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The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best Lombok Surf Camp for Women Surfers in 2024

So, you’re thinking about taking a surf trip to Lombok, Indonesia?  If you’re looking for advice on the best Lombok surf camp to help you find perfect waves and improve your surfing as a female, look no further.  Surfing in Lombok is amazing because there are so many different options for surfers of all levels.  Intermediate surfers in particular will find the waves in Lombok are perfectly suited to their level.  

Google, “Lombok surf camp,” and you’re going to find gazillion options but like most things in Indo, it’s hard to believe what you see on the Internet. With so many options and not that many on-the-ground opinions, it can be hard to choose the right Lombok surf camp.  That’s where my experience as a surfer, traveler, and surf camp host in Lombok comes in.  I’ve done all the research, talked to as many people as possible, and compiled everything you need to know to plan an unforgettable trip at a surf camp in Lombok.  

Why should you trust me?  In 2013, I came to Lombok with a few girlfriends in hope of finding uncrowded waves and a new scene.  We could barely find any accommodation and landed in a dirty homestay right where the boats leave to go out to Gerupuk.  I came back in 2014 and every year after to surf and hang with my local friends.  In 2019, I started running Sea Hearts Surf Club retreats to Kuta Lombok. I’ve been back to Lombok each year since Covid and have stayed abreast of all the surf camp happenings in Lombok.  

Since the surf camp business is booming in Lombok, it is important to dig deep into any camp you are thinking of attending.  From location and amenities to surf conditions and experienced instructors, I’ll walk you through the factors that make a Lombok surf camp stand out. I’ll also provide tips on finding the perfect balance between budget and quality (hint: you can DIY your trip as well), so you can get the most out of your surfing experience without breaking the bank.

Let’s dive into the ultimate guide to finding the best Lombok surf camp!

A group of women at a Lombok Surf Camp

Why Lombok is a Female Surfers Paradise

The main reason I left Bali in search of an alternative island paradise was that I got sick of the aggro crowds.  Too many dudes with pointy shortboards shouting at each other.  The waves on the Bukit beautiful were incredibly beautiful to watch but often out of reach.  I wasn’t skilled or aggressive enough to get myself in position for a perfect left at Uluwatu.  I wanted waves that were challenging but not overwhelming.

Lombok provided.  The waves still break over reef but are often not over as shallow as many of the waves in Bali.  Depending on the swell, waves break both inside and outside of southern Lombok’s many bays.  Big swell? Surf in the bay.  Small swell? Surf outside.  Since the appearance of an ever increasing number of Lombok surf camps, the crowds are definitely more of an issue.  However, you can still find uncrowded waves if you know where to look.  If you are a beginner, sharing waves isn’t really the biggest deal, just learn to keep yourself safe.

Not to state the obvious, but warm water, tropical vibes, and everyone being in a good mood because they are on holidays goes a long way.  Lombok has all that and a more relaxed vibe than Bali.  Think Canggu 20 years ago.  

A Woman paddling while surfing in Lombok.

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Lombok Surf Camp

Choosing the right Lombok surf camp or making a DIY plan is crucial to have a good time in Lombok.  The area around Kuta can be navigated on your own, but I highly recommend doing a surf camp or getting a guide if you don’t have a month or more to explore.  A guide will help you get better waves for your surfing ability and a little local flavor which makes every surf trip way more memorable.

When choosing a Lombok surf camp, be sure to look into the location, level of surfing, type of accommodation, schedule, and experience of the instructors. Most camps are based in Kuta, Lombok, which is a good base to explore waves both to the east and the west and have restaurants and bars nearby.  However, this does mean you’ll be driving to surf everyday.  If you don’t like driving to surf, try Ekas Surf Resort or stay at Gerupuk, where the waves will be a short boat ride away.  

Accommodation style is another big thing to consider.  Many of the Sea Hearts are past their backpacker days and want somewhere a little more comfortable to rest their heads.  Thus, choose a place to stay that makes you excited and fits your budget.

The reputation of the surf camp and quality of the instructors is very important so you have a safe trip and improve your surfing.  No naming names, but some surf camp operators put their guests at risk of injury by surfing in large groups or going out at crowded breaks.

Types of Lombok Surf Camps – Budget vs. Luxury, Permanent vs. Pop-Up

These days the range of surf camps in Lombok means there is something for everyone.  One thing to consider is whether you want to attend a permanent surf camp or a pop-up retreat.  

Pop-up retreats are very popular in Lombok and are run by brands, well known surfers, or groups of women trying to make a business out of something they love.  Choosing a pop-up surf retreat, where the operators don’t live in Lombok full time and only operate the surf camp on certain weeks of year, can either be a blessing or a curse.  Operators of pop-up surf retreats are usually energetic and full of passion, but they may lack organization or local knowledge of which waves are working best on a given day. Check out the credentials of those running a temporary surf retreat – do they surf well?  Are they a surf coach themselves?  Is their first retreat in Lombok?  

