Updated: Aug 30, 2019
There you go, all is booked, flight, connection, hotels… your passport is up-to-date (6 months validity), you checked if you need all basic travel modalities to get to the country you’ve chosen… Now it’s time to pack up your kite bag.
There are many options on how to travel with kite gears, it mostly depends on your personal goal. Are you planning to move a lot to different spots? Are you planning to stay at one spot particularly? Is kitesurfing the main activity you’ll be doing? Are there kite shops/schools in the area you’ll be going to?
If kitesurfing is the main activity and the rest doesn’t matter, then pack up big! This is the best trip option for any rider.
If kitesurfing is not the main goal of your trip… why are you even getting a board bag, as you’ll be most likely finding gears for rent in the area where you’ll travel and maybe dragging a 25Kg bag behind you for few weeks is not the best option.
A good thing to do is to contact the kite school where you’ll be going. Don’t just get there and hope for the best, as local can give you good tips on what to expect from the days you’ll be there. Inform the school about your date of arrival.
Let’s say your trip is very much kitesurf oriented… here’s what to get:
Board Bag, strong, with wheels...
Board / Straps / fins /handles. A twin tip 140x40 is pretty much a do-it-all board and adaptable to all conditions
2 or 3 kites (I usually travel with 8/11/14 that gets me going from 10 till 40 knots). Make sure your kites are dry and packed properly in compression bags or put them on top of each other before to roll, you'll save a lot of space.
2 bars (you’d be sad to stop kiting as soon as you get an issue with your own bar)
Harness and kite leach
Some booties in case you’ll go in shallow water with corals and sea urchins
Rash guard with long sleeves and even a running leggings if you never expose your legs back home
A Surf hat, the sun is not your friend when you’re kiting
Watersport sunglasses, with a strap on the back
Sunblock for your face
Sunscreen for your neck
After sun lotion (or cut some aloe verra from the place you’re staying in)
Flip flops to stay on the beach. Being barefoot is cool, but you never know what hides in the sand…
Board shorts x2 it’s enough, those thing dry fast
A pool towel.
Extra and repair kit: fins, some screws and a pocket screwdriver. Patches for canopy and bladders, pigtails for your lines in case they stretch
If you’re missing any item when you pack up your bag, contact the kite school next to your destination, they will most likely have what you need for sale or for rent. Most of the Kite schools have some sunglasses, sunblock and rash-guard for sale.
What else should you bring as a kite traveler:
Money! Bring some cash with you, particularly in developing countries, you’ll not be always able to use your credit card, unless you stay in an all inclusive resort. Check with your kite school and hotel the way they accept to be paid as well: Local currency, foreign currency $€, credit card, Paypal… Think also that ATM usually charge some extra fee (up to 10%)+ the card fee for withdrawal out of your country… changing money instead of using ATM makes a lot of sense
Bring some mosquito repellent, particularly if you’re in places with endemic malaria / dengue. A mosquito net an long sleeves for the evening is also commendable. Maybe you can buy some repellent in a pharmacy next to were you are
Think about your vaccination card, some country request to have special vaccines at the immigration (yellow fever)
Some good stuff from your place as a gift to the guys of the kite school who’ve not seen real chocolate since few month, it’s always really appreciated ;)
Books, chargers, socket adaptor, power-bank, extra memory card for the camera…
Here we go, that’s all I can think of as of now… Don’t hesitate to give me your feedback on the stuff I might have forgotten!
Cheers and see you on the water!