LEARN WHILE YOU SURFING IN INDONESIA: MENTAWAI TRIBE IN NIAS ISLAND

Surfcamp in Nias Island welcomes you to explore the nature and meet indigenous people who are just as fascinating as the beaches. Experience living close to nature and working things in old ways!

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5 BEST SURF TOWNS BY NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

What could be more thrilling for a surfer, than to have breathless experience when riding the waves?

Surfing is a challenging yet exciting activity. The virtuous blend of sun and sand and the ocean somehow give the sense of ‘living life to the fullest’. Even for novice players, they will easily get excited as they learn this water sport because the adrenaline rush just makes it so addictive!

The National Geographic has summed up the best surfs towns and places around the globe. Prepare your checklist and get your surfboard ready!

#5 Florianópolis, Brazil

Surfing in Floreanopolis Brazil

Surfing in Floreanopolis -Brazil

Set in the exotic Brazil island, the Florianopolis is a home to professional surfers. International competitions have been held in this so-called, capital of surfing. Florianopolis has 42 white sandy beaches with the lush rolling waves to surf all year round. As one of the world’s best surf town, the island provides all of the entertainment from dusk till dawn. From cultural parades to discerning nightlife – surfer enthusiasts will definitely enjoy this place.

#4 Byron Bay, Australia

Surfing in Byron Bay - Australia

Surfing in Byron Bay – Australia

Surfing with your family? The Byron Bay owns the best waves in the continent. A pleasant scene of crystal clear water that accommodates all surfers at any level – Byron Bay has some of the iconic surfing spots from the quietest beach of Wategoes to the local’s favorite swells in The Wreck.

#3 Biarritz, France

Surfing in Biarritz, France

Surfing in Biarritz, France

Thanks to Pieter Viertel, he made Biarritz a surfing location by doing it for the first time in 1957!

Biarritz is a mixture of the French’s historical culture and modernity. It is considered as the first to influence surfing activity in Europe. And now, surfers from every corner of the world come here to join surfing competitions and championships or simply, enjoying the best swells of Atlantic! As the center of surfing culture, Biarritz offer board rentals, surfing schools, numerous resorts and everything else in between to accommodate all level of surfers.

#2 Shonan, Japan

Surfing in Shonan-Japan

Surfing in Shonan-Japan

If you are a surfer and also a passionate traveller, then Shonan has all the vibes for you. As the new surfing culture, Shonan offers reef breaks for surfers at any level; plus a mix of Japan’s rich culture and authentic culinary experience. The town was first recognized as a fishing spot but the waves are too good just for catching fishes. It quickly becomes popular among the surfers, especially when it only takes an hour drive from Tokyo.

#1 Nias Island, Indonesia

Surfing in Nias Island, Indonesia

Surfing in Nias Island, Indonesia

This surfing paradise was discovered in 1975 by Australian surfer, Peter Troy. Situated on the western side of Indonesia, Nias owns some of the world class waves scattered on secluded beaches of Sorake, Legundri and Ture Loto. Nias is one exotic destination that has hold international surfing championships. While you are here, you can witness the glorious megalithic culture and have a taste of Nias’ unique authentic foods that you won’t find anywhere else.

THINKING IN COMING AND SURFING IN INDONESIA?

Our Pleasure Surf Camp in Nias Island invite you to discover this great place made for surfers from around the world

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CULTURE AND GEOGRAPHY IN NIAS ISLAND

Nias is an island of the North West of the Indonesian archipelago (also called Nusantara). The Island is a first-class celebrated surfing destination with many Surfcamps and home for  international competitions. But, this is not the only treasure this place holds. In fact, Nias possesses a unique and unusual cultural legacy kept by their natural residents (“Ono Nihas”, as they call themselves) almost intact since prehistoric times.

Niassians were primarily traders and warriors. Records state that they have been trading with Aceh (North Sumatra) since the late 17th century. They use to trade pigs since it was their main production. Yet, much of the original culture, still appreciable today, has to do with defensive strategies towards enemies, rituals for boys to become warriors, chantings for encouraging the soldiers, etc. Even now, the local community in Nias lives according to the standards of their ancestors. They respect a series of time-honored rules that organize social life in a highly hierarchical system of castes. To reach a high level in these stratus a man should be able to throw big celebrations, with food and entertainment for thousands of guests.

This culture has a strong oral tradition, writing has not been developed among the Niassians.  All in all, they speak Malay-Polynesian, but there are 3 distinct  dialects spoken in the island that differ in many words and morphemes (smaller units inside the words).

Nias is the biggest island that faces the west coast of Sumatra. It is surrounded by a series of smaller islands like Senau and Safau, Hinako and the Batu Islands. The Indian Ocean hit the island from the West making it one of the best surfing spots in the world. On the other hand, this is one rare example of these few paradisaical places where you can also profit of the mountain environment.

If you head to the middle of the island you will find a tropical forest, home to a very particular, endemic fauna that differs from the ones observed in any other part of Indonesia. Although it is a complicated area for settling, most towns were set up here for defensive reasons against aggressors. There is a clear difference between the way people organized their houses between the North and the South.

Read our article about one of the most important war ritual, the passionate Stone Jumping; and find out more about the Niassians and the main characteristics of the emblematic architecture of the island in our article about the Native People in Nias.

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SURFING IN NIAS ISLAND

There is a reason why our Surfcamp is called Pleasure Nias Island: the island is known by surfers all around the globe due to its huge rolling waves and overwhelming natural landscapes. It is a true natural paradise located off the west Sumatran coast in the Indian Ocean, Indonesia.

Nias Island is the largest among the 131 neighboring group of islands, among which we can mention Mentawai (home for the Taman National Siberut Park), Pulau Simeulue and the small Hinako Islands among others. The 130 kilometers long Isle of Nias was pretty much isolated from Western civilization for centuries, although the people had been trading with other Asian cultures for ages.

For more information about how to get to Nias Island, please check this other post…

During the 60’s the Nias Island became part of a very popular hippie route and grew even more famous among the surfers that were going to Bali, also in Indonesia. Ambitious surfers coming mostly from Australia in their hunt for the supreme wave contributed to turn the whole island into a big surfcamp. In recent years it was site for quite a few international competitions like the Open Surfing Championship.

Surfing in Nias Island: Best Spots

The Pleasure Surfcamp is located in one of the best surfing spots in the island: on the southern part, in the Lagundri bay, just in front of “The Point” (or point break, meaning the rocky sunken point or edge that actually produces the waves). The beach is just a few steps from the town Teluk Dalam and next the Sorake Bay. Here is where the main break is. Sorake’s waves have been surfed since mid ’70 and they are even compared with the ones in Maui in Hawai. It is also an exceptional area because sea turtles are seen regularly by surfers; they use to swim underneath their boards before the waves arrive.

They said that every cloud has a silver lining. Although the 2004 earthquake and the later Tsunami had produced appalling costs to the towns in the Nias Island, it has certainly improved the waves’ quality according to most of the surfers. Now they seem to have become more curled, concave and longer, which make them perfect for tube riding.

Bawa and Asu, better known as The Hinako Islands has also exceptional first-class waves and they are located just in front of Sorake.

In Key Hole beach the surfing is constant, this point receives south-west swells that form a very safe right-hander wave which can be surfed both with high or low water. This is the traditional beach for the native people, so you can also get a glimpse at the local tradition here as well.

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