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Teiki Mathieu Baillan surfing a self-made Alaya surfboard in Macaroni, Mentawaï, Indonesia. Photo by C. Naslain, 2009.

Surf spot atlas made by surfers for surfers
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Indonesia, Savu Sea

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Datum: WGS84 [ Help ]
Precision: Exact

GPS History (1)

Latitude: 9° 46.886' S
Longitude: 119° 22.384' E

User rating (5)

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Go to nihiwatu resort. You will find the wave in front of

English (Translate this text in English): Go to nihiwatu resort. You will find the wave in front of

English (Translate this text in English): Go to nihiwatu resort. You will find the wave in front of

English (Translate this text in English): Go to nihiwatu resort. You will find the wave in front of

DistanceSurf trip

WalkShort walk (5-15 mn)

Easy to find?OK

Public access?Public access

Special accessDon't know

 Surf Spot Characteristics

Surf Spot Quality

Wave qualityWorld Class

ExperienceExperienced surfers





BottomReef (coral, sharp rocks etc..)

PowerHollow, Fast, Powerful

Normal lengthNormal (50 to 150m)

Good day lengthLong (150 to 300 m)

Tide, Swell and Wind

Good swell direction

Good wind direction

Swell sizeStarts working at 1.5m-2m /5ft-6ft and holds up to 2.5m+ / 8ft+

Best tide positionMid and high tide

Best tide movementRising and falling tides

More details

Week crowdFew surfers

Week-end crowdFew surfers

Webcam url 


- Rocks

 Additional Information

different section, for different surfer level;

English (Translate this text in English): different section, for different surfer level;

English (Translate this text in English): different section, for different surfer level;

English (Translate this text in English): different section, for different surfer level;


Excellent wave. Less wind before the days before and after the full moon.
Check it!

English (Translate this text in English): Excellent wave. Less wind before the days before and after the full moon. <br />Check it!

English (Translate this text in English): Excellent wave. Less wind before the days before and after the full moon. &lt;br &#47;&gt;Check it!

English (Translate this text in English): Excellent wave. Less wind before the days before and after the full moon. &amp;lt;br &amp;#47;&amp;gt;Check it!



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By cWaveSurfer , 03-06-2018

Good wave + excellent resort = unsure of mission - Had the chance to surf Nihi on 2018's 1st swell of the season. Ulu's was 3-4x OH and think MS's forecast for Nihi was 7-8ft @ 16-18 seconds. It's probably safe to say I caught the place at almost as good as it gets.

I surfed with a guy who's been going to Nihiwatu since it was opened. He claims the wave can start further up the reef for a longer ride, but from what I saw, ranging from double OH the 1st two days down to chest high the last two, it is the last section of reef that provides waves that don't close out.

That said the wave is fast and it is sectiony. Even at double OH I found it hard to beat the first section on many of the waves. This is coming from a new dad that's 15 lbs overweight and gets a surf weekend about every 6 weeks. I had some challenges, but there were a couple guys in better shape that surfed better than me making the barrels and hacks look easy.

Point is the wave is not a machine. It's not Balangan, it's not the ments, and it's not Cloudbreak. You have to be quick on your feet and able to bob and weave with its "character". A quick pop and mid line vs going to the bottom is the approach you want to take.

Swell wise it's open to everything but a due S. Tide wise you'll want to go close to a full moon as others have said. If you can also cue that up with a spring tide you'll be able to surf almost all day. Shoulder season will offer the best winds. I hear July and August can get pretty windy and chop the face up. When we went during the last week of April it was glassy all day.

So wave wise I'd say its good but not perfect. If you go have your A game on.

Resort wise the place is awesome. Think Robinson Crusoe meets Aman resorts. Service is first class, food is super fresh and prepared any way you want it. I watched a couple staff come in at noon with some tuna and larger game fish that was on the table the same evening. The staff have the break wired and will definitely take off deeper than most however forget what the haters hear say. Give a friendly wave and they're happy to peel off. The resort has changed hands since these last reports were put up so don't know about the drama with the town people just know they took care of us and couldn't of asked for anything more. Since it has changed hands the price has gone up considerably from what people say. I think the lowest end bungalow goes for $700 USD per night plus $100 a day if you want to surf :O

So to sum it up kind of a mixed bag. If you are going there strictly to surf at $800 a day one can get a birth on any charter boat they want AND surf much better waves.I'd like to go back, but don't need to. If you are a very fit surfer with a family and are looking for the whole package of resort service etc, and are OK with not surfing a machine like wave for this chunk of change than Nihi is a pretty awesome choice.

