Surfing in Sumba: All you need to know

Surfing Sumba - Maringi Sumba Hotel

Indonesia has a strong reputation when it comes to surfing. With Indonesia, people generally mean Bali. Not a big surprise because Bali has been a well-known surf paradise for decades. However, the great surf spots on the Island are often crowded with a dangerous mix of beginners and professionals. That’s exactly why remote Sumba should be on your surfing bucket list!


Go east (to surf in Sumba!)

The best surf in Sumba is found in the southeast and southwest of the island. The coastline between these two sides is completely different, but great waves are found throughout.

East is definitely the most popular choice, for good reasons: here you cannot only find some surf camps, accommodation, and restuarants (if you stay near the cities Tambolaka or Waikabubak).

How to organize you surf trip in East Sumba

A logic choice is to book a surf camp for a few days. Sumba Adventure Resort is a good one for example. It is located on the southeast of the Island. It is remote, yet luxurious and comes with all the bells and whistles you will find at an adventure resort. They have beach bikes, motorbikes, four wheelers, stand-up paddleboards, and snorkeling gear so there are more activities to do than just surfing.

Probably the best way to explore the surf in Sumba is to book a surf charter which will take you to all the best breaks around the island. Especially if you want to make the best out of your limited time on the Island, this is the way to go. The staff at Maringi Sumba can help you organize your trip and find a reliable charter.


Best time to go surfing in Sumba?

The best time to go surfing in Sumba is between March and November, which is the dry season in Indonesia. December to February is the rainy season and whilst you can still surf during this time, expect short daily rain showers. Not necessarily a bad thing in this hot climate though…

As with all surfing hotspots, you can’t expect the perfect wave all the time, so check the swell maps and plan your trip accordingly.

Surf in Sumba - Maringi Hotel Sumba


Surfing for beginners in East Sumba

You can start surfing Sumba anywhere but that doesn’t make Sumba the best spot for it. If you’re a complete novice, the big waves and strong current might surprise you. On top of that, there are few sandy beach breaks with most of the surf spots being reef breaks. However, the beaches are deserted, and the surfers are few, so if you are courageous enough it’s worth to try.


Traveling to East Sumba with your surfboard

For East Sumba, you want to fly to Tambolaka Airport. They have good connections with Bali, probably that’s where you will be coming from anyway. There are daily flights with Garuda Indonesia, Nam Air, and Wings Air and the flying time is only 50 minutes from Bali. You can bring your board, but make sure to confirm when you make your booking because regulations might change regularly.

If you’re on a backpacker budget with plenty of time, you can also take a ferry from Flores Island to Waingapu in Sumba. If you bring your board, traveling via Ferry and over land isn’t the best idea though… Better save up for a plane ticket. They aren’t that expensive anyway.

Sufboard in Sumba - Maringi Hotel Sumba



Surfing in Sumba is definitely something else! Prepare for adventure. It’s rugged and raw, and you’ll feel completely disconnected from the outside world. Make sure finding a reliable surf charter, but expect the unexpected. If you are a beginner, there are probable safer places to learn how to surf, but if you are a surfer, Sumba should be on the top of your bucket list. Definitely, time to visit sumba.

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