Migra Surf, based in the Canary Islands, have set themselves the challenge of producing a boardbag as rugged as Fuerteventura coastline. At the same time, they've completely re-imagined the form and function of what is currently used by surfers the world over.
What the standard board bag gives in board protection, it lacks in storage, versatility and storability. With that in mind, Migra have produced a board bad that looks like nothing else out there.
I took the 6’0’’ board bag on a trip to the Hebrides to put it through its paces. A round trip to the Hebrides takes around 24hrs of driving, plus two ferries which provides a lot of time for the quiver to be rattled around in the back of the van. Whilst there, searching out all the nooks and crannies looking for the best waves, unmade roads, potholes and various bumps need to be negotiated.
"Migra have produced a board bad that looks like nothing else out there"
I'm happy to report my board was totally unscathed, thanks to the double layered shock absorbing lining of the bag. Thus in terms of the primary function of a boardbag - to protect the board from damage - Migra passed. Double layer padding (15mm on the rails and 10mm elsewhere) did its job admirably, under considerable duress.
The big difference, noticeable from 50 paces, is the external carry system. Your suit, towel, etc, gets stowed on the outside, not inside. The logic of this being a) it actually dries b) It doesn't rot inside and make the whole thing stink (of jizz, in the case of Evans' unfortunate boardbag anecdote). Plus, when you pull your board out after returning from a surf mission, it's not covered in sand/boot juice, etc. Beach umbrellas, cricket sets... whatever else you like to take to the playa can be carried easily, without rubbing up against your beloved surfcraft.
Warning: if carrying a heavy load, as I was with the rubber requirement to withstand the Caledonian chill, your best stopper knot will come in handy.
Once at your destination you have the option of using the shoulder strap on both sides of the bag so you can adjust depending on whether you are a regular or goofy footer. Alternatively get rid of the strap, stow it away in the internal pocket, and style out a classic under the arm carry. There are built-in multitask rings for attaching to the roof, and the zip is salt resistant, an absolute must for anyone who might leave the bag inactive for a period of time.
On return from your trip you can roll up your bag, just as you would in legalised Fuerte, and store in its own drawstring bag. This might sound gimmicky but actually it's really, really handy when space is limited, or flying out somewhere to buy a board to bring back, again, super handy to be able to roll up and stow the board bag.
Price: €159 (free shipping worldwide)
Materials: 100% recycled, durable 800D polyester
When providing some feedback to Migra I asked why there was no external pocket on the bag. This feature was a no go due to previous incidents of naughty South American officials planting coca in bags on the hunt for a bribe. Yep, the boys at Migra have been around the block, have put the travel miles in and the result is a wickedly innovative piece of kit designed to handle whatever comes your way on the road.