SUMBA ISLAND SURFING
Being on Sumba you can experience one of the world's more
challenging surfing waves close to the hotel. Kerewe, Marosi
and Dasang are beaches facing south intothe Indian Ocean and
therefore the surf is very consistent.You will be a
forerunner for those spots that still few people have
Located in the Lesser Sunda
Island chain in Southeast Indonesia, just a hair east of
Bali, Sumba is a beautiful island with a rich cultural
tradition, and is home to world class waves. Not highly
accessible, it's not on everyone's hit list. As with
other surf destinations in Indonesia, it is blessed with
great surf much of the year, particularly April through
WEST SUMBA SURFING
NIHIWATU AND SURFING
Nihiwatu is a destination for surfers to bring their
partners or families and do whatever they want in style
and serious comfort.
is situated on one of the premier lefts in Indonesia,
and the resort restricts the number of surfers booked
into the resort to only 9 at any one time.
There is no doubt that Nihiwatu is one of the top waves
in Indonesia and the world. The professional surfers who
have visited Nihiwatu over the years have attested to
this. There have been several surf movies made here with
the arraignment of the owners and with the agreement
that the filmmakers and photographers would not name the
Nevertheless the word has leaked out and now there is a
cult following of surfers who know about Nihiwatu. In
some circles Nihiwatu has already achieved legendary
Just 100 yards off of Nihiwatu beach is one of the
world’s most perfect waves. Guests of ours have the
added benefit of riding, or just watching, the
incredible surf breaking on the reef directly in front
of the resort.
Nihiwatu faces southwest into the Indian Ocean and is
ideally suited for picking up swell arriving from
thousands of miles away; the surf here is very
consistent. If the surf is flat here you can be sure it
is flat just about everywhere else in the archipelago.
Many professional surfers have visited Nihiwatu over the
years and several surf movies have been filmed here
featuring the 1999 world surfing champion Mark Occhilupo.
If you are seeking large double overhead surf the best
times are during the months of May through October on
the full and new moons. In between those times we often
have perfect waves in the three to six foot range.
THE WAVE AND THE REEF
The wave breaks from deep water onto a shallow reef
directly in front of the resort, tubing from start to
finish. It is thick and steep on the takeoff and sucking
a lot of water up the face. Nihiwatu is one of the
fastest rideable waves anywhere, taking only six to ten
seconds to travel the 250+ yard length of the wave.
This is not a hot dogging wave, it is full on
down-the-line surfing. One slight mistake and you
probably won't make it to the channel. Nihiwatu breaks
best at 4' and above and the bigger the swell the better
the wave becomes. 8' to 10' swells are common here and
there are usually several 12'+ swells each year.
The coral reef is relatively surfer-friendly. The coral
is pounded flat by the waves and hitting the bottom does
not necessarily mean getting cut. In fact over the past
twelve years there have been very few surfers with reef
cuts and no serious injuries.
The wave breaks 80 yards off the beach and ends in a
deep channel. The setup is ideal and paddling out
through the channel is easy without having to punch
through the waves at all. If you do not make the wave
the sweep of the water over the reef will push you back
into the channel very quickly.
Tides in Indonesia change only about three feet during
neap tides and up to 8 feet during the full and new moon
periods. The wave at Nihiwatu has different
personalities depending on the tide. At extreme high
tide the wave is fuller and much easier to ride, perfect
for surfers who are not accustomed to fast tubing waves.
On extreme low tide, during the full and new moon
periods, the wave breaks onto dry reef and is un-rideable
except for the 50-yard end section. These extreme tide
periods occur four days before and three days after the
new and full moons. It is during these periods that surf
can almost be guaranteed at Nihiwatu.
Typically the novice surfers go out at high tide with
the accomplished surfers preferring to go out for the
two to three hours of mid tides on either side of the
high tide. That's when its serious tube time at Nihiwatu.
During the neap tides the change is minimal and does not
affect the wave at all, one can surf all day on the high
and low tides. These really are the optimum tides,
providing there is swell.
Nihiwatu resort is protected from the prevailing
crosswinds during the months of March to December.
Unlike Bali, the trade winds do not blow day and night
and for months on end. There can be periods of strong
wind for four or five days then followed by very light
wind conditions, even when it is blowing hard in other
parts of Indonesia. Generally the peak winds will occur
during the months of June, July and August although we
have experienced a whole month of July with no strong
winds at all.
When it is blowing hard the wave will be affected. Not
by the wind on the wave, which is cross shore on the
take off and offshore on the last half of the wave, but
by a wind swell that comes from outside of the point and
crosses the face of the wave during take off. It makes
for tricky take offs, but once on the wave the face
cleans up nicely and keeps tubing.
Even during the peak wind conditions the wind will be
offshore in the morning
before turning side shore by around 10am. During the
worst conditions the wave will become blown out between
12:30 to 2 pm. This does not happen regularly but when
it does then its time to try other activities like
horseback riding on the beach, fishing and scuba diving,
bird watching, mountain biking, trekking to a waterfall,
relaxing at the pool or having a massage at the Jungle
EAST SUMBA SURFING
SURF SPOT IN EAST SUMBA
point break-like lefthander is the most consistent
wave here. Works on all tides except max high and breaks
eventually onto sand. Miles of beach break from here.
A wedgy left that accelerates and builds in size
down the line , truly lives up to its name.
Good lefthand barrel breaking along bend of reef
into the main channel. It needs a six-foot swell to
start breaking and is surfed at higher or dead low tide.
Manggudu Island waves
The island sits
on the edge of very deep water and the waves can get
very big. The western tip has a left and eastern a
righthander. The left is a swell magnet with the dry
season trade winds blowing offshore. Consistent overhead
surf, bring a gun.
The reef is large and the wave is best described as
"sunset-like". After peaking, it will bowl through
hollow sections or just wall off right from the
take-off, depending on swell direction. Can handle very
long wave that wraps all the way around the eastern tip
of the island. Mellower wave than the left, but longer
and hollower. Wet season wave, but you might get lucky
on some mornings during the dry season before the winds