Indonesia is an archipelago with over 17 thousands islands within it.
Surf travelers sure knows what makes Indonesia so special when it comes to surfing.
Nice weather, friendly locals, good foods, and exotic beaches is just a few of its features.
A little research and preparation will help you to enjoy your visit. You don’t want to get into a crowded place, aren’t you?
So here are some tips for you:
- Indonesia is the largest population of Muslim in the world. Although not an Islamic country, some provinces do use Islamic Sharia law, meaning everyone on that territory should follow the law.
- The basic rule is more about how you dress. Never show your sexy body part in front of people, never. Cleavage, thighs, ass, belly, are commonly forbidden outside beach. If you do this, the locals probably think that you are not respecting their belief.
- Black magic and shaman are still common. So, yeah, don’t mess with the locals. Always smile.
- Generally, surf spots are located in Sumatra, Java, and Bali. You may find a spot in other island, such as Kalimantan (Borneo), Sulawesi, or Papua, but I doubt it will be good.
An extra advice for you:
If you bring more than two boards, you may get problems with custom officials, who might think that you are going to sell them.
Try to keep things simple and minimalist.
And now, after learning some basic rules and tips, here we are with more than 113 top surf spots in Indonesia where lot of surfers, be it beginner or pro, decide to ride their boards, and they are as follows:
1. Gorontalo/Tomini Beach
1. Do’o Island
2. Ndao Island
Greg Nuckols, a member of Global Surfers forum, says,”Nihiwatu is world class. All breaks are tide and swell sensitive.”
5. Rote Island – Homebreak
6. Rote Island – Nembrala – T Land
This is one of the top surf spot in Indonesia, being the crown jewel of Rote Island. As Surfline described, “T-Land is similar in that the long, flat reef is broken into four sections: the Point, the Steeple, Magic Mountain, and Inner Tubes. Because of this, T-Land has a huge take-off area, able to accommodate several surfers.”.
7. Rote Island – Peanuts & Boa
8. Sumba – Kalala
9. Sumba – Miller’s Right
10. Sumba – Wanokaka
11. Sumbawa – Benete
12. Sumbawa – Lakey Peak
As Luke Davis described in SURFER Magazine, “The wave is pretty much a perfect, consistent right and left. As far as spring goes, I like going to Indo because you’ll still get waves at this time of year, but it’s not quite the rabid scene that it is in the summer. However, there isn’t a lot of nightlife on Sumbawa. You’ll have to go to Bali for that. But if you want to surf, then I really recommend checking out this setup.”
13. Sumbawa – Periscopes
The Surf Travel Company, in their website, said this, “It’s a fast, barrelling right-hander that’s best surfed on high tide. It gets a bit ledgey and shallow on low tide. It breaks right into a channel which makes it real easy to paddle back out.”
14. Sumbawa – Scar Reef
15. Sumbawa – Super Suck
According to WannaSurf, Super Suck is “A good left hander, takes a massive swell to break, caps on the outside before sucking out on the inside reef. Short, intense and fickle.”
16. Sumbawa – Tropical’s
17. Sumbawa – Yo-Yo’s
18. Lombok – Belongas
19. Lombok – Bangko-Bangko
20. Lombok – Ekas
21. Lombok – Gili Air
Gili Air is a great place to go with your girlfriend or wife, if she likes a relaxing environment. The nightlife is quite limited, unlike Gili Trawangan.
Accommodations range from the luxurious Hotel Gili Air to comfortable losmen style bungalows at reasonable prices.
Dress appropriately, especially when in town. Don’t show too many skin, consider wearing a t-shirt and shorts.
And for ladies, never go topless!
22. Lombok – Gili Trawangan
Furthest west of the 3 small Gili islands where the shallow fringing reef of the southern tip can serve up fast, hollow, but generally flawed right lines.
Tricky wave to ride and plenty of current so experience required. Needs hefty S-SW swells to clear the coral that is usually frequented by snorkeling tourists.
More a party, couples, chill out destination so don’t expect many waves. Read more at Magicseaweed.com.
23. Lombok – Gerupuk
24. Lombok – Kuta
Krzysztof Jedrzejak from The Inertia says, “Wave quality wasn’t anything surprising, but at the same time, I was so amazed at how empty it was. Perfectly breaking waves with only a few surfers out. Just take a look… it’s sick!”
