There are lots of ways to have an Indonesia surf trip these days, and each mode has its merits. If you want to live the high life, there are expensive luxury charters, if you’re a simple outdoorsman then there are the land camps, and then there’s “going feral,” where you pretty much discover Indonesia, and the swells she has to offer, on your own.
You can make sure you do the Indonesia surf trip that’s most suited to your lifestyle and tastes if you engage in this one activity…
There are a ton of things to do before your Indonesia surf trip: get visas, vaccines and travel insurance to name a few, but the fun begins only when you actually surf Indonesia. Travel agents recommend that you travel to Padang in Sumatra via Singapore. Pack as light as possible, because you will be spending most of your time on the water. Most charter boats have games, diving gear and other activities, but the main focus is always on surfing.
Indonesia is possibly the most celebrated surf destination in the world, and your Indonesia surf trip would not be complete if you don’t surf Mentawais Islands. The better known spots include 4 Bobs, a short, playful right hander, Bankvaults, a thick, barreling left punctuated by a shifting lineup, and A Frames, one of the most consistent lefts in the Mentawai Islands.
Another must-see on your Indonesia surf trip is Sumbawa, a remote island with swell-blessed south and west coasts seldom visited by anyone except people on surfing trips. Sumbawa is a core destination, offering heavy world-class barrels, typically lefts over sharp coral reef, all lying in a different swell window than that of Bali or the Mentawais. The remote marquee breaks can be a bit crowded since there are several surf charter boats operating around Sumbawa, but hardly anyone surfs the island’s ultra-remote, unmapped south coast.