Waves in Nias
Most people have heard about or have seen photos of Nias. What most people don’t know is that there are many more waves in close proximity to the famous right. The next few paragraphs will give a rough explanation of the Nias surfing experience. (Top)

Main Break (In General)
One of the most mechanically breaking waves on the planet. This wave was made for surfing. Deep water and a consistent take off area, surf-able on all tides, with the wave finishing in the deep water of the bay. To top that off you paddle out from a keyhole in the reef, at the back of the break and don’t even get your hair wet. (Top)

Outside Classic Nias * (Perfect Wave)
Breaking best and regular at between 5 to 8 feet the outside wave is what we all come to surf. Larger & thicker swells generated in the Indian Ocean through June to October start to move closer to the equator, this gives consistent waves on the outside point in Nias. STORY (Top)

Inside Kiddies Corner * (Exercise Machine)
When the swells drop during the months from November to March, the waves are usually at they’re smallest and least powerful, but don’t be disappointed as the surf still consistently rolls in, inside wave just mechanically peels closer into the reef. Breaking for around 150mtrs with a variety of sections that make you physically sweat to pump your way through to the end bowl which delivers a surprisingly good barrel over the shallow bottom at the end of the main reef. A great wave for learning, for styling on Malibu and for maintaining top surf fitness.  STORY (Top)

Indicators *
As the name says, Indicators gives you a reasonably good idea when the waves and sets are running into the bay and are going to break on the main break. A 250mtr paddle to the right of the “keyhole”, this wave peels down a near straight line of shallow reef. Surfed on a rising tide and clean conditions the wave can generate intense tube rides of over 10 seconds.
A Short leg rope is recommended as is Helmet booties & rubber for protection. PHOTO (Top)

Machine Left *
A half moon shallow reef surfed on rising and high tides situated around a 20-minute walk at the end of the beach in Lagundri Bay. The Wave produces a world class section of left breaking reef that breaks as mechanically as a machine. A very powerful wave breaking on shallow reef. PHOTO (Top)

River Mouth
10 minutes walk from the main break at the head of Lagundri Bay Beach. This wave is great for learning on and for surfing if the waves on the point are out of control.
Breaking on a sand bottom this wave can change with sand movement but always has something happening if the swell is running big in the bay. (Top)

Outside Right (SoBatu Deep Jungle)
A heavy shifty right breaking reef around 10 minutes walk to the right of the Sorake Beach Resort. This wave has a heavy take off and heavy sections, not yet surfed to its full potential. So Batu was the location for the Semi & finals of the 2000 WQS O’Neill Deep Jungle Open contest, which provided world class surf while taking a professional surfing competition into a new realm of adventure surfing, in a remote and isolated location. (Top)

Outside Left *
A new break begging to be surfed. The outside left is also an indicator for swell coming into Lagundri Bay. Breaks big and a long way out to sea and have some unpredictable sections. As surfing progresses and access to this wave is made easier, this wave will definitely give some excitement for the hell men. PHOTO (Top)

MainLand Nias
Along the coast of Nias there are a Nemours amount of surfable waves. Many but not all of these areas are only accessible by boat. Planning and Preparation are the most important factor in exploring remote and little surfed locations. (Top)

Hinako Island Group
Around 30 nautical miles to the west of Lagundri Bay the Hinako group consists of seven small Islands that are 7 nautical miles off the coast of Nias Island. Most of the islands have wave-producing reef of some sort but the prime waves are situated on the islands at the opposite ends of the group. (Bawa & Asu) These class waves give the perfect offshore/onshore set up. (Top)

Bawa Island Right *
The right-hand wave that has been describes as like a section of Sunset Beach but with light wind. Bawa right is a thick powerful wave breaking in deep clear water on a gouged old reef. The surf characteristics can change with the tide, moon phase, swell size and angle A challenge to surf when it’s big but is still reasonably safe, a positive factor is that when it goes onshore its offshore at the left on Asu Island, a short boat ride away. PHOTO (Top)

Asu Island
A world class left that can peel for +/_250 meters, with reasonably shallow reef on the corner of a picture post card island. Surfed from small to big (10feet)the wave breaks down a reef that produces sections of tube rides and snap able face allowing for high energy consuming surfing.
The end section or “Nuclear Zone” can be the highlight or the hell depending on how well you set it up and really want to go for the barrel. Take care and watch the reef. Over the years several small surf camps have been established on the beach front of Asu bay and More recently right on the point in front of the surf.
Malaria has periodically been a problem in this area and any land-based visitors should be advised to possible malaria risk. The surf is still worth it, So take precautions and cover up! (Top)

