Lombok is often considered to be one of Indonesia’s most beautiful jewels. This gorgeous island nestled between Bali and Sumbavan matches Bali’s size and cultural heritage, but its the relaxed crowd, the waves, surfing culture and spectacular views that puts Lombok in a different league. Being less crowded and blessed with the most consistent surf in Indonesia, Lombok is the ultimate retreat for people wishing to escape Bali’s over-crowded line ups, or better still, invest and call it your home away from home.
To help share Lombok’s charm, we recently spoke with local Mike Romelse, a world-famous surfer who owns and runs Flow Surf, Lombok’s first (and still premium) surf store in the heart of Kuta (that’s right: Lombok has its OWN Kuta…just a little different!).
We asked Mike what he loves most about Lombok having lived here for the past 4 years (previously in Bali for 7 years). “I came here with a friend for a quick trip a while back and totally fell in love with it, so much so I bought some land here.” Says Mike. “One of the great things here compared to Bali, is that land prices in Lombok are considerably more affordable.”
Mike moved to Lombok 4 years ago to get away from the crowds of Bali, and has not looked back. When we asked him about the Lombok waves, his immediate response was “With different sizes and an unparalleled consistency there’s waves here for everyone!” The fact that there is no where near as many people, is a massive bonus for him. Mike talked about how he quickly fell in love with the no traffic-lifestyle, its beautiful beaches and bays that are great for riding the bike along and unspoiled surfing experience. “It’s very rare that there’s a day that I would not get a wave here. It is consistent almost every day.” Says Mike.
Mike, the curly-haired surfer from the suburbs of Sydney, Australia, began surfing at the age of eight, and like the champion Tom Carroll, is also a hardcore power surfer filling his surf performances with muscle-flexing turns and cutbacks. Mike ranked tenth in 1996 and won the Triple Crown in 1997.
Lombok is known for Desert Point, a world-famous lefthander that pinned the island on the surfing map. But the beauty of having a world champ to hit up for local surf spots in Lombok, is that some of these are less than an hour’s drive from our home at Selong Selo Resort.
Selong Belanak Beach
This beautiful beach with its white powdery sand is just a 14-minute drive from Selong Selo. Its consistently mild swell makes it the ideal starting point for beginner surfers. The local tutors are super friendly and have loads of patience with novice surfers. So, if you are looking to learn to surf in Lombok this is one of the best places to kick off. It has plenty of beach shacks and bamboo chairs sprawled out along the beach enabling guests to relax on and have lunch before going back out to hit the waves.
Serangan Beach is a secluded location about a 20-mintue drive from Selong Selo, next to the shallower, more popular Selong Belanak Beach at high tide. The waves at Serangan can be twice or three times bigger than those at Selong Belanak. Serangan Harbour is one of the main harbours connecting Bali with Lombok. It connects by Fast boats to Lombok, the Gili’s, Gili Gede & Nusa Lembongan.
Are Guling in South Lombok, just 20-minute walk from Selong Belanak or 40-mintue drive from the resort is surrounded with wide-ranging valleys that lead down into a small beautiful bay. At the base of a valley covered with tall rolling hills and tropical forest the location makes for an exciting surfing experience. But be warned: it has some submerged rocks that are hazardous so mostly experienced surfers are found here.
Some other top spots include Mawi Beach (also close to Selong Belanak), Gerupuk Bay and Ekas Bay. Make sure you drop in and say hi to Mike and his team at Flow Surf Store when next visiting Lombok.