The Pelabuhan Ratu area, a favorite weekend surfing destination for expatriates and a growing number of Indonesian surfers based in Jakarta, is the most crowded of West Java‘s surfing grounds due to sheer ease of accessibility. Most of the surf pounded beaches in the Pelabuhan Ratu resort area-also called Samudra Beach are just that: pure beachpound, featuring vicious riptides and big walls of water with nowhere to go. Most surfers skip this non-directional stuff and head a few kilometers due west to the sleepy fishing and rice-growing village known as Cimaja, or Cimaja Beach.
The Cimaja break, a right that rises off a rocky reef, is reached by walking about 300 meters from the main road through beachfront sawah (rice paddies). This spot is consistently surf able because it has a solid and angular rock bottom perfectly attuned to south and southwest swells rising out of the Indian Ocean. Its rights peel off in front of a cobble-stone and boulder strewn beach that clatters like a series of giant castanets every time a wave set rolls in.
Here down below are some information for surfing at Cimaja.
Spot information for surfing at Cimaja (globalsurfer.com):
- Type of break: pointbreak
- Type of wave: occasionally barreling wave
- Direction: right hand
- Bottom: rock
- Average lenght of ride: 100-200 meter lenght
- Suitable for: intermediate level
- Crowd level: normal crowd
- Best tide: mid
- Ideal board size: 6’2-6’4 Thruster
- Ideal wind direction: east
- Wavesize & wetsuit
- Spring – Summer – Autumn – Winter
- Good: 4′ – 6′ – Overhead: 6′- 8′ – Ok : 2′- 4′ – Ok : 2′- 4′
Heading west for a few hundred yards, across the river, you can check out the lefts at Karang Papak, which can be working when Cimaja is a mess. Generally the temptation doesn’t pay off however.
Cimaja village and its surrounds are easily reached from Jakarta in about two and a half hours by car, just taking the highway south to Bogor, then towards Sukabumi and Pelabuhan Ratu. Once in Cimaja fishing village, it’s a hike through the rice paddies, and a cautious hop across the cobblestone beach.
For swimmers, beware of strong currents all along this stretch of coastline.
Always be wary of tide conditions and how they affect the lineup. There’s a large and exposed rock that is both conveniently and precariously located in front of the take-off point.
Like much of Java’s rugged south coast this is prime sea urchin and rock-dance country at low tides. Beach rocks here are also very smoothing, slippery and (unfortunately) sometimes covered by sharp, skin-tearing barnacles. Proceed out and back in with caution to avoid being chopped up in the shore pound.
There is no rail or air service to Pelabuhan Ratu, so if you are budget conscious and cant afford private car services your safari will have to opt for travel on buses or minibuses that regularly commute from Jakarta to Pelabuhan Ratu via either Bogor or Sukabumi.
If youre a beginner, there is a surfing lessons at Cimaja. They would be happy to teach you with experienced surfers in the water to keep you out of harm’s way. Ask the staff at your lodging for more details.
There are some surf shops & board repairing facilities in the Cimaja area, but these are limited. You will get leg ropes & wax, but not “fin keys” or “ding repair kits”, sunscreens are all imported, so most shops can not now afford to carry them, so bring sufficient for you holiday.
Dont forget to bring a small first aid kit.
The on shore wind normally starts about 11 am. & drops of most afternoons 4 p.m. So both morning & afternoon surfing sessions are possible.
The dry season is the main surfing season & is approximately from April through to October while the wet season is from November through to March, while the surf is less reliable, there are still waves to be had.
The colour of “green” is said to be the very colour of the Javanese Spirit-queen. To the traditional and local custom this colour is forbidden to wear.
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