Our Destinations

Sumatran Surfariis

Over the years Sumatran Surfariis has explored the west coast of Java, in and around Panitan Island, through the Sunda Straits, along the deep bays and points of Southern Sumatra, up along the mighty Sumatran mainland, up to the very tip of Aceh, and out to the many island chains off the Sumatran West coast. We’ve seen it all, and we’ve kept detailed logs of our travels along the way. We’ve also managed to maintain several secrets over the years, and our guests are the only people we share them with.

We have been running trips through the Mentawais’ quiet months for many years now. We have found great little swell magnets to keep you in head high waves between swells while the island chains are virtually empty of surfers. During the busier periods, we travel farther afield, anchoring near empty lineups while the other boats fight for position. Ultimately, our guests have the first choice as to destination, but our skippers are very experienced and always offer their expertise before and during a trip as conditions can change daily.

You won’t find many names of waves listed on our site, but you will visit waves that have many names. We have spent thousands and thousands of days in the islands, and we ask that you trust us on the details to help keep it quiet. We have a great history with the locals, and we have been at the forefront of providing aid to many of the villages.

  • Mentawai Surf Destinations

The Mentawais

The most famous surfing region in Sumatra is the Mentawais and for good reason. After years of searching and Google Earthing, no one has managed to come close to finding a stretch of islands that offers more world-class waves so densely packed into such a small area. Within the four main islands and dozens of other smaller islands, there are probably 100 waves that are better than your home break on most days and about 20 will blow your mind.

Starting tours of the Mentawais in 1998, we have seen and surfed some absolutely amazing waves, many of which have never appeared in the hundreds of magazine articles and videos. We’ve also surfed dozens and dozens of waves you’ve likely never heard of or seen footage of. We have seen many different swells, wind, tide variations, islands slowly sinking (and then rising again), waves slightly changing, reefs damaged by anchors, more and more boats, new land camps, new crews, storms, perfect empty lineups, delicious sashimi dinners, electric sunsets, pros busting airs, fringed palm points, Hawaiians calling “best ever,” the odd shipwreck, meteor showers, sea snakes, a booming wood carving trade, sunburns, stitches, stoke, hoots, and more stoke.

A boat trip to the Mentawais changes lives. It opens minds and feeds the soul. The number of quality waves packed into this part of the Indian Ocean is unbelievable and second to none.

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  • Destination Up North Mentawais and beyond

Up North

Sumatran Surfariis started running charters to North Sumatra in 1998. We were one of the first operators to dedicate many months each year to surfing all over the region. By late 1999, we had already explored much of the Telo Islands, most of the perimeter of Nias, through the Hinakos and Banyaks, all around Simuelue, and up to the very tip of the Aceh mainland. By 2000, we were running charters into the north area for seven months of the year, and our season has only expanded in length since.

These days there are some resorts, camps, and other boats visiting the areas, but the crowds are still noticeably less than the Mentawais. The main waves can get busy occasionally, but it’s still relatively quiet, and we have many spots we can sneak off to and surf alone. In general, the Mentawais is considered to have more hollow, mechanical waves than North, whereas North has a few rawer and open-ocean setups with fewer people. With that said, there are plenty of clean, empty line ups up North, and it’s often better suited for surfers who like power and carving opportunities with less concern about hitting the reef.

For standard trip lengths, our Mentawais and North trips are priced the same. This allows you to make a game-time decision as to the destination. In other words, if you’re planning to head North, but the swell, wind, and crowds look better for the Mentawais, we can alter the destination at no additional cost. This flexibility also applies to trips intended to head to the Mentawais that can switch to North at the last minute. The only time we’d charge an additional cost for heading North is if you wanted to go very far up in a shorter time frame.

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  • Mentawais Down South & Beyon

Down South

South is a new frontier we are exploring, and we want you to come with us to discover more. Trips to this area require extra miles and travel time, and there is still a bit of the “unknown” factor. However, with greater sacrifices often come greater rewards. If we score a new jewel in these islands on your trip, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you were truly pioneering and surfing it for the first time.

We do have plenty of experience in this region, and we’re hoping you’ll help us gain even further knowledge. A trip down South is an excellent option for those wishing to try something new or different. Often our seasoned vets come with us on these trips, but they are open to anyone with enough time and an open mind. Usually, we schedule a more extended set of dates. The nightly rate would be slightly higher than our Mentawais and North trips to account for extra fuel and ground travel costs. Our dream is to have a roaming trip where you book flights to Jakarta, and we organize where to meet the boat based on the latest forecasts.

South trips are reserved for full groups who all want the same adventure. We are looking for groups who have a few “test pilots” on them but are also able to trust in our knowledge and advice when surfing new spots. We can provide more details via email if you’re a serious group, but otherwise we’ll stay pretty tight-lipped to keep this charter quiet.

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What our guest are saying…

“Dear Scuzz and Danny, I just wanted to say thanks for an incredible experience on the Mahogany mid january 2016. We had some great waves and great times while aboard. The wave forecast was fair, but Scuzz put us in the most ideal spot everyday. We scored! Uncrowded days at Maccas, Greenbush, Rag’s etc. Amazing!
The crew killed it too. Captain Chap, Shugu, Uncu, Randy, Yanto, and a few others made it easy to transition from surf stoke to bintangs to dinner. We ate epic food courtesy of chef Yanto. It was my first SS mentawai boat trip, but will not be my last!”

Ryan Moran • San Diego, California

“Scuzz, I just wanted to thank you for an amazing trip on the Mahogany last week. Your professionalism, experience, knowledge and desire to get everyone the best waves possible made the trip fantastic and I came home stoked refreshed and wanting to book again for the same time next year. It was also a pleasure to meet your wonderful family and I wish you and them a sensational Xmas and a healthy and safe 2016.

Thanks again Scuzz and I will talk with Turtle early next year about planning our next trip!”

Jim Delahunty • Australia

“hanks SS for the most awesome trip of our lives. 2 weeks aboard Southern Cross with pumping uncrowded surf every single day. All the crew were top notch and became more like friends by the first week. Aki’s 6th sense wave choice, Deddy’s amazing meals, Willy’s tender skills and classic humour, Fery’s attention to detail in every aspect of the boat, and Daniels smooth skills as guide – what a fantastic and talented and easy going guy. I could go on all day. Can’t wait to go back again in a couple of years time and do it all again. Sumwa ini bagus – everything is awesome!”

Dean Dawson • Australia