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Author Topic: Sport tube gear packing  (Read 303 times)

Offline Salifornia

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Sport tube gear packing
« on: July 15, 2019, 11:23:49 AM »
Hey everyone- looking for recommendations on how to best pack my sport tube; stack fins, don’t stack fins,what’s the protocol for shafts?  Separate of gun or with the gun?  I have an enclosed track gun. 
Any input(within reason;)) would be much appreciated.   

Offline TheKeeneroo

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Re: Sport tube gear packing
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2019, 11:37:46 AM »
If your fins are plastic, I'd put them in the sporttube, if they're carbon, I would strap them to your carry on backpack and put them in the overhead bin once you're on the plate. If you have the series 2 or 3 (bigger), you can put your shafts in a piece of PVC. Mask in its hard case and everything else just stuff in with a towel to keep it from moving around. Also, you should paint/tape "SCUBA GEAR" on the outside so you don't get additional fees (they have rules for sports equipment). My buddy is going to dive in Belize and United Airways isn't letting him bring oversized luggage (they have a seasonal allowance for oversized stuff) so make sure to call the airline ahead of time.
"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." - William Arthur Ward

Eric, Pacific Grove
Instagram - @thekeeneroo    Facebook - @Ekeener1
Century Free Diver, Level 1 Free Dive Cert, EANx
DOTY 2018 - 3rd Place
Bring the Ling 2018 - 1st Place (=P)

Offline andrew37

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Re: Sport tube gear packing
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2019, 10:20:24 PM »
If your fins are plastic, I'd put them in the sporttube, if they're carbon, I would strap them to your carry on backpack and put them in the overhead bin once you're on the plate. If you have the series 2 or 3 (bigger), you can put your shafts in a piece of PVC. Mask in its hard case and everything else just stuff in with a towel to keep it from moving around. Also, you should paint/tape "SCUBA GEAR" on the outside so you don't get additional fees (they have rules for sports equipment). My buddy is going to dive in Belize and United Airways isn't letting him bring oversized luggage (they have a seasonal allowance for oversized stuff) so make sure to call the airline ahead of time.

I’m that buddy, currently sitting at a bar in SFO drinking away the anxiety that United is going to make me gate-check my fins. Just watched a TSA agent beat/jab another TSA agent with one of my DiveRs while I was going trough the scanner, so I’d say it’s going well so far... Lesson learned: triple check your airline’s baggage policy before you book. United’s seasonal restrictions didn’t come up when I checked originally, it was only by dumb luck that I found them this morning.

But setting the bitterness aside for a minute  >:( Eric nailed the packing. The one place I’d maybe disagree is fiberglass and carbon fins always go in the tube, and plastic can be carried on. Usually carrying fins on is fine, but technically it’s a violation of most airlines’ baggage policies, and there’s always a risk you could have a shitty gate agent who forces you to gate-check the fins. Especially for flights that aren’t likely to get a ton of freedivers, securely packing them in the tube (and making sure you don’t have anything heavy/loose that’s going to bang into them) feels like a safer bet to me. Needless to say, my weight belt and lead ride in my carry-on if I’m putting fins in the sportube.

For shafts, I have a 1” piece of pvc, and it’ll fit one, maybe two 7.5mm shafts. If I were going on a longer trip where I’d want two or three or four shafts, I’d go for 2-3” pvc. Leaving shafts in the gun can damage the mech or enclosed track if things bang around enough. One of my shafts was shipped to me in the pvc with a cap glued on one end, and a cap with a partial cutout attached by one screw to the other. This is actually really handy, because you can keep your shafts rigged with shooting line in the pvc and have the coil come out the cutout. Having a cap on both ends helps keep the shaft from poking through the sportube when it’s inevitably mishandled by a baggage handler. I tie the gun and pvc to one side, put something squishy in the bottom, get the fins in, and wedge anything soft I can find in between to keep it all from banging around. I personally keep masks, weight belts, and anything else small in my carry-on — too easy for that stuff to go “missing” in transit. 

One other thing to consider, if you or anyone else is considering buying a sportube—the space disappears fast, but it also gets heavy quick.  I had a carbon 120 with a reel, shaft/pvc, fins, towel, a pair of vans, wetsuit top, and a couple shirts in my series 2, and things were already pretty tight. Could fit more if I put things over the fins (lengthen the tube), but they fit best flipped heel/toe, and I get paranoid about cracking the tips. And I’ve heard it’s easy to overload the series 3, so just something to be conscious of if you’re cramming a lot in there.

