The Pleasure Surf Camp in Nias Island Indonesia brings to you the history of our island and its people. If you want to surf in Nias Island, the Pleasure Surf Camp offers to you a budget accommodation to stay. We are fully prepared to receive surfers from all over the world, we are waiting for you!


Native People of Nias Island

The place is worldwide known because its superlative waves create the perfect conditions for surfing in Nias Island. Yet, apart from being a top international surfing destination, this island owns an invaluable cultural legacy dating back to the year 10.000 B.C. (First Nias Island’s inhabitants).

Not just  the best place to surfing in Indonesia but also a great history behind.

One of the most priceless characteristics of the Nias Island’s folk tradition is that the people kept it  almost intact and continued to practice their rituals up to these days. If it weren’t because of the trading they carried out with other villages and people, the island would have been isolated for ages.

nias-island-ceremonies-ritualsAlthough this is not an object of agreement among historians, there are some theories stating that this is one of the few living examples of a Megalithic civilization (a prehistoric culture that used to express artistically through enormous stone monuments). Ono Niha as they call themselves in the Nias language means “descendants of humanity”.

Nias people had a strict hierarchical 12 level caste system among which the highest grade was attainable only for wealthy men who could carry out long celebrations with thousands of guests and plenty of food. These leading men were called Balugu.

Niassian people’s economy was based on hunting, trading, agriculture and pig raising; and  were predominately a warrior people. They used to capture and trade slaves among the different villages. Inter-village wars were a constant in the island; this was an important influence to the architecture.

What to see in Nias Island

Nias Island has a remarkable tradition in architecture. Omo Sebua is the name given to the distinctive Niassian constructions. The classic houses were built for the village chiefs and were especially designed for defensive purposes: not only against enemies, but also against possible earthquakes, since the houses were exceptionally flexible. You could only access through a narrow stairway that had a trap door hidden. Their main observable characteristic is the dramatically convex and pointed bricked roofs. The structures were based on ironwood pillars and filled with bamboo stakes as another defensive strategy. All things considered, taking a walk through the villages is a must!

If you are looking for a budget place to stay and surf in Nias Island, please contact us following this link: Pleasure Surf Camp Indonesia

nias-island-pleasure-surfcamp-stone-jumpingTourists will also immerse in this tradition through the many rituals and celebration that people still perform. Most of them are war dances. The most famous of these ceremonies is the Stone Jumping, originally Hombo Batu. This was a virility ritual meant for pointing out the moment when a little boy became a man and it was ready to become a warrior. This initiatory step was actually a jump over a 6 foot stone adorned with sharp bamboo reeds at the top. (Read our Article “Stone Jumping in Nias Island” for more details).

museum-pusakanias-nias-island-indonesiaThere are other many dances that the natives performed for tourists from time to time.

You can also visit the Museum Pusaza Nias, home for the Nias Heritage Foundation, located in Gunungsitoli. The museum holds an important collection of prehistorical objects representative of the island’s culture and history. Another interesting tip is that the museum now offers the possibility to stay at its guest house or even in one of the traditional houses. You can check their website for more information; .

If you are looking for a budget place to stay and surfing in Nias Island, please fill the contact form below asking for our special offers for surfers!

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The Lagundri bay is a curved bay gulf forming a horseshoe in the South of Nias Island. The bay is house of the leading lady as far as Surf goes: the Main Break, Soraki Point or simply “The point”, however you want to call this classic surfing point in Indonesia. This break is considered second only to some of the most important ones in Hawaii.

lagundry-soraky-surfcamp-pleasure Since the mid ‘70s, when this world-class break was first surfed by a group of “Aussies” (Australians), Soraki has been receiving surfers from all around the globe. The place evolved from an original secret spot among a couple of daring friends, to being house for several international competitions during the ’90 (Also the World Surfing Championship in 2000). “The point” has the most epic right handed barreling waves over a coral reef (That’s where it gets its name: Sorake means numerous reefs according to the locals).

