You’ve been thinking about this trip all season. You’ve corralled your travel partners and booked your plane tickets. You’ve made your friends and co-workers sufficiently jealous about your upcoming adventure…. Now it’s time to pack! Here is our guide to 13 Kite Trip Travel Essentials to make sure you’ve got all the right gear in your bag:
1. Kite Golf Bag or a Surfboard Coffin Bag: Here’s some shipping trivia…these travel bags are our #1 overnighted items and believe me, with how big they are, they aren’t cheap to overnight ship! Do yourself a favor and plan ahead. You will need one of these to travel with your gear and you need to allot yourself time for them to arrive well before your trip. If you are traveling with twin tip(s) and kites you can go for the “Golf Bag” to avoid excess baggage fees. If you are traveling with a kitesurf board you should go with a surfboard coffin bag, which can also fit your twin tip, kites, harness etc. What’s the important thing to remember here? Order it early to avoid STEEP overnight shipping charges.
• Read our Guide To The Best Kiteboarding Travel Bags
**All Kiteboarding Travel Bags and Golf Bags ship for FREE through November 16th!
2. GoPro Camera: It used to be only the pros had incredible documentation of their travels. Now all you need is a GoPro and your Iphone, and you can put together some incredible photos and videos. You and your friends can take turns filming each other or grab a line or board mount for shooting yourself. GoPro: Be a Hero!
3. Rip Curl GPS Watch: This is a brand new watch from Rip Curl that not only measures the time and tide, it is also is a very tech’ed out GPS for measuring distance/course over a session, as well as your top speed. The watch pairs with your iphone or PC to track sessions and share them with your friends. Since it has a built in GPS, it also auto-syncs to the local tide/time, which is great for travelers on the go!
4. Vaavud Smartphone Wind Meter: You’ll be sessioning away from your home spot, and might not be used to the wind conditions in this new location. You can use a wind meter to take an accurate measurement and make sure you’re rigging the right size kite. When you use your Vaavud Wind Meter with the Vaavud Smartphone App, you can post your wind readings online and brag to your friends about how you’re scoring.
5. Sunscreen and Face Sticks: You’re traveling to the tropics, so you better grease up to make sure you don’t “burn out” the first day. This is no time to go with drugstore quality tanning oil. Lube up with the good stuff to stay protected! The face stick is useful for applying before your session and can also be stored in your boardshorts pocket for mid session re-applications.
6. Kite and Board Repair Kits: There’s nothing worse than having a week off to kite your brains out and then your 12m goes limp….Make sure you take all the necessities to make all your own repairs on the fly. Remember that once you leave home you will probably never be able to find any of this stuff at your destination…
7. Kite Compression Bags: Travel experts use these for 2 reasons. The first is that compression bags are significantly lighter than the heavy duty, fully tricked out standard bags that come with your kites. This keeps your total gear weight low and more likely to fall below the 50 pound airline maximum. The second reason they work so well for travel is that they are designed to compress the packed size of your kite down to smaller than you ever imagined. This makes fitting everything you need in a tight space that much easier.
8. Extra Fins: Depending on what you’re riding, chances are you won’t be able to find replacement fins for your board if you lose or break them.
9. Kite Leash/Board Leash: The first time I used a surfboard leash on my kitesurf board was in Anegada. If you lose your board there, you simply can’t get it back. It goes over a dry reef and gets stuck inside the reef, plus it’s blowing offshore. Next stop for you is body dragging to Tortola! Better to be prepared with the right board leash and a backup kite leash than find yourself in a similar situation, body dragging for miles.
10. Tool Kit: FCS makes a nice little “do everything” tool that has all the bit heads you need safely packed up into the end of the driver so they don’t rip your kites or ding your board. These tools go missing pretty easily so spray paint it bright orange and write your name on it for safe keeping!
11. Mini Med Kit: Travel and foreign food/water can wreak havoc on your health. Make sure you bring the basics to keep yourself intact including diarrhea medicine, laxatives, flu/cold medicines, Body Glide chafe stick, sleeping meds if you need them, pain relievers, antibiotic ointments and bandages.
12. Wetsuit Top: Even though you are likely to be traveling somewhere warm, there is always wind chill, sunburns and cloudy days where you will get cold and stiff. These tops pack up really small and add a good amount of temperature range (and sun protection) to just boardshorts or bikini alone. They also provide some padding between you and your harness to relieve chafe or soreness.
13. Travel/Night Time Entertainment: It’s nice to have this stuff lined up so you can enjoy the downtime as much as your time on the water. Things to consider are books, magazines, movies, music and a portable speaker system to rock out as the sun goes down. Enjoy your trip!