Learning - Pro
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East Nusa Tengarra (NTT) is quite different from the majority of Indonesia. NTT is made up of 566 islands, of which only 42 are inhabited. The bulk of the population live on the three main islands of Timor, Flores and Sumba. Sumba is geographically, ethically and culturally a border area transitioning between Asia, Australia and Micronesia.
Sitting south-east of Bali, Sumba has a small population and a dry tropical climate. Surf in Sumba is ideal as it has more hours of sunshine than any other destination in Indonesia. The landscape resembles Australia, with scattered small villages and herds of cattle and buffalo. Sumba is off the beaten track. The roads are infrequently used and most hotels are simple, suitable for “Hardcores. There is an exception – Nihiwatu. Nihiwatu is a unique set up. It is a luxury resort with exclusive Use of “Occy’s Left” for hotel guests.
Looking for some Sumba surf? Check Sumba's favourite spots
Occy’s Left works on any size, but the bigger the better, and it gets extremely fast and hollow at low tide.
Miller’s Rights in Tarimbang are probably Sumba’s most ridden wave. Fortunately it is a long right that can handle crowds. The fast, hollow sections split the crowd. There are also softer shoulder sections.
Where to stay
Nihiwatu is an exclusive resort that offers privacy, eco-friendly luxury and comfort. There’s a true world-class lefthander right at your doorstep. It is the perfect place for your honeymoon or a surf holiday with your partner and/or family.
Nestled next to a beautiful 2.5-kilometer long Nihiwatu beach, with a tropical forest and grasslands as a backdrop, this stunning property offers complete exclusivity and solitude. Its world-class beach is protected by cliffs and headlands on both ends.
The waves in the majority of islands east of Bali are generally better early in the season say from March to June, before the strong SE trades really settle in. The best known wave “Occy’s Left is arguably Indonesia’s best uncrowded left. Only guests at luxe Nihiwatu Eco Resort can surf it.
Dry season March – October is prime swell season. SSW and WSW swells average between 4 and 12ft. SE trades can blow out some spots, however unlike in Bali, the trades don’t blow consistently all day, every day. Early and late glass offs are common.
There is a deep ocean trench off Sumba, that coupled with the open exposure to SW swells guarantee plenty of sizeable swell.
The islands of Nusa Tenggara, including Sumba, are peaks of a mostly submerged mountain chain, so the waters immediately off the southwest coast of Sumba are deep and perfect for surf camps. Swell generated in the Southern Ocean or the Indian Ocean approach at full speed and the first thing that swell hits are the coral reefs of Sumba.
That makes Sumba surf powerful and often challenging. The tidal range here is as much as eight feet, which is more extreme than most of Indonesia, and changes the character of the waves every few hours. High tide can be quite user friendly, then 4 hours later the low tide may challenge even advanced surfers. In general, Sumba is for intermediate to advanced surfers.