It is notorious because of its effortless paddle out and the progressive, round-shaped, energical tubes which have, according to the surfers, reached 15 feet, although regular waves measure from 3 to 6 feet. Usually it is not a highly crowded spot and the break has a consistent frequency (150 days a year).

surfing-lagundry-soraky-surfcamp-pleasureThe Soraki Point is recommended only for skilled surfers. However, after dying in deep waters, the Point produces a lower decreasing sloppy swell that breaks again a few meters to the left in what is called the Kiddies Corner, a perfect break for beginners and children to practice.

Most of the Breaks in Nias has been accentuated after the 9.2 (on the Richter scale) earthquake that strucked the island from the North in 2004. The ocean distorted the geography of the Island, eating parts of the land and withdrawing from some others. As far as surfing is concerned tubes are becoming more curved and increasing in length. While before the earthquake waves lasted 7 seconds, now they may get to 9.

The Island is nick named “All time Nias” after the continuous set of waves delivered in the Sorake Bay. Anytime is a good time here. However, the best time is during the dry season, from June to September. Most Surfing competitions are held in June and July.

Although Sorake is the core break in Nias Island there are many other points. Read our article “Best Surfing Spots in Nias Island” to fin out more.


To get a glimpse at the array of Surfing in Indonesia, here’s a list of the best surfing spots in Nias Island

Sorake Break: Also Main Break, it is the core of Nias and a classic in the region. This is the break where the first world-class wave was ever surfed in Sumatra (1975, by Australian surfers). It is a reef-coral right handed, especially easy to access: you can paddle out from Lagundri Beach. Usually there are not many surfers and the break has a consistent frequency (150 days a year). It is recommended only for experienced surfers and it rises from 3ft. to 6+ ft.

The Machine: Also in Lagundry bay, it was considered as a totally epic type of break, but it became more shallow after the earthquake and rumor has it that it actually doesn’t break anymore. (Locals assure it does) It is generally not crowded and suggested only for qualified surfers. From 3ft. to 6+ ft. This surfing spot in Nias Island offers powerful, hollow and fast tubes. It is best on the high tide and very easy to paddle back. Right next to the machine there is another surfing spot called the Beach Break which is the ultimate break for learning.

Indicator: The third and last break in Lagundri bay, just a little further from Sorake’s or Main Break. It is surfed only in exceptional occasions. There is considerable danger because the waves crush part of the reef, so it is not viable at low tide. However, in the right swell and at very high tide this spot has presented some of the most amazing barrels.

surfspots-nias-surfcamp-indonesia8-Frame: This coral-reef surfing spot is ranked as one of the highest, most refined in Nias Island. It breaks in both directions: left and right. It is relatively easy to access: located in the southern tip of the Island, direction East from the Sorake Bay, near the village of Hilliduha. Very close to another break called Rockstar. It is excellent for tube riding.

Rockstar: Next to Hilistaro Village and a few minutes walk from the 8-Frame break, this is another high quality surfing spots in Nias Island, recommended for experienced surfers. It is a right handed wave, normally with short length; quite tricky to take off, but once you do it holds up. Not crowded at all!

Sobatu (Secret Right Hander): Located North to the Indicator, on the South West coast of the Island. Sobatu produces a solid right-handed barrel. The paddling back is a little challenging, so it is very easy to get caught inside.

Walo Hiu: This break produces the most extreme left handed up-to-10 second barrels. Although this surfing spot in Nias Island is not the most accessible one, the 30 minute walk through the jungle to get there is absolutely worthy (otherwise you can always get a boat).


Culturally speaking people in Nias kept their traditions almost intact. The Island would have been completely isolated for centuries if it weren’t because of the trading people use to practice among the nearby villages. Thus it is a priceless occasion to have a glimpse of one of the few megalithic cultures that has been reserved through ages upon ages by their local residents. Pleasure Island Surf camp highly recommends not leaving the Island without getting a flavor of the many dances and celebrations performed by the Tano Niha (Island’s native name) inhabitants.

nias-island-surfing-jumping-stonesThere is one ritual that stands out among others. Stone Jumping or Hombo Batu was a virility ritual for boys in Nias Island at the twilight of their childhood. They literally had to jump over a 6 feet stone to prove their manhood. Originally this rock had spikes and sharp bamboo reeds on top so it was especially dangerous and led to injuries or even dead. Hombo Batu was the final step of a series of war training boys had to go through. Courageous young men had to demonstrate that they were ready to become warriors. Usually the jumping was performed by kids from the age of ten.