One last trick I’ve been told—and I’m not sure I’m on board, but knowledge is power and whatnot—is if you’re putting anything in the sportube that you think might get stolen by a less-than-honest baggage handler, piss in your wetsuit at the end of your last dive and don’t rinse it. Then wrap your gear in it for the flight home, put the whole stinking mess in plastic bag in the tube, and deal with the fallout when you get home. You’ll never want to touch your knife or wetsuit again after it’s baked/boiled/steamed on the tarmac, but then again neither will anyone else.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2019, 07:38:26 AM by andrew37 »

Offline makemwearit

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Re: Sport tube gear packing
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2019, 07:26:55 AM »
Great advice from Andrew & Eric. Wetsuits and towels work as good spacers and buffers - also you can add thin strips of weather stripping or rubber around the cutouts on the PVC shaft tube to make sure it doesn't cause any abrasions on your shooting line.

One thing I will note about carrying on your lead, be cautious.  I've carried it on throughout the US on a variety of carriers without any issues other than a more extensive check at security when it goes through the x-ray.  However, I did have one set confiscated in Mexico on the return trip from Cabo because the Security Agent told me it could be used as a weapon... what a joke.
apneaddict
FII Level 1 Freediver

Offline andrew37

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Re: Sport tube gear packing
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2019, 07:36:00 AM »
A little off topic (sorry OP), but it might be worth making a sticky somewhere to keep track of spear-friendly airlines and planes. Apparently my DiveRs don’t fit in the overhead bins on a 777 (and my guess is most standard length long fins wouldn't, either), but they’re swimming in the overhead bin of the 737 I’m in currently. For that matter I could probably ride in that bin comfortably. No problems so far getting them on either flight, but I was surprised I couldn’t make them fit on the larger plane. Ended up having to wedge them under two seats instead and poke the feet of the people in front of and behind me.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2019, 07:39:52 AM by andrew37 »

Offline TheKeeneroo

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Re: Sport tube gear packing
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2019, 08:15:12 AM »
If your fins are plastic, I'd put them in the sporttube, if they're carbon, I would strap them to your carry on backpack and put them in the overhead bin once you're on the plate. If you have the series 2 or 3 (bigger), you can put your shafts in a piece of PVC. Mask in its hard case and everything else just stuff in with a towel to keep it from moving around. Also, you should paint/tape "SCUBA GEAR" on the outside so you don't get additional fees (they have rules for sports equipment). My buddy is going to dive in Belize and United Airways isn't letting him bring oversized luggage (they have a seasonal allowance for oversized stuff) so make sure to call the airline ahead of time.

I’m that buddy, currently sitting at a bar in SFO drinking away the anxiety that United is going to make me gate-check my fins. Just watched a TSA agent beat/jab another TSA agent with one of my DiveRs while I was going trough the scanner, so I’d say it’s going well so far...

But setting the bitterness aside for a minute  >:( Eric nailed the packing.

I'm having a hard time feeling sorry for you since you're on your way to Belize to spearfish and I'm sitting behind a desk at a law firm. =P I do have a little solace knowing that I'm diving with my buddy Pat this afternoon though!
"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." - William Arthur Ward

Eric, Pacific Grove
Instagram - @thekeeneroo    Facebook - @Ekeener1
Century Free Diver, Level 1 Free Dive Cert, EANx
DOTY 2018 - 3rd Place
Bring the Ling 2018 - 1st Place (=P)

Offline bythog

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Re: Sport tube gear packing
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2019, 01:02:22 PM »
I pack my carbon fins in my Sportube. I have a series two and it's spacious enough for two spearguns, a set of fins, mask, and my 5mm wetsuit. I usually shove a towel in there, too. Make sure to lock it with a TSA lock. I've only ever claimed it as "fishing gear" and never had to pay anything extra. My weights go into a checked bag.

I've also carried fins strapped to my backpack and taken them directly on the plane. Never an issue through TSA or my airline. Once on the plane I unstrapped my fins and stuck them under the seat or beside it (I always go window). I ride almost exclusively Delta or partners, though, so unsure how other airlines deal with it.

Offline dogpaddle

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Re: Sport tube gear packing
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2019, 12:56:12 PM »
Everything in the picture minus the dog but also adding a few knives, lube, and anything else I can fit to bring the weight to 49.9999lbs. I also put my weight vest in a carry on.

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Offline TheKeeneroo

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Re: Sport tube gear packing
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2019, 01:15:29 PM »
Everything in the picture minus the dog but also adding a few knives, lube, and anything else I can fit to bring the weight to 49.9999lbs. I also put my weight vest in a carry on.


I dig the NCUH placement! I need more stickers.

Matt - you have any left?
"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." - William Arthur Ward

Eric, Pacific Grove
Instagram - @thekeeneroo    Facebook - @Ekeener1
Century Free Diver, Level 1 Free Dive Cert, EANx
DOTY 2018 - 3rd Place
Bring the Ling 2018 - 1st Place (=P)

 

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