An Intermediate’s Guide to Surfing Lombok

5 February, 2024 | Lombok, Surfing

Articles directed at surfing skill levels are funny things. 

A quick search will show that practically every surfing hotspot around the world claims to have waves for all skill levels… but common sense says otherwise. The truth is that while some destinations have waves for every ability, many more cater to a specific type of surfer.

Lombok, however, is fortunate to be one of the few places with waves for everyone–from fledgling foam catchers right up to pros–but intermediate-level surfers definitely have the best of it. 

This means that if you’ve progressed past the beginner stage and are confident in catching your own waves, navigating lineups and performing manoeuvres, Lombok might just be the ideal surf spot for you.

Read on to discover our intermediate surf guide to Lombok, Indonesia!

Lombok’s surf scene / In a (coco)nutshell

Lombok’s surf scene is still in its infancy compared to that of Bali, but don’t think for a second that this is an indication of inferiority. 

Anyone who’s been here before will tell you that it holds its own when it comes to waves. And with the entire southern coastline filled with playful reef breaks and dreamy beaches, you’ll be spoilt for choice. What’s more, the fact that Lombok’s surf scene is still being realised means it often feels like you’re discovering a new surfing paradise.

There aren’t any major surfing competitions held here, which means it’s not as exposed to the international community. And unlike Bali, which is notoriously fickle during the rainy season, Lombok  boasts consistent swell and favourable winds during the wet season. This island was first “discovered” by travelling Japanese and Australian surfers in the 70s who were drawn to Lombok’s rugged charm and pristine waves. 

Since then, the surf scene here has changed surprisingly little compared to Bali. As such, it retains its off-the-beaten-track feel and remains an understated surfing mecca.

5 reasons why Lombok is suitable for intermediate surfers

Myriad intermediate-level surf spots

There are lots of fantastic beginner spots and a couple of insanely good advanced-level waves, but the bulk of the beach and reef breaks on Lombok are suited to intermediates. 

From the east to the west of Kuta, you’ll find an array of waves that are sure to make your frontal lobe flicker with excitement. And the best part? Because we employ local surf guides to take our surfers, you can rest assured that no matter the conditions they’ll always find something for you to ride. 

Seriously, since our opening in 2019 we’ve had one day out of 1,826 days when it was unsurfable. That means there’s a 0.05% chance you’ll get skunked… and we love those odds!

Consistent wet season waves

If you’ve been following us for a while, you’ll know that we love, love, LOVE the wet season on Lombok. The lush landscapes. The lack of crowds. The dreamy waves and glassy conditions. It’s the best!

Of course, this probably comes as a surprise to anyone who’s been in Bali during the rainy months. But the island of Lombok is situated slightly further east, which means we receive less rainfall, consistent swell and favourable winds throughout both seasons. 

This is a major drawcard for intermediate surfers who want reliable waves and don’t want their trip to be ruined by unpredictable conditions.

Fewer crowds than other Indonesian surf zones

Indonesia is slowly getting a reputation for being overcrowded with surfers, but whenever you dig a little deeper, you’ll realise that people use the word “Indonesia” when instead they mean “Bali”.

It’s probably no surprise to anyone who’s been there, but Bali’s natural beauty, ever-smiling locals and world-class waves have made it quite touristy. And with hundreds of thousands more people arriving daily, this is set to continue.

Lombok, on the other hand, has retained its far flung, semi-remote feel. While it’s certainly not as sparse as it once was, Lombok still boasts blissfully uncrowded breaks that are ideal for intermediate surfers looking to hone their skills without feeling overwhelmed in the lineup.

A burgeoning community of intermediate-level surfers

They say that to learn is to grow and to grow is to surround yourself with new people. 

If that’s the case, then surfers will be delighted to hear that Lombok’s community of intermediate-level longboarders isn’t just making up the numbers… it’s thriving!

This is especially important if you’re a longboarder who wants to visit Lombok to improve your skills, as surfing with others of the same ability level ensures you’ll constantly have someone to push and inspire you. Personally, we believe the best way to do this is to join one of our surfing retreats. This way you can meet people from around the world who are on a similar journey to you. 

Let’s not forget either that if you’re travelling solo (as many of our guests do), it’s a fantastic way to make new friends and have an unforgettable holiday! 

Plenty of opportunities to accelerate your surfing skills

If you visit a surf destination with only beginner surf spots, you’ll find it hard to challenge yourself in new waves once you get comfortable. Conversely, a surf zone with only expert-level waves can be downright daunting.

That’s why a place like Lombok is so attractive for intermediates. Not only are there a variety of waves suited to your skill level, but there are also plenty of chances to accelerate your surfing skills by riding new and exciting breaks, and getting longboard tips from our crew.

If you’re comfortable surfing beach breaks but want to try surfing over reefs, you can easily do that. If you’re enjoying longer and longer rides BUT you’re still yet to get barrelled, there are waves that cater to your green room ambitions.

Final thoughts

At the risk of talking Lombok up too much, there really aren’t many places that offer such perfect setups for intermediate surfers. 

It really is a playground for those who sit between beginner and advanced, and it all comes back to the sheer number of options available, the friendly lineups and the uncrowded breaks.

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