Though age was directly related to the stone height and consequently to the difficulty of the challenge.

Some archeologist affirms that this island conserves one of the last traces of a Megalithic culture. People in Nias perform the ceremony as it was done centuries ago. Villagers are dressed with the traditional yellow and black costumes, the scenario shaped only with the ancient houses, with the dramatically convex spired bricked roofs. You can still appreciate this everlasting ritual that gives you a vivid picture of a truly ancient culture not far at all from the Pleasure Surfcamp, in the Bawamotaluo town (South Nias).

Not just surfing in Nias Island but also traditional activities

This tradition started in Nias Island at a time when there were frequent battles between the neighboring tribes and villages. The endless story of Landlords (men) fighting over territory. Nias has been an emblematic example. This warlike culture is also the reason why the architecture of the island is so particular. High pointed roofs and walls with bamboo stakes everywhere was actually a defensive architectural strategy. These buildings serve even nowadays as the artistic natural stage for the jumping celebration.

The celebration is accompanied by the most refined pieces of folk music and dancing that were formerly played and performed to increase the warriors’ ferocity. You simply can’t miss this experience if you pass by the Pleasure Surfcamp.



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Add the Indonesian surf potential to the quiet and stunning Island of Nias and you will get the ultimate formula for ecstasy. Nias Island is part of the western coast of Sumatra bay. Surfing here has been gaining more and more devotees during the last decades. Yet, it is the sort of place that hasn’t been fully exploited by tourists traders so far, thus represent an amazing delight for surfers.

Pleasure Nias Island Surfcamp invites you to live the experience with us.  Our place is located in the Sorake bay, between the islands of Sorake and Lagundry beach at the southern part. The sea here offers superlative waves that are no different from the ones in Uluwato and Kuta beach, in Bali. No wonder it is considered the second best spot for surf in the world after Hawaii.

The amazing thing about Nias is that you can get on board no matter what time of the year. Sorake bay produces a permanent set of waves. Legends say there have been huge swells of over 15 feet, although you can see frequent waves of 2 to 4 feet high relatively close to the beach (a couple of hundred meters). To hunt the legendary wave you should probably come to the Pleasure Surfcamp during the dry season and more precisely in the months of June and July when most of the international competitions take place.

Some history about Nias Island and surfing!

In the mid ‘70s a group of Australian surfers, among whom were Kevin Lovett and John Giessel, discovered the surf break in Nias. The two of them agreed to maintain the secret of the huge discovery. At the time the island was a wild jungle almost virgin from Western civilization. Giessel got malaria and died in 1975, but Lovett continued to surf the Sorake’s waves and eventually the secret was revealed. From then on the island has evolved to become site for international surf competitions since the ’90 (including the World Surfing Championship in 2000).

“The point” that creates the epic waves is officially called Soraki (meaning numerous reefs) and has been accentuated after the earthquake of December2004. The whole geography of the island has changed dramatically; the ocean literally ate many meters of land in some parts and withdrew from some others. Surfers say waves are becoming more and more curved and longer so it is ideal for getting barreled. The same thing happened in the nearby Hinako Islands.


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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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Cheap flights to Nias Island

Pleasure Surfcamp has prepared a list of tips and interesting websites that will be useful if you are searching for cheap flights to Nias Island.

