How to pack a kiteboard golf bag?

12 12 2011

My kite gear...

Flying with your kiteboarding gear for free inside a golf bag is awesome. The only trouble is you have to get quite a bit of gear in there and transported to your destination without damage. Here is how I packed my Naish Golf Bag for a 4 week trip to Baja coming up this winter.

Tried kites loosely rolled, but the bag's not big enough!

Gear List

  • OR Mako 140
  • OR Mako 150 [had to drop this as my golf bag isn’t long enough!]
  • 8m & 10m OR Rise kites + bars
  • kite pump
  • Promotion wetsuit
  • impact vest
  • harness with spreader bar and leash
  • Vibram 5 fingers water shoes
  •  helmet & gloves
  • water sunglasses
  • screwdriver
  • wind speed meter

2 bars with lines in an external pocket...

Get Organized

  • find all your gear and golf bag
  • inspect for damage and repair before you leave
  • clean your stuff getting rid of sand and rock that’ll wear at your stuff in transit

Board underneath & soft goods on top...


  • pull fins off all boards
  • if you are carrying two boards pull straps/pads and handle off bottom board
  • place bottom board in bag
  • pad top of board lightly with something [I use a 4′ x 4′ piece of fabric I take with me to sit on]
  • put smaller board on top
  • strap down if your bag has internal straps
  • layer soft items under and on top of your boards to pad them and make best use of your space

I found out that my golf bag is too short for the Mako 150…=-( Damn! No problemo. I’m just going to have to live without. I actually wanted to take my Slingshot Tyrant surfboard so this might motivate me to pay the extra baggage fees and have it down there for the trip.

Kite laid out for inspection then rolling up small...

Soft Goods and Small Items

  • pack your wetsuit, impact vest and other soft items on and around your boards
  • get creative and put sunglasses and wind meter under the binding straps to protect them a bit
  • the goal is to get a soft level surface about even with the top of your bindings
  • I had some extra room so I grabbed 4 pairs of surf shorts I’d otherwise pack in another bag and found room in the golfbag

On a roll...


  • pull the kites out of their bags
  • strategize how they’ll fit best in the golf bag
  • I tried rolling them long and skinny then I tried folding them in half after rolling them
  • I went with the later option, but there is no wrong answer as long as they fit
  • you might have to roll them up a couple times to get the air out and make ’em nice and small
  • have some string handy to tie them up once you get them packed down
  • fit them into your bag
  • my kite bars have their own pocket on the outside of the bag

Rolled up and folded small then tied...

Closing the Bag

  • be nice to your zippers and don’t get too aggressive closing them…if you break ’em you could be screwed just before your trip
  • as you are slowly closing your bag look for any sharp edges or empty spaces you can throw some extra stuff into
  • I ended up adding another towel at the end of the bag since I had some space
  • I used a TSA approved lock on the main bag to keep the airline folks from looking inside the bag and finding my kites [security doesn’t care what’s in the bag if it’s not a threat to flight safety]
  • I used a black ziptie on the external pocket that is holding my bars and lines for the same reasons

Closing the zipper gently...

Stuff Leftover

  • I didn’t fit my pump, harness/spreader bar/leash or helmet in the golf bag
  • I didn’t want any sharp/hard edges damaging my kites or boards so I stuff soft items in the golf bag
  • I’ll find room for the leftover items in my duffel bag which is my second luggage item

Golf bag packed with kite gear...

Now do it again!

  • if you are motivated unpack most of the bag and start again
  • you’ll figure out ways to better use the space
  • you can probably roll your kites tighter
  • I’m done for today, but if I have time later in the week I’ll repack this bag and see if I can get a few more items inside

TSA approved lock...

I generally don’t lock my luggage when I fly. I’m not particularly paranoid about anyone wanting my dirty underwear and kite gear is next to impossible to sell for cash if you aren’t a kiter so the baggage handlers don’t want it. On the other hand I don’t want a snoopy airline check in counter staff member finding out I have kites in my golf bag so I use a TSA approved lock. Security can get inside, but that’s after I checked in and paid any baggage fees – plus they don’t work for the airline so they don’t care what’s in the bag if it’s not dangerous. You can use zipties to achieve the same affect if you don’t have a lock handy.



11 responses

12 12 2011

Howcome the lock is TSA approved? What is special about the lock?

12 12 2011

Airport security has a special key that will open any TSA approved locks so they don’t have to cut them off to search a bag.

12 12 2011
Val Garou


Now tell us how to fit a Pugsley in there, please.

12 12 2011

Just get the Bike Friday version and fold it up. 😉

13 12 2011

@ Paul – I started planning to fly to Baja with 2 bags. 1 bag for kite gear and 1 bag for clothes and camping stuff. Travelling with 2 big bags is really as much as I ever want to do. I convinced myself [88%] to go for a 3rd bag so I’d have a surfboard with me as well as my twin tip kiteboard. I had [briefly] considered a packing my Bike Friday NWT, but 4 bags is one too many and frankly I bike enough that taking a month off the bikes [actually only 2 weeks since Sharon is renting bikes] would be a nice change of pace.

16 12 2011

I’m interested in possibly heading down to Baja this winter for some kiting (from Calgary). What airline/route are you taking?

16 12 2011

@Kobe – Westjet flies direct from YYC to San Jose del Cabo. If you pack your kite gear in a golf bag it flies for free.

17 01 2012

Reading your posts has sucked me in. Flights are booked, heading down for the beginning of Feb..

Was the 8/10m kites, did you ever want for more/less? My options are 7/9/12 so wondering if I should leave the 12 at home.

18 01 2012

I would have loved a 6m and a 12m as well, but what can you do? There is only so much gear you can fly with.

Have fun!

21 11 2013

Hey! Looking to get my boyfriend a “Golf Bag” to fly his gear in down to Mexico…..but I really have no idea what the options are! I see some cheap ones online between $150-$200 but I’m guessing they’re not the best quality. Looking to spend more than that….can you suggest what type of bag I should be looking for? Attributes? (ie. outside pocket for bars like yours, wheels, size…?) Company? And most importantly, where can I order it from? Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks! 🙂

21 11 2013

@Stacey – where do you live?

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