After many many years running kitesurfing trips to places like the Canaries, Morocco, Brazil, Hatteras and Portugal we were looking for somewhere "different", somewhere quiet and preferably somewhere also with waves.
What we found was, well .......all of the above and a hell of a lot more!
It's quite hard to find much kitesurfing information about this part of the world, the video's on youtube are all very old and dated. We eventually found out that there are two main spots...Aseelah and Masirah Island further to the south.
We decided to do just a quick one week recce to try and see for ourselves, fortunately some very good friends had recently moved to Muscat and they were able to offer lots of help and advice, it was also awesome to share a few sessions with them.
The windy season is approx May till early September, during this period it blows and I mean .....really blows and can also throw up some serious swell. Whilst we were on our annual group trip to Portugal I was speaking with our friend in Oman and he'd been blown off the water on several weekend trips to Aseelah, even on the smallest windsurf rigs, there were also regular 3m swells!
We left Heathrow late August not really knowing what to expect, we'd been told stories of sharks, 50 degree temps, bandits and more. A night flight meant we arrived first thing in the morning ready bright eyed and bushy tailed, however neither of us had more than a few minutes sleep so instead we were completely shattered. We'd also been to "Car Fest" the day before and that didn't help!
Once we arrived in Muscat we made our way to the hire car and the first problem! It seems they don't do "hatch backs" here and we could only get a Focus sized car with a boot. This was not a lot of good when we had two huge surfboard bags with 5 surfboards plus a foil board plus way too many kites.
Somehow we managed to squeeze all our kit into every nook and cranny and headed off onto the immaculate high way, only to get immediately lost. Thirty minutes later we were back on the correct road (we think).
Four hours later we arrived at our destination. A random hotel set right on the Arabian Sea beach and alongside a very decent point break.
The next few days were spent riding this point break - on our own!
We wanted to find somewhere quiet, we hadn't expected to be the only people not only kiting but also in the hotel. Safa the very helpful and extremely friendly manager (we had many an evening meal with Safa) assured us it gets busier on the weekend.
By the Thursday a few other kitesurfers started to arrive, all from Dubai and having driven through the night for approx 10 hours. It soon became apparent that the only kitesurfers here were all going to regular ex pats from Dubai seeking decent winds.
Because of the cost of the flights plus the 8 hour flight time it's never going to attract too many of the crew heading to the likes of the Canaries or Tarifa.
This spot is definitely only for those into wave riding though and preferably those used to to decent sized waves also, not exactly the place for twin tips.
Whilst we were there it was a full moon with big tides but this meant the razor sharp reef all along the waters edge was exposed. This made both getting in and out after a session quite a mission (a good pair of reef shoes like Skinners would help)
There is no rescue service here !
We mainly used 7m & 9m Kites although by all accounts it was lighter than normal and during the peak season you'll need a 5m!
Temps were a very sweet 30 degrees or so with a constant cooling breeze. The Hotel is comfy, friendly but very basic. The food was fantastic though as long as you like sea food, always fresh that day and direct from the fishing boats nearby.
Worth mentioning is just how friendly the people of Oman are, truly some of the nicest people you could wish to meet. At first it was a bit overwhelming just how friendly every one was, from the hotel staff to the local fishermen to random people we encountered along the way.
A video from our trip. HERE[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nayJqpHJZFg[/embed]
If your after flat water or more beginner conditions then it's another 4 hours or so further down the coast to Masirah Island which apparently has it all, flat water lagoons, waves etc etc
That will be on our next trip!