By Zen100 , 27-11-2010

Nihiwatu -- A Truth Revealed - Nihiwatu was one of my destinations to investigate including the Surf, the nature of the Eco Tourism resort , its owner Claude, Petra and the Sumba Foundation. I had heard wonderful experiences from a number of people who had stayed at Nihiwatu. I also had read a few comments that raised questions. I therefore decided to go find out for myself, what is the truth of Nihiwatu, Claude and the operation of this Eco Resort. I had been surfing Nusa Lemongan for three weeks and then decided the only way to find out what are the facts and what is the truth about Nihiwatu, was to spend an ample amount of time there and explore it thoroughly. I saved up enough money to be able to stay for 3 weeks. Off I went to Sumba. This is what I found for myself at Nihiwatu: I found a leading edge Eco Tourism focused responsible resort. I am very interested in Eco Tourism and found Nihiwatu to be actually on the forefront of what is possible as it relates to symbiotic economics and a socially responsible operation. Because i had read a few frustrated comments from some surfers I wanted to dive deep and find out for myself what was the truth at Nihiwatu. I came away after almost three weeks with a very clear impression of its owner and how the enterprise is run. Nihiwatu and The Sumba Foundation are aiding thousands of local families with Education, food, water, medicine, and a cultural exchange opportunity for guests and the local villages. I went and visited a number of them and spoke to the local kids, parents and elders. They were all very grateful and open about what they have received as a result of the Nihiwatu resort and Sumba Foundation. I had my own speculations before arriving to Nihiwatu. I found a very passionate man with a good vision to help support thousands of people having improved health, education, living, medicine, water and the basics that can contribute to an otherwise threatened life.
The Staff that works at Nihiwatu were some of the happiest and most grateful locals that I had met anywhere in Sumba or my travels throughout Indonesia. THe level of attention given to the local kids for school, art projects, opportunity to learn and live a healthy life with expanded possibilities was unmatched with any eco friendly resort I had seen on a number of continents. For me the true test was how random local kids, and parents reacted when I would run into them either on some obscure beach, or near a local village far from Nihiwatu. 100 percent of the time they praised Claude and what he and Petra were doing and how it has aided their lives positively. As far as the support that is taking place around Sumba as a result of Nihiwatu and Claudes vision, absolutely it is happening, has been happening and it is a solid program which is benefiting the locals.

I also was able to review their business plans for the resort and foundation and they are very conscious and clean as it relates to distribution of capital and maximizing the opportunity to support the local villages. I found Claude to be very open and transparent and allowed me to explore all of the inner workings of the business and the Sumba Foundation. Nihiwatu is a leading edge example of how wealth can be distributed with conscious and social intention to support the local less fortunate while preserving their culture. Which I found to be one of Claude's highest values.

As far as the surf and the wave is concerned, the surf was excellent much of the time while I was there, and having only 9 people on he wave made it a very rare and special opportunity. The Left held up nicely on bigger swells. was fast clean and allowed for all levels of surf to be explored. It is a friendly wave as well as challenging for advanced surfers. We also went to two other breaks which were rights and a ton of fun. The wave definitely delivered.
As far as the issue and frustrations around controlling a wave by the resort. I have a few thoughts to share. I am just one person and one point of view however I also looked into this deeply since I had mixed feeling about this going into my stay at Nihiwatu. In the end what I came away with regarding this issue was the following: Sure it is frustrating for surfers who are not staying or cant afford to stay at Nihiwatu to be unable to surf the wave. yes that alone can be frustrating. However, if the nature of the wave and how it is attracting financial support that his helping the lives of thousands with malaria, education, water, school buildings, food, jobs, etc. If the cost to help thousands daily is that some of us surfers can not surf this wave then I think that we as surfers should , even if frustrated given to our own desires not being met, we should be willing to give up our own needs on this one for the locals who are being served in a much more meaningful way then we are by surfing the wave. The benefit vs the cost of not surfing the wave. This is the equation that needs to be considered. The structure of the Resort attracts capital because of the wave and its limited number of surfers. This capital is flowing to help the villages and the kids and families. Therefore I came away feeling really good knowing and seeing for myself that my dollars being spent were serving the local villages and that felt really good to me and a great investment of all the hard work that had gone into supporting my trip. If not surfing one wave can support thousands, I think its a fair trade and should be worth considering. In the end the world is turning into a global economy, and those that are more fortunate, including most of us that can surf as compared to the impoverished lives of much of the worlds population, we need to continue to find ways that our actions can support the lives of the less fortunate. This is one small example of how that can happen. Sure if every wave became a vehicle for helping the poor, and there was not access to surfers , then sure it would be terrible. However if a few waves can support this amount of people and make an impact on this many lives then I think its worth our supporting the overall context.
I understand if you dont know Claude and are not clear as to how the Resort works and the foundation. However That is exactly why I went and immersed myself in both and the locals to find out what was true. Yes Claude smokes and i hope he will stop smoking for his own health and those around him, however we each have our own demons to battle. In the end If Found Nihiwatu to be very inspiring and to be a very socially conscious well serving eco friendly resort that is making a difference in a vast number of lives and that amount of change and meaning was well worth that fact that i could not surf a fourth week and would have to save up for another year to try and come back. I am open to sharing any facts that I learned for those of you who do not know by direct experience. Nihiwatu and The Sumba Foundation along with CLaude, Petra, and their staff, are top notch, full of integrity and they are serving the people of SUmba in a meaningful way. If they were not I would not be in favor of the waves management. They are and I can get myself behind them for these reasons.

