Check It Out

It pays to ship your gear ahead with this hassle-free service

Amy Marr

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NEXT TIME YOU WANT your darlin’—surfboard, that is—to accompany you to Maui, let Sports Express (800-357-4174, do the heavy lifting. In this time of orange alerts and heightened airport security, cumbersome check-in baggage may mean extra hassle and an extra charge: On domestic flights, airlines can slap on about 80 bucks for bikes and other oversize gear. Enter Sports Express—specializing in door-to-door, one- to three-day delivery of sports equipment—to keep air-travel snarls from derailing your next adventure. This Durango, Colorado–based company also tracks your prized possessions along the way and, if (horrors!) your kayak does take a detour, makes sure you’re outfitted in comparable gear until it arrives.

With special rates through partnerships with FedEx, DHL, and UPS, Sports Express can roll savings to you. Examples: Shipping your surfboard overnight from Chicago to Honolulu costs about $130, while sending it via FedEx can ring up at over $200. Going mountain-biking in the Rockies? A three-day bike delivery from Seattle to Denver costs $68, versus $146 with FedEx. Sure, UPS and FedEx ground delivery cost less, but you’ll go gearless for days. Watch the Sports Express Web site—recent deals have included discounts for members of the Adventure Cycling Association, Travelocity members, and United customers.

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