cimaja

SURFING CIMAJA JAVA

Surrounded by lush jungle foliage, Cimaja is a fast breaking, fun right hander that bowls out for long rippable rides in between two river mouths. Occasionally you’ll find a barrel on hand at low tide, but Cimaja is better known for its long right shoulders.  Just a short ride from Jakarta, Cimaja should definitely make the list of breaks you’re looking to score surf in West Java.  Read on to discover what Cimaja has to offer.

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SURFING CONDITIONS

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Cimaja surf spots

Just southwest of one of Java’s larger resort towns, Pelabuhan Ratu, Cimaja is a right hand point that breaks under all a variety of conditions and is one of many well known and secret surf spots found within Pelabuhan Ratu Bay.

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. Check some of them out below.  

Cimaja PointSuper fun point break where winds are typically on-shore in the dry season so if you’re hoping to make a short barrel section morning sessions are ideal.  However even when on-shore winds are howling, you can expect an open shoulder ripe for maneuvers and ariels breaking for upwards of 50 metres. The Cimaja surf spot handles up to 6 foot in size before the point starts maxing out. While not exactly exemplary of the volkswagen size barrels that have come to be emblematic of Indonesia, Cimaja is a fun and rippable wave for intermediate surfers upwards.

 

IndicatorsFast hollow right hand point that is more exposed to the open ocean than Cimaja Point and is usually bigger in size than its neighbouring point Cimaja. Indicators is a sketchy and dangerous wave when its small so it only starts working when its well overhead. You can count on knee deep barnacles, urchins and a patchy shallow reef. Indicators works when its solid so if you can handle it, you can charge plenty of hollow right hand pits double overhead and above. 

Karang Cibang HajiKnown as Karang Haji for short this surf break is located in front of the Ocean Queen Hotel near the boat harbour. Here the sand regularly shifts and moves about depending on the conditions over the previous month or so. Karang Haji can form nicely shaped sand banks around the nearby the sea wall to produce some super fun and bowly little lefts and rights depending on the conditions. Easy access and rarely surfed if it hasn’t been working for a while. Needs a bit of swell as it is in a more protected area of Pelabuhan Ratu Bay.

CikembangA very fickle but fun right hand point break when it is working. Cikembang surf spot needs a good ground swell from the south to start working as it is in very sheltered section of Pelabuhan Ratu Bay. When its on there are a lot of options to go round so you can be lucky enough to score uncrowded waves. The set up is a mix of reef, cobblestone shingles and sand on the inside.

Sunset BeachAlso known as Karang Hawu is a fun beach break that works best when the swell is small. Sets of waves break right and left however the lefts are usually better than the rights. Karang Hawu is a great surf spot for beginner surfers with a surf school conveniently located on the beach.

SamudraFurther east where the two point breaks in Cimaja become beach is Samudra surf spot which is fun on smaller days as the beachie here is quite exposed and closes out when it gets to big. Best early morning or during the evening glass off as it is rarely offshore.

Loji Point is a fickle surf spot that needs a huge swell to start working. When Cimaja Point is maxed out and out of control you could be in luck. A handful of times a year when all of the conditions align fortunate surfers can go left at Loji point as the wave peels for hundreds of metres. Loji point is situated approximately 7 kms south of the port at Pelabuhan Ratu.

    • Wave type:

      Cimaja Point: Point break

      Indicators: Point break

      Loji: Point break

    • Wave difficulty:

      Cimaja: Intermediate

      Indicators: Experienced upwards

      Loji: Intermediate

    • What way does the wave break:

      Cimaja: Right

      Indicators: Right

      Logi: Left

    • Sea bottom:

      Cimaja: Rock shelf, cobblestones and boulders

      Indicators: Reef, cobblestones and boulders

      Loji: Reef, cobblestones, boulders and sand

 

  • Booties:

    Cimaja: Personal preference

    Indicators: Yes

    Loji: Can be handy

  • Surfboard type:

    Cimaja: Standard shortboard

    Indicators: Step up shortboard or semi gun

    Loji: Surfboard that paddles well

  • Crowd factor:

    Cimaja: Expect weekend crowds of expats living in Jakarta

    Indicators: Uncrowded

    Loji: Can get crowded

  • Hazards:

    Cimaja: Water quality after heavy rains, sharp shallow rocks and the occasional shark

    Indicators: Knee deep barnacles, urchins and a patchy shallow reef

    Loji: Pollution from nearby river mouth feed by a large river. Sharks, urchins rips and deflated surf checks.

