Whenever I tell a kitesurfer about my lifestyle, the reaction is pretty much always the same: AMAZING! How do you do it with the digital nomad lifestyle?” (I already described my way of working and kitesurfing in the article Kitesurf’n’Work)
When I tell other digital nomads about my lifestyle, their eyes widen in disbelief and I already know the next question popping up:Yeah, kitesurfing is really cool, but HOW DO YOU DO IT WITH THE LUGGAGE?”.

Minimalism and Digital Nomads

If you change locations every few weeks or months it is the cheapest and most productive way to travel just with hand luggage. More and more digital nomads are traveling with hand luggage only, all year long! One of the main goals when traveling as a digital nomad is to travel with as little as possible, not only to avoid checking the luggage in but also out of a philosophy of reducing everything in life to all you really need and not even one piece more.
I found my favorite kitesurf equipment
Photo: Sabine Egger from kitetiger.com

Is kitesurfing contradictory to being a digital nomad?

Traveling with kitesurf gear is exactly the opposite of traveling light: you mostly have a bag that is so heavy you couldn’t carry it without the attached wheels. But as I said in the paragraph above, minimalism to me means reducing everything to the absolute minimum, just what you need and what makes you happy. And this, for me is kitesurfing, so the question is easily solved here.
The typical setup in the day of a kiteboarding digital nomad: cats, coconuts and tropical coworking

Why kitesurfing is the perfect sport for Digital Nomads

As a remote worker you have the most ideal precondition to practice kiteboarding – which for me was the main reason to become location independently! Just to list a few:

– You are flexible with time

Depending on the spot you might use that flexibility: work when there’s no wind, go have fun on the water when it’s blowing.

– You can travel with the wind season

You can travel anywhere you like (when the wifi works) which is ideal to see the most stunning spots around the world. Just go with the season and chase the wind and waves – this is what other kiters can only dream about!

– You’ll make new friends easily

It’s the fastest way to meet new people anywhere you travel. Kitesurfing connects like no other spot and you will find your tribe way more quickly than usual – even as an introvert.

– It’ll help you create a healthy work-life-balance

It helps you keep your work-life-balance and reconnect with nature. I know, we all love what we do – but sometimes it’s good not too get lost in front of the computer. You’ll love kitesurfing so much you’ll naturally long to go back out on the water!

– You’ll dive into local culture more easily

It will be way faster and more effortless to dive into local culture and really get to know the place. Kitesurfing connects beyond languages and before you know it you’ll be the only foreigner joining the locals for dinner.

– It’ll give you’re life one constant

It might the only habit you have and I mean that as a good thing – you change countries, languages and habits faster than anyone else but this might the one passion that will actually stay with you anywhere you go. It’s comforting to have that continuity in your life and will also make the location choice way easier 😉

– Just to say it in Richard Branson’s words:

“I encourage everyone to give it a go. It offers a wonderful feeling of freedom, exhilaration, and oneness with nature – and an extraordinary rush of adrenaline. On top of that it’s great exercise, recreation, relaxation and stress management, and there’s something so spiritual about the experience.”

If you want to know about how to combine the best of both worlds, check out my article on Kitesurf’n’Work or join the facebook group for Kitesurfing Nomads now.

The facebook group for kitesurfing digital nomads

Ways of combining your kitesurf luggage with the digital nomad lifestyle

Obviously there are different ways of traveling as a kitesurfing nomad, so I’ll just list a few of them.

1. Advanced – The kitesurf addict with good skills – needs ALL EQUIPMENT with him/her

Ok, that’s me. I can’t imagine flying any other kite or riding another board than the one I currently have. At the level I reached I will go crazy with other equipment – if I can’t pop my jumps properly or if my kite is moving super slow etc.

My ultimate point is always “But if I discover a really cool secret spot and there is now kite school there” or “But if the wind starts blowing super early and I want to go for an 7-am-session” I definitely need my own equipment 😉 So I reduce it to the minimum possible for me. I wrote a very detailed post about how I pack, which bag I use and put in some good hacks so check it out.

2. Intermediate – Kitesurf lovers who need their kites and will get a board at the spot

When writing this one, I HAD 2 persons on my mind but in the meantime they found their dream boards so they now travel around with them as well 😉 I’m talking about Marcus and Feli, the founders of the DNX, who are both absolut minimalists, always traveling with hand luggage the past years.

Since last year, they bought two kites and harnesses and always rent or buy boards and sell them at the end of their stay– which was a huuuuge commitment. But this is really a great way to have at least your kites and harnesses with you don’t really care about the board you will get at the spot, you can just always rent it there or buy one for two months and then sell it afterwards.

Concerning airline fees it’s great because you can stuff all of it into a normal suitcase and just pay a normal luggage (which is often included as well in long distance airline fares) and for sure way cheaper than checking in kite luggage!

3. Beginner – Taking lessons and renting from the kite school

If you’re still learning and taking lessons, it really doesn’t make sense to buy equipment yet since you don’t know what exactly you will need and like. So just finish your lessons and then try to make a long term rental deal with the kite school.

If you’re really passionate about it and the wind forecast looks amazing, go for it and buy something there. Preferably the kite brand and model that you learned kitesurfing on because it will be way easier to progress with equipment you already now.

4. Part-time Kitesurfer

Are your first destinations kite surf spots and then you’re off to backpacking? If you don’t mind selling your gear at the end of the kitesurfing part of the journey, I would probably still take it with me because it will cost you less than renting the whole time.

kiteboarding digital nomad – this is my equipment

How to find or sell equipment when travelling

1. Sell it online

At most kitesurf spots you will find Facebook groups where you can sell stuff online. This is the easiest way to get in touch with the local people or tourists trying to buy stuff.

2. Sell it at the kitesurf spot

Just hang out a sheet with all the details and prices a few weeks before you leave in the local kite schools, kite shops or even supermarkets or community boards. Ask the kite schools if they want to buy it (at remote spots they might be more than happy to) or talk to the locals, maybe someone just needs new gear

3. Talk to the locals

Just ask kitesurfers around you at the spot. I was asked by a kite school if I would sell my harness at the end of the trip since it was hard to get small women’s sizes in Brazil and I was happy to do it so I didn’t have to carry it back. But check before hand if the product of your choice is still available back home 😉

4. Check the kite prices in general at the spot before you want to buy or sell kite equipment

One more advice: buying equipment in e.g. Brazil or Mexico can sometimes be more expensive than in your home country! Partly because they might have high import taxes and partly cause some places are in the middle of nowhere so it’s hard to get kitesurf material to the spot.

If you don’t buy gear from another tourist you will most likely pay quite high prices. Just for you to keep in mind, always ask beforehand if the equipment at the spot you want to buy has reasonable prices. Or turn this to your advantage and sell your equipment there at the end of your kite holiday to make more money you would back home 😉


 

> Those are my tactics to travel as a kitesurf nomad. Which ones are yours?

Have you made any experiences with the points I mentioned? Or other tactics how to travel in a minimalist way?

> Do you also want to travel around the world kitesurfing? Looking for your tribe?

Join the facebook group for Kitesurf Nomads which I created for (digital) nomads who kitesurf around the world – to network, exchange infos and maybe even meet up at spots.

> Do you want to know how the Kitesurf’n’Work Lifestyle works?

Check out my detailed article on how I manage to combine the best of two worlds and keep my Kitesurf-Work-Balance.

Merken

Merken