The Waves of Southern Lombok
Indonesia is Surfing’s Disneyland
Without a doubt, Indonesia is a surfing Mecca. Ever since Michael Peterson carved those Uluwatu lines past the lens in the Morning of the Earth, Indonesia has been on the very top of every traveling surfer’s bucket list. No one will deny that Indonesia’s waves are some of the most powerful, hollow, and intimidating that exist. Coral reef, steep take offs, and big open barrels attract some of the best surfers in the world, but what about the rest of us? Is there a place in Indonesia for your everyday female surfer?
Once upon a time, I woke up at 6 am and looked down from my cliff top accommodation at Bingin beach on the Bukit Peninsula in Bali. Out on the reef, perfect 3 foot left-handers rolled through as no less than 40 little black dots bobbed up and down waiting for a wave. I watched as surfers burnt each other causing the surfer in position to straighten out and face hitting the reef. I watched paddle battles that were only moments away from turning into full blown screaming matches. That day, I booked a ticket to Lombok.
Most of us crave warm water, world class waves, and a side of nasi goreng but we don’t want to be scared out of our wits, get into an argument or get injured! We want to be pushed out of our comfort zones and able to score some of the best waves of our lives but fighting with crowds for waves that break over sharp coral reef is not our cup of tea.
Luckily, there’s over 17,500 islands in the Indonesian archipelago. Scattered across the Indian Ocean are numerous waves that suit women with Sea Hearts to their core.
But This Why Out of the Over 17,500 Islands, We Chose LomboK…
First of all, it’s a great starting point begin journeying further field from Bali. Just a twenty minute flight to the east, Lombok’s proximity is complimented by its variety of different surfing options.
From the airport, you’ll wind through villages, past mosques, and down to the southern coastline. The area surrounding Kuta is home to a series of huge bays offering protection from the relentless surf that pounds the coastline from the south. Conversely, when the surf is small, you can drive to the outside of these bays and take advantage of their non-sheltered position. This creates an opportunity for the enterprising, time-rich surfer.
The trouble is most of us don’t have much time. Without local knowledge, we might waste our precious holiday time checking spots that are too big, too small or too windy. Due to the geography of Lombok, these waves are located quite a distance a part. Driving to the wrong spot for the conditions can be a waste of half of your day or more.
That’s why we’ve got local guides who know the spots and the best winds, tides, swell, and direction for each one. We’ve also chosen the end of March for a reason: the wet season is consistently the best time of year for favorable winds.
One of thing that makes Lombok great for Intermediate surfers is that it is a lot less competitive than places like Bali or Lakey Peak. Admittedly, some spots can be crowded but a lot of people come here to work on their surfing. That means that there are fewer people being aggro, snaking, or intimidating other surfers and more stoked vibes.
Oh yeah, we also just love the atmosphere in Lombok! The people are incredibly friendly and gracious, the beaches are exquisite and there’s a real innovative, start-up spirit among Kuta’s Eat Street and small businesses.
Waves We’ll Be Surfing in Southern Lombok
Segar: Right and lefts located near town and on the outside of Kuta Bay. Surfed on small swell by all levels of surfers including lots of local groms but be careful on low tide as it is a reef break. Also a great place to watch the sunset! Located 5-10 minutes from Kuta.
Tanjung Aan: Fun right-hand wave for all levels located on famous tourist beach.
Gerupuk: Located about 20 minutes drive and then a 10 minute boat ride to Inside, 20 minutes to Outside waves.
Don Don’s: Don Don is an easy A-frame wave inside the bay that breaks left and right and requires a large to medium swell to break.
Gerupuk Inside: Inside right hander that is often frequented by beginner to intermediate surfers. A very fun wave, but can be extremely crowded.
Gerupuk Outside: Both a left hander that breaks over shallow reef and big, washy right hander. Needs the right swell, not too big and good winds.
Ekas: Similar to Gerpuk, except less crowded. 40 minute drive from Kuta, then a 20 minute boat ride to break so we will make a full day trip to Ekas if conditions allow. Extremely beautiful and desolate terrain. Often uncrowded, you may be on the only boat there.
Ekas Inside: Easy wave, both rights and lefts, good for all kinds of surfers including longboards and SUPs. Requires a big swell to have sizeable waves, but can hold swell up to 12 foot.
Ekas Outside: Outside is a more challenging, bigger left-hander.
Mawi: Located 30 minutes drive to west of Kuta. Mawi is one of the go-to spots all year because it picks up heaps of swell and often has favorable winds. The break changes drastically from low to high tide. You can go left or right. Low tide is best suited for experienced surfers, while high tide on a small day can be enjoyed by all skill levels. The beach itself is very beautiful and nice place to spend the day.
Are Guling: Epic right-hander that needs the right winds (found during wet season) but a far paddle for experienced surfers only.
Selong Balanak: Located about 40 minutes west of Kuta. Beach break perfect for beginners, longboards and those wanting a less powerful wave with a sand bottom. Not very crowded.
"Secret" Spots: Our guides often have little known spots to check when the conditions align.