Riding Indonesia’s Best Breaks

By John Reality, Cambodia, November 2011

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Diehard surfers don’t need to be told that Bali is a Mecca for the sport, but the point bears repeating nonetheless. It’s difficult to overstate the quality, accessibility and affordability to be had on the beaches of this Indonesian island paradise and its nearby neighbors. An excellent destination for experts and beginners alike, the world-class breaks in Bali, Java, and Nusa Tenggara offer challenging wave shapes and soft sand beach breaks that are perfect for advanced practitioners as well as first-timers looking to tackle the white water with a long board without being dashed on reef, rocks, or other obstacles.

Bali’s Bukit Peninsula is well known as the best place to find both epic breaks and massive crowds, and Padang Padang is its epicenter. Nearby Desert Point on the island of Nusa Tenggara is equally mythic in the annals surfing lore, its lengthy left-hand break offering nearly endless tubes when all conditions are right.

Java is hardly an island to be overlooked, even considering the qualities of its Indonesian counterparts. The famous “G-Land”, accessible by charter boat from Bali, features astonishingly consistent and lengthy rides. Following the tsunami of 2004, the Sumatran right break at Nias has purportedly improved, which is saying something considering the reputation it enjoyed prior to the disaster.

It’s important to note that many of the aforementioned spots require a high level of skill to engage them safely, but novices needn’t fear, Bali, Java, Sumatra, etc. are peppered with less than nerve-wracking breaks that are perfect for learning and/or perfecting your skills.

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