25. Lombok – Mawi
26. Lombok – Seger
27. Lombok – Senggigi
28. Bali – Airport
29. Bali – Balangan
30. Bali – Balian
31. Bali – Berawa
32. Bali – Bingin
33. Bali – Canggu
34. Bali – Dreamland
“Bali followed. Canggu, Dreamland, Uluwatu, etc. etc. etc. The W and The St. Regis and The Oberoi etc. etc. etc. Bali is perfect and we could have stayed on but had to leave because a Hollywood executive was throwing a party in East Hampton.”, says Chas Smith from Surfing Magazine.
35. Bali – Green Ball
36. Bali – Impossibles
37. Bali – Jimbaran
There are a couple of good surf breaks off the airport which are easiest accessed from Jimbaran Bay. It is too far to paddle out, but boats are easily chartered from the beach in the middle areas of the bay or close to the fish market.
When the surf is rolling here it is very good but it can be a bit unreliable. Read more at Wikitravel.
38. Bali – Keramas
39. Bali – Ketewel
40. Bali – KU DE TA
41. Bali – Kuta
42. Bali – Kuta Reef
43. Bali – Lacerations
As quoted from Magicseaweed.com:
Hard core right with excellent, wide open tube time on offer as the tide floods the sharp, shallow reef. It’s a pitching, air-drop entry from the peak into a straight barrel section then a further sucky bowl as it approaches the channel marked by floating mooring lines that litter the bay.
Not easy, not long and not empty but it’s more challenging than neighbours Shipwrecks and Playgrounds.
Occasionally the lefts are makeable and there are a few more, hollow, ridiculously shallow sections of reef nearby.
44. Bali – Legian
45. Bali – Medewi
46. Bali – Mushroom Rock
47. Bali – Nusa Dua
48. Bali – Nyang-Nyang
49. Bali – Padang Galak
50. Bali – Padang Padang
51. Bali – Pererenan
52. Bali – Playgrounds
According to Magicseaweed.com, this is the most user-friendly spot on Lembongan. It’s an easier paddle, being closer to shore, continues to break at lower tides, is a little bit deeper and offers more wall to work as opposed to the flat out barrels nearby.
The lefts are better with a few lip-bashing opportunities along a tapered wall, while the rights may pitch slightly, but fade quickly.
53. Bali – Sanur
54. Bali – Serangan
55. Bali – Shipwrecks
56. Bali – Uluwatu
57. East Java – 20-20’s
58. East Java – Grajagan/G-Land
As Tim Hain writes in Surfers Village, “With 6-8 foot bombs and spitting barrels reeling down the reef, it was every pro surfer’s dream come true.”
59. East Java – Pacitan
60. East Java – Red Island
61. East Java – Tiger Tracks
62. West Java – Pangandaran
63. West Java – Batu Karas
64. West Java – Cimaja
Cimaja is a popular spot for surfers that want to go pro. Many surfers trained here because of the wave consistency.
As SurferToday.com writes in their website, “Java, the world’s most populous island, offers great surf spots. Waves are consistent, perfect and still uncrowded in many beaches. Cimaja Beach, Panaitan Island, Sawarna, Turtles, Grajagan and Pangandaran are waves where you should take your surfboard to.”
65. West Java – Karang Haji
66. West Java – Ombak Tujuh
The premier ‘big wave spot’ in West Java, Ombak Tujuh is a shifting left-hand peak that barrels off the take-off and reels down the line.
It’s considered the best wave magnet of the Ujung Genteng region, however due to its exposed nature it picks up swells from several directions giving it shifty conditions.
Like all other open, deep water waves a bigger board is recommended to ease the paddle in and make the drop.
Taken from The Surf Travel Company website.
67. West Java – Karang Hawu
68. West Java – Turtles
69. Banten – Apocalypse
70. Banten – Jambu
71. Banten – One Palm Point
SURFLINE.COM write this in their website:
Many Web sites suggest wearing “safety gear,” and more than one refers to surfing there as “reckless.”
But rumors abound that One Palm Point has produced the longest left-hand barrel rides ever …
72. Banten – Pasauran
73. Banten – Sawarna
74. Banten – Tanjung Lesung
1. Mentawai – 4 Bobs
2. Mentawai – Arik’s
3. Mentawai – Beng Beng
4. Mentawai – Bank Vaults
You can see a video about Bank Vaults from SURFER Magazine right here.
5. Mentawai – Burger World
6. Mentawai – Ebay
7. Mentawai – Greenbush
8. Mentawai – Hideaways
9. Mentawai – Hollow Trees/Lances Right
You can enjoy the spot check by SURFLINE.COM right here.
