In the surfing world, board bags receive about as much attention as a mop in a frat house. Surfboards get all the love (is there a sexier piece of sporting equipment?), but if you don't sheathe your stick when it's not in use, it's guaranteed to get beat up worse than a pledge during Hell Week. Hence the need for a bag like Dakine's Regulator Double.
The Reg Dub comes in two lengths: seven and eight feet. I chose the latter so I could take both my funboard and my fish to the beach (without the hassle of two bags) on those small-swell spring days when both move like magic.
Even with the FCS fins screwed into both my seven-foot-six-inch board and my six-footer, there was plenty of space for both, plus towel, wetsuit, and leashes. On the inside, the bag has a padded divider to keep the boards from dinging if they knock against each other, and three padded fin pockets of various sizes hold different-shaped fins. The top and bottom of the bag is also lined with 3/8-inch padding to help buffer the board against any unexpected external impacts. It's a good bag for air travel, though I would still encase my boards with bubble wrap if I were taking them on a plane.
One side of the bag is covered in a shiny polyethylene-based material that reflects sunlight, helping to keep boards cooler on hot, exposed days. High temperatures (obviously) melt wax and, in extreme cases, even warp boards, so every little bit of protection helps. One afternoon I slid my longer board inside the bag and placed it in the sun, reflective side up. After an hour of baking, I unzipped the bag to find the wax had just started to loosen up. I put the board in the shade, cooled it down with water and slid it back in, this time with the conventional dark blue polyester material face up. Just twenty minutes later, the wax began to melt, proving that while the reflective material won't keep out thermal energy it does slow the heating process.
Perhaps most importantly, this bag is comfortable to carry. A padded shoulder strap clips on to two D-rings, each on opposite sides of the zipper. This design helps take weight off the corrosion-proof zipper (another big plusfew things are more frustrating than having a board stuck inside a bag because salt water has destroyed the zipper) and makes the bag comfortable to carry from either side. The drawback to this design is that any time I opened the bag to pull out a board I either had to unclip the strap (because it crossed over the zipper) or awkwardly wiggle the board out. However, I'd prefer this slight inconvenience to the alternative of a broken zipper or knowing that I could only carry the bag comfortably on one side.
I have only one moderate gripe with the bag: Although it's eight feet long, I couldn't zip the board up when I put two funboards (a seven-foot-six-incher for me and a seven-footer for a friend) inside with the fins on. If only one board had the fins in, they both fit, but together, with both fin sets in, the bag won't close. Depending on the conditions and what you're riding, this could be a real inconvenience for road-tripping, as it would require constantly removing and installing fins, and with glass-on fins there would be even less flexibility. It's not a major flaw, but it does limit the bag to a certain degree. In general, I'd recommend it for a streamlined strike to Mexico, rather than a sprawling road trip down the California coast. $190; www.dakine.com