Are getting sick of your local beach that’s becoming more crowded by the day? Wondering whether there still exist places with uncrowded waves that you can have just for yourself, without waiting in the lineup for too long? We did the homework for you and travelled around the world to discover new frontiers – places with absolutely nobody around, only yourself and your friends in the water.
There still are places where none of your friends went before so you will be the first. Spots with breaks being discovered as you read this blog and local people and culture still untouched by the western culture. Remote islands where you can surf, take awesome pictures, eat fresh local food and absolutely forget about your busy schedule for a week or two!
For this to happen, you will need to get off the beaten track and perhaps take on an extra flight or a boat trip to get there. In some other cases, there may be restrictions on the number of surfers to keep breaks uncrowded, but others may just be far enough away from the commercial areas and frequently travelled paths that only those with a sense of adventure bother going there. Many of these places also do not advertise heavily so they don’t get too crowded or just want to protect their local culture.
Whatever the reason of their remoteness is, these places are just slowly starting to appear on surfers’ maps and we at The Perfect Wave spent some time researching these new frontiers to offer you something new. We were definitely blown away!
Indonesia – surfers’ Mecca.
Besides Mentawai Islands and Bali area, this country has plenty of other great surf spots – hidden gems, waiting to be discovered. Just off Java lies Panaitan Island, home to an isolated population of wild deer, tigers, panthers, snakes and numerous other forms of rare and endangered wildlife. Most of the surf breaks around the island are only accessible by boat and you won’t see many of them around. Just Dreaming is our operator in the area and they have received some raving feedback from our previous clients – please see more in the blog. They have excellent Aussie and local crew and the boat is a great value for a group of about 8 surfers – just fly in Jakarta and they will take care of the rest! If you travel to Bali instead but still want to get away from the crowds, jump on Indocean who offer you good-value 7-night surf trips that will take you up to Lombok, Gili Islands and Sumbawa.
If you want to travel within a smaller group and are happy to travel even extra distance to South Sumatra between March and November, newly-open Damai Bungalows lie close to several excellent beach breaks in the tropical setting. They do take care of everything once you land in Jakarta, so you are being taken care of all the way. If you would like to experience the famous Mentawai Islands and still escape the crowds, WavePark has surfer quotas to make sure your experience is one-in-a-lifetime – check out this blog for more info on this highly recommended resort.
Surf breaks – South Sumatra
- Ujung Bocur – Right out in front of Ombak Indah Losmen and Damai Bungalows, this wave handles most swells and caters to surfers of all abilities.
- Way Jambu – Way Jambu or Sumatran Pipeline, as it’s also known, is one of the most perfect waves around – but for experienced riders only.
- Mandiri – This quality beach break is a 20 minute drive from Karang Nyimbor.
- Osamas – These beach breaks is an ideal learner wave and conveniently close to the camp.
- Bali Village – On its day this left and right breaking wave is a must visit.
- Krui Left & Right – A quality bowly left hander that needs a bit of swell to start to work. Meanwhile, nearby Krui Right is a superb right hander, one of the best in the area but needs a bit of swell to start to work. While at Krui, you can also catch a boat to Banana Island (see breaks out of Drew’s).
- Mosquito’s / The Peak – A heavy peak that offers a short but perfect barrel.
- Drew’s Right – This idyllic right hander is the perfect surf spot if you want to surf on your own as although there are local people around, there are no local surfers. Breaking for approximately 100 metres, this right breaking wave offers a bit of everything – from decent barrel sections to big open faces. Unlike Karang Nyimbor, this wave’s entry (although steep) is relatively easy. Once on the wave various sections are on offer – depending on the size of swell and its direction. The end section will always close out – and can be pretty shallow. This wave breaks year round, but is offshore more in the off season. It faces more south east, but still receives a large amount of swell – as most swells are from the south or south west. The wave breaks on coral reef and therefore reef boots are recommended. Getting out to the lineup is quite straight forward – you just have to time your entry. Coming in can be slightly trickier on a lower tide as it can get quite shallow.
- Jimmy’s Left – 10 minutes from Drew’s, this world class left hander produces endless barrels.
- Jimmy’s Right – A stone’s throw away from Jimmy’s left, but nothing like it if you want heavy sucky barrels.
- Walur – Just a short drive from Drew’s, Walur produces heavy sets of perfect waves.
- Banana Island – Take the short 15 minute boat ride from Krui to ride these two rarely ridden waves that break around the island.
- One Palm Point – is a reef break, marked by a single sentinel palm. It is one of Indonesia’s left-hand wonders. Waves here peel perfectly from outside to inside, barreling the whole way over a shallow bottom that inspires paranoia but creates record-time tube rides. Indeed this is not a place for timid or inexperienced wave riders.
- Apocalypse – is a great surprise because it doesn’t look like much as you approach it from behind, but you will discover a feisty wave that peaks, walls, plumes, and fires. The water is quite deep at the take-off point, but a combination of funneled wave speeds, strong offshore winds and a receptive and stationary reef causes incoming swells to rise fast, hover before hollowing out and then break defiantly.Napalms – a fun barreling left
- Illusions – a right hand point break nearly as perfect as One Palm Point.
- Dave’s Place– fast barreling left
- Crock and Rolls- another classic left hander
- SS- Ideal wave for the natural footer looking for the keg of a lifetime
- There’s also a couple of mellow breaks including Pussy’s (left) and the Bommie (right).
Papua New Guinea – discovering new breaks by the day.
