NIAS, HINAKOS & TELOS :.


Lagundry Bay

An arduous journey is required. From Telukdalam on Nias, get a truck ride or opelet (minibus). It's 13km west and well known. The main wave is at Pantai Sorake, which is littered with losmen accomodation.

One of the world's very best right-handers peels into Lagundri Bay. Once the ultimate surfari destination, Nias has lost it's forefront position in the collective urfer's conscious, but it's still a veritable surf hub, teeming with surfers from across the globe. There are still uncrowded days to be had outside of major European or Australian holiday periods. There is plenty of accommodation, with over 20 losmen, and a heap of watering holes and warungs. Despite all this modernisation, Nias is in a malaria zone, with resistant strains appearing in recent years. Major flooding is possible in wet season, with severely destructive deluges over the last few years. Rip-offs have been on the increase in and around the surf village at Sorake Beach, with attracts a few shady characters.

The Point: Opposite the tower on Sorake Beach, lies the perfect right-hander that we have salivated over in surf magazines since the late '70's. South to South-west swells wrap around the outer headland and unload onto the table reef, bulging and jacking up at the take-off zone. The wave is often an extended barrel from thereon to the finish, and works from 3 to about 12 ft plus. There's a good deep paddle-out channel to the right of the take off-zone. On the inside, smaller forgiving peaks are good for warming up and getting your bearings; this fun wave with few consequences is sometimes reffered to as Kiddieland.

Ihe Machine: Right inside the bay is a perfect left-hand barrel machine requiring very large swell from the south. It's the spot to check when The Point is too big. Most tides OK although full moon high is the most likely to yield quality.

Indicators: Way out the back to the right of The Point is a heavy, current affected, hollow right-hand reef break that's often more exposed to winds. On lower tides this is a dangerous spot, but whatever the conditions, it's for the experienced only. On high tide it is more makeable but still for hell-men.

Hazards; Reef cuts, urchins, malaria, rip-offs. Roads go quite a long way up both coasts, enabling some excellents exploration expeditions. To the west, spots such as Sobatu (for pros only), Northern Secrets, or Lantana Lefts, can be sniffed out with the help of local guides. Telukdalam itself has a couple of valid waves in it's vicinity, including a good right-hander. The locations of these waves is best left vague, in order to sweeten the thrill of finding them.


Hilisataro Village
You can check this area out from Lagundri, hiring a local guide or renting a bike and heading east past Telukdalam.

If there's a solid south swell, a couple of good waves can be found here, notably a right-hand reef/point that get good when winds are either zero or northwesterly. Middle tides best. Not the most consistently big spot, but will often have a wave of sorts.


Afulu Beach
In the northwest sector of Nias. An hour's boat ride from Asu, which is your best approach; you can arrange it from Hinako's Hideway or Patrick's on that island.

This is a perfect reef break left to check when Asu or Bawa are too big. Clearly it needs a solid swell, incredibly well sculpted wave. Whilst it is generally smaller and less heavy than its neighbours, the take-off is critical and the face is beyond steep. A solid board is still useful to get into the wave. Intermediate plus. Semi-consistent.


The Hinako Islands

Located off the west of Nias, this little archipelago is as exposed to swell as you can get. The Hinakos are home to 2 well known legendary waves, and a host of quality reef lefts and rights that you’ll have to scope out for yourself. The keyword here is HEAVY; these spots hold size, are thick, and are suited to expert surfers only. They have become more accessible than in the past although still require major journeying. Accommodation has improved on Asu, where there is a very good surf camp (see back) as well as a couple of less salubrious options. An hour by boat from Sirombu on Nias’ west coast, or charter a 5 hour ride from Telukdalam / Lagundri. World Surfaris or Pure Vacations (see back) can hook you up. As in all parts of Nias, malaria precautions are strongly advised.

Asu

With it’s evocative palm forest as a backdrop, the wave is located off the top of Asu Island, the Northernmost in the Hinako’s Archipelago.

Long, almond-barrelled left consistently drawing swell onto its uniformly shallow reef point. Asu is a classic wrapper with a sometimes daunting wall that can appear unmakeable. It can get big; in the 15 ft range on it’s day. Experts only.

Bawa

Bawa is the southernmost island in the Hinako’s, with this eponymous wave off it’s southern tip. You can boat it from Hinako’s Hideaway on Asu.

Right-hand reef peak that rears up way out the back in anything from 4-14ft. Sometimes the photos make it look too fun; the peak shifts at times, and the inside section accelerates and gets sucky and grinding. An advanced, heavy wave, especially given the distance to get help. Works nicely when Asu is blown out. Very consistent, bring your big board. Bawa has a malarial swamp, which makes the prospect of staying on the island fairly unattractive.


Telo and the Batus

The Batu Archipelago is known by surfers as the Telo’s after the main administrative island of the same name. This eclectic group of 51 islands starts 40 NM southeast of the main Island of Nias and stretches 45 NM to the south. Wily surfers have negotiated their ride from Lagundri, having firstly extracted whatever information they can from locals. It’s an extremely long and tough journey to make for some pretty fickle surf. To get the best of it, organized charters are the best method, with independent travel presenting tough obstacles that all add up to less time in the surf.

One of the more talked about highlights is a relatively consistent, sucky left-hand reef break that wraps off a tiny island in sight of a church. This wave is known for it’s changeable nature: one day a whackable wall, hollow fast barrels the next, but never too punishing on the reef. A right breaks off the same island on opposite winds, and an outer bommie right renowned for tiger shark sightings is found off the island to the west. Another revered spot is a pretty, tiny island in the north where a rock with a lone tree overlooks a quality right-hander. Way down south you can stumble across other breaks, with one of the stand-outs being a series of lefts forming around an arc of reef that fringes a very remote island.

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