Thanks for reading this and considering my experience. I am just one guy who loves to surf. and loves the intention of how the more fortunate can assist with sustainable models for improving lives.
Thanks for your time.

By Anonymous , 06-09-2010

Niiwatu, a travellers tale - Just did 10 days exploring Sumba, it's not bali, ments etc wave wise, it is mostly sideshore or blown in trades everywhere you go (time we were there at least!) but awesome place and people and the odd wave but definitely hard work traveling.
I have an open mind and like 2 sides to every story and I read Claudes on his website and articles, sadly and surprisingly, I never heard a good word from a local (or other for that matter)and thought hard before posting this, but it needs to be out there so good people can make good decisions about where to put their dollars.
It is common local knowledge that and elder of the Ni'iwatu village was murdered (knifed) as mentioned in another comment as he was too vocal about losing beach access etc in his HOME village to Claude, the murdered villagers daughter now lives in Rua (I am told by person very close to this operation), east across the peninsular where the Sumba Foundation has built an incredible stone "foundation house" in the very rural and very poor, very low population village (best building by far in area. They could have probably helped a 1000 kids with the build money)....I may be cynical here but it just seems to be a good spot to keep a surf boat and monitor / control crew trying to access Ni'iwatu "illegally" as the SUPER POOR locals said you are "not allowed" to go there surfing but can go further east to surf a (crap) wave... It seems foundations are almost a must if you want to have any power / ownership in Sumba with the govt so watch for smoke and also perhaps money laundering to officials. Also note who is in bed with the foundation, Goldman Sachs ex your own research on that nasty pack of global thieves if you care to follow that worm hole...I hope quicksilver and the like know the potential underbelly of these crew as they have signed up...
-Resort built by "almost" all non Sumbanese from ground up, almost no local income for whole project including materials imported mainly from Bali.
-Locals now on peanut wages but perhaps happy to have job stopping their own people and others accessing public property beach.
-Senior courageous local murdered wanting local access for his people, seeing what was on the horizon, we see it now.
-Owner "seems" to be hated in Sumba other than few corrupt officials and the other lucky few that benefit. When was the last time a truly good operation was so hated in a local area? "not good man" (orang tidak bagus)said way to many times by way to many people for the website care spiel to be accurate.
-If you turn up there and willing to pay, you will have to return to Bali and pay there to surf break, not for surf traveller peasants it seems.
-local kids hired to throw stones from cliff at surfers trying to access beach
-boat surfers threatened and stink eyed IN WATER
-local law indicates it is illegal to block a beach, they do so but allow the authorities to "do their job"..
-Foundation may well be a front that helps a little rather than a lot.
Do the math, there is many US$1000's of US$ moving thru that resort each busy day in accommodation alone, ...I hope Bali is safe and treating Claude and his family well and karma treats them kindly. It will be the true judge of right or wrong doings. I do hope it is overall right doings for everyone involved and the locals I met have their wires crossed somehow.

Basically seems to be another operation taking Gold from this already poor island and trying to turn it into a charitable operation marketing ploy, returning copper coins painted gold...the modern comes the marines oh, no, it's goldman sachs tulmudic (google tulmud quotes for their pedophile loving bible information) operation, sorry, new era.

Would like to see some accurate figures on who and where people are being helped on Sumba by this operation and if it is in areas not of benefit to their operation only on a decent scale, hopefully I am wrong and they are doing really well, I just did not find *anyone* there who thought so....the really funny thing was, I never asked, people would just seem to talk about it when they saw our surfboards and assumed we were heading there, maybe they were afraid we were not going to be a source of income for them and their families?

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