Hinako Islands, Nias , Sumatra

asu

The Hinako islands lie just off the west coast of the island of Nias. They are made up of a cluster of 8 islands many of which are home to world class waves including “Asu” and “Bawa”. The main focus is the world class lefthander simply named Asu, a mechanical & consistent wave that works on all tides and delivers on all swell sizes. An additional 6 or 7 waves are found within less than 45 minutes apart.

The best time of year to surf the “Hinkos” is during the dry season, which can be anytime from late March to early November, when the Indian Ocean produces its most consistent groundswells. That said, with its unique location which collects almost any swell that the Indian Ocean delivers, the area is well worth a trip any time of year, especially with its favourable wind conditions.

Flights from Medan to Nias take just 50 minutes and conveniently fly each day.

hinako islands

The best time of year to surf the “Hinkos” is during the dry season, which can be anytime from late March to early November, when the Indian Ocean produces its most consistent groundswells. That said, with its unique location which collects almost any swell that the Indian Ocean delivers, the area is well worth a trip any time of year, especially with its favourable wind conditions. 

nias surf

Due to the relative isolation of this small cluster of islands, there's only a few camps in the whole region. Charter boats do come and go but only usually on the smaller days due to the fact the area is such a swell magnet. Its a long way to go, but those willing to make the pilgrimage can be sure they'll score some world class and uncrowded surf.

travel to the hinakos

Guests need to fly into Medan Airport (KNO) - Kuala Namu International Airport West Sumatra 

We recommend using www.skyscanner.com and flying into Jakarta, SoekarnoHatta International Airport (CGK) or Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL). From KL, there is usually one morning flight (1hr) with Air Asia as well as a lunchtime flight to Medan.  From Jakarta, there are plenty of flights each day that fly into Medan, with airlines such as Garuda Airlines, Sriwijaya, Citilink & Lion Air. We recommend www.traveloka.com

From Medan, you will need to take an extra flight to Gunung Sitoli, Binaka Airport (GNS) with Wings Air (part of Lion Air). There are many flights each day.

From Gunung Sitoli, our driver will collect you & drive across Nias Island (2 hours of beautiful tropical scenery) to Sirombu Harbour. From here, our private speedboat will take you to Asu Island in about 30 minutes.

It’s a long but stress free journey and because there’s so many flights each day, you’ve plenty of travel options to suit your needs.

 

hinako surf

As a rule, Sumatra is best explored as an intermediate or advanced surfer although there are some camps that cater for beginners in the Mentawais as well as South Sumatra.

Beginner surfer – can only surf the white water & often misses waves. Leaner’s will wipe out regularly on take-off and whilst riding a wave.

Beginner-intermediate surfer – can catch waves regularly, trimming left & right but without performing many manoeuvres.

Intermediate surfer – Will rarely miss catching a wave & will complete most waves from start to finish. Surfers will perform basic manoeuvres such as a cut-back, re-entry and floater.

Intermediate-advanced surfer - will perform most manoeuvres including getting tubed and sometimes aerial manoeuvres. These surfers are competent on point breaks and reef breaks.

Advanced surfer – are fast, stylish and will make surfing look easy. If they’re not performing aerials, then they will be getting tubed all day long or displaying an array of carves, hacks and flowing turns.

surf hinakos

Guests should be aware of the following hazards & natural disasters:

Malaria is something that exists but isn’t a problem if guests cover up at dawn & dusk and use plenty of anti-mosquito sprays when not in the surf. Anti-malarial medication can also be taken.

Earthquakes do occur throughout Sumatra on a regular basis. But most of them are non destructive. Most casualties are due to the poor state of its buildings, which 99% of the time, shouldn’t affect any of our guests.

Tsunami’s like the huge one in 2004 are rare. On average, once every five years or so, a large tsunami occurs in “Indonesia”. Generally, damage to the infrastructure exceeds the loss of lives. Most camps in the area have an evacuation plan as well as the charter boats. In fact being on a boat is probably the safest place to be.

Coral Reef – Although it helps shape the mechanical waves of the region, it is also something to be respectful of due it’s sharpness. It’s why we recommend only experienced riders venturing to some of the more dangerous surf spots.

