After a short trip to Krakatau, I went to Nias for a week of surfing. What better way to celebrate my 30th year around the sun?
Doing business in Nias
The local businesses come to you, whether it’s for coconuts, oleh-oleh (souvenirs), ding repairs or massage. All meals were also delivered to our hangout area on the second floor. For that reason I didn’t leave the house, unless for surfing, for the first four days in Nias. The locals are friendly and polite, and they were very grateful every time we bought something. They never gave up selling us things, some of them hung out outside our place for hours, even after the deal was sealed. Seems like time has a different value here.
Giving back to the reef
I would not recommend this place for beginner surfers. It’s not impossible for beginners to surf here, but there’s a lot of places more beginner friendly and easier to get to. First of all it takes a long time to get here, even starting from Jakarta. We had to fly up to Medan, change to a small Garuda Explore flight over to Gunung Sitoli, then drive for three hours down to Lagundri Bay. To get to the ocean you need to do a painful walk across the exposed reef, but then the paddle out from the “key hole” in the reef is actually very pleasant. The water is completely see-through, so you’ll get a good look at the reef while waiting for the waves to roll in. Expect to get close contact with the reef at some point…
These are some of the sacrifices we made for the reef during the week: A couple of fins fell off, a lot of fiberglass (surfboard material), and some skin and blood. What we got back was a lot of fun waves. A fair trade after all.
A perfect wave
The Point in Lagundri Bay has been voted the best right hander wave in the world. When it’s on, which is often during high season, you can get epic barrel-rides here. This is the low season, so we found waves more suitable for kook level surfers like us. The swell rolling in was about 2 ft during the whole week, resulting in some of the best waist to head high waves I’ve ever surfed. Some of us got the longest/best waves of our lives. At times it was more crowded than expected considering how long it takes to get here, and the lack of other things to do in the area.
Surfing in Nias was an important item on my Indo bucket list, and I think this was the perfect timing for checking it off. Super excited I got to share this surfing experience with such an awesome crew! Spending the last week of my twenties there, I was kind of hoping to get properly barreled for the first time too. It didn’t happen, so I guess I have to come back. I still have some exciting surfing adventures left on the list, and also some reruns.
Terima kasih, Nias.