Cheat Notes – Banyak Islands
Uncrowded surf breaks, untouched natural rainforest, amazing sunsets and warm tropical waters await you for one of the best surf trips of your life.
Just North of Nias lies an idyllic tropical oasis that has filled surfers dream-bank for years. The Banyaks is one of surfing’s last frontiers in Indonesia and maybe even the world with a smorgasboard of epic Sumatran set ups to keep you grinning from ear to ear.
Equipment of Choice
Generally speaking, the majority of people going to the Banyaks are travelling via charter boat and for a minimum of 10 nights. This gives you an ample swell window of opportunity and its common to get at least one or two swells during this time. Because of this you probably want to come prepared.
Due to being a bit closer to the equator, the Banyaks doesn’t get the gnarly waves the Mentawais can get on a big swell. However the Indian Ocean packs a punch wherever you surf on a swell so come prepared and check the forecast before you pack.
We recommend a small wave board, a couple of magic short boards and a step-up at least 6 or 7 inches bigger than your normal shorty.
** The Banyaks is also a popular choice for mal-riders.
Expect 6-10ft swells from the SW when they come. Often though, the Banyaks ranges in size from 3-6ft and its one of the funnest places to surf on the planet as a result.
Much like the rest of Indo, The Banyaks main surf season in March – October with the peak of the swell happening June, July & August.
Due to the doldrums latitude, wind patterns are pretty calm with no real dominant wind. Early in the season it tends to swing NW and June to October it swings SE which is probably more ideal.
Water temperature is a balmy 26 – 30 degrees year round.
Treasure Island is perhaps the most well-known wave in this region and its easy to see why. On its day ‘Treasures’ can reach rides up to 400 metres with multiple barrel sections. It has earned a reputation for being the easiest wave on the planet to get multiple barrels. You are also likely to come out of more barrels on one wave at Treasure Island than you have your entire life.
The Bay of Plenty has also developed a solid reputation for being a go-to spot during the peak season. The left-hander known as ‘Clarets’ or ‘Lolok Point’ is an amazing wave that works in 3ft – 12ft and can be a real leg burner.
Joysticks is the right hander in the bay. Like the name suggests Joysticks resembles a skate park like bowl that is super fun and super rippable from 2ft – 8ft. It has become a firm favorite with World Surfaris guests who have been lucky enough to score it over the years.
Other popular waves include Turtles and Cobras, Two left handers not far from each other and Lizards Nest, which resembles the length and hollowness of Kirra.
Be well prepared heading anywhere in Indo. Many of these regions are VERY isolated with limited phone reception or medical help. The boat you choose is also a big decision. Many operators in the Mentawais claim they know these areas but have very little to do with them in the past. We recommend booking a boat that is based in this region and knows it better than anyone else.
Some things to consider:
- Visit your doctor before you leave to discuss any health issues you may have and what remedies you can get in case of emergency
- Be prepared for seasickness, reef cuts, dengue fever, malaria etc
- If you wouldn’t rick dropping into a 6ft beachie don’t attempt it on a 6ft reef break. Surf within your capabilities!
- Do some training before you leave home. It doesn’t take much to go for a run or swim before/after work. There is no substitute for surfing though! Also…lay off the donuts and beers for a few weeks.
- Take the right equipment. Your quiver can make or break your trip!
- Bring a fishing rod, books, music for chilling or flat days
- Listen to your surfguide. He or She lives there, all your study on surf-forecast sites doesn’t mean shit when you get there and understand the set ups
For more information on the Banyaks head to www.worldsurfaris.com/region/north-sumatra