NIAS located in North Sumatra is one of Indonesia's last surfing frontiers.  It receives similar swell to the Mentawais and enjoys a peak swell season from May to September.  Despite Indonesia's reputation for hollow lefts, in North Sumatra right handers are slightly more prevalent.


The 2005 earthquake lifted the reef making an even better wave, hollower and longer! More new breaks may have been created nearby. The earthquakes actually improved the surf at Lagundri Bay, but destroyed nearby towns.  The losmen’s on the point have since been rebuilt, and adventurous surfers have returned once again to Nias.


Lagundri Bay (the bay in which the famous right unrolls) has become a starting point towards those new waves. As a result, one seldom finds more than twenty surfers at a time in a line-up, even in peak seasons. The Nias wave operates perfectly from 2 to 15 feet.


Access is easy thanks to a break in the reef called "The Keyhole" that will spare you getting over the sand bar no matter how big this obstacle is. The reef itself is not dangerous compared to other surfing spots in Indonesia.  The corals are abundant but not aggressive. Because of the geographical position of the archipelago, this cluster of islands is one of the most interesting areas in the world.

Isolated yet worldly, the Nias Island chain has been trading with other cultures, other islands, and even mainland Asia since prehistory.  Some historians and archaeologists have cited the local culture as one of the few remaining Megalithic cultures in existence today. While this point of view is hotly debated, there is no doubt that Nias relative geographic isolation has created a unique culture.  As a culture of traders, the people of Nias find tourists to be a welcome and historically familiar phenomenon.  It is also best known for its remarkable diversity of festivals and celebration.  The most well known events are War Dances, performed regularly for tourists, and Stone Jumping, a manhood ritual that sees young men leaping over two meter stone towers to their fate.  In the past the top of the stone board is covered with spikes and sharp pointed bamboo.  The music of Nias, performed mostly by women, is noted worldwide for its haunting beauty.



 

PHIL GOODRICH  NIAS 2009 | SANTOSHA WAU