The Ultimate Indonesian Surfboard Guide 2017

8 May 2017 3 Share

Tim Hanrahan

Coastalwatch Board Reviewer




Hosted by Nick Carroll & Tim Hanrahan
Video by Matt Johnston 

The Indonesian Archipelago is among our favourite surf trip destinations, as Aussies. Perfect long lines of swell arrive after travelling thousands of kilometres across the Indian Ocean and let’s be honest, they’re appeal is hard to resist.

Picking the right boards to take on your Indo trip can be tricky, especially if you're a first-timer. You don’t want to pack too little or too many (destination dependent), so we’ve put together a selection from Australia’s best Indo specific shapes for you to have a look at based on wave height, type and the quality locations they suit thanks to The Perfect Wave.

Don't forget you can catch the weekly Bali-Indo Surf Forecast by Ben Macartney on Tuesdays AND if you're a Coastalwatch Plus member you can set up your own, personalised Indo swell alerts!

In the selection you'll find;


Thanks for all the entries to win an Ocean & Earth Double Coffin 7'0 & Double Compact 7'2 board bag, the most durable and reliable surfboard bags to pack on your next surf trip. CONGRATS to Damo Lipscombe & Leigh McGrath! 

Coastalwatch product guides are created seasonally to highlight some of the best new products on the market, in commercial partnership with the world's leading surf brands. They are here to educate you about what is available and assist in making your decision easier!


Inspired from Dave Rastavich who works with Gary McNeill on many of his board designs. This board has subtle differences including a full channel line that comes in next to the front fin called the Taurus line. McNeill is very good with the subtle rocker lines. On the outside of the channel, there is a slight single concave.

WHERE IT WILL PERFORM: This board wants to run across the wall of the wave like Uluwatu, Impossibles, Bingin to feel the swallow tail and the quad set up. This board has enough rocker to handle both front or backside surfing. 


SKILL LEVEL: Good for newcomer to Indo, Intermediate - Advanced 


This board is 5'10
Kirk Bierke
is a renowned charger from the NSW South Coast, father of 2016 Red Bull Cape Fear champ Russell Bierke. This board is a really simple round pintail with subtle concave and not a whole lot of rocker. There is a lot of outline curve but not much rocker. It's got double 6" glass deck and single 6" glass on the bottom, it's as strong as you can get without making it too heavy. This board is for Russell who is 67kg. The wide point is slightly further up than his regular board for an easy paddle and softened rails for barrel riding. 

WHERE IT WILL PERFORM: This would be great at Keramas or Padang Padang with big barrels and simple clean, carving turns. You can trust this kind of board and sit nice and deep in the barrel in hollow waves. 


SKILL LEVEL: Best for a specific wave in mind, High Intermediate - Pro


This board is 6'2/28L
It's a classic six-channel bottom Al Byrne board. The purpose of the channels to control water flow through the back half of the board allowing you to feel what's underfoot as you move through the water and you won't need as much of a fin because of this. The edges of the channels put pressure on the board in turns giving you control and allowing you to fly down the line. 

These modern versions have more rocker than what the late Al Byrne used to put into them giving them more release and modernity missing from the originals. 

WHERE IT WILL PERFORM: Any high quality reef or point break like Macaronis, Telescopes, Lance's Right, Supersuck or good quality Uluwatu.


SKILL LEVEL: Good for anyone heading to Indo, Intermediate +  


This board is 6'6
This is a challenging surfboard made to surf really challenging waves. It is an all-over 6-ounce glass. The tail is pulled in narrow like and old-school single fin but can take four or three fins. It is made for tube riding with the volume in the front around the nose rocker to allow the board to slow right down into the barrel and the tail will give you all the sensitivity and control. 

WHERE IT WOULD PERFORM: Excellent quality, hollow waves like Rifles, G-Land, Nokandui, Green Bush and Desert Point. 

SIZE RANGE: 6-10ft

SKILL LEVEL: Experienced in Indo waves, Advanced


This board is 5'11/30L
This is the new Mexican with a different outline than it's predecessor. Kobi Abberton has been surfing this 5'11/30L model. The forward and centre volume in this board will allow you to paddle into a wave well. The concave is low through the base with a simple single to double concave. It's straight along the stringer allowing the board to sit well on a big wave and run really fast. It's not narrow in the tail so it will support bodyweight. There's a lot of outline curve so you can turn off the outline easily fitting in with the shape of the waves. 

WHERE IT WOULD PERFORM: Kobi rides this at Desert Point, Nick and Tim recommend this board for bigger broader faced waves like up in the Mentawai chain.


SKILL LEVEL: Good for anyone heading to Indo, Any skill level


This board is 6'2
This is a really good, versatile, performance board. It's a round tail but the rail has been pulled right in parallel for drive to make it look like it will be a squash tail but then it goes into a round tail that gives it has more subtlety and adaptability on turns. If you were taking one board to Indo, this is the one. You can surf two foot waves or eight-foot gaping barrels. It's got the new carbon fibre on top of the stringer for a bit of extra strength. 

WHERE IT WOULD PERFORM: Anywhere in the Indonesian Island chain.

SIZE RANGE: 4-6ft 

SKILL LEVEL: Good for a newcomer to Indo, Intermediate - Advanced


This board is 6'2
Hot Buttered Surfboards from Western Australia shaped by Boyd Purdy who runs Yallingup Surf Co. Boyd does custom boards only. In this Indo board, it's got the bones of a bigger wave board with a streamlined outline, it has curve into the tail curving the tail in, not quite a rounded pin. It's razor sharp in the rails biting the wave nicely. The tail is reinforced. This board comes in a five-fin option.

WHERE IT WILL PERFORM: Rote or Sumba for the beautifully honed waves that are super clean and hollow. 


SKILL LEVEL: Experienced in Indo waves, Advanced


This board is 6'4/33.5L
It's a really good travelling board for Indo. It's a really good paddle board with a lot of concave that will lift and run for big high-lines, dropping back down into the pocket and find a line straight back up the face. It has a lot of forward volume for paddle power. It's a solid board with double layered glass on the top and bottom and reinforcement around the plugs. This board comes in a great variety of sizes. 

WHERE IT WILL PERFORM: G-land or any other long, open wave.


SKILL LEVEL: Good for a newcomer to Indo, Intermediate - Advanced


This board is 5'9/29.2L
It's exciting coming across a board with so many lines like Dan Tomo's Sci-Fi. This board has a pulled in nose and a broken tail with shallow channels that can allow you to gain enormous speed very quickly and you can ride it short. It handles solid waves for a wide-tail board working in conjunction with the rails, channels and tail line. It's a high-performance short board with new technology and outlines.

WHERE IT WILL PERFORM: A wide variety of smaller waves in Indo as well as Uluwatu and Macaronis

SIZE: 2-6ft 

SKILL LEVEL: Good for a newcomer to Indo, Intermediate - Advanced

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