10. Mentawai – Icelands
11. Mentawai – Kandui
12. Mentawai – Lances Left
13. Mentawai – Macaronis
While land-based surf resorts at Macaroni’s and a few other popular Mentawais spots have started to spring up, the most popular way to surf the Mentawais is still by “boat trip,” in which a group of surfers charters a boat for ten to twelve days.
Scores of these surf charter boats patrol the area from March to November every year, each boat containing an average of eight frothing surfers, and the result is often crowded lineups at stand-out breaks like Lance’s Right, Macaroni’s, and Thunders.
But because the Mentawais offer nearly limitless waves, good boat operators will know of uncharted surf spots to sneak off to when crowds at other spots start to build.
14. Mentawai – Nipussi
15. Mentawai – Pitstops
16. Mentawai – Rifles
17. Mentawai – Scarecrows
18. Mentawai – Suicides
19. Mentawai – Telescopes
As Magicseaweed.com writes in their website:
Yet another world-class left that offers more flexibility than most waves in the area. The take-off is steep but not ridiculous and allows entry to a flawless, steady tube section then a whacking wall to a bend in the coral shelf where the next slot beckons.
It’s predictable and rarely pinches, is deeper than other reefs, can peel for 200m and handles the constant traffic of intermediates and experts alike.
When it’s big (up to triple overhead) the outer reef sets rumble in to the entry point with power and purpose – beware of the wide sets pinning you on the reef with it’s swirling currents.
Prefers some W in the swell and mid tide will usually produce the epic sesh.
20. Mentawai – Thunders
21. Lampung – Banana Island
22. Riau – Bono
The Riverbreak magazine describes Bono as :
The tidal bore “Bono” (or “Seven Ghosts”, named after a surf movie about the bore), is a famous surf spot in Sumatra, Indonesia.
The wave in the Kampar River can rise up to 10 feet and travel up to 50 kilometers — in theory you can ride this beast more than one hour.
23. Lampung – Jenny’s Right
24. Lampung – Krui Left
25. Aceh – Lhoknga
26. Lampung – Mandiri
27. West Sumatra – Air Manis
28. Lampung – The Peak
29. Lampung – Ujung Bocur
Ujung Bocur, as described by The Surf Travel Company:
Ujung Bocur, also known as Karang Nyimbor is a playground of a wave located directly in front of the Luxury South Sumatran Surf Camp.
The wave at Ujung Bocur is a very long left-hander that can break over 300m on the right swell. A bit like Uluwatu in Bali, Ujung Bocur can produce nice barrels at the top of the reef before rolling into long carving sections.
It is a very consistent wave that works on anything from a West to South swell and breaks from anywhere between 3 – 10ft+.
30. Lampung – Way Jambu/Sumatran Pipe
The Surf Travel Company described Way Jambu as follows:
Way Jambu is located only 10 minutes away from the Luxury South Sumatran Surf Camp. Also known as Sumatran Pipe, it is a wave reserved for hellmen or the experts.
If you think you are up to the challenge, you’ll find some very deep barrels waiting for you. Sumatran Pipe breaks best between 3 – 8ft, with the bigger being better and putting more water between you and the reef.
31. North Sumatra – Afulu
32. North Sumatra – Asu
33. Aceh – Banyak
Soli Bailey in Stab Magazine says, “We were surfing one of the usual breaks on the main island but made the trek to this outer island one arvo,” says Shane. “The rumour was it’d lost its forms since the tsunami in ’05 but we were stoked we got the little outboard out there. I swam my peli case in over the end of the reef which is a dumb closeout but we got in eventually and it didn’t seem like anyone actually lived on the island. It might not be the same as it used to but the boys still snuck some keepers out there. And no one around!”
34. North Sumatra – Bawa
35. Aceh – Bay of Plenty
36. North Sumatra – Hinako Islands
37. Aceh – Nancala
38. North Sumatra – Lagundri
Sorake Bay is enclosed by the beaches of Lagundri and Sorake, giving it both left and right hand breaks.
Unaffected by winds and tides, the constant flow of waves is perfect for novice and professional alike to practice, play and perform!
Waves are typically 3 to 5 meters, but have been said to reach as high as 15 meters. Some start from as far as 200 meters from the beach, can have up to 5 levels, and even rolls unbroken all the way to shore.
39. North Sumatra – Telo Island
Which surf spot is your favorite? Share with us on the comment section below!