The Lombok Surf Season: When to Visit for the Best Waves
Tucked away in the Indonesian archipelago, Lombok has emerged as a sought-after surf destination, boasting pristine beaches, azure waters, and a rich local culture that adds a unique charm to the surfing experience. As surfers embark on their journey to Lombok, a crucial consideration is the timing of their visit. In this blog post, we dive into the nuances of the Lombok surf season, providing insights on the optimal times to visit for the best waves and an immersive surfing adventure.
DRY SEASON (MAY-SEPTEMBER)
Running from May to September, the dry season in Lombok is synonymous with ideal surfing conditions, attracting wave enthusiasts in pursuit of the perfect ride.
Best Surf Spots: During the dry season, Lombok reveals its most enticing surf spots, beckoning wave riders to experience the thrill of the high season. Among the top choices are:
- Gerupuk Bay - Renowned for its consistent breaks and varied surf spots, Gerupuk Bay beckons surfers of all levels with the promise of a diverse and enjoyable surfing experience during the dry season
- Selong Belanak - With its sandy bottom and forgiving waves, Selong Belanak is an excellent choice for those beginning their surfing adventures during the dry season
- Tanjung Aan - Tanjung Aan beckons as an enticing playground for all. From gentle, rolling waves that warmly welcome beginners to more challenging breaks that captivate seasoned surfers, Tanjung Aan ensures a dynamic surfing experience
- Mawun Beach - Embraced by lush hills, Mawun Beach offers a scenic backdrop to your surf session. The beach is characterized by its sandy bottom and gentle waves catering to a more relaxed atmosphere. However, it's essential to note that Mawun Beach, with its paddle-out challenges and dynamic waves, is not the most ideal spot for beginners
- Ekas - Surfers, particularly those with advanced skills, are drawn to the dynamic and varied characteristics of Ekas, making it a thrilling playground during the dry season for those seeking the perfect wave
- Seger Beach - The reef breaks of Seger Beach provide a dynamic experience for those seeking a bit more intensity. Surfers can expect a mix of exciting rides and thrilling challenges, making it an ideal destination for both intermediate and advanced riders
- Bangko Bangko - Boasting powerful breaks and challenging waves, Bangko Bangko is an exhilarating playground for advanced surfers seeking an adrenaline rush during the vibrant dry season
- Desert Point - With its iconic long and peeling waves, Desert Point stands as a revered destination among surfers seeking the thrill of challenging and exhilarating rides during the dry season
Ideal Wave Size: In the dry season, you will find consistent swells that produce waves of varying sizes. Surfers can expect waves ranging from 3 to 8 feet, providing the perfect canvas for both beginners honing their skills and seasoned surfers looking to test their limits.
Difficulty Levels: During Lombok's dry season, a canvas of surf spots unfolds, each tailored to different skill levels. Selong Belanak is a beautiful sheltered bay with small rolling straight hander waves perfect for the beginner surfer. The sandy sea bottom provides waves with less power and a soft lip that slowly spills. Gerupuk Bay, a diverse haven, caters to surfers of all levels. Inside is beautiful and mellow, with a long right hander that is almost always working. You can surf the wave on a lower tide as a soft grass reef covers the bottom. It is fun for beginners to intermediate on the small to midsize days and perfect for the more experienced on a big swell. Ekas, Seger Beach, Bankgo Bangko and Desert point are better tailored to those with intermediate and advanced surfing skills.
Wind and Tide Conditions: Understanding the wind and tide conditions is key to maximizing your surfing experience during the dry season. Typically, mornings bring offshore winds, creating clean and glassy waves. Tide variations can influence wave quality, so having a grasp of the tide charts becomes invaluable in planning the perfect surf session.
The dry season has a lot to offer; this is when waves like Mawi and Desert Point work best. These spots are blessed with offshore winds and a bigger swell in the dry season, which will deliver some nice hollow barrels. If you aren't looking for barrels, you can surf the more protected spots in Ekas, Gerupuk Bay and Tanjung Aan on the less windy days.
WET SEASON (NOVEMBER - MARCH)
Anticipate increased rainfall in Indonesia from November to April; however, Lombok defies expectations by flourishing during the wet season. Despite the common notion that Bali boasts superior waves in the dry season, it might come as a surprise that the waves not only hold up but excel during the island's wet season.Additionally, for longboard enthusiasts, this season presents an excellent opportunity to indulge in the elongated and graceful rides that the wet season waves uniquely offer.
Best Surf Spots: Contrary to expectations, the wet season unveils hidden gems for surfers willing to embrace the elements.
- Kuta Beach - Especially in the wet season Kuta Beach comes alive with powerful, consistent swells, providing an exhilarating experience for surfers of various skill levels.
- Are Guling - Don't overlook the breaks at Are Guling, which showcase the untamed nature of the wet season waves, sculpted by the monsoon winds. The wet season turns certain breaks into a canvas for the adventurous surfer, with wave heights and shapes that evolve with the changing weather patterns.
Ideal Wave Size: During the wet season, Lombok experiences larger swells, producing waves ranging from 4 to 12 feet. Surfers should be prepared for the challenge posed by the increased wave size, providing an opportunity for experienced riders to test their mettle against the power of the Indian Ocean.
