Indonesia surfing spots and season
Few places on earth have such rich surf resources as Indonesia. If you were to design a world perfect for surfing, it would look like this amazing cluster of islands in the Indian Ocean
First discovered by travelling hippie surfers from Australia in the 1970s, Indonesia is now a surf-tourism Mecca with a thriving surf industry, contest circuit and surfer infrastructure. On top of that, Bali’s rich Hindu culture, beautiful ceremonies and festivals, add a vibrant color to what would be in many other parts of the world, just another surf town.
The surf season in Indonesia is the southern hemisphere Winter, when storms circle Antarctica throwing out long-interval swell to this tropical archipelago. The biggest surf and best winds occur at this time. Indo’s summer still has surf, but not as phenomenal or consistent.
Water temps in Indonesia run consistently in the 80s with very little change through out the year. Weather follows the typical tropical pattern of wet, hot and humid.
There are so many surf spots in Indonesia throughout the many islands, but the top draws are Bali, Lombok, Sumatra.
Bali’s Kuta Beach is the focus point for all tourist action, but 14 kilometres away are the famed lefts of Padang Padang. Lombok is a bit harder to access than Bali, but the gentle waves of Selong Belanak offer tropical perfection. Sumatra is the largest Indonesian island and dotted with surf on its southern end. Just one day’s boat ride from Padang are the famous Mentawai Islands and arguably the best surf found anywhere on earth.
Surf schools and lessons in India
The UP2U surf school in Bali offers 2.5 hour private surf lessons for 32€. The school is sandwiched between Seminyak and Kuta at Legian Beach. They pride themselves on custom tailiored instruction, hosting a 2.5 hour lesson instead of the standard 90 minutes found in most schools. It gives you the extra time to work on exactly what you need to work on for your surfing.
The nearby Bali Green surf school hunts down the best waves for your surfing ability. All lessons come with gear and run for a full 2.5 hours. Single day lessons are 40€ per person, whether it’s beginner, intermediate or advanced.
Surf Camp Lombok is a full service school and camp with skate bowl, yoga, private house equipment and lessons. They are core surfers and proudly announce on their website that they are not a “hipster boutique hotel”. The camp sits on the best beginner break in the area, with some world-class waves just 5-10 minutes away. One week stays start at 790€ per person for housing, meals, yoga, equipment, boat and transport. All you have to do is show up. Bookings run specific weeks so enquire for dates.
Surf hotels in Indonesia: Bali, Lombok, Sumatra
On Sumatra you can learn to surf at the Sumatra Surf Resort, a compound of 14 individual bungalows set on a jungle beach. The central component to this well-manicured resort is the beachside pool. Each room has splendid views of the jungle or the sea or both. Not all rooms have AC, so check ahead of time. A twin share bungalow is 70€ per night.
If you’re an accomplished surfer whose come to Bali, check the Uluwatu Surf Villas, ten luxury cliff front units over looking the famous lefthand waves of Uluwatu. Featuring an Uber-modern pool, manicured grounds and high-end amenities, cliff-front stays in their three-bedroom villa start at 450€ per night.
Indonesia surfing guide and tips prepared by Bryan Dickerson (wavepoolmag.com) for Dailystoke.com’s surf guides.
Photo by Iswanto Arif