Amateur philosopher, writer
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The Shelter boardbag is a breeze to carry. Photo: Db

The Shelter boardbag is a breeze to carry. Photo: Db


The Inertia

Having a good boardbag can be as important as the surfboard. Without some kind of protection, any frequently transported board will simply deteriorate into a dinged up piece of crap and at that point it doesn’t matter how nice it was to begin with.

Db (that stands for “Douchebags”) is a luggage company from Norway that upended the ski and snowboard luggage industry ten years ago when it created length-adjustable and compressible ski and snowboard bags, and just this year they delved into the world of surfboard bags, coming out of the gate swinging with team riders such as Sage Erickson and Jordy Smith. Board bags haven’t seen meaningful innovation in years, and Db wants to change that by introducing new features such as length-adjustability on the single-board day bag, The Shelter, and packable protection areas on the multi-board air-travel luggage, The Bunker. Recently, I got my hands on both of these new products. Here’s what I thought:

the bunker surfboard luggage

The Bunker surfboard luggage. Photo: Db

The Bunker ($399)

Pros:
Wheels! Gotta love ’em.
Packable protection areas at the nose and tail of the boards
Lots of stash areas for fins, wax, etc.
Cons:
Intended to fit an entire quiver of 3-4 shortboards

The Bunker is a pretty rad piece of equipment. The guys at Db put a lot of thought into the design of this guy and it shows. For example, they went so far as to do research on baggage handling and interviewed a bunch of baggage handlers to find out what the best and safest handle placement would be. Apparently, the common side handle is a bit dangerous, especially in the hands of a non-surfer, as it is prone to swinging that causes nose and tail dings. Makes sense. It’s still a convenient handle to have, so the bag has a side handle that can be hidden to prevent it from being used and a set of diagonal handles for a safe, two-handed carry, as well as its own set of built in wheels. Too bad you can’t ride it.

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The all black is a sleek look, and there’s a ton of padding in all the right areas, as well as harder “ribs” which help the bag keep its shape around the boards to prevent dings. The nose and tail are further protected by zippered packable areas that let you stuff clothes, towels, wetsuits, etc., around the nose and tail of your boards. The bag rolls up for easy transport and storage when it’s empty.

As stated above, the bag is intended more for a full quiver, and if you’re trying to take just one board you might have a bit more room than you would like in the bag. However, an easy fix is to just make the bag your suitcase and fill the empty space with clothes, wetsuits, whatever really.

Pre-order here on the Db website.

the shelter daybag from db

The Shelter Surfboard Daybag. Photo: Db

The Shelter ($199 150)

Pros:
Provides incredible surfboard protection for a daily-use board bag
Rolls up small
Enough protection to fly with in a pinch

Cons:
Need to remove fins for the tightest fit
All black can get a little hot if left in the car all day

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This is a super-cool idea for a board bag, and like its brother, the Bunker, well designed. The main idea with the Shelter is that wiggle room can allow dings – so the tighter the fit, the more protected your surfboard is. To achieve this level of protection, Db introduced their length-adjustable system. Two clips on either side of the tail let you fold the back part of the bag around the tail of the board to accommodate boards from 5’3″ to 6’4″. This works best without fins attached, which makes sense, you probably won’t be leaving fins in for longer trips where you would want the tight-fitting protection anyway.

Pre-order here on the Db website.

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