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+ Mellow waves
+ No crowds
+ Warm water
+ Laidback atmosphere
+ Java culture centres
- Lack of high class waves
- Poor beachbreaks
- Regular onshore winds
- No flights to Pangandaran

Central Java, Indonesia, EAST ASIA

Batu Karas Point, Java Cove Beach Hotel

Surf Spots

Bulak Benda
Batu Karas Point
Batu Karas Reef
Batu Hiu
Pangandaran Beach
Batu Mandi
Batu Layar

The Surf

With excellent surf at both ends of Java (G-Land to the east and the Panaitan Island/Cimaja area to the west), one could reasonably expect the remaining 1,000km (625mi) of south-facing coastline to conceal many secrets. Whilst there are a few hidden gems scattered along this coastline, Java’s S coast has never been highlighted as a prime surf destination for a couple of good reasons. A spine of volcanoes dominates the south of the island, creating many dangerous black sand beachbreaks that rely on shifty sandbanks and rare swell directions to produce quality waves. On the plus side, long sand point waves like Batu Karas provide great, low risk waves for all abilities, while Java’s 110 million inhabitants often holiday on the south coast, so there’s a relaxed, laidback atmosphere.

When to Go

Roaring Forties lows send numerous 6-12ft (2-4m) swells between April and October. The SSW direction is perfect for the S-facing Java beachbreaks. Off-season is rarely flat because of southern latitude’s constant swells in the 2-6ft (0.6-2m) range. The beachbreaks actually handle the swell better in the wet season as run-offs from the rains add some much needed shape to the usually straight sandbanks. Winds work like a clock: the SE trade-season starts in May with mild E-SE winds, SE being the major direction, blowing consistently up to October with more S winds towards the end of the season. November is a transition month with oscillating winds around S, shifting W-NW till March. The mixed tides should be watched closely as some spots only work at certain stages of tide. Tidal range reaches 6ft (2m), alternating between a big and a small tide every day.

dominant swell S -SW S -SW S -W S -W S -SW S -SW
swell size (ft) 3-4 4 4-5 5-6 4-5 4
consistency (%) 40 55 65 70 60 50
dominant wind W -NW E -SE E -SE E -SE E -SE SE -W
average force F3 F3 F3-F4 F4 F4 F3
consistency (%) 55 32 62 73 66 65
water temp (C) 28 28 28 27 27 28
wetsuit boardshorts boardshorts boardshorts boardshorts boardshorts boardshorts
Jawa Barat - 38M

2,885km (1,803mi)

GMT +7h

Travel Information


The west part of Java has a wet tropical climate throughout the year. The dry season, May-Oct is the best time to visit, the SE trades clear the skies everyday, producing rare thunderstorms in the evening. The rainy season is always warm and humid which is more of a worry for inland travellers as the mountains are shrouded in clouds and rainfall in the highlands can dampen travel plans. On the coast, mornings can have drizzle whereas afternoons get intense rains. Be prepared for wet season changeability as it can rain all day or be mostly sunny. This brings intense humidity and insects abound. The further east, the dry and wet seasons become more distinct. As for the water, booties are the only neoprene needed year round.


See wildlife such as deer, Javanese gibbons, echidnas and rare flora like the huge rafelesia flower in the Pangandaran National park. Cruise the ‘Green Canyon’ by boat along the Cijulang River. Citumang waterfall is a spectacular swimming hole.


The surf here is mellow by Indonesian standards but the beachbreaks get heavy and strong rips are common. There are an increasing number of local surfers but hardcore surf-trippers don't come here, so crowds are not a problem. This is one of Indonesia's most devout Muslim provinces, but don't expect extremist mentalities.


No need for a full Indonesian quiver, a shortboard or Malibu will suffice. No surf shops around, but boards can be rented on the beach for $5/d. Pangandaran is packed on Indonesian holidays and weekends, prices explode and it gets difficult to find a room. There's a little fee to pay upon entrance of the Pangandaran beach resort area.