Purely geographically, Papua New Guinea is not the most remote country as it lies right next to Australia and the flight to Port Moresby only takes about 3 hours (from Brisbane). However, its absolutely different feel, landscape, culture and language will make you feel like you are in the opposite side of the world. Also, there are resorts that limit the number of surfers in the area and boats that will take you to possibly unsurfed breaks before you arrived! Just take an extra short flight from Port Moresby to Kavieng in the New Ireland province and one of our operators will pick you up at the airport. Nusa Island Retreat offers a low-impact, eco-sensitive accommodation in the form of traditional island style bungalows. Most of the bungalows are set on the water’s edge an all have great views, surrounded by an unspoilt natural playground which boasts an excellent variety of numerous surf breaks and waves throughout the surf season. Further down the island lies Rubio Plantation Retreat. This bungalow-style resort starts from the beach and goes up into the mountains. There is never a crowd as they limit the number of the surfers to 15 and Shane Clark, the owner, knows the area and the breaks like no other.
If you are a group of mates and can put together a group of 8, PNG Explorer is quite a phenomenal option as the will take you up north to Mussau Island and further, and you will experience yourself what the captain Andrew Rigby meant when he said that they are running out of names when it comes to discovering new surf breaks. Their food is great and the team is really passionate about the service. They were recently featured by Swellnet (see it here) and for more information, please check out our blog. For a smaller group of 1-4, Tiki-Tu catamaran is a comfortable 10-metre vessel owned by a couple of experienced Aussie surfers from Melbourne. Great food, absolute flexibility and surfer quota limits in the area will assure that you will have the best experience.
PNG surf breaks
Kavieng in New Ireland Province has numerous reef breaks which have several good options for surfers who are after a bit of variety. The waves you find below are the well established ones which are known in international surfing communities.
- Pikinini- Extremely fast, heavy barreling, very shallow right-hand coral reef break. Given the right conditions and swell direction, waves can peel for up to 200m. Works best on a low to mid-tide, with a west to north-west swell direction. A mini Kirra. Reef boots are a must.
- Nusa Lefts (also known as Karanas) – Situated across the harbour from Pikinini, Nusa Left is a fast breaking, very reliable barreling left-hander that jacks up out of deep water, with a very shallow end section. It works best on mid to low-tide with a westerly swell direction and an easterly wind. Keep an eye on the outside bomby, as this can also be ridden on the right conditions.
- Nago Island – This picturesque little island has both a left and right-hander. The left-hander is a bit of a wave magnet and very consistent. A great hotdog, fun wave that has a nice tubing inside wall section. Likes low to mid-tide as it can be a bit fat and break too close to the inside ledge on high tide. It does not like too much swell, but can still be fun on a light onshore. This is one of the most surfed breaks in the area. The right-hander on the other side of the island has a very fast, long wall. It likes a mid to low tide, is a little inconsistent, but a great ride when it’s on. Keep an eye on this break when the swell comes up.
- Edmago Island – Edmago is a smaller island situated South West of Nago, in between Nago and Ral. It has a very good quality left-hander, given the right swell and wind direction and is best at mid-tide. The right-hander is also best at mid-tide and can pick up more swell than the left.
- Long Longs – A right-hander, good on a big swell, works best on a mid-tide with a north wind. Long Long is a more forgiving wave than most of the other reef breaks. The water is deeper and long rides, with a nice wall, ending with a hollow bowl section can be had. Good for long boards and mid size fish fun boards and twin fins.
- Ral Island – A small, uninhabited island situated further out to sea. A great place to go if there is no swell anywhere else, Ral attracts more swell than the other breaks in the region. Best surfed on small, clean swells, the right-hander can at times be peaky like a beach break, and sometimes can line up like a point break. The left is not as consistent as the right, but worth checking. Both waves pack a bit of punch once the wave height gets bigger. Ral can also handle more surfers than most of the other breaks.
There are uncountable more breaks on offer in PNG, you can discover these by getting out of the Kavieng area by land or by sea. The other areas have similar surf management systems to Kavieng, so restrictions on surfer numbers are still imposed. Boat charters can often get you to the Islands of St Matthias, the east coast group of islands of New Ireland, and to the Admiralty Islands to the far North West of Kavieng.
- SP’s – A right hander anything from 3ft plus this is definitely a more challenging wave. No bottom turns required take off in the barrel and get spat out into the channel. No more said.
- Gabe’s left – A quality rip able left hander, either log ride on the nose or line up for about 5 turns on a standard ride. A mellow option to SPs which is nearby.
- Feeding ground – A swell magnet looks smaller from the boat until you are in the line-up and a huge set comes through. A deep water left hander, a 50 m ride that has a lot of double up and link up sections to produce a gnarly barrel section or a carve able face. If you end up on the reef there will be plenty of kids on hand to offer a refreshing coollah (young drinking coconut).
- Lookouts- A left for the more adventurous surfer- a not to challenging take-but then time the horse-shoe that bends around the knuckle in the reef, pull in and aim for the tender in the channel.
- Rainbows – A classic long walled left hander that has the best of both worlds with a big long face to tear apart but a quick stall and your locked into a smoking pit. This wave needs a little bit more bite in the swell that many of the other breaks but is a quality left that will impress the most travelled surfer .
- Bonsai – A fast hollow right-hander, that has a friendly weedy bottom. Good for all abilities sit deeper around the point and challenge the fast section or sit a bit wider and pick off the easier ones.
In Part 2 and 3, we are going to have a look at surf breaks and recommended spots Micronesia (Solomons, Caroline Islands), Africa and South America. Stay tuned!
For more information on our product in remote locations without crowds, where you might be the only tourists around, please check out this section of our website. For more questions, you can contact us on 1300 00WAVE or send us an e-mail! We have been there and done that, so we are able to give you personalized information on surf breaks and different operators in the area – we only sell the best!