Sumba, Flores, Roti, Timor, The Spice Islands and West Papua are the major islands further east with an incredible amount of unexplored surf potential. The cultures here are very different to the rest of Indonesia, so learn as much as possible from a good general guidebook such as Lonely Planet’s Indonesia Travel Survival Kit.
Getting supplies of fresh food and clean water can be difficult in the poorer, more remote areas. Transport is slow and sporadic, so make sure you have plenty of time available for travelling through these islands. Get a 60 Day Visa first. Not many surfers get this far east because of the hassles involved, but that makes it particularly appealing to the true Indo surf adventurer willing to put in the effort, reap the rewards, and keep the secrets.
The waves in most islands east of Bali are possibly better early season, from around March to June, before the strong south-east tradewinds kick in. Some breaks are even better in the wet season with north-west offshore winds, but the weather can be very hot, stormy, wet and uncomfortable. But you might make some incredible discoveries, so go for it!
The best known wave in Sumba is Nihiwatu (aka “God’s Left” or “Occy’s Left”), 30km south of Waikabubak in central Sumba. Surfers in the know say it is Indonesia’s best quality uncrowded wave. This is because only guests at the $500 a night Nihi Eco-Resort can surf here. At the western end of the same beach is Sumba Surf Camp, with Kerewei Point out front, a 500 metre right. Nearby surf at Marosi can get epic too. $85 includes meals and trips to the surf. www.sumbasurfcamp.com. Phone Arno +6282146475974 . Please say "Indo Surf and Lingo recommended you"
Kalala, 2km from Baing on the south-east tip of Sumba, has a remote surf and fishing camp with basic bamboo bungalows $80 a day, including all meals. Known as Mr David’s, it has 4 reef breaks (3 lefts), plus fun beachbreaks. Dave Wyllie moved here 35 years ago after being contest director of the first Om Bali Pro in 1980. The surf was so good he married the Chief’s daughter! Manggudu Island lies offshore, with a huge left reef and early morning right. Sadly Dave passed away in 2013, but his wife Yohanna still runs the camp. But you must book before arriving: www.kalala-beach.com
Tarimbang on Sumba’s central coast has a superb right hander (aka Miller’s) with cheap losmen nearby, probably the best spot for surfers on a tight budget. The wave is 500 metres out to sea, so pay a local to take you out and back. A less radical wave suited to all levels of experience. www.surftravelonline.com
Kodi on the west coast has cheap losmen near powerful waves. The rest of Sumba is mostly inaccessible by road. There is heaps of surf potential, but it is easiest to explore by yacht which takes time. Be warned that Sumba’s waves are very thick and powerful, so don’t forget your big wave board.