Surfboards don't count in the "Bags Fly Free" tagline for Southwest since it will ask for $75 to place your board in its plane belly. Virgin America is on the same page with that price point with a charge of $25 for the bag and an additional $50 for over-sized bags (aka the board).
The big winners for surfers are Jetblue and Air Canada. Both airlines ask for $50 each way to check your board to the beach. That said, make sure you double check your destination. For example, Jetblue doesn't even allow surfboards in the hold to Bermuda, Santo Domingo or Santiago.
For those that aren't set on a specific destination, we can't help but note that American charges an affordable $37.50 to check your first board to any city in (and through) Brazil. Longboard riders will also benefit from an extra 11-inches on the maximum limit on AA, measuring in at 126-inches to any destination.
No matter which airline you choose, all of them recommend to remove the board's fins and pack it up in a hard-sided case to protect your "ride."
[Photo: oliver regelmann/Flickr]