Associate Editor

10’4, 9’6 and 7,4. @iberia Have you thrown them from a seventh floor? Not easy to break this kind of boards….

A post shared by Natxo Gonzalez (@natxogonzalez1) on

Big wave surfboards are built strong enough to (mostly) withstand the power and fury of some of the biggest waves the ocean can dish out. The power of giant surf, apparently, is nothing compared to what a surfboard goes through in transit on major airline – if big wave surfer Natxo Gonzalez’s recent experience with Iberia is any indication.


“10’4, 9’6 and 7,4. @iberia Have you thrown them from a seventh floor? Not easy to break this kind of boards….” said a puzzled Gonzalez in an Instagram post earlier today with a photo of three boards broken cleanly in half.

In another post, Gonzalez explained that he was traveling to Chile for a contest at Punta de Lobos. “This is how the boards came out…” he said. “Thanks @iberia!”

According to Iberia’s baggage policy, passengers are entitled to compensation when luggage is damaged in transit. The policy reads, “Rights to compensation are applicable up to the limits of responsibility established in this section, on a basis proportional to the hardship suffered, unless the air carrier took all reasonable measures to avoid the damage or it was impossible to take such measures.”

Clearly, the air carrier did not take all reasonable measures to avoid damage. But even worse, for a competitive big wave surfer who depends at least to some extent on prize money to put food on the table, grossly mismanaged baggage can be a serious obstacle to competing.

It remains to be seen if Iberia will offer Natxo Gonzalez any sort of compensation for what looks like someone ran over his board bag with a truck. Until then, expect Iberia to deal with the firestorm of Instagram comments that seems par for the course in instances like these.

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