Surfing Northern Sumatra

You read the magazines, do your research online and know a fair bit about the surfing world, so you are probably a little surprised you haven’t heard much about the Telo Islands, the Banyaks, the Hinakos.

The search for surf in the Indonesian archipelago began on the island of Bali, then went west by northwest: Grajagan, then Nias, then to the islands of the Mentawai. Almost 40 years of surf discovery in an island chain that seems to have an unending supply of new spots, secret spots, new thrills.

The surf charters and feral surfers who began to explore the Mentawai in the 1990s put dozens of pins in their charts and then began wondering what else was up there, even farther north, beyond Siberut Island in those island chains with cool names – the Banyaks, the Telo and the Hinakos - and along the exposed northern coast of Sumatra.

The search began by boat, and continued with arduous overland exploration. But all the fuel and sweat and time and money invested paid off, as this region north of the Mentawai is as blessed with swell-laced reefbreaks as the islands below: world-class surf, with world-class conditions and sometimes empty lineups.

There are two ways to experience the Telo, Banyaks and Hinakos Islands and greater area off northern Sumatra. One is by land, and one is by sea. WaterWays Travel is affiliated with the Yacht Bohemian, which sales one directional charters between Sibolga on N Sumatra and Padang in Central Sumatra hitting all the various island groups along the way including the Banyaks, Hinakos, Nias, Northern Metawai and occasionally the mainland of North Sumatra.

If the space and comfort of a land based facility is more your speed WaterWays Travel recently added Aura Surf Resort. Perfectly situated along the central west coast of Simeulue north of the island of Nias. If you’ve ever dreamed of perfect surf with just your friends, Aura Surf Resort is the place to surf that fantasy.