Hinako Islands, Nias SPECIAL OFFER

Puri Asu Resort

A classy tropical paradise just a stones throw from a very consistent and hands down epic left hander...

Surfers From: USD 125 125 pp / night
Non Surfers From: USD 100 pp / night

Wave Quality: Great Quality
Wave Direction: Left
Also Known As: Asu
Experience: Intermediate+
Consistency: Very
Wave Type: Reef
Crowd: 5-20 surfers
Season: Year round

The wave of Asu is the most consistent wave in this island cluster delivering quality surf on all tides, on any size swell, as well as being offshore in south wind conditions. From 2-4 feet, it is a very fun wave for the intermediate or advanced surfer, with long walls offering various turning options as well as down the line speed sections. At 4-6 feet, Asu becomes heavier and certainly more challenging. Surfers can get barrelled on takeoff before the wave offers up some tasty steep sections for some top turns. At 6 feet and bigger, the wave really lights up and as well as the initial tube, the wave produces 2 more barrel sections. The wave is often perfect but will produce some tricky sections so speed and experience is much needed in these conditions. Watch out for the inside section that requires some care. Reef booties are a good option.

Wave Quality: Great Quality
Wave Direction: Right
Also Known As: Bawa
Experience: Advanced
Consistency: Inconsistent
Wave Type: Reef
Crowd: 5-20 surfers
Season: April until October

Certainly a great option in north wind days when some south swell is running. A fickle beast that only truly rears up when the stars align, this wave will draw in the tube hungry from the mainland and nearby charter boats. Bursting into the limelight thanks to the mid 90's epic surf flick "Searching for Tom Curren", this growling beast is easily mind surfed, but in reality is a thick lipped and shifty tube that is a very challenging & consequential wave only suited for die hard tube masters.

Wave Quality: Great Quality
Wave Direction: Left
Also Known As: Afulu
Experience: Intermediate
Consistency: Inconsistent
Wave Type: Reef
Crowd: 5-15 surfers
Season: April until October

Located on the mainland of Nias, Afulu needs a solid swell to break and is for intermediate to advanced surfers only. That said the wave that's found just 40-50 minutes from Asu, offers incredible world class tubes as well as some workable high speed walls. Certainly worth a look when other waves are maxing out.

Wave Quality: Good Quality
Wave Direction: Left
Also Known As: Hamutala
Experience: Intermediate
Consistency: Consistent
Wave Type: Reef
Crowd: 5-10 surfers
Season: April until October

Another great option that's only a short boat ride away. This punchy left hander is located on neighbouring Bawa Island and is a user friendly option from 3-6'.

Wave Quality: Good Quality
Wave Direction: Right
Also Known As: Bommie
Experience: Advanced
Consistency: Consistent
Wave Type: Reef
Crowd: 5-10 surfers
Season: April until October

This deep water slab provides short and challenging tube rides for barrel hungry riders. It's also an option for tow-in surfing when staying at Puri Asu.

Wave Quality: Good Quality
Wave Direction: Right
Also Known As: Heruanga
Experience: Advanced
Consistency: Consistent
Wave Type: Reef
Crowd: 0-10 surfers
Season: April until October

Another deep water slab that's found on one of the islands outer reefs. Especially ideal for "tow in" surfing, guests can be whipped into waves effortlessly thanks to one of the trained Jet Ski operators available when staying at Puri Asu Rsort.

Wave Quality: Good Quality
Wave Direction: Right
Also Known As: Sirombu
Experience: All levels
Consistency: Consistent
Wave Type: Reef
Crowd: 5-15 surfers
Season: April until October

A very rippable and short right hander, located near Sirombu harbour, it's the "go to" spot for progressing beginner intermediate surfers. That said its also a very fun wave for more advanced riders and on its day can deliver some epic sessions.

Wave Quality: World Class
Wave Direction: Right
Also Known As: Salonako
Experience: Advanced
Consistency: Inconsistent
Wave Type: Reef
Crowd: 5-15 surfers
Season: April until October

Only 30-40 minutes from Asu, this world class right hander is found on the mainland of Nias. Producing some very tasty barrels rides, this quality wave needs some swell to get going, it also works on larger ground swells.