West Papua Surf Travel Guide
Surfing West Papua means being surrounded by jungle, small tropical ancient limestone islands, pristine waters and lots of little bays that catch all types of swell. This is a real adventure where the rich marine life and curiosity of the remote villagers is almost as big a drawcard as the uncrowded, empty waves. This is unique surf experience and one that will stay with you long after the trip has finished.
What we love
Uncrowded, unexplored surf destination producing quality, yet inconsistent, reef and river mouth breaks
Must see is the World Heritage Site, Raja Ampat, one of the most amazing marine parks in the world
November to March is the best time to visit for surf as the swells and winds in the Indo Pacific are most favourable
Access by boat charter only, however some of the most luxurious Indonesian charter boats service the area
Where to surf
The surf in West Papua has lots of good quality and potential, although it isn’t on the same level as Mentawai and rarely receives as big a swell. Instead, you will find yourself discovering new waves and surfing rarely visited left and righthand reef setups. The breaks are uncrowded, the water warm and the stoke incredible. In such uncharted territory it would be unwise to give away the known surf spots, given how few surfers have ridden them. Suffice to say a selection of reef breaks exist that, on their day, offer empty, warm water perfection. However trips to West Papua aren’t so much about surfing existing waves, but finding new ones. With the Raja Ampat archipelago an endless maze of nearly 1,500 islands, it remains one of the last surfing destinations where this isn’t just a possibility, but a probability.
When to go
The best conditions for West Papua surf are during the wet season, when the swells and winds in the Indo Pacific are most favourable. November to March is best, which perfectly coincides with low season at Sumatra, Mentawai, West Java and Bali. You can expect consistent 2-to-6 foot conditions. There is a good mix of both easy and challenging breaks in this area. Water and airs temperature hover around a consistent 27-29 degrees.
The Indo Pacific boasts pristine waters with rich underwater life, great for snorkeling and world-class diving. You can also kayak in clear, warm waters, discover untouched beaches and meet an occasional local villager. There are no cities here, nor any modern civilization, just quality surf and untouched nature waiting for exploration. Another must see is the World Heritage Site Raja Ampat, one of the most amazing marine parks in the world.
With over 255 million people, Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populated country. Consisting of thousands of islands, Indonesia is rich with tropical oceans, delicious fruits, and impressive volcanoes. Even with the nation’s large population, there are many opportunities to escape the crowds by visiting the country’s outer islands, rainforests, and beaches. Over the millennia, Indonesia has been controlled by many world superpowers – including the Dutch, French, British, and Portuguese. Since the end of World War II, Indonesia has remained a free nation with a constitutional government. Because of this diverse history and mix of religion, culture and language t Indonesia offers a unique experience for any world traveller. If you enjoy respectfully meeting new people, you will undoubtedly find the people to be as beautiful as the oceans.
West Papua bound passengers can transit through Jakarta (CGK), Bali (DPS) or Singapore (SIN) on a variety of domestic Indonesian carriers to Sorong (SOQ). From there it’s a short 20-minute transfer to your charter boat.
Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)