How tourism kicked off on Lembongan
Published/Last edited or updated: 4th September, 2017
Surfing and seaweed were once Nusa Lembongan’s main drawcards and while nowadays seaweed farming has gone the way of the dinosaurs the barrels still entice their fair share of waxheads.
It was indeed surfers who first kicked off the island’s tourism industry. Nusa Lembongan is graced with three main breaks, with a fourth on Nusa Ceningan. Playgrounds, Lacerations and Shipwrecks on Lembongan are all reef breaks and are best surfed at high tide. Waves can be surfed all year round but they tend to be a little fickle—when they’re pumping, usually between the months of April and October, the waves here can be excellent.
Playgrounds, a short paddle offshore from Coconut Bay, has both a long left and shorter right and is the most protected and most user-friendly for beginner surfers. It’s a little deeper than the other breaks, so can be surfed at lower tides. The only obstacle is the growing flotilla of daytripping cruise boats moored around the bay.
Lacerations and Shipwrecks (both right-handers) are off the northern coast and are reached by either a long paddle out or a ride in a jukung. These latter two are challenging, and you’ll need to be a bit cluey with the tides, as they can be scrapingly shallow, best for the more capable surfer—one is called lacerations for a reason and both can get very big and fast.
When there’s no swell on Lembongan, cross the bridge to Nusa Ceningan and try the left-hander point break at Mahana Point. Be warned, it’s not a break for novices and has a bit of a rep for sharks.
If you are keen to do more than just surf the waves, and would like to help the local community protect this fragile environment, get in touch with Wayan Lhaena from the Lembongan Surf Team who organises regular beach cleanups.
For newbies and intermediate surfers who would like to improve your game, the island’s surf schools will have you surfing like a pro in no time.
Monkey Surfing offer beginner and intermediate lessons in English and French, with a maximum student to teacher ratio of three to one. Lessons are around 3.5 hours long and are conducted at high tide only, so it may mean an early rise, or a sleep-in. The per person rates are 600,000 rupiah for the first day, 550,000 rupiah for second day and 450,000 rupiah for the third and subsequent days. Private lessons are 1,000,000 rupiah, and surf guiding is 350,000 rupiah. Monkey Surfing also offer free-diving courses for US$330 for three days. Day one will be an intro with theory and pool time, on day two you will dive to 10 metres, and on day three dive to 20 metres—usually at Manta Point. The Monkey Surfing office is on the beach at Jungut Batu.
Newbro Surf School was established by the guys from the Lembongan Surf Team and they offer lessons in English and Japanese. Two-and-a-half-hour beginner lessons start at 450,000 rupiah, with reductions for multiple lessons. Two-hour intermediate level lessons are 400,000 rupiah and guiding only is 320,000 rupiah. Newbro offer a package for experienced surfers with return boat transfers to the breaks, board and rashie hire for 200,000 rupiah (for two hours). Their shop also rents out surfboards from 70,000 rupiah for one hour up to 520,000 rupiah for one week, as well as rental for rash guards (50,000 rupiah), boots (50,000 rupiah), standup paddle (100,000 rupiah for one hour, 150,000 rupiah for two hours), snorkel (25,000 rupiah), mask (35,000 rupiah) and fins (35,000 rupiah). Their shop is the place to head for ding repairs, sunblock, wax, and other sundries a surfer may need.
LSL’s (Lembongan Surf Lesson) instructors have been surfing in Nusa Lembongan all their lives and offer two-hour lessons at various levels. Beginners: 400,000 rupiah; intermediate: 375,000 rupiah and surf guiding: 300,000 rupiah. Board hire is 100,000 per day.
LSL: (0821) 4741 9347;(0813) 3722 8337; http://www.lembongansurflesson.com
Monkey Surfing: T: (0821) 4614 7683; http://monkeyactivities.com
Newbro Surf School: T: (0813) 3734 6056;(0822) 3625 8403; http://newbrosurfing.com
Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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