Top 10 Places to Surf in Indonesia

Indonesia is not unknown to many surfers around the world to have many perfect surf spots around its many beautiful islands surrounded by many choices of waves. Be it that you are an advanced surfer or a beginner, you will be sure to 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 in 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:

Surf waves in Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia

Surf waves in Uluwatu, Bali, 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 its entry cave. The full force of wind comes from 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.

-> Find places to stay in Bali at *

Surfing in Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia

Surfing in Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia


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 anymore surf place 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 comes from southern wind as well.

-> Read Bali Travel Guide
-> See Surfing at Kuta, Bali
-> Check out the Best Beachfront Resorts in Bali

-> Find places to stay in Lombok at *

Surf Desert Point, Lombok, Indonesia

Surf Desert Point, Lombok, Indonesia

Gili Trawangan or Gili Air

Two of the three famous Gili Islands in Lombok deserve top places on their own for having own unique surf breaks. Though the frequency is not as good as the other spots in Lombok, this place promises good surf for the experienced surfers if they manage to catch the breaks. Many of the locals come here to enjoy the surf in secret and when in good timing it will swell more than you expect but do be careful as it can be unexpected.

->Guide to Gili Air, Lombok
-> Find the Best Accommodations in Gili Trawangan
-> Read Top 10 Things to Do on the Gili Islands

-> Find places to stay on Gili Trawangan at *

Surfing in Gili Islands, Lombok, Indonesia

Surfing in Gili Islands, Lombok, Indonesia

Sumba Islands in East Nusa Tenggara

In the East Nusa Tenggara, the waves are different 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 in between major breaks. Nihiwatu offers many reefs, bays and river mouths and the waves are just 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 surfer, 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 to offshore for good surf breaks. Best time to come here is also the dry season from April to October for its southwest wind.

Surf Lakey Peak, Sumbawa Island, Indonesia

Surf Lakey Peak, Sumbawa Island, Indonesia

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 the crowd in comparison to places like Bali and Lombok. The dry season of April to October 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 minimal crowd. It has different sections along 2km long point, from hollow walls to shallow and dangerous reef. 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.

Surf G-Land, Java, Indonesia

Surf G-Land, Java, Indonesia

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 like E’bay, Beng-beng, Nipussi and Pitstop. Best time to come here is during the dry season of May to October. Here you can get many islets and flawless reef with sun blue waters, and also offshore winds and spitting tubes. The most choices of places to stay on 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 *.

-> See Guide to the Mentawai Islands, Sumatra

-> Find places to stay on Mentawai Islands at *

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.

Surfing Mentawai Island, Sumatra, Indonesia

Surfing Mentawai Island, Sumatra, Indonesia

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 rush to shore. Like Hinako Islands, come here during the dry season of May to October too.

Photo credits from top: Madeleine Holland, Siim Teller, Mike Slagter, Mike Slagter, Edouard Brèthes, Sunova Surfboards, Imanol Sorazu and clogwog

Related articles:
Top 10 Diving Sites in Indonesia
Top 10 Things to Do in Indonesia
Kuta, Bali: Surfing and Nightlife


Author: Rachel

Fascinated by Indonesia, Rachel hopes to bring the best Indonesia Travel Guide to independent travelers so that they can enjoy what Indonesia has best to offer. Being an independent wanderer herself, Rachel knows what it takes to make a good, fun-filled yet responsible independent traveling. So let’s join her to discover wonderful Indonesia together. Google+

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