Difficulty Levels: The wet season comes with its own set of challenges, making it more suitable for intermediate to advanced surfers. Whether you're an intermediate seeking to navigate the waves or an advanced surfer looking for an adrenaline-packed ride, Kuta Beach offers a dynamic surfing environment that caters to a broad spectrum of abilities. Are Guling transforms into a canvas for the daring surfer, featuring an ideal playground not only for advanced surfers seeking an adventurous challenge but also for those at intermediate levels looking to hone their skills amidst the evolving and diverse waves.
Wind and Tide Conditions: Understanding the intricacies of wind and tide conditions becomes crucial during the wet season. Offshore winds are prevalent during this period, creating clean faces for the waves. However, the changing tide can significantly influence the wave quality, making it essential for surfers to adapt their strategies based on the tide charts. With the dominant winds backing off and rain squalls providing temporary shelter from the trades, expect glassy waves. This is ideal for longboarders because cleaner conditions mean fewer bumpy faces and smoother rides.
SHOULDER SEASON (OCTOBER - APRIL)
Definition and Significance: This transitional phase, occurring during the months of October and April, holds a unique significance for surfers. The weather during this period is generally mild, with occasional rain showers giving way to bright sunshine. The crowds thin out, providing a more intimate and relaxed surfing experience. It's a time when the waves maintain their vitality, presenting an opportunity for surfers to enjoy the best of both worlds – the consistent breaks of the dry season and the untamed energy of the wet season.
Best Surf Spots: During the shoulder season, certain surf spots come into their own.
- Mawi: a renowned spot, Mawi provides consistent waves, making it an ideal choice for surfers of various skill levels looking to enjoy the serenity of the shoulder season.
- Seger Beach: with its reef breaks, Seger Beach offers a taste of the wet season's power while retaining the accessibility of the dry season.
Ideal Wave Size: Wave enthusiasts can anticipate a moderate wave size during the shoulder season, typically ranging from 4 to 8 feet. This comfortable range is suitable for both intermediate and advanced surfers, providing an opportunity to fine-tune skills and experiment with different techniques.
Difficulty Level, Wind, and Tide Conditions: The shoulder season presents a balanced mix of conditions. Beginners can find welcoming breaks, while advanced surfers can still seek excitement in the slightly larger waves. Offshore winds prevail, ensuring clean and well-shaped waves, and understanding the tide conditions remains essential for optimizing each surf session.
CHECKING SURF CONDITIONS AND WEATHER FORECASTS
Whether you're a seasoned pro or a novice adventurer, the success of your surf session in Lombok hinges on your ability to read the waves, wind and tides. Being in sync with the surf conditions ensures not only a safer experience but also maximizes the enjoyment of each wave.
- Surfline: Surfline stands as a renowned surf forecasting app, offering comprehensive details on swell and tide conditions, wind speed and direction, water temperature and wave height. The app enhances the planning process by featuring live webcams at popular surf spots globally, providing real-time insights into conditions and crowd levels.
- Windy: Though not exclusively designed for surfing, Windy proves invaluable for planning successful surf sessions by providing detailed wind and weather information. The app encompasses various weather models and forecasts, including wind speed and direction, wave height and period, and air pressure.
- Local Knowledge: Connecting with local surf shops, surf schools or experienced surfers in Lombok serves as an excellent avenue for acquiring up-to-date information on surf conditions and weather forecasts. These local sources offer real-time insights into the best surf spots, current conditions, and any potential hazards or risks to be mindful of, enriching your surfing experience with valuable on-the-ground knowledge.
PREPARING YOUR LOMBOK SURF TRIP
When setting out on your Lombok surf adventure, ensuring you have the appropriate gear is paramount. Here are essential items to consider packing for both the high and low seasons:
Surfboard & Leash: Bringing your surfboard suited to the conditions is fundamental. Ensure you have a reliable leash to keep your board secure during the dynamic waves of Lombok, whether you're chasing the powerful swells of the wet season or the consistent breaks of the dry season.
Rashguard or Springsuit: Shielding your skin from the sun and potential abrasions is crucial. A rashguard or springsuit provides both protection and comfort, especially when navigating the varying conditions presented by Lombok's surf seasons. Check out our collection of springsuits here. In the wet season, you may encounter cooler water temperatures. If traditional surf attire like board shorts or a surf suit isn't providing sufficient warmth, opting for a high-quality wetsuit is an effective solution. The appropriate thickness of the wetsuit depends on the water temperature, but generally, a 3/2mm wetsuit proves suitable for tropical climates.
Reef Booties: The diverse surf spots in Lombok may feature rocky bottoms, making reef booties essential for foot protection.
Surf Wax: Maintaining proper traction on your surfboard is key for manoeuvrability. Pack surf wax suitable for the water temperatures prevalent during your chosen surf season, ensuring optimal grip and control in varying conditions.
Hat: Under the tropical sun, a hat becomes more than a style statement – it's a shield. We recommend checking out Sunward Bound that offers sustainable and recyclable hats, as well as plow surf co. with its focus on sustainable and ethical production.
From the vibrant peaks of the dry season to the intense depths of the wet season, and the harmonious balance of the shoulder season, Lombok offers a surfing tapestry as diverse as its landscapes. Understanding the nuances of each season becomes the compass guiding surf enthusiasts on their quest for the perfect ride. For those planning a Lombok surf trip, the message is clear: tailor your adventure to the season that aligns with your skill level, preferences, and appetite for surf exploration. Choose your season wisely, pack your essentials, and immerse yourself in the pulsating rhythm of the island's surf culture.
As you gear up for your surfing escapade in Lombok, consider making an environmentally conscious choice. Explore our range of sustainable surf swimwear options today.