Tello Island Group *
A group of 101 islands positioned right on the equator, the main island of the group Pulau Tello is 48 nautical miles to the S.S.E of Lagundri Bay. This Island group is full of coral palm fringed sand islands and large landmass Jungle Islands. Waves abound, with a variety of left and right hand breaks. A boat is essential due to the large amount of islands to cover. Most of the best spots need swell to work but there are waves of all variety that break in varied conditions. Fishing equipment and a good supply of food is essential. It is also advised not to venture onto the more remote islands or bush trek with out a guide.
Malaria sicknesses are prevalent in these remote areas and remember that professional medical assistance is many days away.  STORY (Top)

Lagundri Bay, South Nias Island faces a Southerly direction and is situated 48 Nautical Miles North of the equator. Positioned directly in the Equatorial Inter Tropical Convergence Zone being the area of convergence of weather between the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. Nias Island is divided by a mountain range that runs from the North to South and stretches across its width, These Mountains to a height of 800meters above sea level have steep valleys falling to the coast. These produce the steady offshore winds that are predominant along the coast in the early morning. In general Nias has a tropic wet climate with rainfall of over 2meters a year, a landmass of 5,318 Km2.and a Population of 638.000 people. Being a mixture of the Indigenous Niasian clans, Ethnic Chinese, Batak and Malay people from mainland Sumatera. The Nias economy revolves around Coconuts and other small plantations, Tourism, general farming and Animal Husbandry. (Top)

Other Facts of Interest

Temperature : 19 – 35 degrees
Rainfall : +/-2.534mm/year
Humidity : +/- 91 %
Tide Range : 1 meter
Road Conditions : Poor
Communications : Phone & Fax
Transportation : Boat, Buses, Charter Cars and                            Motorbikes
Capital : Gunungsitoli North Nias
Airport : Binaka, Gunungsitoli
Flights : 3 Times a week (book in advance)
Main Ports : Gunungsitoli, Teluk Dalam
Wet Season : September, October and November
Surf Season : All Year
           - Small : November to March
           - Bigger : March to October
           - Biggest : June July August

Nasties in the water : None to be worried about
Nasties on the Land : Heat and Bugs (insect and                                    Humans)
Medical : Local Clinics
Access : Via Medan, Sibolga, or Padang

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Feed back from parties with interests in the Island areas mentioned above brought it to my attention of their disagrees to the mention of malaria in the islands. My reply after these comments is that in this age of information and technology it is far better to be informed that to go in blindly and discovering by your mistake. Malaria can be fatal and after 20 years of experience in the mentioned areas SEVERAL SURFERS HAVE DIED FROM THE SICKNESS.

Not that I am saying don’t go there, the people who have died have been doing it tough and not looking after themselves and most importantly NOT BEING INFORMED TO THE RISKS.
Now we are living in a era where we have established surf camps in many locations and comfortable surf charter vessels to suit your needs & style. These take a lot of the hardship away with good food and clean living areas.

My Advice. Remember the risk, keep informed and use common sense. Surfing is a great Sport and the Indonesian Islands here have some of the best waves on the planet. I weighed up the risk and kept informed.
Keep Surfing

We welcome to your comments and information.


Over the years of living and working in Sumatra one of the most frequently asked questions by surfers travelling to Nias, Hinako group & other islands has been as to the risk of Malaria. I my self have had 2 confirmed case of Dengue Fever a mosquito carried virus and have seen numerous cases of Malaria sickness in the villages and island locations frequented by surfers. More recently my 6-year-old daughter contracted the P. vivax strain while living in Sibolga mainland Sumatra. So Malaria and Dengue is real and something that you can catch, so the best advice it is take precautions as recommended by qualified persons.

* With thanks to the Internet for Information & Searching Recourses

Malaria: General Information


Malaria pronounced (mah-LARE-ee-ah)

What is malaria ?

Malaria is a serious, sometimes fatal, disease caused by a parasite. There are four kinds of malaria that can infect humans:

Plasmodium falciparum (plaz-MO-dee-um fal-SIP-a-rum),

P. vivax (VI-vacks),
P. ovale (o-VOL-ley),
P. malaria (ma-LER-ee-aa).

Where does malaria occur ?

Malaria occurs in over 100 countries and territories. More than 40% of the people in the world are at risk. Large areas of Central and South America, Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic), Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Oceania are considered malaria-risk areas (an area of the world that has malaria).

How common is malaria ?