    • Best swell direction:

      Cimaja Point: SW

      Indicators: SW

      Loji: SW

    • Best wind direction:

      Cimaja Point: N

      Indicators: N

      Loji: ENE

    • What tide does it work best on:

      Cimaja: Long fun walls on higher tides and sucky hollow walls on lower tides

      Indicators: Higher tides

      Loji: Low

    • Best tide movement for surfing:

      Cimaja: Dead low tide

      Indicators: Rising to high tide

      Logi: Incoming tide

 

  • How consistent is the surf:

    Cimaja: Consistent

    Indicators: Inconsistent

    Loji: Extremely fickle (breaks 2-3 times per year)

  • Best time of year for waves:

    Cimaja: March – October

    Indicators: May – August

    Loji: May – August

  • What is the vibe like in the lineup:

    Cimaja: Sometimes a bit of a vibe, use good etiquette and avoid any hassles

    Indicators: Friendly locals and chargers

    Loji: Surfers with a lot of luck!

  • What other names do the waves go by?

    Cimaja: Cimaja Point

    Indicators: Indicators Point

    Loji: Loji Point

How do you get in and out of the surf?

Take the channel near the river mouth and work your way towards the peak.  You can also take the long trek towards the peak along the boulders and try paddling in from the backside but expect shallow rocks so watch your fins. If your making the walk along the boulders on the beach bring some booties for a bit of extra grip (especially if you are not a rock hopping pro).  

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE

cimaja-beach

What is the beach like?

Considering it’s close proximity to Jakarta, Cimaja tends to attract local crowds, especially on weekends.  That being said, the beach is a mix of cobbles and boulders that eventually leads into sand down the end of the point.  There are a number of bamboo and palm tree thatched shade structures built up along the point by the local community for people to kick back in and enjoy the view and surfing.

Is there food nearby?

There are an abundance of restaurants in the area for a quiet surfing and farming village.  Expect fresh seafood just about anywhere you go. About a 7 minute walk from the beach is Bakso Klangenan, known for incredible dumplings with a wide variety of fillings.  There’s plenty of places to choose from if you’re sick of chilling in your accommodation so get out and explore!

What else is there to do in the area other than surfing?

Cipanas Hot Spring is a short trip away which is worth a soak if the surf is flat.  There’s plenty of flat water for tubing and you’ll find the occasional white-water rafting company.  Waterfalls are ample in the area so ask around your accommodation for the best treks or hikes to local vistas or swimming holes.

What else do I need to know?

The vibe tends to stick out in Java’s relatively relaxed and mellow surf culture.  When the surf is good, expect crowds of expats travelling from Jakarta.

LOCATION

Where is Cimaja?

Cimaja is a small village in the West Javan regency of Sukabumi.  About 8 km, or a 15 minute drive, west of Pelabuhan Ratu.

How to get to Cimaja from Jakarta?

The easiest way to get to Cimaja from Jakarta is to organise transport through your accommodation in Cimaja. It’s the most stress free and convenient approach to get you to Cimaja hassle free.

By Car: The best way to get to Cimaja from just about anywhere in Java is to travel via Pelabuhan Ratu.

Step 1: Depending on where you are travelling from in Jakarta, Cimaja is usually less than a 4 hour drive from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in the greater area of Jakarta. Start by heading south towards Bogor.

Step 2: After Bogor continue south and follow signs for Cimbogong.  

Step 3: From Cimbogong you will continue south and take a hard right onto Jalan Pamuruyan which eventually becomes Jalan Leuweung Datar.  

Step 4: Follow Signs for Pelabuhan Ratu.

Step 5: At Pelabuhan Ratu head west along the coast for about 15 minutes to reach Cimaja Beach.