This region north of the Mentawai is holding world-class surf in the Telo Islands, the Banyaks, and the Hinakos.
The Seriti is based in the port of Gunungsitoli in Nias and is taking groups from Nias up to the Banyak Islands for world-class surf and some of the most uncrowded lineups that can be found off the Northern coast of Sumatra.
“Seriti”, a US-built, Indonesian-flagged 25meter aluminum crew boat has been specifically customized for surf charter operations. The Seriti sleeps up to 14 passengers max. There are 12 beds comprising of 2 Queen and 10 oversized single beds in two large air-conditioned cabins, with a separate quarters for up to 6 crew members. The Seriti is based in the port of Lahewa on Nias and is taking groups from Nias up to the Banyak Islands for world-class surf and some of the most uncrowded lineups that can be found off the Northern coast of Sumatra.
The Seriti is staffed and operated by owner Katsuyoshi Suzuki. Operating in the Banyaks for over 15 years Suzuki knows the area inside out and provides the best possible guide service in the islands. Approximately half of the bookings each year on the Seriti are repeat guests, which offers a clear indication of customer satisfaction.
Most guests travel to Medan via Singapore (Silk Air), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysian, Air Asia) or Jakarta (Garuda). All Seriti charters run for 12 days with 10 surfing days, departing on Monday evening and returning on Friday morning. Guests arriving in Medan must do so before 9am on departure date, and cannot leave Medan before 5pm on date of return. It is often recommended to spend a night in Medan prior to the trip departing to ensure against any delays you may encounter.
Spacious and comfortable, Seriti features an air-conditioned saloon with two large sofas, tables plus a TV, video and music entertainment area. There are also plenty of power points on board for charging your personal electronics.
At the rear of the boat is a large deck area hard covered where guests onboard can watch the action in the water, or head up to the top deck to check out the 360-degree view of the idyllic scenery while listening to the Seriti sound system. Feel free to plug in your own tunes.
Not only is the boat comfortable, but the Seriti is also one of the safest charters operating in Indonesia, with a full suite of equipment including life rafts and life jackets, smoke detectors, EPIRB; CO2 emergency fire system; VHF and SSB radios, satellite telephone (available to guests) , and a 10,000 liter fresh water tank.
The boat is powered by twin 575hp Detroit Turbo After-cooled main engines running at a maximum speed of 15 knots (cruising speed 10-12 knots).
The menu is varied with a range of Western and Indonesian style dishes including beef, chicken, fish and vegetarian cuisine. Chef Mick is a former cafe proprietor and will happily cater to almost any dietary requirements. The fishing is great around the Banyaks so you might be the one catching dinner!
The Banyak Islands are one of the last great surf frontiers in Indonesia and it is far less likely to encounter other charter boats than other locations such as the Mentawais. Only four charter boats are based full time in the Banyak area, compared to over 50 for the Mentawai Islands. Boats do occasionally come up from Nias or the Mentawais but the 40+hr journey usually keeps them away!
The wide range of options in the Banyaks means that an experienced surf guide is a must to fully enjoy all the waves this region has to offer. Suzuki has the experience and local knowledge to get you to the best waves all year long in the Banyaks as safely and quickly as possible. The Seriti skipper, Mick Butt from Kirra, Australia is a committed surfer who has worked in North Sumatra for years and knows exactly where the best waves will be depending on swell, wind, weather and season.
Here are a few of the main breaks:
“The Point” – The southern tip of Bangkaru, known to be one of the best right-hand point breaks in Indonesia, offering up to four barrels a wave with a nice almond-shaped rippable face. This is one of the jewels in the crown – sheer Indo perfection running a few hundred yards down a perfectly shaped reef. Always a favorite among guests as it satisfies all abilities. A taste of “Treasures” has you hooked for years to come. The Indicators also turn on in larger swells, as does Minis on the inside, and look out for Gorillas further down the bay: an untamed right-hand beast that is rarely surfed and will sort out anyone’s ego.
A world-class left-hander which can produce an epic 8-10 second barrel or nice rippable face depending on swell direction. Cobras’ clean blue lines peel down the reef into a channel that provides a perfect photo opportunity. Opposite is Warren’s – that can deliver a fun right-hand peak depending on conditions finishing on this spectacular white sandy beach.
A beautiful long left-hand point which peels down the line offering a perfect open workable face for big carving turns or hunt out the inside barrels. On the inside look out for Toytown Lefts, an intermediate and longboard-friendly peeling left located deep in the Bay of Plenty which starts to work on larger swells. You can cruise down the line or hit the lip over and over again.
A super fun right-hand peak that produces a perfect barrel on the takeoff going into a nice wall for some turns. If you have enough speed you can link up into the inside bowl for a second tube. The Indicator also goes off on its day, as you can see in the pic
A deep-water right-hand break exposed to all possible swell. Rarely below head-high and will give you some exhilarating drops and big open faces – a poor man’s Sunset. Migila’s on the inside has a short perfect barrel on takeoff and peels off slowly to the beach.
Fickle, extremely sensitive to swell direction and rarely surfed but if the conditions come together you will experience one of the best right-handers in Indonesia. Known to produce a magical 10+-second barrel and any of those who have seen or surfed it are simply awe-struck!
There are also a number of other breaks in the region and some still being discovered!
Nias Island is just below the equator and the northern tip of Sumatra is about 5° north of the equator, so these islands generally see more rainfall than Bali and the islands further southeast.
The Banyak Islands in particular are so close to the equator the lack of winds make this a destination to be considered year round with glassy conditions prevailing all year long allowing guests to sample a larger variety of waves in the area depending on swell angle and size.
Air temperatures range between 75° and 85° all year and water temperatures are always in that same range.
If you want big surf May to September is probably best. If you want to experience less people but possibly sacrifice some swell size then March/April or late Sept/Oct is probably best. If you don’t mind some rain and smaller, clean surf with nobody else around: give the off-season a try, from November to February.
Indonesia as a whole has a tropical climate and in the Northern Sumatra area in particular, there is little difference in the length of a day any time of year. Indonesia’s seasons divide in two: wet and dry.
The wet season begins in October and lasts until March, with the peak rainfall measured in January and February, when high pressure flowing south from the Asian mainland combines with humid air from the Indian Ocean to bring rain throughout the archipelago. Although the northern and western islands receive more rainfall than those areas in the south and east, it can rain at any time of year.
March/April is the beginning of dry season, when high pressure over Australia pushes air north to blanket Indonesia with warm, drier air. The dry season peaks during June through August, which is also in the heart of surf season.
Prime swell season for Indonesia is the southern hemisphere winter months from March/April through September/October when Low-pressure systems off Antarctica and the Indian Ocean pulse ground swells toward the equator.
Seriti is a custom-made platform for all kinds of ocean activities: fishing from the tenders, kayaking, snorkeling, free-diving and surfing. The interior and above decks areas are comfortable and shaded and perfect for lounging, reading, catching up on movies and TV shows you don’t have time for back in the modern world.
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