It’s great that you decided to travel with your Go equipment. In this article you will find a few ideas about Go sets for travelers and about what to look for while packing your Go sets.
Transportation of Go boards
Boards are usually the most annoying parts of Go sets to transport by individuals in shared means of transportation (e.g. plane, train, bus) because of their large dimensions. It means that you need quite a big suitcase to fit your board in it.
However, there are a few alternatives to the regular wooden Go boards.
1. If you don’t care much about the quality, you can e.g. print a Go board on a sheet of paper, fold it and put it into your bag.
2. If you don’t want to create the board by yourself, you can e.g. look for Go boards made of leather or cloth, which can be rolled or folded.
3. Another option might be to look for a slotted or foldable Go board made of MDF or wood.
To pack such a foldable Go board, one of the dimensions gets divided by 2, so it starts to be easier to fit it into your bag. The disadvantage of these foldable boards is that it’s possible to see the folding line while playing.
4. There are also some magnetic boards, usually being sold in sets with magnetic Go stones and plastic gosu (containers for stones).
These are usually the special sets, dedicated for playing Go while travelling.
The magnetic Go sets are often very easy to carry, the stones played on magnetic boards are quite stable and they are even one of the cheapest kinds of Go sets to buy.
On the other hand, the comfort of playing Go on such sets is usually lower in comparison with regular boards:
- The popular magnetic boards have smaller dimensions than the regular wooden Go boards and the magnetic stones have smaller diameters than the regular Go stones.
- While putting the magnetic stones on the board, you don’t hear the special sound of a Go stone hitting a Go board.
- It takes more time to place and remove the stones from the board.
- Most of the magnetic stones aren’t very durable.
5. If you decide to transport a full size regular wooden 19x19 Go board anyway, you can also look for thinner boards - at least they won’t be too heavy.
Packing of Go boards
To pack a regular Go board you can use e.g. special boxes for Go boards, simple 50cm carton boxes or even pizza boxes.
To lower the chances of damaging the boards while its transportation, before putting the board into a box, you can e.g. bubble wrap the board and immobilize the bubble wrap by a tape. More heavy boards can be wrapped with inflatable air columns instead.
The most vulnerable part of Go boards are usually corners. If you transport your board e.g. by plane, in a checked-in suitcase, and your board is made of a soft wood, there is a big chance that without a good wrapping, the corners of the board will be damaged after you land.
If, after putting the board into a box, there is still some space in it, it’s good to add there something more to make sure the board can’t move in the box.
Transportation and packing of Go stones and gosu
If your stones are rather durable and you carry gosu as well, it should be enough if you simply put the stones inside the gosu. Then you can e.g. bubble wrap the gosu and surround each gosu with clothes.
If your stones break easily, you can consider bubble wrapping the stones before putting them inside the gosu.
Screening of Go stones at the airport
Even though some security guards might get interested in what the Go stones are, there are generally no problems to travel by air with any kind of Go stones. The guards don’t really care if you carry the stones in cabin or checked-in luggage, either.