Kuda Laut

Indonesia: Sumatra

A real soul-surfer boat charter. Experienced crew and excellent value for money.

LowPressure Stormrider Surf Guide says

Simeulue and Banyak Islands, Indonesia, EAST ASIA

Simeulue and Banyak still maintain a frontier status, avoiding the charter boat congestion of the Ments through a combination of lower consistency and spot density, treating smaller groups to some lively waves, including one of Indo’s best rights. The offshore islands of Sumatra are no secret to surfers; the Mentawais attract ever-increasing crowds to it’s feast of barrels and Nias has continued to draw surf adventurers to Lagundri for the last 35 years, but head further north and the path is far less travelled. The remote island of Simeulue is located 120km (75mi) from the Sumatran west coast, where the surprisingly busy town of Sinabang thrives on trading cloves. To the east, and closer to the mainland by 50kms, the Banyak Island group is in the South Aceh Regency, supporting small populations on seven of the bigger islands, while the majority of the others remain uninhabited. Not surprisingly, these “Many” islands have kept off the radar as Aceh’s civil unrest made getting permits difficult until recently. Many spots remain nameless, or have multiple names from the different boat operators that ply these waters, but there’s a wide choice of lefts and rights, ranging from shallow barrels to deeper, long, cruisey waves as well as some good off-season beachbreaks.

 Find more general info about when to go and statistics on the Low Pressure’s Stormrider Guide website.


Nias and Hinako Islands, Indonesia, EAST ASIA

The perfect righthander at Lagundri Bay on the island of Nias was the first world-class wave discovered in the Sumatra region. Nias was first surfed in 1975, by Aussie surf pioneers Peter Troy, Kevin Lovett and John Giesel. They put up with swarms of malarial mosquitoes and the most primitive of living conditions to ride absolute perfection in the jungle. These days, it’s much easier to get to Nias Island and a slew of losmens fringe the deep bay, competing to accommodate the constant stream of surfers. The massive 2005 earthquake tipped the island, lifting reefs in the south with some waves improving and others disappearing. Just offshore in the Hinako Islands, the two super-consistent, crowd-spreading spots have also been affected; Bawa’s bowly rights have suffered while Asu’s lengthy lefts have got even hollower over the lifted reefs.

Find more general info about when to go and statistics on the Low Pressure’s Stormrider Guide website.


Batu Islands, Indonesia, EAST ASIA

Often referred to as the Telos, the 51 Batu Islands have dodged the bulk of the Nias and Mentawai crowds for much the same reason as the Banyaks. There are fewer big name spots and the best set-ups often require stronger swells, usually from the rarer W direction. However, consistent, year-round, headhigh surf can always be found with plenty of fun, easier line-ups that cater to most tastes and abilities. A few surf camps have opened, but for independent travellers, this place is a mission without a boat to get around and it has a reputation for malaria and other diseases. There are flights from Medan and Padang to the small strip at Lasondre on Tanahmasa, plus ferries from Nias, but most of the waves are found on the smaller islands to the NW. Check around and in between the larger islands of Telo, Sipika and the more exposed reefs of Pulau Sigata. Like the Mentawais, refraction brings swell in at unusual angles so don’t discount either end of Pulau Pini during big pulses. Down south on Tanahbala, there are some less frequented breaks with longer travelling times between them especially if going all the way to Bojo. The camps all have their own names for the spots, so it depends on who you travel with, but there is no doubt this group holds some excellent waves and since the equator runs through here, winds are rarely a problem with plenty of glass and a spot for all wind/swell combos.

Find more general info about when to go and statistics on the Low Pressure’s Stormrider Guide website.

PP/Night from US$ 173