The Wave at Nihiwatu, Sumba

Sumba, Tourism

Surfing in Sumba

28 Aug , 2015  

This is Sumba. Imagine a place where crystal blue ocean greets the sandy beach with 12 feet waves, one after another. The sky is so high and wide with strands of white cloud hanging. You are a tiny dot in this picturesque vastness. You stand there, watching the waves as they roll out effortlessly and crash to the beach with booms that sound like music to your ears.

This is Sumba. The Marapu, the creator, guardian and ancestral spirits of the Sumbanese, created this vastness, once upon a time immemorial.

You breathe the salty air and flex your muscles. Your board at your side. You know you are ready. You’re ready since you boarded that plane from wherever you came from. It has been played repeatedly in your mind. The constant booms, the 12 feet breaks, and the feeling of freedom when you rip those beasts. You’re ready for Sumba…

… and it’s waiting for you.


Sumba is like a frontier land for Indonesia tourism. Diamond in the rough. It has all the ingredients. What it needs is a great cook to transform this into a delicious dish. If you want to be that cook, Sumba real estate may interests you.

Surfing in Sumba? With Indian Ocean to the south and southwest and interior sea to the north, Sumba has its share of decent breaks, rippable surfs and barrels.

Some of them may yet to be discovered, but you definitely can find one of the best left-hander in the world at Nihiwatu, south Sumba. It churns surfable breaks by the minute. With rocky base at the bottom, it is clearly not for the faint-hearted or first timers.

Claude Graves discovered this perfect spot, in his search for perfect waves, in the 80s. He named it The Wave. The name stick after all the years, and it has been hunted by surfers all over the world ever since.

Years later, Graves would build a resort named after the region. The famous Nihiwatu Resort. Nothing’s changed even after Graves sold his resort to US magnate Chris Burch and hotelier James McBride. To ensure the utmost experience of riding The Wave, Graves’ rule still applied: not more than ten surfers allowed ripping The Wave at any given time.


As surf spots, Sumba offers what other well-known spots lack. Here, you’ll be pampered with amazing view, nice weather and clean water. It’s far less crowded than anywhere else too. The rugged terrains provide a nice touch to the overall impressions.

Most of the best breaks located in the south shore of Sumba, the ones that opens to the Indian Sea. Not only Nihiwatu. To the east, you’ll find another world class swell, Miller’s Right. It’s only few hours’ drive from Waingapu Bay. Miller’s Right is usually quite crowded from May till September, when the waves are perfect. Don’t worry about the crowd, though. The swell is so long it can almost accommodate anything.

To the west of Nihiwatu, there are some surf breaks too. The westernmost is the Pero Right and Pero Left, Wanjapu and, only few kilometers away from Nihiwatu, the Marosi Beach.

Sumba is not without setbacks. Sometimes the road is as rugged as the terrains. You’ll unlikely find an established compounds or surf camps that you usually find in an established surf spots. But this is where the adventure begins, right? The experience you have will be nothing short to what the late Chris Boyum had when he found G-Land back in 1972. And this, my friends, is quite priceless.

Below you’ll find a list of the aforementioned surfing spots in Sumba:

  1. The Wave, Nihiwatu

The Wave, NihiwatuA perfect swell, Nihiwatu

Located on the same location as the luxury resort and you have to be the guest there to taste what a world-class left-hander such as this feels like. Though it may deter surfers with budget restrictions, the people at Surfing Magazine confessed that it’s worth all the money.

  1. Pero Right and Pero Left

Both are located on the western tip of the island. The rocky Kodi offers both right and left-hander barrels that are perfect between March and September.

  1. Wanjapu

A river-mouth setting, southeast of the Pero Twins above, with similar offers: right and left-handers.

  1. Marosi

It’s around 16 km due west of Nihiwatu. When you’re there you’ll see one of the best view of Sumba beach. The view is just amazing…simply one of the best Sumba can offer.

Check the following video if you don’t believe what I’m saying about this place.

The other good news is, a place as beautiful as Marosi has lands available for sale

  1. Miller’s Right

It’s located in Tarimbang, a quality point aforementioned above. The location is further south from the rest of the surf-breaks above, not far from Laiwangi Wanggameti National Park. It’s a huge vastness (yeah, I like extreme superlatives) of shallow valleys, undulating landscapes and wild-life unique to Sumba.

Taman Nasional Laiwangi Wanggameti, Sumba Laiwangi Wanggameti at Dusk


Its waves are waiting…to be ripped. They’re waiting to have the honor to gave birth to that sense of freedom that enable you to do anything in life…as free as the herd of horses that roam Sumba steppes…

So, gather round people, cause this is Sumba.



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