Top 10 Places to Surf in Indonesia
Indonesia is not unknown to many surfers around the world to having many perfect surf spots around its many beautiful islands surrounded by many choices of waves. Be you an advanced surfer or a beginner, you will surely find a place to surf here.
Many surf travelers will come to Indonesia for its perfect surf breaks, white sand beaches, warm and sunny weather, and local friendly people. This is almost a perfect setting to make Indonesia an ultimate surfer’s paradise.
The swells come from the south and southwest of Indonesia, so all the coastlines facing these directions will get a good amount of waves to surf. This includes places like Bali, Lombok, Java, Sumatra, Flores, Sumbawa, Sumba, and Timor, just to name a few of the thousands of islands in Indonesia.
Let’s take a look at the Top 10 Places to Surf in Indonesia:
With as many as 100 surf spots in Bali, it can be best known for surfing in Indonesia, not just because it is the main tourist place in Indonesia. Bali is known for surfing places like Padang and Uluwatu, which is famous for their entry cave. The full force of wind comes from the southern ocean swell therefore, its southwest or southeast coasts are dotted with many surf spots. Come during the dry season from June to September for perfect surf conditions though this is also the peak season, so be prepared for the crowd.
Next to Bali is the less crowded Lombok but no less in beauty. This may be your answer to perfect surf without fighting for space. One of the famous secret yet not so secret any more surf places is The Desert Point. There are good surf breaks here in surf spots like Mawi, Mawun, and Point X along the southern coast of Lombok. The best season to come here to surf is from April to October, and the swell also comes from the southern wind.
Gili Trawangan or Gili Air
Two of the three famous Gili Islands in Lombok deserve top places on their own for having their own unique surf breaks. Though the frequency is not as good as the other spots in Lombok, this place promises good surf for experienced surfers if they catch the breaks. Many locals come here to enjoy the surf in secret, and when in good timing, it will swell more than you expect but be careful as it can be unexpected.
Sumba Islands in East Nusa Tenggara
In East Nusa Tenggara, the waves differ from the rest of Indonesia. If you don’t mind the basic setup of this place, then you will be rewarded with high-quality waves between major breaks. Nihiwatu offers many reefs, bays, and river mouths, and the waves are insane. Go during the dry season of March to October for the Indian Ocean swells, which can be up to 12-15 feet high from the southwest direction. The wind here does not blow consistently, though, unlike Bali nearby.
Sumbawa Islands, Lesser Sunda
Finally, an excellent surf place for all levels of surfers, this site gives a massive swell to break before sucking out on the inside reef. Located east of Lombok, you may find it less touristy and more space for you to surf. Go offshore for good surf breaks. The best time to come here is the dry season from April to October for its southwest wind.
Panaitan Islands in West Java
At West Java, facing the southwestern wind from the Indian Ocean, Panaitan offers one of the best waves in Indonesia. You will find good waves here with less crowd compared to places like Bali and Lombok. April to October dry season is the best time to come for reliable surf breaks. The surfing spots like Apocalypse in Panaitan Islands had been touted to be epic, where if you score this place, you will get tubed.
Grajagan (G-Land) in East Java
Another epic surf place that many people love, where it is touted to be adventurous with a minimal crowd. It has different sections along 2km long point, from hollow walls to shallow and dangerous reefs. G-land also has world-class barrels on lower tides and bigger days but be careful of sharp reefs at the break, therefore, booties are a must. It is also known of its consistent offshore trade winds.
Mentawai Islands in Sumatra
At the West of Sumatra, the Mentawai Islands have the most consistent surf breaks in Indonesia, making it one of the preferred choices for serious surfers. Surfing spots here include E’bay, Beng-beng, Nipussi, and Pitstop. The best time to come here is during the dry season of May to October. Here you can get many islets and flawless reefs with sun-blue waters, offshore winds, and spitting tubes. The most choices of places to stay on the Mentawai Islands would be on the big island of Pulau Siberut *. You may also find some remote and luxurious choices at Sipora Island, for example, the Simakakang Villa *.
Hinako Islands in North Sumatra
Remote location that takes you into the deep water trenches which funnel in the southwest Indian ocean swell. Here choose Asu or Bawa for its reputation for consistent overhead surf. You get surfing on outer-islands reefs and crystal clear water. Come here in between May to October during dry season for the best surfs.
Nias Islands in West Sumatra
Nias Island is famous internationally as a surfing destination with the famous Sorake Bay. This place provides both left and right-hand breaks. Although it saw fewer travelers due to the earthquakes in 2004 and 2005, it had picked up again in recent years, and as always, the waves still rushed to shore. Like Hinako Islands, come here during the dry season of May to October.
|1. Book the best accommodations – Booking.com* or Agoda.com *|
|2. Find the cheapest flight options that suit you – Omio.com * or 12Go.asia *|
|3. Rent a car in advance and make your trip more convenient – Rentalcars *|
|4. Make the most of the time that you have! Exciting excursions, professional guides, and more – Klook *|
Photo credits from top: Madeleine Holland, Siim Teller, Mike Slagter, Mike Slagter, Edouard Brèthes, Sunova Surfboards, Imanol Sorazu and clogwog