Indonesia is commonly referred to as the ultimate surfers paradise. With its massive array of world class waves, eventually every nomadic surfer will find themselves scouring the Indonesian wave gardens for their perfect wave.
The Indonesia culture is as vibrant and versatile as its landscape and natural beauty. The rich Indonesian culture is the result of the influence of the various neighboring countries and its very own ethnic culture.
Banyaks, Telos & Simeulue
Java & Sumatra
One of the world’s most consistent surf destinations, the Mentawai Islands are on every surfers’ dream surf trip – and for good reason. With swells arriving straight from the southern Indian Ocean, the islands offer consistent and high quality waves. There’s always a great wave breaking somewhere!
While there are waves year round, May through September is the traditional peak period, with the south & south-west swells at their largest, averaging head-high to double overhead. Predictably, this is also the busiest time in the water, so plan accordingly.
The shoulder months of February & March, and October & November provide for those looking for more “fun size” waves, ranging 4-6ft. Either way, a poor day’s surf in the Mentawais is still going to be better than most of the year at your home break!
Due to its wide variety of breaks, the Mentawai Islands are one of the few places in the world where almost any type of surfboard you bring will work. Better call your shaper and order up!
We do recommend you throw in booties and a rash vest to your luggage as well – you’ll need them. Water temperatures hang around 28°C (82°F) all year, so pack your boardies too.
Of course, you’ll want plenty of sunscreen, and a decent first aid kit – reef cuts and staph infections are common. Make sure you’re all stocked up on malaria tablets, the region is heaven for mozzies. Before you go, check your fitness too – you’ll be doing some paddling.
Banyaks, Telos & Simeulue
The Banyaks, Telos & Simeulue Islands offer a number of world class waves that will suit intermediate and experienced surfers. There are lefts and rights ranging from long deep barrels; fast and hollow down-the-line peelers; perfect peaks right through to long cruising walls with plenty of time to rip the faces apart.
The waves in the Banyaks, Telos & Simeulue are generally in the head-high to double-overhead range. There are places that handle three-four times overhead conditions. Generally, most people bring a standard shortboard and something with an extra couple of inches, but it never hurts to be prepared for a bigger day, especially in August, which is peak swell season.
The water temperature hovers around the 28 degree mark, so you will only need boardies and sunscreen. Make sure to pack booties because the reefs are alive.
Not much can be said about surfing in Bali that hasn’t already been said, but rest assured, if you haven’t been there yet, it’s only a matter of time.
Bali gets the full force of southern ocean swells direct from the antarctic with its south-west and south-east coasts being littered with surf spots.
Bali doesn't really have an off season with year round waves depending on the location that you place yourself around the island. Read more under Bali destination.
Sumbawa is an Indonesian island, in the middle of the Lesser Sunda Islands chain, with Lombok to the west, Flores to the east, and Sumba further to the southeast.
Some of the best, and most consistent waves in all of Indonesia. On any given day you’ll surf a perfect, clear-water wave with 10 other guys at most. Because it’s so difficult to reach, West Sumbawa generally attracts serious surfers, and is practiced by all.
The best season is from April to October. It's better not to come from November to March but you can find epic surf at the south coast or in Central Sumbawa (Lakey peak). Tides are important and you should have a tide table.
Seasonal swell & wind variations: Swell: S-SW all the year.Wind: SE from April to October. N-NW from November to March
Java & Sumatra
Java & Sumatra make up the main islands of the Indonesian archipelago, and despite being the world’s most populated, they still holds treasures for those willing to explore.
With excellent surf at both ends of Java (G-Land to the east and the Panaitan Island/Cimaja area to the west), one could reasonably expect the remaining 1,000km of south-facing coastline to conceal many secrets.
Water-temps hover around the 28 degree mark. There are a great variety of waves on Java and the gear you will need will depend on what waves you are prepared to surf.
When it comes to surfing this country offers some world class spots, comparable to Indonesia. The wave conditions are consistent and the warm water allows surfing without a wetsuit.
Timor is an undiscovered surfing area, also due to the long lasting civil wars where you couldn't travel the country. Today you can travel to East Timor as well as West Timor but the line-ups are still mainly empty and this even though the waves are of comparable quality to Indonesia. This is due to the fact that the same swells roll on to the riffs, which are also responsible for the waves in Indonesia. The waves are however due to a different ankle slightly weaker. East Timor offers therefore reef spots that are suitable for all levels of expertise. West Timor is a little more well known and a lot more surfers visit due to accessibility. East & West Timor have a variety of world class waves for those of you who don't mind searching.
Thanks to the tropical temperatures you can easily surf all year long without wetsuit. The water temperatures hardly fall below 26 degrees. Also the air temperatures hardly drop below 23 degrees. The freedom to move is therefore guaranteed.
Best season for beginner: October – May
Best season for advanced surfer: May – October
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