Simeulue Surf Guide
Surfing in Simeulue needs no introduction, as one of the most uncrowded and consistent regions for surfers in Indonesia. With world-class waves around every corner, an abundance of non-surfing adventure, and three top-rated surf resorts to choose from, get ready to immerse yourself in a cultural, wave-rich and tropical escape. The ultimate destination for your next surf trip, keeping reading for a comprehensive surf travel guide on Simeulue Island, North Sumatra.
Simeulue Island, located in the Banda Aceh province, is positioned 150km from Mainland North Sumatra. The island is about 105 kilometres long and 32 kilometres wide. Data varies, but there is approximately 95,000 people living on the island. Although Bahasa Indonesian is the national language of Indonesia, there are over 700 different dialects and villager languages spoken across over 18,000 islands in the region, only 4 of which are believed to be spoken in and around Simeulue.
Simeulue became more widely known after the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, the island is located just 60 kilometres from the earthquake’s epicentre. The earthquake lasted 9 minutes and they received tidal wave surges from 6 to 10 metres high that arrived just 10-15 minutes after the shaking ceased. There were very low casualties on the island itself as the locals were familiar with earthquakes and tsunamis and knew to reach higher ground based on knowledge passed down through the generations for over 100 years. The locals call this story a Semog.
Tourism is relatively new on the island, attracting mainly surfers and their families (many of which describe Simeulue as how Bali used to be thirty years back). Simeulue’s main town is called Sinabang, located around a 15-minuite drive from the airport. Here you’ll find local markets, coffee shops and warungs lining the streets, as well as a large hospital.
The people of Simeulue are mostly warm and welcoming, especially when their way of life is respected. The local religion is Sharia Muslim, with mosques in every village you pass through. When wondering outside of resort areas or travelling to and from surf spots, simple gestures like dressing modestly is always appreciated by locals.
Surfing In Simeulue
Simeulue is one of Indonesia’s last surfing frontiers with several world-class south facing breaks to explore. For visiting surfers, getting around the island is pretty easy via car, motorbike or boat. Or, if you’re staying at a spot like Mahi Mahi Surf Resort or Aua Surf Resort, you can access waves by foot. Travel time from one end of the island to the other is around four hours, and with so many bays, reefs and beaches favouring different conditions you’re guaranteed to score at least something!
Simeulue is situated in the doldrums just two and a half degrees above the equator. The island is not affected by trade winds, meaning winds are most often light and localised, gifting favourable conditions for surfing. There are a multitude of quality waves around the island with something for everyone, ranging from beginner to advanced (the main breaks are somewhere between intermediate and advanced). The swell is all year round too, which makes Simeulue a surf trip destination for any time of the year.
Surfing in Simeulue needs no introduction, as one of the emptiest, yet most consistent regions in Indonesia. For years surfers looking for empty lineups and wave perfection have been travelling to this area and they’re never disappointed. Exploring the island is what a Simeulue surf trip is all about, and with the knowledge of expert surf guides, you’ll no doubt find the waves you’re looking for.
If you’re staying at Mahi Mahi Surf Resort, you’ll wake up to the most consistent wave on the island right at your doorstep. Breaking on reef, the Peak is an ultra-fun a-frame that works on all tides and a variety of swell directions. The left hander has pretty epic barrel sections, some steep turns, and a couple of air sections too. The right hander is a touch mellower but throws a number of different sections at you to smack with the occasional barrel to be found. Neighbouring Aura Surf Resort also has direct access to the wave, positioned just 300m away from Mahi Mahi Surf Resort.
This is an extremely mechanical right hander putting you straight into hollow barrels. It’s a super fun wave, works on all tides, and is very whackable on the smaller days.
There’s the potential to get some of the most amazing barrels of your life at this spot. This exposed reef will handle the big swells but also offers stand up tubes on the smaller days. A short 25-minute boat ride from the main harbour will get you out there.
