This is a guest post by Ken Wilkins. Thanks Ken, I think I need to add this to my bucket list!
All text and images in this article, unless stated otherwise © Ken Wilkins and used with permission.
Dates: September 2019
Rideable days: 9 out of 10
Wind: 17 – 30 knots
Water temp: Boardshorts
Kaliantan is situated in South East Lombok which is the island situated to the right of Bali as one looks at the map. It’s about an hour drive from the airport at Mataram. It’s still largely undiscovered but this in my opinion won’t last for very long.
It’s close to the quality surf breaks of Inside and Outside Ekas and it’s quite feasible to have a surf early morning and then kite in the late morning/afternoon.
Kitesurf spot guide to Kaliantan lagoon on Lombok
We stayed at Kaliantan for ten days in September. This is actually towards the end of the kite season, and we still had wind for nine of them ranging from 17 to 30 knots cross on.
In season (May to August) the wind is higher more constantly. The kitesurf area is absolutely massive. A huge lagoon around 500 metres wide and stretching at least three miles in either direction. Slightly gusty on the windier days but nothing at all too bad. The water is warm (no wetsuit needed) and apart from one small sea snake I didn’t see anything nasty.
Launching is easy from the beach in front of the kite school. Small chop at high tide but as it drops it becomes flatter. One thing to be aware of though is that on spring tides the water can get very shallow indeed (over rock) and the kiting area becomes limited. If you are planning a trip, have a look at the local tide tables online, the local kite school (Kaliantan kitesurf) supply them on their website.
As the wind normally gets up from late morning, try to time it where the low tide is in the morning for as much of your stay as possible or that you base your stay around neap tides. It’s also easy for more competent kiters to go out and play in the waves, which when we were there ranged from 3, 4 ft to treble overhead.
Kaliantan Kitesurf has a secure portakabin so you can leave your gear overnight, have shelter from the sun, have a shower, enjoy cold drinks and even the occasional bbq when some fish get caught by the guy that lives there. Gear storage and showers at the portakabin is 100,000 rupiah a day, about £6.
Where to stay around Kaliantan beach
There are three main places to stay around Kaliantan. One in a fantastic position overlooking Ekas, but quite expensive and more geared to surfing. The other two are much more moderately priced ones. The place we stayed at, Ekas Breaks, took us 15 minutes or so to the kitesurf beach.
There isn’t much to do in the area at night. There are a few warungs to get a meal but we ate in our hotel, which had an excellent restaurant every night, but don’t go expecting nightlife!
It also had a very nice pool, beautiful gardens and very helpful, friendly staff. The kitesurfing staff also live here and you can get a lift to and from the beach.
Editor’s note: There’s also this place.
Other things to do on Lombok
Lombok is a gorgeous island. After our ten days in Kaliantan we went North and stayed near Mt Rinjani, the second highest peak in Indonesia which is very scenic. We didn’t have time for the Rinjani trek but did make it around to several beautiful waterfalls.
We also stayed a few nights on the Gili islands (Gili Air) which was fabulous but not a kite destination and doesn’t pretend to be. It’s a great place for chilling out and some brilliant snorkelling.
Lombok kitesurfing – To sum up
I’ve been kitesurfing a few years now and Kaliantan is one of the best places I’ve ever been to. The most kites on the water on any day amounted to nine in a truly massive area, with excellent winds.
The people are very friendly and the climate is perfect. 27 degrees every day and no nasties such as mosquitos or other insects. You’ve also got the added bonus of excellent surfing (and indeed snorkelling) on the doorstep.
Just plan around the tides a bit if you can and don’t expect raucous nightlife!