Free Surfboards

Last updated: June 27, 2012
Surfing Indonesia

Garuda lets passengers bring their sports equipment at no extra charge.

In many countries, airlines now charge passengers for all items of checked baggage. In Indonesia, there is no charge on most domestic airlines for 20kg checked baggage; however there is usually a fee for sports equipment.

Garuda Sports Equipment Brochure - FrontGaruda Sports Equipment - BackHowever, now Garuda Indonesia has eliminated excess baggage fees for sports equipment, on both domestic and international flights:

It applies to surfbords, golf clubs, diving gear and “other sports equipment”. No size limit is mentioned; the maximum permitted weight is 15kg.

If you read the fine print, there is only one small requirement to receive this benefit. Passengers need to:

notify the airline 24 hours before your take off

Below is a brief guide to which destinations (Garuda and otherwise) visitors can best enjoy each of these activities:

Surfing | Diving | Golf


View Best Surfing in Indonesia in a larger map
Left to Right: Nias Island, Mentawai Islands, Lampung, Bali, Lakey Beach, Rote

Garuda Indonesia flies to many of Indonesia’s famous surfing destinations, including Bali, Lampung (nearest airport: Bandarlampung), Mentawai Islands (nearest airport: Padang) and Rote (nearest airport: Kupang).

However, if you want to visit Nias Island or Leakey Beach (on Sumbawa Island), you will need to fly with another airline.

Where to surf in Bali and East Java Mentawai Islands Surf Map Where to surf in Sumbawa, Indonesia
Surfing recommendations in (L to R): Bali, Mentawai Islands, Sumbawa

Want to go surfing in Indonesia? Please fill in an enquiry.


View Best Diving in Indonesia in a larger map
Left to Right: Pulau Weh, Gili Islands, Labuan Bajo,
Togean Islands, Bunaken, Raja Ampat

Garuda flies to diving hubs Pulau Weh (nearest airport: Banda Aceh), Bunaken (nearest airport: Manado), Togean Islands (nearest airport: Gorontalo) and Gili Islands (nearest airport: Lombok). However, it does not fly to Labuan Bajo or Raja Ampat (nearest airport: Sorong).

Want to go diving in Indonesia? Please fill in an enquiry.


View Top 5 Indonesian Cities for Golf in a larger map
Left to Right: Padang, Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Bali

Local expert Oigal recommends the following cities for their superior courses: Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Bali and Padang. Garuda flies to all these cities.

Please note: most of Jakarta’s golf courses are a bit out of town, in the satellite cities of Bogor, Tangerang (especially Bumi Serpong Dumai), Depok, etc.

Want to play golf in Indonesia? Please fill in an enquiry.

Which places in Indonesia have you encountered the best surfing/diving/golf course? Please share a recommendation.

19 Comments on “Free Surfboards”

  1. Oigal says:

    ‘notify the airline 24 hours before your take off”

    Probably not a bad idea although I never yet been zapped for excess on clubs by Garuda internationally or domestically. QANTAS, each and every time, even when little other baggage. Then again who in their right mind would fly QANTAS these days.

  2. Oigal says:

    Try Bogor Raya, for a great course, great caddies (all female), great view. Avoid the weekend if you can prices double or more but that goes for all courses.

  3. Chris says:

    On a recent trip to Bali, I enquired at different airline counters what the current cost for bringing a surfboard was. I had read in e.g. Lonely Planet that the fee was around Rp50 000 per board, so some of the answers were surprising:

    Wings Air/Lion Air: Rp200 000 ($US22) per board

    Merpati Airlines: Rp10 000 per kg, so about Rp200 000 ($US22) per board

    Garuda Indonesia: free

    One Australian tourist at the Wings Air counter commented:

    That’s more than it cost to bring the surfboard from Australia!

    Two thoughts:
    1. This excess baggage fee is a lot more than it was before, and rather expensive consider price for a ticket to e.g. Lombok is usually below Rp300 000.

    2. Passengers bringing a surfboard should fly Garuda Indonesia. Even if the ticket costs more, they will pay less overall as the surfboard flies for free.

  4. Chris says:

    Some other airlines have now published their excess baggage fees for sports equipment:

    Surfboards, golf bag and musical instruments: Rp100 000 each

    Curiously, they also charge extra for prams and wheelchairs: Rp50 000 each


    Same like for checked baggage, Air Asia charges by weight.

    This price list is for Indonesian domestic flights only. It would be more for international flights:
    < 15kg = Rp135 000, 15-20kg = Rp150 000, 20-25kg = Rp180 000, 25-30kg = Rp240 000, 30-35kg = Rp330 000, 35-40kg = Rp390 000 If anyone has had experience travelling with sports equipment on Batavia Air or Sriwijaya Air, please share here your experience, how much you paid, etc.

