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The minimum recommended age is 14 years

Nihiwatu

Nihiwatu

Sumba Island, Indonesia

Surf

The Nihiwatu left, which is translated as ‘God’s Left’ is located in Sumba, one of the most remote islands in Indonesia. There, in a remote place where few have been, breaking one hundred metres away from Paha Beach is one of the most beautiful places and lefts in the world.

Nihiwatu is a very consistent wave and its exposed reef benefits from any swell that forms from the Antarctic latitudes in the Indian Ocean. You can be sure that if there aren’t any waves at this left, then there won’t be any at all nearby, and you can also be sure that if there’s a good quality swell in Sumba, Nihiwatu is the best spot to be, some now called it the Macaronis in the south of Indonesia. To get there, the easiest way is to fly from Bali’s domestic airport to Tambolaka airport in Sumba which is an hour and a half away from Nihiwatu. Once you’re there, the only option is to stay in the Resort which is under the same management as the whole island, meaning that you’ll share your sessions with no more than ten people.

This type of environmental management is quite a controversial topic in today’s surfing and there are many people who are against it, believing that it doesn’t respect the principals of the sport. In response to this, the Resort management and the Sumba Foundation opened its doors to show everyone all of the mechanisms of a program that is directed at improving the lives of the local population without affecting the roots of their culture. They defended sustainable development and social conscience based on the equal distribution of the benefits to make the most of the available resources. This reason makes the cost prohibitive, which is frustrating for most surfers, and the only consolation is that the funds go to medicine, education, water, food and work for all of the local community.

nihiwatu-surf

Conditions

It’s a fast wave like any other Indonesian reef break and it starts to work with four feet, properly with more than six. Although the tides there don’t change much, you should be aware at the times of spring tides when the conditions can change noticeably as at low tide the take-off zone collects a lot of water making the drop a little more critical and if it’s a good size you won’t be able to do manoeuvers unless you’re fast.

With low tide, you need to go down the line and with full tide it’s fun and rideable. With the most extreme spring tides, only the last section rideable during low tide, and it's the opposite in times of dead tides when the wave hardly changes. From March to November is the most consistent season, and there can even be swells of more than 12 feet. But during these months, it’s important to get up early because the SE winds here are cross-shore and persistent during the midday hours. This complicates the ride but the wall keeps its shape and even sometimes produces good barrels.
Optimal Conditions
  • Wave
    Left
  • Wind
    NE
  • Tide
    All
  • Swell
    SW - S
  • Bottom
    Coral reef
  • Size
    3 to12 ft
  • Time of year
    From March to November
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