SURFING IN SUMATRA, THE MENTAWAI ISLANDS, JAVA, BALI, LOMBOK, NUSA TENGGARA
Ask any knowledgeable surfer where the best waves in the world can be found and the answer is invariably Indonesia. This populous country made up of over 17,000 islands and 700 languages is ideally situated at the end of the perfect propagation path for Southern Ocean swells, meaning year-round waves arriving at some of the most famous spots on planet surf. Think Uluwatu on Bali, G-Land on Java, Desert Point Lombok and the myriad of world-class waves found off the coast of Sumatra in the Mentawai Islands. A tropical surfing paradise also requires friendly wind patterns and Indonesia manages to duck the strong Asian monsoon winds, while enjoying weak katabatic winds around the equator, or seasonal trade winds that blow offshore on many swell-exposed coasts. This serendipity has not gone unnoticed and Bali has become one of the world’s most densely crowded surf zones – a large local contingent shares with both global tourists and expats. From this central hub, surfers are striking out by car, bike or boat, searching for a little bit of paradise that has yet to be discovered, in this vast, warm water playground.
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