Kitesurf Indonesia – Basic language for kite travellers

Kitesurf Indonesia – Basic language for kite travellers

Régis Lacouture Régis Lacouture 25 February 2019 Kitesurfing

Kitesurf in Indonesia is a blessing for who seek adventure and unexplored kitesurf spots.

Indonesia has always been recognized as a surfing mecca, though it is slowly becoming more and more recognized as well as an amazing kiteboarding destination. Being part of the Malay archipelago, the biggest worldwide, Indonesia claims 17,000 islands and most of them are still inhabited giving a huge room to still explore and unveil kitesurf spots in the future.

Like the best waves, you have to wander off the beaten track of Bali/Lombok to find the best wind …

You have wind all around the year, nevertheless the best kitesurf season is during dry months from May to October. Kitesurf conditions are extremely various from pure flat to demanding waves … name it, Indonesia hast it !

Indonesia overall is a very popular place to visit regardless of its world class waves and wind. Kitesurf travelers from all around the world go to experience the different activities on and off the water.

Here some basic language to survive in the wonderful Indonesia, and been able to interact with people, no matter you travel solo or not, in touristic or remote area …


Let’s start by what may drive you in Indonesia: kitesurf !

There is a literal translation “layang-layang selancar” (kite surf), but for Indonesian people this combination sounds really weird. So better to stick with English for this one: KITESURF.


Now let’s look at Indonesian vocabulary surrounding the practice of kitesurf.

It may be useful when you meet locals amazed by this new sport for them, and you can be sure they will come to you curious about it, and striking you with questions.


To make it simple, consider that Bahasa is a phonetic language meaning that you pronounce all the individual letters – There is no trap: no silent letters, no specific sound with special combination of letters, … it is a genuine and sincere language like its people.


Imagine now, you are a solo kitesurf traveler, you finally found a virgin kitesurf spot with 25 gusty knots and travel light with only your favorite 12m kite. You are alone to launch your kite and some Indonesian locals propose to help you. Here some words to avoid crashing in a coconut tree …



If despite this, you still land in the coconut tree …

Ouch !Aduh !InjuryCederaMedecinesObatHospitalRumah sakit


Now, let’s move backward… you are in the airport with your puffy kitesurf boardbag, and you see the airline staff a bit worried about the size and weight. He/she starts to point out your excess luggage’s (usually 20kg in domestic airlines) – Here some tips to deal with it:

  • Size = Ukuran
  • Weight = Berat
  • It’s okay ! = Tidak apa-apa !
  • Come on ! = Ayolah !
  • Can for free ? = Bisa gratis ?
  • Pleassssse ! = Toloooong !
  • How much the price ? = Harga berapa ?
  • Whatever ! = Tersera ! 


Want some more ? Here we go !


Greeting people

Selamat pagi (morning), siang (lunch), sore (afternoon), malam (evening)


General basics

MadamIbuWhatApaHow are you ?Apa kabar ?
SirBapakWhyKenapaI am goodBaik
WesternerBuleWhatApaThank youTerima kasih


Fauna and flora

BananaPisangCrabKepitingJelly fishUbur-uburHorseKuda



Let’s goAyoBackMundurLeftKiriArriveDatang




… and pay the bill:

  • Money = Uang
  • How much ? = Berapa ?
  • Can i have the bill ? = Minta bill ?


Indonesia has 700 dialects, so you may face some variations in the language spoken, but Bahasa remains the official language nationwide that unite the country.