The Cocos (K) Islands is a beautiful coral atoll located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, with white sand beaches, palm trees, and a sparkling blue lagoon. Daily temperatures average 270C, with the warm, tropical waters hovering between 260C – 290C. During the winter months, the trade winds bring consistent winds of 15-20kts every day, making the Cocos (K) Islands the perfect location for kitesurfing fun and progression.
If you’re an experienced kitesurfing world traveller, you might be well-versed as to what to bring on your kitesurfing holiday. However, if you are newer to the sport, it can be quite daunting knowing exactly what to pack and how to pack! To help you prepare for your Cocos (K) Islands kitesurfing holiday, Cat has put together a list of packing essentials, hints, and tips to ensure your holiday runs as smoothly as possible.
So you’ve booked your holiday secured your flights, and now it’s time to get packing. There’s a lot to cover, so I’ve separated the content into three main parts:
- PREPARATION – This is the part that happens BEFORE it’s time to pack for your trip! So, make a date with your calendar at least 4 weeks before, and start to check off the list.
- WHAT TO PACK – This comprehensive guide on what to pack is geared toward our Cocos Islands tour. There is a ton of relevant information that can be helpful to other kite trips as well. If you’re new to kiting, I’d recommend starting to run through the list well in advance, as there may be several items you will need to purchase or source before your trip.
- TRAVEL & PACKING TIPS – Packing a quiver of kites, along with a board (or two), harness, bar & lines, wetsuits, clothing, etc… and keeping your bag under 23kgs, will most likely be a challenge for all of us, no matter the destination. Read on for a few suggestions to make this a little easier.
Before it’s time to start packing for your kitesurfing holiday, there are just a couple of things we recommend for you to do to help you get prepared.
Do you have your own kite gear?
When was the last time you went kitesurfing?
Not all of us have the time available to kitesurf all summer long. So, if it’s been a long time between drinks, it’s time to check your gear and pump up your kite!
The Cocos is a warm tropical destination; however, it is possible to feel chilly from time to time with the wind being consistent all winter long. So, it’s always best to throw in a long-sleeve top and wetsuit, just in case! Here is a list of our recommendations.
Packing for your first kitesurfing trip to the Cocos Islands can be quite a bit daunting. There are a few travel tips and hacks that will make your journey a little easier. Outlined below are some of our suggestions.
- Using a wheelie kiteboard bag for transporting your kite gear will make navigating the airport much easier. We recommend the Core Gearbag from ION.
- When packing more than one bag, you must choose a priority bag and label it PRIORITY. When travelling from Perth to Cocos, Virgin can only guarantee ONE bag will arrive. Make sure you pack ALL your kite gear in this one bag, along with essential clothing and toiletries. If only one bag makes it with you to Cocos, the other bag should arrive on the next flight.
- Pack your kites into a lightweight compression bag like this one from ION, rather than the heavy-duty bag it came in. This will save a few kgs of weight and will also help to keep your kite bag in good condition.
- Wetsuits and towels are great to use for protection around your board. It’s also been suggested to use a pool noodle! Cut the pool noodle and secure it around your board with duct tape to protect the edges and fins.
- If your baggage is overweight, consider wearing your harness on the plane. Be sure to remove your spreader bar and safety knife first.
- Never bring your bar and lines as carry-on. Airport staff may confiscate it and you may not get it back.
- Flights depart from Perth International Airport, so if you’re not an Australian citizen, bring your passport with you for easier transit. If you’re an Aussie, it will be OK to use your driver’s license.
It’s super important to be well-prepared for the unknown while also being self-sufficient when travelling to a remote kitesurfing destination. This blog focuses on travel to the Cocos Islands, however, many of these tips and tricks can be applied when heading to any tropical kitesurfing destination. It’s always a good idea to research your destination first and pack and prepare accordingly.
What are your kitesurfing packing tips, tricks, and hacks? Let me know in the comments below!
Just be stoked!
– Cat Jay