Let's not beat around the bush. Indonesia’s lineups are becoming increasingly crowded.

Sure, you'll get plenty of good waves while visiting these still-stunning islands. You might even bag the ride of your life. But what if we told you that you needn't battle against the crowds or travel all the way to Indonesia just to be dropped in on?

The truth is this—intermediate and above surfers can still find uncrowded waves in Indonesia... if you know where to look.

Indonesian surf spots with fewer crowds

Like all equatorial surf destinations, Indonesia has a high season and a low season.

The high (dry) season runs from May to September while the low (wet) season falls between October and March. Most surfers stick to the high season, shirking shoulder season and wet season trips because they fear poor weather conditions and subpar waves.

The reality is that the shoulder season and wet season can still produce amazing waves.


Just one surfer in the water, and the waves are pumping. Are you going out? - Decision time somewhere in Lombok.

Lombok, for instance, enjoys southwest swells groomed by northeast wet season trade winds that are ideal for longboarding.

Waves such as Gerupuk, Ekas and Mawi will still have crowds, but there are many more breaks to discover on Bali's sister island. Transitional months are also perfect for surfing Lombok's waves.

Check out our Lombok surf house.


Picture yourself here. For us, this is enough motivation to immediately buy a flight ticket to Indo.

One of Indonesia's lesser-known islands, Rote is a wave magnet that can offer up amazing off season surf days. Shoulder months are the best time to visit.

You’ll find a great variety of waves and fewer visitors, and while swells may be less consistent, the fact you can enjoy empty lineups when conditions improve makes it worth the trip.

Mentawai, Banyaks and Telos

With everyone looking for pumping barrels at the most famous waves of the Mentawais, it's very common for perfect head high peelers to roll through all day just around the corner - with no one on it.

Located off the coast of North Sumatra, the Mentawais, Banyaks and Telos are a surfer's paradise with consistently perfect waves.

While many of the most publicised waves do get busy, there's an almost incalculable number of surf spots that are better than anything you have at home... minus the crowd.

Check out our Mentawai surf house.

South Sumatra (Krui)

Choose your own peak and get barreled at one of the only quality beachbreaks in Indonesia, Mandiri beach. Old mate in the photo can't believe his eyes.

Given the fact that Krui is still a regional flight and 5-6 hour drive from the nearest airport, it doesn't get nearly as many people as Bali, Lombok or the Mentawai Islands.

It's also blessed with long and punchy beachbreaks, which means you can almost always find a peak to yourself.

North Sumatra (Aceh)

Venture a bit further in the Aceh region and an empty lineup is not a rare sight. Better bring a mate, or no one will believe you scored empty perfection in Indo.

Finally, we have the North Sumatra surf zone of Aceh, which falls within the monsoon belt.

The main surf season here is October to March when northeast monsoon winds deliver clean, fun waves. This is the exact opposite to Bali's main surf season.

Tips for surfing crowded surf spots

Getting the most waves on any given day isn't the measure of a good session.

It's how well you can enjoy the moment, connect with others and translate a sense of calm into your surfing (despite the heavy nature of the waves or the crowds around you).

Here are a few tips for finding uncrowded waves and making the most of your surf sessions in Indonesia.

Wake up early

Don't be afraid to wake up early and hit the dawn session. By mid-morning onwards most breaks are already filling up with people. As they say, the early bird catches the worm. Set that alarm, dude!

Extend your holiday time

If you plan on visiting during the off or shoulder season, consider adding another week to your trip (if possible).

While you can almost guarantee at least two swells per week during the high season, the waves can be slightly more unreliable during the low and shoulder seasons.

By staying longer, you increase your chances of scoring some epic and uncrowded waves.

Explore new breaks

Don't just stick to the popular spots. Do your research or ask locals for lesser-known breaks that may not be as crowded.

Just because it's not highly publicised, doesn't mean it's not worth checking out. Besides... even a C- wave in Indonesia is probably better than your local beachbreak.

Be respectful

Last but not least, remember to be respectful in the lineup. Share waves, give others a chance and spread positive vibes.

You'd be amazed at how quickly the atmosphere in a lineup can affect your perception of the waves. By saying "Hello" to other surfers and not paddling for every wave, you'll likely have a much better time in the water.

Wrapping up

It's still possible to score uncrowded waves in Indonesia if you're prepared to travel a little further. Do your research, be respectful and don't be afraid to explore new breaks.

While the high season does see more surfable days on average, low and shoulder seasons shouldn't be discounted. Pull the trigger and discover for yourself the magic of a perfect, uncrowded Indonesian lineup!

Surf uncrowded Indo waves here