Surfing has been an integral part of indonesia beach life for decades, with many of the country’s world class braks attracting pro surfers and adventurous beginners from around the world. As many travelling surfers have discovered, Lombok is right up there with the best indonesian surf spots and surfers have been coming here to ride sercet waves since the 1980’s.
Lombok has been in the limelight for its top slass waves for the past 10-15 years now as a less crowded and more rewarding alternative to bustling Bali. Spots like desert Point, (on its day perhaps the best left hand wave on the planet) with mechanical, perfect hollow waves to be had, is a world beater and just one of many waves to be had in Lombok Initially there was a small band of hardy locals who made up Lombok’s hardcore surfing community 15 years ago with little or no equipment.
They simply made the best of limited resources-improvising or repairing broken boards left behind by travelling surfers. Reflecting back to those days, life was less complicated and similar to surfing back in the 1960’s where everybody hooted and sdang in the waves. Inevitably, life moves on, ans times have changed.
Surfing Lombok has moves on as Lombok has developed as a globally renowned destination in its own right. as with its tourism intractructure in general, Lombok (thankfully) is still some way behind Bali as a surf destination. There is a handful of small independent surf shops with a limited supply of surfboards, a few surf wear stores and a more relaxed surfer vibe in bars and safes.
What Lombok does not lack however is world slass waves. A growing band of Lombok surfers are developing their own styles in long hollow barrels that they almost take for granted as everyday waves. These lucky Lombok surfers don’t see what all the fuss is about when travelling surfers go crazy at the sight of these awesome waves.
since the construction of the new international airport (located just minutes from the surfers’ haven of Kute-Lombok) surfing Lombok just got so much easier. it is just a three-hour flight from Perth, Australia for example. It as transformed surfing in Lombok almost overnight, with crowds in spots that never existed before.
Lombok has a wide variety of reef breaks from small consistent swells to sizeable barreling waves suitable sor all abilities.
Places like Grupuk in the south of Lombok offer an enjoyable boat ride across the bay to surf easy waves suitable for the beginner. All around Kuta there are lots of good waves to be had at Air Guling and Seger to name just two, just a short distance from kuta Lombok. kuta-not to be confused with its more famous namesake in Bali- has a wealth of places to stay from budget backpacker and surfer-friendly home stay to expensive beach hotels and villas.
Further to the east, Ekas bay has great waves which are uncrowded with long lefts and right.
Heading north up the west coast is Lombok’s premier resort town of Senggigi, with a great right and left reef and a friendly crew of local surfers. Many a good board has been broken at Senggigi reef S.3.G as it is known locally. Senggigi can have flat spells but when turns it on-now!
Further north along the coast are the well-known Gili Islands, offering good waves and a party atmosphere, or tranquility depending on which of the three Gili Island you stay at. Gili Air is the best for surfers from May each year in the season.
The jewel in the crown of Lombok surfing is without doubt Bangko Bangko, known globally as Desert Point. This wave is simply outstanding and not really not for novice surfers. With barrels so long and perfect, once you are inside one, time seems to stand still. of course waves this good do not stay a secret for long and it attracts top surfing pros from around the world. it is located in a fairly isolated corneo of south west Lombok that takes time and patience to get thre, so generally attracts only real hardcore surfers loooking for the perfect wave.
There are other secret spots to be surfed in Lombok and if you are fortunate to be taken to one of these by local then enjoy, but keep the secret to yourself.
For the travelling surfer, it goes without saying that travel insurance is a must. Although Lombok hospitals have improved greatly over the years, it’s important to be covered in case of an unexpected injury, especially if it requires a medical transfer to singapore or Bali. Let’s face it, you surf on coral reefs here, and anybody that surfs reefs will tell you they hit the reef at times or as the locals call it-going throught the blender. booties are good to stop feet getting cut walking on reefs, and bringing spare leg ropes and fins is good idea.
Lombok has warm tropical surf without the crowds of Bali and life is at a much slower pace, hopefully we can keep it that way Enjoy-surf’sup!