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World's Top Kiteboarding Spots. Recommends Renārs Bīrmanis

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Connoisseur's Guide · Asia · indonesia · Indonesia · World's Top Kiteboarding Spots. Recommends Renārs Bīrmanis


Author: Renārs Bīrmanis0 COMMENTS

Indonesia consists of thousands of islands, each with its unique climate and abundant choices of activities to indulge in. Indian Ocean, washing the coasts of southern Indonesia Islands, creates ones of the best waves in the world. Lots of experienced kiteboarders make their way to Sumatra, Bali, Lomboka and Timor to hit some huge waves there, and, if the wind is favorable, to Mentawai Islands. Catching both good waves and suitable wind direction might not be that easy, as wind and wave direction may not be the same. Or else, waves can meet strong headwind, making them even steeper and just great for kiting. Strength of waves and winds may increase during winter, creating conditions that are too dangerous for kiting.


It's one of the wildest and the most rugged Indonesian islands. Population is not so dense and distances are huge. Live reefs and sharp lava rocks enclose almost the whole length of Sumatra coast line. Only few bays offer sandy beaches but even there waves break on the reefs. One of still intact spots in Sumatra is an area around Krui town, in the southwest of the island. Only one officially known sandy beach is located there, yet I have been lucky to find some more, stretching for several tenths of kilometers to the south of the renowned Sumatra pipeline, located at Karang (25km to the south form Krui). Sumatra's charm lies in its isolation from the rest of the world, especially Krui is far from mainstream tourist routes. Even minimum service is not to be expected there, yet it offers wild kiting conditions that give unsurpassable pleasure of catching waves, if you are skilled enough. The best time to visit Sumatra is winter, although any travelling plans can be easily influenced by storms, hurricanes and landslides. But when the weather is calm, you will find the best waves in the world and most probably you will be the only one, riding on the crest there!

Foto: Sumatra-BaliFoto: Sumatra-Bali


Bali is one of the most beautiful Indonesian Islands. In spite of its highly developed tourism industry, there are some spots with local microenvironment still alive. Bali boasts ones of the best waves in the world, predictable and with a high percentage of consistency. Yet there too, waves break on the reefs, and only the most skilled ones can cope with them. The main rule to be observed in Bali is that surfers always have priority. Irrespective of anything, right of wave belongs to a surfer! If you wish to kite, better choose another wave, unless you don't want to get into trouble. My advice is to observe the local rules and to catch the waves in some spots that are less suitable for surfers. However that may be, kiting experience is magnificent! During winter, stronger wind and smaller waves are characteristic to the area at Bingin, between Padang Padang and Dreamland beaches, although suitable only for professionals. At Sanur, in its turn, both flat water kiting and wave riding is possible. In summer, Padang area is less suitable for kiting, as you have to try to grasp the good moments when wind is stronger and surfers fewer. Yet, if the level of proficiency is sufficient, there are always some spots inaccessible to surfers but good enough for kiteboarders.

Summing up:

+ Season lasts almost whole year long, although beaches are pretty packed with surfers during summer;
+ Plenty of things to do if there is no wind - surfing, for example; also shopping and partying, if you are in Bali;
+ Warm weather and water;
+ Cuisine of Bali is delicious and people hospitable.

- Wind direction is almost unpredictable - from severe storms in winter to light breeze in summer;
- Huge density of surfers and tourists in Bali;
- Very few sandy beaches, lots of rocks and sea urchins;
- Difficult to reach destination, especially in Sumatra.

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