This is for people who travel to a tropical country to kite surf for the first time, but can be used as a what to bring and leave checklist for experienced travelers as well. Beware, this list does not try to be complete!
Sunscreen with a high SPF factor. Don’t trust if it says waterproof. That usually means you can float in calm water, but not that it will stay on when you are body dragging, stacking a couple of kite loops or getting pummeled by a wave. The same applies when you start to sweat—which you are likely to do in the Philippines. However, there are sunscreens that do stay on, usually zinc based. Generally, the thick and sticky types have a better chance of staying on.
Cover, in the water. Sunscreen is overrated. If you are not tanned and want to kite during midday in the Philippines, you can put on all the sunscreen you want, and you will still get burnt. Covering from the sun is the way to go—easier and better for the environment as well. In the water, use good, polarized sunglasses with UV protection and straps like Seaspecs, a wide-brimmed hat with strap or at least a base cap, a rash guard (preferably long sleeve) or thin wetsuit if you get cold easily. Long, thin pants are a good thing to have as well.
Cover, out of the water. It does get pretty hot in the Philippines but to avoid sunburn it is still good to wear light, loose, long-sleeved clothes during the day and at night as well, if there are mosquitoes around. Avoid black and dark colors—because of both the sun and mosquitoes.
Booties. Especially for beginners, booties are essential. Even sandy places have the odd sharp rock or glass shard lying around. Nothing is more frustrating than cutting your foot open on the first day of your long-awaited holidays!
A good book. Local transportation is extremely unreliable and you might end up waiting for hours, so bring something to read to beat bad moods and/or boredom.
Medication. Of course. If you are on any kind of prescribed medication, bring enough of it, as you may not find it here. However, make sure you do not travel with 5kg of band aids, motion-sickness pills, Antiseptic solution and Antibiotic pills; you can buy all of that here if you plan to go off the beaten track, or just when you need it. The kitesurf equipment is heavy enough to lug around.
Patches. Especially when planning to go Kitesurfing in remote locations, bring some emergency first-aid for your kite, like bladder repair patches and a roll of good duct tape. Nothing is more annoying than having spent days to get to your dream kite spot with the wind is pumping, only to find your kite leaking, and no patches around.
Pump. Don’t ever forget that one!
Waterproof cases / bags for your electronics. Essential especially when using smaller boats—but even the humid, salty air close to the sea can already do damage to those beloved gadgets.
Adapters. To connect whatever electronics you bring to the US style sockets. When you want to go to rural areas with off-the-grid power supply, consider bringing a little surge absorber. These are inexpensive and light to carry, and may save your beloved electronics from early death.
Bug/Mosquito Repellant. Bring a good quality one from home as the locally available products are usually not recommended, especially if going off the beaten track. DEET is good stuff.
SIM card. When you arrive in Manila, get a cheap local SIM card to avoid expensive roaming fees. For 100PHP (2.50$) you can pick up a SIM card with 50PHP load on it, which is equivalent to 50 text messages. Texting here is cheap, (1 PHP per text) and the best way to communicate as phone calls can be annoying due to bad signal. SMART is the most recommended carrier with best signal in most rural places.