Surfers regularly day dream about their next surfing destination; consistent swell, crystal clear water, no crowds and an endless Summer. These days, this can be hard to find : the world is a much smaller place, with travel being so accessible to so many people. Often, surf travellers end up in places like Bali and Lombok in Indonesia; they’re accessible, cheap and tropical. But if you’re looking for a destination that can offer the experience of a life time then Sumatra is the place to visit, you’re guaranteed waves that you’ll day dream about endlessly !
Sumatra is a large Indonesian island west of Java and south of the Malay Peninsula. Avid surf travellers have been visiting Sumatra for decades, but due to its remote location, it has been out of reach for the average surf traveller. Now with improved air travel and plenty of new surf camps and boat charters, Sumatra is the gateway to every surfers’ wildest dreams.
The ideal time to visit is between March and November with consistent 6-12ft (~1.8 à 3.5m) swell, and 3-6ft (~1 à 2m) swell the rest of the year. The surf is generally suited to intermediate and advanced surfers, however there are some breaks suited to beginners.
The main surfing regions are the West coast as well as South Sumatra. South Sumatra has countless world class surf spots, reaching about 1 hr each way of the main town, Krui. With a rugged, untouched coast line and a choice of top-class breaks, this is a region you don’t want to miss. The most consistent and best all-round wave in this area is Karang Nyimbor (or Ujung Bocur), a reef break with a long 3-10ft left-hander that can break over 300m on the right swell; it produces barrels at the top of the reef before rolling into long carving sections and is suitable for most levels.
The West Coast consists of numerous islands and many sick surf spots, a bit harder to get to (and a bit pricier) but worth the effort. You will find loads of surf boat charter companies on the mainland offering trips to the islands, which has made these spots much more accessible.
This cluster of islands is made up of Mentawai, Telo Islands, Banyak Islands, Simeulue and Hinako Islands – Nias. Visit all or select one, you’re guaranteed satisfaction with endless, world class swell.