Java

Surf Spots
Known predominantly as an island of megacities, captivating natural landscape, magical archaeological sites and of course a large range of spectacular surf spots and remote surf camps. Java surf breaks are split into three regions, West Java, Central Java, and Eastern Java, each with its own set of world-class surf breaks.

Is there good surf in Java? Java surf spots tend to reach their fullest potential between April and November when swells from the South and Southwest crash head-on along the long coastline of reefs and beaches, attracting a lot of the world’s top percentile of surfing ability. There is, however, a large range of fun beaches that provide the best spots to learn to surf in Java as well and waves for all surfing abilities in between.

In peak seasons, waves can easily reach upwards of double overhead plus as most of the reefs are open to ocean swells. Whereas in the off-season you can still expect waves head high and above. Consistent swells, high populations, and great waves can often mean crowds in some areas close to the cities. However, to avoid crowds, most travelling surfers venture by boat to breaks in West Java, the least populated corner of the island or the more secluded areas in Eastern Java. You can still find secluded line-ups with great waves but you’ll need to do a bit more searching than other areas of Indonesia.

If you’re considering a surf trip to Java, click on any of the images below to find the most detailed and up to date guides for surfers wanting to explore Java’s many surf spots. You’ll find information packed full of tips and tricks on where to stay, where to eat, where and when to surf, and how to make the best of your next journey in Java.

WHERE TO SURF IN JAVA

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Goldmines waiting to be discovered
Mick Lammers

SURFING IN JAVA

Java is Indonesia’s 5th largest island and is Indonesia’s epicentre of modernity. Many travel to Indo for a taste of seclusion, however, Java is known as the most populated island in the world. With over 140 million people, Java’s not exactly the deserted island than many associate with Indonesia. However while not exactly known for being secluded and solitary, Java surf spots still have it’s many hidden – corners, reefs, bays and beaches full of pumping surf breaks.
Home to some of the world’s most interesting animals including some of the most critically endangered species in the world. The Javan Rhino, once native to much of Sumatra and mainland Southeast Asia, is now confined to West Java’s Ujung Kulon National Park. Other unique species to Java include the Mouse Deer, Javan Leopard, and Javan Lutung. Keep your eyes peeled, as the once thought extinct Javan Tiger has been making some recent appearances in the jungle as well!

BEST BEGINNER SPOTS

BEST INTERMEDIATE SPOTS

BEST ADVANCED SPOTS

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FAQ

Which regions have surf in Java?
Although Java is the fourth largest island in Indonesia, it isn’t one of the most wave-rich considering its size compared to smaller islands of Indonesia. However, it’s still home to a few world-renowned waves. Java has three main regions – East, Central and West. All with pockets of areas with surf.
Where do you surf in East Java?
Considering Java is one of the most densely populated islands on earth, in Eastern Java, the feeling can be quite the opposite. Home to four national parks, numerous mountains and dense areas of jungle, you can understand why. This landscape sets the scene for one of the most consistently overhead left-hand barrels in the world, G-Land. Other than the infamous Grajangan Bay, you’ll find heavy sucking reefs known as Watu Karung Left and Watu Karung Right not far from Pacitan. Along with several less intense sand-bottom waves in the bay at Pacitan. While you’ll score more user-friendly waves at Red Island.

  • Grajangan Bay (G-Land)
  • Red Island
  • Pacitan
What do I need to know about East Java surf spots?
Grajangan Bay:

  • G-Land is ultra-consistent and breaks picture-perfectly in swells, big or small. Rated as one of the best left-handers in the world. You can get barrelled off your nut or race and carve long walls depending on which section of the reef you surf.
  • Although G-Land is isolated in thick jungled national park, it is just 2 hours by fast boat from Bali.

Red Island:

  • Red Island is somewhat of a secret spot that is perfectly suited to beginner surfers with a safe sand-bottom and low crowds. Home to an A-frame beach break, with long right and left-hand peeling waves, perfect for learning and refining your surfing ability.
  • Situated in Banyuwangi, East Java, Red Island takes its name from the large rock island jutting out in front of the beach.
  • You’ll find a relaxed atmosphere, not too many tourists and one of if not the most beautiful beaches in Java.

Pacitan:

  • Pacitan pronounced (patchitun) has remained somewhat of a secret spot for decades up until recent years; however, it is still relatively unknown to the general public.
  • Pacitan is one of the more beautiful areas of Java with excellent facilities and great food.
  • Stay beachfront in Pacitan or Watukarang, dependent on the type of waves you want to surf.
  • Beachside accommodations are available but limited in both Pacitan and Watukarung.
  • Other than a few beachfront options most accommodations in the area are a brisk walk or short drive to and from the surf.
Where do you surf in Central Java?
Unfortunately, most of the central coastline of Java is straight with very few points or headlands such as Batu Karas where ocean swells can bend in. Instead, you’ll mostly find black-sand shore breaks. You will find a couple of areas with a super-fun quality of surf in this region.

  • Batu Karas
  • Pangandaran
What do I need to know about Central Java surf spots?
  • Central Java is a great surfing destination for those looking to steer clear of shallow barrels.
  • Batu Karas is predominantly known as a heaven for beginners and longboarders.
  • The wet season trade winds are more favourable for Batu Karas; however, morning sessions in the dry season April-October are all time.
  • One hour east of Batu Karas is Pangandaran where you will find a long stretch of beach breaks similar to Kuta Beach in Bali – exposed to open ocean swells they’re rarely flat.
  • Regular flights with Susi Air from Halim Perdana Kusumah Airport (HLP), Jakarta fly to Nusawiru Airport (CJN), Pangandaran (30 minutes drive to Batu Karas) and Tunggul Wulung Airport (CXP), Cilcap (three hours drive to Batu Karas). So be careful about which flights you book.
Where do you surf in West Java?
In Western Java, there is a whole range of surf. From death-defying waves in the less travelled area of Panaitan Island to more user-friendly waves at Cimaja, Turtles and the surrounding areas. The waves in West Java are under-rated and relatively uncrowded so you will get to experience that Indo perfection if you time it right. As with most areas of Indonesia, West Java gets the best surf conditions during April through to October and depending on where you decide to travel; you have breaks which will suit various abilities and budgets.

  • Cimaja
  • Turtles
  • Panaitan Island
What do I need to know about West Java surf spots?
Panaitan Island:

  • Panaitan Island is most famous for its insanely shallow picture-perfect pinup barrels – left-hander ‘One Palm Point and right-handers ‘Illusions’ and ‘Apocalypse’.
  • This area is less travelled due to the area commonly thought of as incredibly dangerous surf only. However, Panaitan Island has other lefts and rights, which are great fun and a lot less risky, suiting most surfing abilities if you’re up for an adventure.
  • It is a great place to take advantage of uncrowded lineups and score that Indonesian perfection you’ve always dreamt of.

Cimaja:

  • When the conditions are right, there are plenty of uncrowded waves to go around if you go searching some of the many rarely breaking reefs and points in the Pelabuhan Ratu Bay area.
  • Be sure to check out the uncrowded beach breaks west of Cimaja.

Turtles:

  • Turtles is a super fun mechanical wave often compared to Bingin in Bali.
  • Check out the beach break nearby Turtles which can offer some fun right-handers.