Nick Carroll's Guide To Forecasting Your Indo Trip

24 May 2017 0

Nick Carroll

Senior Writer

SUMATRA CHARTERS | HERE'S YOUR WAY INTO THE TRIP OF A LIFETIME

5 TIPS TO FORECAST YOUR INDO SURF TRIP

CHOOSE WISELY:
There’s a lot of coastline in Indonesia; only the biggest and broadest storms send swell everywhere across the chain, and even then some places will get it differently than others. Other swell events can strike seemingly almost at random. The Mentawai chain will see surf that never gets to Bali, for instance, while places like G-Land are almost never under three feet.

Here's the ideal list of the essentials to pack for your trip

TIME OF YEAR:
July is mid-season, so many people assume that’ll be The Month, but in fact earlier in the season often sees the real banger SW swells, the ones that hit everywhere from the Banyaks to Rote, while later in the year sees more of the fine angled southerly swells that switch on some of the archipelago’s best single-wave locations. Seasonal switches vary across the chain as well: south-eastern areas like Bali experience clear shifts from tradewinds (winter) to monsoon (summer), while close to the Equator, the shifts are much less apparent. Try to tilt the odds in your favour if you can.

View the weekly Bali - Indo Surf Forecasts

THERE'S A HUGE SWELL WINDOW:
Indonesia sees swells from storms as far apart as the South Atlantic Ocean and SW Australia. You’re not gonna pick up every potential swell during pre-trip weather chart checks, only Coastalwatch’s Ben McCartney can pull that sort of stunt work. But just for the heck of it, go to the Bureau of Meteorology site about a week before you leave and print out a synoptic chart of the whole Southern Hemisphere. Check out how this correlates to the swell surges you get in the first few days of your trip. You might be surprised.

Follow swells cross the Indian Ocean on the Coastalwatch Wave Tracker

KEEP A SURF DIARY:
Trips have a way of blurring into memory; you’ll recall individual surfs and waves, but it’s hard to remember the days in sequence. A quick diary note at the end of each day will help trigger cool memories later — it will also help you “hindcast” the trip, that is, accurately trace the conditions back to the source. This will really help you prep for your next trip.

Set up a surf diary in your Coastalwatch Plus member area

USE US: 
The whole point of pre-trip forecasting is to help you fine tune your preparation — take the right board/s, minimise over-packing, that sorta thing. Too much stuff can make an Indo trip a real torment, specifically, if it’s the wrong stuff, and even more specifically if you’re doing a bunch of small-plane and bus hops on the way. You’ve got an awesome forecasting tool right here at CW, so dive into it.

Set up an Indonesian Swell Alert 

(1) Nias (2) The Mentawai Chain (3) Panaitan Island (4) Grajagan G-Land (5) Uluwatu, Padang Padang (6) Sumbawa (7) Sumba

(1) Nias (2) The Mentawai Chain (3) Panaitan Island (4) Grajagan G-Land (5) Uluwatu, Padang Padang (6) Sumbawa (7) Sumba


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