  5. Chris says:

    Other international airlines usually charge a large fee for sports equipment, but one exception is Silk Air:

    A 10 kg excess baggage allowance is extended to customers with diving equipment travelling to Cebu, Davao, Koh Samui, Kota Kinabalu, Langkawi, Lombok, Phuket and Manado.


    Silk Air is the regional/partner airline of Singapore Airlines; it operates the only international flight to Manado, as well as the only flight between Singapore and Lombok.

  6. Chris says:

    TransNusa flies to Bali, Sumbawa (near Lakey Beach) and Kupang (near Rote).

    Its rules for surfboards are:

    – Rp11 000 ($US1.20) per kg
    – Maximum length: 1.8 metres

  7. Chris says:

    Sriwijaya Air’s excess baggage fee for surfboards is currently Rp8 800 ($US0.90) per kg.

  8. Chris says:

    The current excess baggage rate for diving equipment on Merpati Airlines flights from Denpasar to Labuan Bajo is Rp17 600 ($US1.60) per kg:

  9. Chris says:

    Mandala Air is now offering a discounted fee for golf clubs of Rp9000 ($US0.85):

    Mandala Air Golf Club Promotion: Rp9000 up to 25kg

  10. Chris says:

    Merpati flights using Xian MA60 turboprop aircraft also permit a maximum surfboard length of 1.8 metres:

    Generally speaking, Merpati flights using Boeing 737 have a 3-digit flight number, while those using Xian MA60 have a 4-digit flight number. One exception is Merpati’s flights to Dili; it is a Boeing 737 flight with a 4-digit flight number.

  11. Chris says:

    Garuda flights using ATR72-600 turboprop aircraft permit a maximum surfboard length of 1.6 metres and maximum weight of 23kg.

    Garuda flights using ATR72-600 have a 4-digit flight number; they fly from Bali to:

    * Tambolaka (TMC) on Sumba Island, via Labuan Bajo.
    * Bima (BMU) on Sumbawa Island

    Flights from Bali to Lombok and Kupang use larger Boeing 737 aircraft and have a 3-digit flight number.

  12. Chris says:

    For Garuda’s Bombardier aircraft, maximum surfboard length is 230cm; for Boeing 737, 300cm. So if are bringing a longboard to Kupang, you need to take the earlier Boeing 737 flight.

  13. Chris says:

    A group of 7 surfers flying together had an unfortunate experience flying with Wings Air from Bali to Tambolaka. They were informed that the ATR72-500 aircraft only has room for 5 surfboard bags. (Previously, surf tour companies had recommended Wings Air to us as being the most surfboard-friendly airline).

    Other airlines that fly this route – TransNusa, Garuda Indonesia – use similar sized aircraft and have stricter length requirements: Garuda 1.6 metres, TransNusa 1.8 metres.

    Therefore, if you are travelling from Denpasar to Tambolaka and are bringing surfboards, you are encouraged to check in early. If you are travelling as part of a group with surfboards, you are encouraged to not all fly together.

  14. Millerslocal says:

    Hi, regarding the “notify the airline 24 hrs before your take-off” – any suggestions how we do so if not based in Indo and no local Garuda office. Is there the option to contact them via email to do this, or a global call centre with English speaking staff?

  15. Chris says:

    Hi Millerslocal,

    In practice, no one notifies the airline.

    If you are concerned that your sports gear might be refused due to space constraints (on e.g. Garuda Explore’s regional flights with small ATR72 aircraft), the best thing to do is check in early; first in, best dressed.

  16. Rob says:

    I am planning to fly Citilink or Lion from Batam to Padang. They are using B737 or A320 to my knowledge. I am bringing a 7.6 board. Should I be concerned re size limits? Can’t find anything on their webpage.

  17. Chris says:

    Hi Rob,

    Citilink baggage information is here, but in Indonesian only.

    Maximum length seems to vary between 1.9 metres and 2.77 metres for different flights, even though the plane type is identical.

    If you are concerned, I would fly Lion. I am reliably informed by a surf tour operator they are a bit more “flexible” in this area.

  18. Nina Jonathans says:

    Is the price still valid for lion/wings air? Since couldn’t reach the Customer Care for valid info.
    Would go for Surfing in Lampung this weekend, will fly tomorrow evening from Jakarta and bring the surfboard. Please advise.

  19. Chris says:

    Hi Nina,

    To my knowledge, the rate remains Rp200 000 per board.

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