Photos: Empty perfection in Paradise – North Sumatra

Some people travel over 40 hour to find perfect waves, and who’s to say that that’s not worth it? Two weeks ago 3 friends decided to explore Sumatra; It wouldn’t take 40 hours as they’re based in Bali, but it didn’t take much less.

It all started in Canggu with a plan; then we needed to get to Padang to board a chartered boat that would take us to “paradise”.

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It took 22 hours from leaving Bali until we set foot onto one of the many Islands of North Sumatra. The place is amazing, light blue crystal water, coconut trees fringing perfect white sand beaches and perfect right-handers peeling for 200 meters. To make it even better there were no other surfers around. We were going to have it all to ourselves.

We had 12 days of non-stop surfing; on the smallest day we surfed 2ft waves (chest to shoulder high) and the biggest day saw us enjoying 6ft sets at a perfect left hander. After 3 or 4 days of surfing alone we met a crew of 10 guys on a boat at a fun right-hander. As we hadn’t come all this way to surf in a crowd we decide to leave them and to look for something else. This happened for 3 or 4 days until we scored an epic wave and decided to share it with the crew from the boat. Granted it was a crowd for those parts, with 8 guys out, but the surreal surroundings and adventure spirit had everyone in a good mood and there was a great vibe in the water, with everybody taking turns and cheering for each other. It was a real surfing.

Other trip highlights included regular visits from a turtle we named Myrtle, who regularly hung out and watched us surf, and almost catching a massive eagle fascinated by our fishing lure while we trawled for fish. The trip back on a Coast Guard ship was pretty cool as well, but that’s a whole other story.

So if you have the will to surf perfect waves only with your friends, take an adventure, explore and channel the spirit of those surfers who discovered Indo in the 70s. There are still some places to be discovered.


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