lost or damaged equipment
- Cheaper than having to rent skis
It’s almost a no-brainer.
I took a ski trip back to Canada last year and had to take the train to Tokyo with my skis. I walked onto the bullet train with a 2m long ski bag in tow. I desperately found a spot in the overhead storage (not above my seat). By the time we hit Tokyo, a dad and his son were sitting underneath my large, heavy ski bag.
The dirty looks I got as I asked the dad to help me lift my ski bag literally over his son’s head was memorable, to say the least.
The worst part is that there is a well-established system for shipping your ski gear in Japan. It’s relatively painless.
How to Ship Skis
Every service provider has their process for shipping skis or snowboards, but the general steps are similar.
1 – Choose A Shipping Company
Here are some of the best ski shipping providers in the US:
- Ship Skis: Ship Skis provides door-to-door service for shipping snow gear worldwide. They offer affordable rates starting at $34.99, including $500 complimentary insurance on all shipments. Additional coverage options (up to $7,500) are available for a nominal cost. They will even come and collect your skis.
- Easyship: Easyship offers significant discounts on shipping rates for skis and snowboards. They have an extensive network of 250+ couriers, allowing you to effortlessly identify the best deals by comparing exclusive rates from over 550+ courier services within the US. They also offer insurance coverage up to $10,000 and custom-branded tracking emails.
- LugLess: LugLess makes getting a FedEx or UPS label to ship skis or luggage easy. They offer affordable rates starting at $23, allowing you to bypass the baggage carousel. You can book and print the ski shipping labels in just a few minutes and track your bags from any device.
- Bikeflights: Bikeflights is a bicycle shipping service offering ski and snowboard shipping. They provide fast delivery, great prices, and excellent service with every shipment. They also have a Best Way Guarantee.
2 – Register
Choose a provider, visit their website, and look for a “Sign Up” or “Register” button. Enter your personal and contact information and create a login and password for future use. Some of these services may also require you to verify your identity by uploading a photo ID.
Once registered, you can log in anytime to access your account and book shipments. You can also save payment information for faster checkout and track current or past shipments.
3 – Package Skis or Snowboard
Most ski shipping companies will provide specific guidelines for packaging, so be sure to follow their instructions. Generally, you will need a sturdy shipping box or hard case to protect your winter gear from potential damage during transit. Use bubble wrap, foam padding, or other cushioning materials to secure your skis or snowboard. Be sure to label your package clearly with the shipping address and tracking information.
A good ski bag can be a great way to protect your winter gear. I use a hard case like the Sportube Series 3 Ski Case for the best piece of mind when shipping my skis.
4 – Label
Print out and attach the shipping label provided by the ski shipping service. Double-check the final destination address and tracking information.
Attach the label securely with packing tape or zip ties if you use a hard case or box. Avoid using regular tape as it may not hold up during transit.
5 – Ship
Drop off or schedule a pick-up for your package with the chosen postal service. Many services offer options for both, so choose whichever is most convenient for you.
Check for additional fees, such as potential surcharges for residential deliveries or expedited shipping. When selecting a shipping service, it’s essential to factor these into your budget.
Once your package is in transit, you can track its progress using the provided tracking information. This will give you an estimated delivery date and allow you to monitor the journey of your gear.
The Cost of Shipping Skis
Shipping your skis to ski resorts can cost anywhere from $40 to $300, depending on your shipping service and destination. Worldwide service will generally be more expensive than domestic shipping.
In addition to the base cost, there may also be additional fees for insurance, residential delivery, or expedited shipping. Carefully read through the terms and conditions of your chosen service to understand all potential costs upfront.
International Shipping Considerations
If you’re shipping skis internationally, there are a few additional considerations to remember.
- First, research the customs regulations and restrictions of the destination country before shipping.
- Your package may require customs declarations.
- International shipping rates for skis may be higher due to the size and weight of the box.
Where to Buy Shipping Boxes For Skis
- Courier Websites: You can order ski-sized boxes from courier websites like your local UPS store, FedEx, and USPS. Expect to pay around $20-25 for a ski box from the courier service.
- Shipping Supply Wholesalers: You can buy ski-length boxes from shipping wholesalers like Uline. Starting at just under $9, Uline is the cheapest option to buy shipping boxes.
- Ski Shops: Ski shops often have extra boxes from shipments they receive. You can ask if they have any boxes available for purchase.
- DIY: Make a ski box from a traditional cardboard box if you feel crafty.
Shipping your skis can be convenient and cost-effective for getting your gear to your desired destination. However, it’s essential to research and understand all potential costs beforehand to avoid surprises. With proper preparation and knowledge of the shipping process, you can ensure your skis arrive safely and on time for your next skiing adventure. So don’t let transportation logistics stop you from hitting the slopes; ship your skis confidently and hit the mountain! Remember these tips for international shipping and where to buy ski-sized boxes for a hassle-free experience.
What is the best way to ship skis?
The best way to ship skis will depend on your specific needs and budget. The above providers offer competitive rates and reliable services, so comparing prices and options is essential before deciding.
Can I ship skis through FedEx?
Yes, FedEx offers ski shipping services. You can use their specialized boxes or provide your own for domestic and international shipments.
How do you wrap skis for shipping?
To wrap skis for shipping, secure bindings with zip ties, cover sharp edges with cardboard protectors, and then bubble-wrap each pair before placing them in a sturdy box.
Is it cheaper to ship my skis or take them on the plane?
This depends on your destination, but generally, shipping is cheaper than paying the airline surcharge for shipping skis or snowboards.
What should I pack for my ski trip?
When packing for your ski trip, make sure you have all your essentials, including your helmet, gloves, goggles, and outerwear. Don’t forget to pack mid-layers, base-layers, and a set of clothes for apres.