The World Health Organization estimates that yearly 300-500 million cases of malaria occur and more than 1 million people die of malaria. About 1,200 cases of malaria are diagnosed in the United States each year. Most cases in the United States are in immigrants and travelers returning from malaria-risk areas, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian subcontinent.

How do you get malaria ?

Humans get malaria from the bite of a malaria-infected mosquito. When a mosquito bites an infected person, it ingests microscopic malaria parasites found in the person’s blood. The malaria parasite must grow in the mosquito for a week or more before infection can be passed to another person. If, after a week, the mosquito then bites another person, the parasites go from the mosquito’s mouth into the person’s blood. The parasites then travel to the person’s liver, enter the liver’s cells, grow and multiply. During this time when the parasites are in the liver, the person has not yet felt sick. The parasites leave the liver and enter red blood cells; this may take as little as 8 days or as many as several months. Once inside the red blood cells, the parasites grow and multiply. The red blood cells burst, freeing the parasites to attack other red blood cells. Toxins from the parasite are also released into the blood, making the person feel sick. If a mosquito bites this person while the parasites are in his or her blood, it will ingest the tiny parasites. After a week or more, the mosquito can infect another person.

Each year in the United States, a few cases of malaria result from blood transfusions, are passed from mother to fetus during pregnancy, or are transmitted by locally infected mosquitoes.

What are the signs and symptoms of malaria ?

Symptoms of malaria include fever and flu-like illness, including shaking chills, headache, muscle aches, and tiredness. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may also occur. Malaria may cause anemia and jaundice (yellow coloring of the skin and eyes) because of the loss of red blood cells. Infection with one type of malaria, P. falciparum, if not promptly treated, may cause kidney failure, seizures, mental confusion, coma, and death.

How soon will a person feel sick after being bitten by an infected mosquito ?

For most people, symptoms begin 10 days to 4 weeks after infection, although a person may feel ill as early as 8 days or up to 1 year later. Two kinds of malaria, P. vivax and P. ovale, can relapse; some parasites can rest in the liver for several months up to 4 years after an infected mosquito bites a person. When these parasites come out of hibernation and begin invading red blood cells, the person will become sick.

How is malaria diagnosed ?

Malaria is diagnosed by looking for the parasites in a drop of blood. Blood will be put onto a microscope slide and stained so that the parasites will be visible under a microscope.

Any traveler who becomes ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling and up to 1 year after returning home should immediately seek professional medical care. You should tell your health care provider that you have been traveling in a malaria-risk area.

Who is at risk for malaria ?

Persons living in and travelers to, any area of the world where malaria is transmitted may become infected.

What is the treatment for malaria ?

Malaria can be cured with prescription drugs. The type of drugs and length of treatment depend on which kind of malaria is diagnosed, where the patient was infected, the age of the patient, and how severely ill the patient was at start of treatment.

How can malaria and other travel-related illnesses be prevented ?

Visit your health care provider 4-6 weeks before foreign travel for any necessary vaccinations and a prescription for an antimalarial drug.
Take your antimalarial drug exactly on schedule without missing doses.
Prevent mosquito and other insect bites. Use DEET insect repellent on exposed skin and flying insect spray in the room where you sleep.
Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts, especially from dusk to dawn. This is the time when mosquitoes that spread malaria bite.
Sleep under a mosquito bednet that has been dipped in permethrin insecticide if you are not living in screened or air-conditioned housing.
Malaria-risk information is available from CDC’s Fax Information Service or at CDC’s Internet Website:

To request fax information, call 1-888-232-3299 and listen to the instructions. For the directory of all available traveler’s health faxes, arranged by regions of the world, request document number 000005.
For more information on malaria, see the Diseases section and read Prescription Drugs for Preventing Malaria (Information for the Public), Preventing Malaria in Pregnant Women (Information for the Public), and Preventing Malaria in Infants and Children (Information for the Public).

Identical malaria prevention information is provided at the CDC Internet website and the toll free fax information service.

This fact sheet is for information only and is not meant to be used for self-diagnosis or as a substitute for consultation with a health care provider. If you have any questions about the disease described above or thinks that you might have malaria, consult a health care provider.


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* Have Photo & Story
Outside Right
Outside Left *
Mainland Nias
Hinako Island Group
Bawa Island Right *
Asu Island
Tello Island Group *
Other Facts of Interest
Waves In Nias •
Main Break •
   * Outside Classic Nias •
* Inside Kiddies Corner •
* Indicators •
* Machine Left •
River Mouth •
Geographically •
Amagumi Losmen Nias 1981