Having a few days off around the holiday season is exciting. Its even more exciting when you have the opportunity to travel and bring your kite gear whether it be to visit loved ones for just a chance for adventure. What to bring is always a struggle when dealing with a weather dependant sport. You don’t want to spend several hours in a busy airport and a cramped plane only to get skunked on your vacation. When Dimitri travels, he literally brings everything, but for us average Joe’s, here are five few tips when planning this year’s holiday escape.
1. Do your homework: Whether you’re traveling to the Dominican or Portugal, do your research on the weather and kite spots before booking. Find out what the average temperature and long term forecast are during your stay? Understand windy seasons and daytime wind averages. The information is out there and only takes some light searching to find answers. Find a location that offers activities that interest you if the wind doesn’t show, just to be prepared.
2. Talk to a local: With social media and networking sites nowadays, it’s never been easier to speak with someone who actually lives and rides at your target vacation destination. Search for kite specific facebook groups or hunt them down on internet forums. Get info right from the source. More often than not, you’ll have an offer to meet up and perhaps discover great spots that are off the beaten path.
3. Rent, bring or borrow gear? If you’re traveling with your family, or on a business trip bringing your kite gear might be a challenging proposition. You might consider alternatives to get your fix such as renting or borrowing. You’ll need to weigh your options carefully. Renting usually isn’t cheap, but when you consider baggage fees and the stress of including a heavy board bag, it might be quite appealing. There are loads of schools or shops that rent equipment. Search these out and get rates and rental criteria sorted ahead of time.
If you only have the chance to ride one day, you might look into demo events. Hunting down demos are a great way to experience new products and meet top riders (email firstname.lastname@example.org for Epic demo dates). As a last resort, you could engage with local riders and ask to borrow equipment while someone takes a break. Be mindful of equipment settings and potential risk of damage.
4. What to bring: Now that you have all the details about where you’ll be riding, you can now plan on what to bring (if you’re not renting or borrowing). You’re going to want to bring as little as possible to escape excessive baggage fees. As expected the basics include your board, harness, kite and bar. If you pack it right, you can fit this in a board bag like the Epic Twin Tip bag. If you need a wetsuit or rash guard, pack that with your clothing or a split bag like the Epic Traveler bag which is ideal for family/kite vacation opportunities. Your kite size should target the average winds at the peak strength. If you can, bring a second kite to increase your water time. It’s usually less hassle to bring two kites than it is to bring two boards. If your spot sees a lot of kiters, you might consider leaving your pump at home to save space. Do not overlook your accessories — bring a repair kit and perhaps a screw driver or extra line set. Make a list, check it twice!
5. Bring a camera: Everyone has a phone or camera of some sort so make sure you document your experience. You might never be beck that way again. Spend a few extra minutes capturing the area, the culture, and the riding. There are loads of action cameras like the GoPro to ensure you get great footage. The memories will last forever, but the pictures and video help you share your story.