1) Get a bag. Not just any bag, a GOOD bag. Honestly, the biggest mistake you can make when travelling with kite gear is to pack it in a low quality bag. Plan on investing in a bag that’s padded and large enough to fit all of your gear. Luckily, there are many great options:
- Coffin Style Bags: These bags are the burliest of their kind. They’re awesome if you have a mass amount of gear, multiple boards etc. Here are some of our favorites: Dakine Coffin Bag ION Coffin Style Bag Ride Engine Coffin Style Bag
- Golf Style Bags: Golf bags are a great choice because many airlines have a set price for bags containing golf gear. Golf style bags usually have wheels which make for a speedy trek through the airport and they feature a solid structure setting you up for easy, organized packing. Take a look at these options: Dakine Golf Style Bag Slingshot Golf Bag
2) Make a checklist. Make a list of everything you need to fit into your gear bag. If you’re travelling with multiple bags, make multiple lists. The last thing you want is to arrive at your destination and realize your harness is still sitting on the counter at home. Here is a (general) list to follow:
- Kites: If you can fit it, pack it. For the most part, kites are pretty light so feel free to pack the whole quiver if you have the room... You never know what the wind is going to do when you’re on vacation. A good trick for fitting all your kites into your gear bag is by putting them into compression bags. This will really optimize space in your bag.
- Board(s): TAKE YOUR FINS OUT! If you leave them in, expect them to be broken by the time you arrive. So get ‘em out and put them, along with their hardware, into a baggie. We suggest taking off your foot straps/boots as well, this will make your board lay flat and ensure easier packing.
- Harness: Secure your harness around one of your kites. Your bag is going to get thrown around by baggage handlers and your gear is likely to shift within your bag. If you have a kite inside your harness, it is less likely to get misshapen on your journey.
- Pump: Detach the hose from the pump and lay it in the bag straight without kinks. It takes up the least space this way, and it’s better for your pump.
- Bar(s): These are pretty simple... Pack them with the lines rolled up as usual. However, if your gear bag is feeling too heavy, take your bars out! These guys are small but heavy and they’re easy to throw into your carry on if necessary.
- Wetsuit(s): Wetsuits are key to a well-packed gear bag. They provide excellent padding layers within your bag and help to organize all the bits and pieces that you’re packin’ in. If you’re travelling somewhere where a wetsuit is not necessary, we suggest throwing in a towel or two to act as your source of extra padding.
3) Pack an organized bag. We created a quick time lapse that shows you how to do this. Click play and you’ll be a master-packer in no time!
That’s it for the ultimate guide! Good luck and have an awesome kitesurfing vacation!