This wave is a long left hander at the bottom of the island breaking in deep water, with a really nice shaped playful wall that keeps you paddling back out. Thailand’s is a 45-minute drive away from Mahi Mahi Surf Resort for example, followed by a 5-minute boat ride out to the lineup.
This a-frame works on similar swell conditions to the Peak and is only a 15-minute drive away from Aura and Mahi Mahi Surf Resort. A more opened-faced left hander compared to the Peak, with some incredible sections for turns and barrels. The right hander however is not as consistent, and can get hollow and very shallow on the inside.
This bay located on the south end of the island has a variety of set ups. From barrelling right handers to rip bowl beach breaks, and a long, hollow left hander that grinds down the inside south point. Whatever the swell angle or winds, there’s usually some fun to be had in this bay!
Babi and Lasia Island’s
Pristine rainforest and deep-sea ocean swells hit these islands, meaning there’s a variety of waves depending on the conditions. Incredibly long right hand walls, slabs, and barrelling left hand reefs. It’s also a great place for fishing, diving, and snorkelling. This day trip is a 2-hour boat trip from the main harbour.
Inor Beach Break
Depending on the surf resort you’re staying at, this uncrowded and reliable beachie is between 5-15 minutes away via scooter or car.
Simeulue Surf Resorts
Medan is the fifth largest city in Indonesia, and your gateway to Simeulue. You can fly to Medan via major cities such as Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur or Denpasar, followed by daily hour-long flights from Medan to Simeulue. This means surf trips on the shorter side are more than possible if your itinerary is pieced together smartly.
There are a handful of surf camps and resorts in Simeulue, although our top picks are Mahi Mahi Surf Resort, Aura Surf Resort and Moon Beach Resort. Choosing the right one is important when it comes to a Simeulue surf trip, location is everything and so is access to a surf guide who not only knows the main breaks, but secret spots too (there are many!).
There’s a lot on offer outside of surfing in the region, from natural wonders like waterfalls and trekking, to activities in and around the ocean such as diving, fishing and island-hopping. A surf trip to Simeulue is often regarded as far more than your average surf trip. It’s an adventure, a remote escape, and a cultural immersion all at once.
Aura Surf Resort
Aura Surf Resort is one of the original surf resort offerings on the island. The crew at Aura are really good people and have built a solid reputation and repeat client base over the years. Aura is the kind of place that caters to a core surfer looking for that classic surf trip. The bungalows are recently renovated, the facilities are purposefully designed, and the resort is situated right in front of the surf.
Mahi Mahi Surf Resort
Mahi Mahi Surf Resort is a few hundred metres down the road from Aura, featuring an infinity pool and yoga studio making it an optimal choice for surfers travelling with family or non-surfing friends. The resort has a variety of accommodation options, from single rooms to double rooms and villas suited for larger groups. Partnering with organisations such as Ecosystem Impact and Bangkaru Turtle Project, Mahi Mahi Surf Resort supports various community and environmental initiatives, and welcomes guests to get involved in between surfs.
Moon Beach Resort
Moon Beach Resort is about a 10-minute drive south, and among the more affordable surf resorts on the island. For surfers chasing a surf, eat, sleep, repeat experience, Moon Beach Resort ticks all the essential boxes and won’t break the bank either.
The best of both worlds, a Mahi Mahi surf trip combines the core surf adventure with a premium resort experience, perfectly positioned on Simeulue Island.Explore Trip
The beautiful Aura Surf Resort is located on Simeulue Island, in the heart of North Sumatra, Indonesia. Guests are in for a treat at this…Explore Trip
Moon Beach Resort is an idyllic surf resort catering to all types of surfers, tucked away on the West Coast of Simeulue Island in the…Explore Trip
Simeulue Surf Trip
Start curating your dream surf trip alongside World Surfaris’ Simeulue Specialist, Rich.
With nearly a decade of experience exploring and surf guiding on the island, Rich will tell you when to go, where to stay and exactly how to get there.
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