When I travel, minimalism is the goal, so my kiteboarding gear is always a struggle. If you’re in the same boat, then you probably know how hard it is to travel without packing too much. These kiteboarding travel tips can make it easier to pack and go.
Get a Bag with Wheels
Even if you don’t think that you’re going to be walking very far, make your travel simpler by getting a bag with wheels. It’s also a good idea for your separate suitcase to get one with four wheels.
You can actually “hook” your kite bag on top of the luggage for smooth movement. The four wheels are a huge asset when travelling as you can manoeuvre much easily in crowded areas.
Check the Specs and Flight Regulations
When you get a bag for kiteboarding travel, make sure that it fits your board comfortably and has good padding. It’s not worth saving money on a cheap bag if you end up with a ding on your expensive new board.
Also, if you’re travelling by plane, check the length and width of the board with the airline. Keep in mind that although many airlines publish maximum dimensions, they usually will let it slide by if you’re close to the guidelines.
Some airlines are more sticklers than others, so do your research to avoid any oversize fees at check-in.
Pack Only the Kites You Need
It sounds obvious, but can all be guilty of being too ambitious with the weather conditions.
Chances are, you’re not going to need all of the kite sizes when you travel. If you visit Brazil in high wind season, for example, you probably only need a 7 and 9.
However, there’s a great deal of variability in weather conditions regardless of your location. Check local forecasts before you leave, but it’s also a good idea to check with the locals.
Call a few local shops in the area where you’re travelling to and ask them for their recommendations.
There may also be some kitesurf forums online where you can check for some insider information on local conditions.
Travel with One Kite Backpack
Have you tried weighing your kite backpacks? Each one weighs about 2-3 pounds (0.9kg to 1.4kg).
This adds up fast when you’re trying to avoid excess weight.
One of the most straightforward kiteboarding travel tips I can give is to take only one kite backpack with you. You can usually get by with one since two kites often fit into a single bag.
If you really have to bring more than two, minimize as much as possible. Go through all the pockets in the bag and take out anything you don’t need.
There’s usually a user manual and a kite repair kit in each bag. These are handy, but you might end up travelling with three of them.
Go through everything with a fine toothcomb and rid yourself of any excess stuff that’s just going to weigh you down.
To get at least two kites into a single bag, you’re going to need to pack them smart.
Deflate the kites carefully and patiently along with the tubes and then roll them from both sides.
If you’re flying one of the newer kites, make sure that you’ve opened the main valve. It may take a few tries to get this down to a fine art.
Some travellers like to use vacuum bags to save even more space. This is an option, but personally, we would be worried about damaging valves or trapping air pockets that burst or weaken the bladders.
It is safer to fold the kite in three (the traditional way) to get the most space out of the kite bag.
If you are still struggling for space, try removing the strut supports and folding in different ways to make them even more compact.
Obvious Kiteboarding Travel Tips…
This may be a no-brainer for some.
If you want to get the most from your space, take everything off the kiteboard; the fins, the footstraps, and handle can all be removed relatively easily.
We know.. it’s more convenient to keep the footstraps and handle on the board, but we are trying to save space.
Make sure that you bring a few spare screws for the footpads. It’s easy to lose the screws, and if you’re in a remote area or riding a board that’s not common in your area, it’s going to be a problem.
Another of our favourite kiteboarding travel tips is to put all of these small, heavy items in one bag and then put that inside your big board bag. This will keep all of your items together, but more importantly, it can be easily transferred to your hand luggage if you are overweight.
Use Packing Cubes for Clothes
Packing cubes have gotten popular with people who travel light and with good reason/ The smaller cubes are easy to fit into almost any space.
Also, if you don’t mind rolling your clothes, you’ll save even space in the long run.
Think about how much clothing you really need. Are you spending most of the time on the beach?
Depending on how long your trip lasts, you can probably get by with about a week’s worth of light clothes.
Even for longer trips, you’ll be able to do the washing at your location. You can bring your own laundry detergent if you’re not sure what’s available at your kite spot, but this is rarely a problem.
Get to Check-In Early
Chances are, you don’t want to spend hours and hours waiting for your flight…
… but you’re going to have much better chances of getting through hassle-free if you get there a little early.
It’s a good idea to check yourself and your bags in online before getting to the airport. This takes care of many common problems and also makes it easier for the attendant at the counter to get you through.
You should check your bag weight at home and aim to be a little bit under, as home scales may not be as accurate. When in doubt, smile and always be polite, and you may get a bit of wiggle room if your bag doesn’t quite fit their regulations.
Use these Kiteboarding Travel Tips!
Now that you’ve got all the kiteboarding travel tips that the pros use, what are you waiting for?
Get your board and travel gear ready and start planning your next trip!
People have been travelling with their kites for years, and the airlines are much more friendly to kiteboarders.
Just follow these tips and enjoy stress-free kiteboard travel wherever you go in the world.