Batu Karas: Surfing the West Java’s South Coast

Settled on the coast of West Java, 200 km from Bandung, lies the remote coastal village of Batu Karas. Away from the hustle and bustle of touristy sister beaches of Pangandaran or even Bali, it is a rare gem of a place that simply leaves you be.

Batu Karas is a living, working village which has been chosen by ‘Lonely Planet’ travel guide as one of Asia’s most beautiful beaches for 2012 generated by the dark sand along the beach, lush greenery on the rock, and fantastic waves of the sea.

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Batu Karas is already popular among surfers, locally and globally. Aside from the relatively flat beach, Batu Karas also has a small bay, so surfers don’t have to paddle too far to the line-ups.  For beginners there are a lot of surfing equipment rentals that offer complete surfing necessities, along with experienced instructors who can teach all one needs to know about surfing. So, it doesn’t matter whether you are a professional surfer or have never surfed at all, you can still try to catch the waves of Batu Karas.

There are three spots that are commonly known among surfers: Karang, Legok Pari and Bulak Bendak.

Karang, literally means ‘coral rocks’, is a right-handers with an easy takeoff that leads into fast walls unraveling over a lava reef. This high tide spot can turn on some real quality with clean walls to work on your top/bottom turn combo and down-the-line speed reeling to the beach for around 150 meters. Breaks from waist-to-overhead high.

Legok Pari is the most favorite surf spot among the three, and the perfect beach for beginners since the beach here is relatively safe and waves are not too high.

For more advanced or professional surfers, the waves in Bulak Bendak—a lefthander reef break—can offer some long ramps and tubes. But to get to Bulak Bendak surfers must take a boat ride that cost about Rp 200.000 or 40 minutes drive.

Video: howiesoldman on YouTube

And Batu Karas is not just about surfing. Buggies, Jet Skis and Banana Boats are only a few examples of what you can do on this beach. For those who like adventure, Batu Karas offers several spots fit for camping and hiking. For a more daring adventure, you can ask the locals to take you to Karang Nunggal, an isolated beach with a spectacular view on a huge and high rock on its shore. All in all, Batu Karas is a good vacation resort for everyone. A walk on the beach during sunset, an afternoon coffee at the local “warung”, spending the day watching your kids building sand castles or just bathe under the sun, are just some of the exciting things you can do as you wait for the right swells.

Video: Suseno Haryanto on YouTube

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