Due to the cold sea temperatures and unpredictable conditions during the winter months,  we close our surf school in mid-November. This means most of our coaches work for between 4 – 9 months of the year and poses one of the most common questions our instructors often get asked: “What do you do in the winter?” The answer for most of our instructors is to go surfing.

Although the winter months in the UK have some of the best and most consistent surf of the year, most of our senior coaches prefer to head off abroad to surf some warm water waves in the tropics. Most of our instructors have their favourite locations around the globe that they head to in search of warm uncrowded waves. Indonesia is always a popular choice, and this year two of our coaches John and Andi headed off on a winter surfing adventure around numerous locations in the Indonesian islands.

Apart from a couple of short flights between some of the islands, the rest of the 3 month adventure would be done by motorbike and ferry. With their surfboards strapped to the side and rucksacks on their back, the trip took them to parts of Sumatra, Lombok and Sumbawa. Trying to stay away from the crowds, John and Andi stayed with local families as much as possible and hunted down waves where there were sometimes no other surfers in the water.

The gamble paid off and despite having to ride their motorbikes through some tropical storms, living without power for days at a time and sitting it out at surf breaks waiting for the conditions to improve, they were rewarded with some of the best waves they had both surfed for a long time. When you make the effort to travel by road and stay away from the usual tourist traps, the experience is much more rewarding. The waves are a bonus, but the people, food, scenery and culture you will experience along the way make the whole traveling experience something unforgettable.