It depends. With the new checked baggage regulations you have some decisions to make. Either way,
1. You can get a padded bag with wheels and compartments for boots and other gear. (Like the dakine high roller or low roller)... and while those bags can hold a LOT of stuff (BOOTS multiple boards & bindings, helmets, shells, etc)... the bags themselves weigh quite a bit and it is easy to go over the 50 lbs weight limit if you aren't careful. You also have to fit these bags into a car at some point (they will not fit in most normal car trunks). Even so, it is nice to be able to put your carry-on bag on top of the board bag and wheel them both around the airport/baggage claim
2. You can get a cheaper, non padded bag without wheels, but you have to carry it by hand and your board is likely to be on the receiving end of some rough treatment. Many people without padded bags wrap their boards in clothing or towels to help protect them from getting tossed around by baggage handlers. At the very least you'll want to pack your boots and bindings in the board bag (and maybe your shell too). This will make it a bit of a pain to carry around, especially if you pack multiple boards and bindings... but if you can handle the weight then you can stuff ~10 lbs of stuff in there that would go over the weight limit on a larger bag.
If this is your first trip and you're just going over a weekend then I'd go for a ~$40 bag. Padded if you can find one, otherwise just wrap the board in $2 walmart towels. If you plan to start making regular trips out west to ride then I would consider investing in a padded rolling bag... especially since you can pack two boards (or skis) and two sets of boots, which will save you money and space when traveling with people.
I would leave your bindings on the board. Fold the highbacks under the straps and tighten them down.
Last edited by Tarzanman; 01-25-2010 at 11:31 PM.