The nearest International airport from Nias Island is 39 kilometers away from Meden (North Sumatra). Not all of the airlines that used to fly from Meden to Nias continue to do it today. Nevertheless there are still flights being operated by some of them. Lion Air is the only one providing online booking. You can book regular or cheap flights to Nias Island on their website (

There are one-way flights from 480.000 IDR (Indonesian Rupia) which is approximately 40 USD. Some other airlines such as Merpati, Wings Air and Sky Aviation used to fly from Kuala Namu to the Nias Island until recently. You may have to check for availability by the time of you trip. Bear in mind that all these cheap flights to Nias Island have a baggage allowance of 15 kg, this 15 kg does not include surfing boards.

The Nias Island Airport is called Binaka and is located near Gunung Sitoli, 15 kilometers away from town. There are minibuses and cars that will drive to the Pleasure Surfcamp.

For international flights to Meden there are some interesting websites where you can find cheap flights to Nias Island. First of all you have AirAsia ( a Malaysian low-cost airline that operates domestic and international flights over 22 countries.

It is important to get used to some exploring tools since most of the major airlines possess some of the most popular search engines. Thus they will not show some cheap flights to Nias Island operated by other companies. Pleasure Surfcamp recommends the following websites to hunt the low cost flights no matter how big the airline is.

  • Kayak’s website ( is perfect for searching various airline flights at the same time.
  • Skyscanner ( you don’t need to enter specific dates or destinations, so this makes it a very interesting place to find good fares if you don’t have a fixed date or you don’t mind flying from a neighboring city.
  • Momondo ( is also a respectable option when searching for international routes. This site provides all the possible airlines, even the smallest ones.

Some major companies serving cheap flights that arrive to Kuala Namu Airport (Meden) are Citylinks, Firefly, Garuda Indonesia, Jetstar Asia, Lion Air, Susi Air and Wings. In the Nias Island Surfcamp we advise to check directly the airlines websites, since most of them reserve special fares only available on their own sites.


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Our Surfcamp is located in the idyllic Island of Nias, which is the largest of a group of 131 islands forming the Nias Island archipelago or Kepulauan Nias, off the west coast of the Sumatra Island, Indonesia.

Nias Island is just in front of Sumatra, so if you are coming from abroad you will probably land at the Meden International Airport called Kuala Namu, 39 kilometers away from Meden which is the capital and largest city in North Sumatra. Kuala Namu is a recently built airport; it opened its gates in 2013 and operates with the most important Asian airlines such as AirAsia, Citilynks, Garuda Arilines, Lion Air, Jetstar Asia, Malasya Air, Wings Air, etc.

Getting by air. Cheap flights to Nias Island

Once in Sumatra there are two possible ways to access the Nias Island. By air is the most complicated one since not all airlines that used to operate previous to the earthquake are doing it nowadays. Some airlines such as Lion Air, Merpati, Wings Air and Sky Aviation used to fly from Kuala Namu to the Binaka Airport, near Gunung Sitoli in Nias Island. These and other airlines have been serving this route on-and-off since 2005. Bear in mind that all these low cost flights have a baggage allowance of 15 kg (surfing boards not included in this weight).

Today the only one that allows online booking is LionAir. There are one way flights from 480.000 IDR (Indonesian Rupia) or 40 USD. The Binaka Airport is located 15 kilometers away from the town. For more information about cheap flights check our article “Cheap flights to Nias Island” in the Pleasure Surfcamp Web.

The most certain way to get to Nias from Sumatra is heading to the Sibolga Port. Ferries depart every day to the Gunung Situoli Port, 5 kilometers away from the town. The journey is a pleasure and takes approximately from 8 to 12 hours. Night trips are available. The ferry is operated by a state company called Pelni. You can check for hours and schedule on the website:

Whether you arrive at the Binaka Airport or the Gunung Sitoli Port there will be vans and minibuses available to drive you the Surfcamp.

Finally, a good tip for Nias Island is having enough cash before arriving to the island since there are not many ATM’s in the island.

To reach our place:

– If you come from a different country than indonesia firstly you’ll have to arrive at Kuala Lumpur Airport (Malasya) Then continue to Medan Airport (Indonesia) and then to Nias Airport (Binaka airport).

Once there we will pick up you to ur place you just have to send us a message and we will arrange everything for you 🙂

Just contact us or send us an e-mail to:

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