Our super surf agent, Steve has just returned from his trip to Nias checking out the brand new KabuNohi Resort
As a kid, I had a poster on my wall, pulled from the pages of an old surf mag. The poster was of a mindlessly perfect Indonesian right hander, a strangely coloured green wave, funneling down the reef, not a drop out of place, all set against an incredible coconut palm fringed backdrop. This image has always been imprinted in my mind and it evoked a deep longing to set out on my own voyages of surf discovery! This image was of Lagundri bay on Nias southern tip and I recently had the privilege of getting over there to experience the wave and the area first hand thanks to KabuNohi Sorake Resort!
The journey over to Lagundri is relatively easy and straight forward (compared to that of the early Nias pioneers!) You can fly to Medan, North Sumatra from most major cities in Australia with Singapore Airlines. On arrival in Medan you are met by the team from PT Boraspati who make the transit through Medan a breeze and help you get checked in for the short Lion Air flight to Gunung Sitoli, Nias. At Gunung Sitoli Airpot, a representative from KabuNohi Resort is waiting for you to whisk you down to the resort. The 2.5 hour drive down to Lagundri Bay is an easy one, with plenty of scenery to keep you interested, however the thought of getting stuck into some perfect barrels to wash away the accumulated travel grime probably makes the drive feel longer then it is!
When you finally arrive in Lagundri Bay, and catch you first glimpse of the Point, that’s when reality sinks in and you realise you’ve finally made it!
I was greeted at KabuNohi by owners, Mark and Debi Flint. Mark is one of the early surf pioneers of the area and runs KabuNohi Sorake Resort with his wife and god children. Mark and Debi are the ultimate hosts. From the minute I got there I was welcomed as part of the family. They are so conscious of their guests needs and go above and beyond to create a sense of comfort and homeliness.
After a quick introduction, I hastily finned up, chucked some boardies on, and with Marks assistance, made my way out to the line-up. I have to say, this was one of the most memorable experiences of my surfing life. Walking out over the reef, paddling out through the Key hole and around the back of the line-up, sitting in on the shoulder and taking in my surroundings in the late afternoon light. Perfect 4 ft waves were rolling through with scaringly consistent frequency, the Point really is a wave machine! I took my place at the back of the line and waited for my chance to turn on a fun sized wave. I’ll never forget my first glimpse of the palm fringed bay from behind the Lagundri Bay curtain. A small head dip by Nias standards but a vision imprinted in my mind nonetheless!
There are three parts to the wave at Lagundri Bay. To the right of the keyhole, Indicators reels off tantalisingly tempting those paddling out with grinding barrels breaking over shallow reef! Only a good idea if the locals are on it. To the Left on the Key hole is The Point, just an incredibly perfect stretch of reef from 2 – 15 ft. A wave machine that churned out wave after wave for the duration of my stay!
On smaller swell and higher tides, the wave reforms and hugs the inside point, breaking and finally wedging up at Kiddies Corner. The deck at KabuNohi Sorake overlooks this part of the point and its great to have a post-sesh Bintang whilst watching the local grom’s go to town!
There are a couple of other spots in the area which offer up some alternatives in different swells/ unfavourable winds, Mark can help you get to these waves with ease but at the end of the day, it is hard to drag yourself away from the Bay! We got a little right hander up the coast one afternoon which served up some punchy barrels, good fun!
Lagundri Bay is an old “surf camp”, with a long history, an established local surf scene and a crew of guys who have travelled there for ever. It is a place where surf etiquette and a smile go a long way. You can have an amazing trip with too many waves to count by falling in line i, waiting your turn in the line-up and not being afraid to have a chat with the locals!
Back at the KabuNohi (aka “home”) Mark and Debi whip you up 3 amazing meals a day. You need this after spending 6 hours (or more) in the water every day! The food is sensational, seriously some of the most delicious food I have ever had. Dinner always consists of a variety of Indonesian dishes, fresh delicious and plentiful! And of course, there are always plenty of cold Bintangs to go around!
KabuNohi Resort has two Standard Bungalows, two Deluxe Bungalows and the Surf house. These rooms can be configured to accommodate various groups sizes or individuals. The Standard and Deluxe bungalows have ensuites (with hot water) and air con, which, as a terribly soft millennial, I found amazing whilst trying to escape the mid-day heat! The rooms are spacious, clean and super comfortable. The build on the bungalows is beautiful and the resort is in a league of it’s own over there.
For me this was more than just a surf trip. The Bay has seen some things, with 2 major earth quakes, a plethora of local history and folklore, which, combined with the surf history there, makes it an incredibly interesting place. Mark is so knowledgeable when it comes to all the history and will happily have a chat with those who are interested. It’s worth taking some time out of the water to have a wonder around the village, the people are so friendly. The local kids run a full coconut mafia, it’s awesome! They will ask you your name and remember it and the try sell you a coconut daily. I loved this as interaction like this is what makes travelling so amazing. It’s great to engage the locals and not be scared to have a chat! It’s worth mentioning the buying a coke or a water from a couple different Warung’s goes a long way in the community. I would highly recommend a trip up the hill to the traditional village. There is an incredible view of the bay and the village is a throwback in time with traditional houses line the cobblestone street. Here you can see the famous “rock jump”. This is a great experience and a great change of scenery from the Bay (it’s nice and cool up there!)
All in all it was an illuminating surf trip for me, one that gave me much to think about past simply my own surfing experience! I would go so far as to say, probably the most important trip I have ever done in terms of giving me a bit of perspective whilst enjoying amazing surf! To many of the other surfers I spoke to, this seemed to be a similar experience across the board. It’s a special place!
Thanks again to Mark abnd Debi for their hospitality and having me at KabhuNohi Sorake, it really was a dream come true!