Never Ending Captivation

December 8, 2014




I find the most magical moments in Sumatra are in the sunsets and the waves. Mesmerising. These photos are just a sliver of the perfection you can witness every single day, and no matter how many times you see it, it never gets old. Hypnotic. Sunsets have that special ability to make stop whatever you’re doing to just watch and wait. Relaxing. Waves, on the other hand, can do two things. One: send you into an all-out sprint down the beach; or two: stop you dead in your tracks just to watch. Motivating. Waves and sunsets have a special power to make you very present in the moment. Captivating.







Something for Everyone

September 2, 2014

surf krui left
Variety is something you look for on a surf trip, especially a surf trip to indonesia. “The whole package” as they say. The surf in South Sumatra is that package. Krui Left is 5 minutes from Amy’s place, and is a wave that is suited to everyone because of its mechanical perfection. It’s a rampy, fun wave with a barrel section and is offshore when the trades blow (May-October). It’s best at mid tide, however can work on all tides, depending on the swell. While you’re sitting out at Krui Left, you can watch 2 more waves break that are within paddling distance. One is another left, that’s as mechanical and virtually guarantees a barrel. It’s fast wave, and only works on higher tides.

There’s Krui Right in the other direction. Yep, a right in Indonesia. It’s not the most consistent wave in the area, but when it’s on, it’s on! Rumour has it, that there might be more than one right around (wink).

the peak krui

A fun, fast wave. Mandiri is the beach break a short drive south from Amy’s Place, where there are peaks up and down the beach, so crowds aren’t a concern, and you can leave your booties behind. Mandiri is a punchy wave with lots of barrels to go around, and like most beaches, it’s best in the early mornings, and is definitely the place to go if there isn’t much swell around.

mandiri beach surf sumatra

Most would agree that the most popular and dependable wave in South Sumatra is Ujung Bocor, a left, which can provide impossibly long rides and is best suited for the intermediate and above surfer, due to unforgiving nature of the reef.

ujung bocor, karang nyimbor, south sumatra

Only minutes from Ujung Bocor, is Way Jambu, often called Sumatran Pipe. Best at high tide and THE place to go if you came to step up your surfing. A fast, barreling left for accomplished surfers. Hati hati is Indonesian for ‘be careful’. Traveling north from Amy’s Place, are more waves than I can realistically post here. Several are visible as you drive up the ocean view road, through the jungle with monkeys jumping from tree to tree. To name the usual suspects, there’s Jenny’s Right (another right!), which is a fun wave, that has a whack-able wall and a great option if the winds to the south are onshore because Jenny’s will be offshore; then there’s Jimmy’s (right & left), the right being more popular with the body board crowd due to it’s thickness and end section, and the left being more user friendly, but still a heavy wave. Honeysmack’s (also known as A-Bomb) rounds out the top 3 in the Pugung area, but don’t let the name fool you. A quick, barreling left that you want to bring your A game for. You can always find a wave that’s bigger or smaller, faster or slower, or more/less forgiving when you go surfing in Indonesia.

Krui, A Whole New Experience

August 22, 2014

Krui, Sumatra

The thriving metropolis (wink, wink) that is known as Krui, lies in South Sumatra. Like most places, Krui is progressing little by little. There’s a post office, but not a hospital. There are quicky-mart type stores, but not a grocery store. We’re off the beaten path, but not completely left behind. Krui is where you can come on your surf trip and experience ‘real Indonesia’, without leaving every basic necessity behind.

The local people are not tourist oriented, like Bali. They’ve been exposed to tourists for some time now, but are not dependent on the tourist dollar, so you get to see them living life, without Western influence. You’ll see ox-drawn carts beside buses, headed down the road together. You’ll get to experience power outages (don’t worry, our surf camp has a generator, so it’s a painless experience). You’ll become much better at charades as you learn to get by in an area where very little English is spoken.

You’ll love the feeling you get when you realise you’ve slowed down to match the local pace. Isn’t that why you decided to go on a surf trip? So you could surf two or three times a day, and see something you haven’t seen before? To have a peek inside of lives that are very different from yours? One of my favourite times of day is when all the kids are walking home from school. They have on pristine, pint-sized uniforms, some carrying their shoes so they don’t get worn out prematurely, dwarfed under their back-packs, with their little arms around each other, headed to their modest homes that may have a dirt floor and mom washes clothes by hand, but these kids look like they stepped straight out of a big city dry cleaner. Another favourite of mine, is sitting out in the line up and taking the time to turn around and stare at the coast line, instead of the horizon. Krui is a long way from being classified as ‘developed’ so all you see are palm trees and sand, with the odd little shack. There are no resorts here, no hawkers or beggars wandering the beaches, just curious locals who are excited to have you visit the place they call home. Come see something new.

Living the Dream

July 29, 2014

from my very first surf trip, i pondered the thought of having my own little surf camp, in my own little piece of paradise. i think anyone who’s been on vacation anywhere, for any reason, has pondered the same. my dream came true in a little town called Krui, in south sumatra, Indonesia.

wow, that’d be amazing to live my life on a perpetual surf trip, and people pay me to stay there, because they’ve felt inspired to make new memories and get good waves.

all those little slices of heaven that you visit in your dreams, where life moves at a slower pace, the people are always smiling, and all you have to do is enjoy it.

yes, please, sign me up

Living the dream in Sumatra

the 3 years prior to becoming a surf camp builder slash owner, i had no real home, was living out of a surfboard bag, and traveling on a budget. the idea had been making it’s rounds in my head forever, but no place clicked. i reckon it’s a lot like dating. you just know when it’s a good fit… when it’s the right time… the right place.

yes, yes, this will be amazing

everyone asks lots of questions, just like i did (and still do) about how to do something like this.

did you hire someone with a bulldozer to come in, clear, & level the land for you? no, i hired several people with machetes to cut it down. then i hired a guy with a truck & several guys with shovels to dig dirt out of a hillside, put it in the truck (that always showed up on the verge of popping a wheelie), and dump it in the shallow spots of mine.

where did you get an architect? i drew the building plans myself, on a piece of cardboard with a Smurf ruler.

oh, so you know how to build? no, i’ve only assembled Ikea furniture.

obviously you spoke the language before you started this? no. not a word. even this far in, i can’t tell you the days of the week -not like they matter anyway- but i can take you on a detailed tour of the local hardware store. there are even a few things i don’t know the names of in english, but do know in indonesian. most importantly, i’m now stellar at charades.

i’ve gotten 3 buildings up and i get to surf all of the time, but the best part is seeing people get that look that only a good surf trip gives you. that lazy, content smile… that glow that’s more than a sunburn, the one that comes from your soul…

yes, yes, this is living the dream. though i did learn that living the dream is not for the faint of heart.

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