Surabaya International Kite Festival

TBC Jul 2017
Long Beach Selatan, Pakuwon City, Surabaya, Java, Indonesia

Two and three dimensional kite flying contests are spread over two days just outside the city on Java's northwest coast.

  • When? TBC July 2017
  • Where? Long Beach, Surabaya, East Java
  • Price: TBC

Usually the first sports that come to mind are the likes of football, rugby, basketball... but certainly not kite flying. Yet in the port city of Surabaya, kite flying is actually considered and valued as a top professional sport. Although in previous centuries kites have been used to co-ordinate military movements, send rescue messages and worship Gods, it appears that having fun with them is now at the top of the list. 

Around 100 competitors from Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Thailand and all over Indonesia battle it out in the skies for the 40 million rupiah prize money. Expect to see collective kite flying, the synchronised movement of close flying craft and rokkaku dako - a more aggressive contest in which competitors have to manoeuvre their kite to disrupt the opponent's.  This is achieved by brute force or by cutting them from the sky using a hemp line coated in glue and powdered glass. It sounds all too serious if you ask us, but entertaining nonetheless.

Sunglasses are a must in order to see the hand painted silks as they duck, tussle and soar above the Java coast. Durable lightweight bamboo frames make the three dimensional kites really stand out. Enthusiastic teams usher giant sharks and towering dragons up into the air. The tournament commences at one o'clock and lasts for three hours, but bear in mind that the weather - particularly windy conditions - has to be right meaning rescheduled start times and dates are common.

Kites are widely considered to be a Chinese invention but what does it matter when you're flying high. If you happen to see people getting a little over competitive, just remember that it is a pro sport after all, and who doesn't love winning?

  • Get there: Fly to Juanda International Airport (SUB) where it's an hour drive to Long Beach.
  • Stay: Book accommodation in Surabaya in East Java.

*We do our very best to verify the dates of our events but please check with the official event provider before booking your flights. We would hate for you to be disappointed!