Due to NIHIWATU®’s unique location on the West Coast of Sumba, the resort is exposed to swells generated by the Southern Ocean storms that travel thousands of kilometres across the Indian Ocean to meet our reefs and shores, making it a surfer’s paradise.
Typically the swell season lasts from April through October, with its zenith during July and August. We have a wide variety of waves on offer to match almost any surfing skill set. Lefts, rights, beginner waves and waves for advanced surfers only.
The south-east trade wind in May through August reduces the number of possible waves to ride in the area, but is perfect for NIHIWATU®’s premier wave, often referred to as “God’s Left” directly in front of the resort.
As our resort has grown, so has the popularity of our wave. To maintain a surfing experience unparalleled in the world, it is our intent to limit the wave to ten registered surfers per day.
Depending on the volume of surfing activity during the high season, there may be a handful of occasions where there are more surfers on the wave. However, Nihiwatu endeavours to manage this to the absolute minimum, supporting privacy on the wave. There may also be times due to an extended booking that an additional surfer has paid for a slot. It is in the spirit of our Resort to foster a community environment, and accommodate our guest requests and lessons. Regardless of the number of people on our wave, we expect surfers to adhere to a courteous and responsible conduct with others while on the wave.
It is essential to reserve your slot (maximum 1 per Villa and according to availability) at the time of your trip confirmation to avoid disappointment. Surf slots can only be reserved by accomplished surfers. Beginner surfers need not book a surf slot, as surf lessons are booked to secure the services of a NIHIWATU® Waterman & Surf Instructor. For beginner and intermediate surfers, there are fantastic neighbouring waves that can be traveled to by boat, or car, at an additional charge.
A second surf slot may be sold to a Villa who would require one. These can be pre booked at the reservation stage for the Green and Shoulder seasons, but not for stays during Peak season. During our high season, should there be a free slot available, this can be reserved during your stay at the Resort.
At times when there are more than ten people on the wave, the lineup will be carefully monitored, and anyone not adhering to the rules, or putting other guests and our staff in danger, will be asked to leave the wave.
Surf coaches are welcome to join the lineup, but are not allowed to make use of the wave unless an additional surf slot is paid for and reserved.
Should the Boathouse Manager deem the sea conditions unfavourable, or unsafe for surfing at any time, “paid for” surf slots will be refunded to guests, assuming no surfing took place on that day.
If very experienced surfers decide to surf in unfavourable conditions, they will still be charged for their surf slot. If the Boathouse Manager deems it unsafe to surf at all, we will not allow any surfing to take place this day. The final authority lies with the Boathouse Manager, in his absence the Surf Coach
The ocean in Sumba is a very dynamic place and we can experience tides of nearly four meters. This plays a big role in “where” and “when” to surf: the experienced team of watermen can take you in the right direction and give you an outline of the best surfing ‘windows’ of the week, so you can plan your stay accordingly.
The Boathouse offers a range of surfboards for our guests to ride, at no additional cost.
Thank you for cooperating so that we may preserve the unique experience of one of the world’s most coveted, private waves.
NIHIWATU® has achieved cult status for surfing with our guests world-wide. Our Watermen can work with guests of all levels of experience:
At this level, NIHIWATU® instructors will help familiarize guests with equipment, teach the basics needed to paddle, stand up and start riding waves. Surfing is all about having fun, and at this stage you will be introduced to the thrill of being on a board and riding a wave. With instructors close by, students can gain a sense of comfort in the water and on a board. There are two ways to do this:
Push Ins – your NIHIWATU® instructor swims out next to you, coaching you through how and when to paddle, and helps get you onto your first waves with a good push on the back of your board.
Tandem – with a tandem lesson, your instructor is there with you the whole time. We can actually help you paddle and stand up by being on the board with you.
Surfers at this level will be able to develop the confidence necessary to catch waves without the assistance of an instructor. We will focus on wave selection, positioning, and timing. Pemula surfers will also gain a heightened awareness of how body position on the board affects the ride and ability to manoeuvre their board. Ultimately, a surfer at this level will be able to paddle, catch, stand up, and have control over their board.
Now that you have mastered the basics of surfing, you will be able to develop new skills to make you a better surfer. Your instructor will help you build on what you already know. Here you will use your body and weight to direct the board through a number of functional manoeuvres. You will master being able to generate speed on a wave by executing the appropriate manoeuvre for any given section of a wave. Focus at this level is heavily based on being able to read and predict what a wave will do, in order to ride it in a skilled manner. You will also develop the skills needed to try and ride inside of the barrelling section of the wave.
Instruction at this level involves in depth analysis of the student’s surfing. Your instructor will help you refine your timing, style, and technique. In doing so you will be able to attempt critical manoeuvres such as power carves, snaps, fin throws, airs, and deep barrel riding. Students will be encouraged to get creative with their approach to riding waves.
Based on airline regulations, passengers are limited to one (1) board per person with a maximum length of 7 feet. For surfboards that exceed this limit, please email us for special arrangements. Please note that airlines apply additional charges according to the carriers’ policy.