Kitesurfing looks awesome in the pictures. Turquoise water, bikinis, and board shorts. A lot of kiteboarders actually enjoy this kind of pleasant environment. In reality, an equally large amount of kitesurfers, unfortunately, live and kite in countries with no tropical temperatures, and that makes packing for the beach trip even more important. Here is some help for you (us) poor people in the north.
Are you living in the UK, The Nordics, Germany, Poland, Baltics or Netherlands? Or the US or Canada east (and west) coast? Maybe in Russia? I’m quite sure you know what I am talking about.
10 things to pack for the kitesurfing beach trip in a cold country
I’m not mentioning the kite gear here, you’ll remember that stuff on your own.
1. Waterproof shoes
Waterproof shoes. If you rig your kite before getting the wetsuit on, I bet you will accidentally step in some water on the beach. At that point, it’s not a problem, but you’ll thank yourself afterward that you have some still dry shoes to put on. An extra pair of shoes serve the same purpose as well.
Image: Waterproof shoes from Halti
2. Dressing Poncho
A dressing poncho. The weird-looking towel-like thing you put over your head for being able to get dressed without freezing your butt off. For example one of these Mystic ones.
3. Energy and snacks
Extra energy in the form of snacks or light food. Sometimes you get stoked and want to stay longer than you thought. For not starting to freeze or getting extremely tired, some extra energy is well needed between two sessions. Here is some inspiration for how to make your own sustainable energy bars.
4. Windproof top layer
Waterproof, or at least a windproof jacket and pants. A lot of outdoor clothing will work really well for this.
Kitesurfersblog Jonathan with a very visible outdoor jacket from Halti.
5. Great base layers and mid-layers
Layers. Always layers. You want the windproof thing at the top, but if it gets hot you want to be able to strip off some things you are wearing under the windproof layer. So a base layer in a breathing material will be absolutely necessary. Or a few.
6. Extra underwear
Extra underwear. This is mostly for the boys who use the boxers under the wetsuit, and then realize you did not bring any new ones for after surfing. Girls usually get this sorted by having bikini under the suit.
7. Waterproof bag
Waterproof lockable (well, outside the Nordics at least) bag or backpack for phone, camera, food and other things you bring to the beach. Usually, you keep these things in the car, but sometimes the distance to the car is quite long, and you have to take them to the beach. At some point in the day in our part of the world, it always starts raining anyway. Lock the bag with a bicycle lock to a tree or any other static element on the beach while you are out in the water.
8. Something warm to drink
Liquid heat. I mean coffee or hot chocolate in a thermos bottle. After you kited until you’re freezing, you got dressed while freezing even more, and walked the long way back to the car and wait for the temperature to rise in there, you will be extremely happy to have a warm drink to enjoy.
9. Gadgets for extra stoke
Gadgets. A lot of kitesurfers up north loves gadgets. Bring a Woo, a wind meter or why not a sports clock for tracking your distance if you’re that kind of person. This helps with the stoke and makes you forget freezing.
10. Extra power for phone
Power bank for the phone. It is going to be frustrating for the people back home to not get a hold on you just because phones (iphones) freeze to death an lose all their battery as soon as the temperature drops below tropical. Then you do not need to stop your session just because the phone died and you feel that the ones at home might get worried about you.
Power bank image by César @ Flickr
Enjoy your day at your favorite non-tropical beach with these ideas of what to bring. Having ideas of more necessary things to bring to the beach for keeping warm?