One of the biggest hassles of kitesurfing is all the gear. It’s not as bad as for the windsurfers and from a travel point of view you can actually get away with something fairly compact compared with checking in even a short surfboard.
But let’s get real. Oversized luggage fees are going up and allowed weight for sport equipment is going down, so it’s getting harder and harder to bring a kitesurf ‘golf bag’ with your gear without feeling a bit robbed by the airlines.
The golf bag is a really good solution most of us rely on for flights and travel, but they are heavy and bulky. The solution, unless you want to rent gear at the spot, is to use a split kiteboard that folds in half. You can then check in your equipment as normal luggage, save a buck and fit your luggage inside cars and other means of transportation without a problem.
The split kiteboards on the market are now so good that you don’t have to sacrifice performance for convenience. I wrote a review of the Kitelement re solve some time ago, and was very impressed with what they’ve accomplished.
What makes a good split kiteboard bag?
I did the research so you don’t have to. In my comparison of good bags to pack my gear in I used the following criteria:
This is the deal breaker. Your board has to fit in the bag. Make a note of your board’s dimensions and make sure that it fits within the inner dimensions of the bag. Most bags specs only mention the outer dimensions.
Another deal breaker for me was wheels for rolling. Sometimes you have to walk long distances with your luggage and you don’t want to end up having to carry the bag when you can roll it. If it also offers backpack straps it’s a bonus.
There are a lot of hardcase suitcases out there which would work fine, but they are always heavy, usually 4kg or more. It all stacks up so if you want to get under 15 or 20 kg every gram counts. A tip to come under the limit is to pack your bar and other bits and bobs in your hand luggage.
The bag will be tossed around, dragged and abused so in order to protect your gear and last for years it needs to be sturdy and well built. For my top pick, the Eagle Creek duffel I’m reinforcing the inner walls with kevlar cloth to avoid wear from sharp edges.
Pay for quality but don’t break your wallet. Price is always a factor in homing in on the best solution.
The top eight travel bags for split kiteboards
Find a bag that suits your needs and wallet, and most importantly remember to check the inner dimensions so the board fits. All these bags are great and comes with the much needed wheels for rolling. It’s mainly a tradeoff between durability and weight, but for me the Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler duffel came out as the winner and you should read the review of it.
Is split kiteboards and compact travel the future of kiteboarding? I think so without a doubt.