The pros of attending a surf camp based in Lombok include the expertise of owners, organization, and availability.  Surf camps will offer lots of options in terms of dates because they are always there.  The cons can be that the owners are jaded and running a Lombok surf camp as a numbers game.  The larger surf camps also lack the flexibility to go to wherever the surf is working the best on the days you are in Lombok.  If you want a unique and flexible approach, often a pop-up retreat with experienced operators is the way to go.  

Our Favorite Lombok Surf Camps

Xanadu

BEST OVERALL PACKAGE SURF CAMP IN KUTA

    Xanadu is definitely one of the premier surf camps in Lombok.  Both Xanadu’s Surf & Yoga Village in the heart of Kuta and Xanadu Surf & Yoga Boutique Resort feature tropical styled vibes, super comfy beds, small groups of surfers (max. 12 guests), and tasty options for breakfast.  Lots of woman surfers choose Xanadu for solo or small groups because many of the staff members including the surf manager are female.  

    The schedule for Xanadu is Sunday to Sunday and the packages include six surf sessions and one full day outing.  These sessions include surf coaching and video analysis. Be sure to say hello to our friend, Gong, who is a Lombok local and surf guide for Xanadu.  

    Pros:

    • Amazing staff, especially lead host
    • Surf instructors are great 
    • Guests liked going to the “secret spot” on a full day outing 
    • Chilled out vibe, not a party scene
    • Very comfortable beds 

    Cons:

    • Yoga was basic
    • Far from beach 
    • Surf instruction is not thorough enough, especially for the safety of beginners

    Trip Advisor 

    Xanadu

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    Porter Jungle Hotel

      BEST FOR LUXURY
      The Porter is for ladies looking for a little more luxury than your average surf camp.  This would be a great option for a couple mothers looking to surf, relax, and get away from it all.  The design of the rooms and common areas is incredibly cool and the surroundings make you feel like you are truly out in the jungle away from it all even though you’re just 10 minutes from Kuta.  

      The Porter is a surf camp with luxury.  Add their “Surf Package” to include daily surf guiding, yoga, and breathwork to your stay.  The on-site restaurant serves up a delicious breakfast to hungry surfers.

      Pros:

      • Stunning design that combines 1950s vibes with Latin style 
      • Everything – rooms, pool, common areas – is exceptionally clean 
      • Location is in pristine jungle, excellent for a chilled out trip in nature 

      Cons

      • 10 minutes from Kuta by scooter (could be a pro), access is down a bumpy dirt road 
      • A bit too peaceful for kids, not a family vibe

      Trip Advisor 

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      Nalua 

      BEST FOR SOLO TRAVELERS OR PEOPLE LOOKING FOR COMPANY

        If you’re looking for a small and intimate Lombok surf camp to progress your surfing, check out Nalua Surf Camp.  Nalua is perfect for solo travelers or a couple of female surfers who want to learn and socialize as there are only six rooms.  Nalua organizes afternoon activities like sunset sessions and waterfalls where you can explore Lombok beyond surfing with a crew.  The instructors and staff treat guests like family and invite them along to enjoy Kuta after your surf lessons are over. The price is very fair and Nalua has an amazing boutique attached where I got my last new surf friendly bikini.  

        Pros:

        • Great for beginners – instructors are good balance of fun and expertise
        • Banana bread is said to best in Lombok
        • Great location on main street of Kuta near all the restaurants and bars 
        • Daily activities besides surfing offered – waterfalls, beaches, sunset beers as a group
        • Good for solo travelers

        Cons: 

        • Basic accommodation
        • No pool 
        • Street noise 

        Trip Advisor 

        Nalua

        Book Surf camp

        Tiu Oasis

        BEST FOR FAMILIES OR GROUPS

          Tiu Oasis is at the top of our list for super luxurious and well-styled accommodation that has the space to accommodate a group or family.  Tiu Oasis isn’t exactly a surf camp, but you can liaise with the staff to set up surf guiding and lessons. Located in the jungle about 7 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of town, you definitely can get your slice of serenity and R&R here.  This would also be an amazing place to book out for a group.

          Pros:

          • A bit of luxury – beautiful, stylish accommodation 
          • Quiet area in jungle 
          • Good for groups – can accommodate groups of different sizes 
          • Delicious complimentary breakfast
          • Villas have full kitchen and Bungalows a mini-fridge and tea and coffee facilities 
          • Family-friendly (book a villa with a private pool) 

          Cons: 

          • Out of town so can be challenging to find, need to ride a scooter, and dirt road access which is very dark at night
          • Not surf focused – outside provider for surf lessons 

          Trip Advisor 

          Booking.com 

          Loka

          BEST FOR GETTING BACK INTO SURF SHAPE

            Loka is the biggest and longest standing gym in Kuta.  Ice baths, sauna, HIIT classes, and delicious food are all on hand here (and reason to visit even if you don’t stay here). The owner, Matt, is one of the best ex-pat surfers in the area and a super nice guy. You know how people go to Phuket to get in shape and train muay thai boxing, Loka is that place for surfing.  Retreats here feature accommodation near the gym (private villa or onsite), 2 daily training sessions, health meals, and surfing.  

            Pros:

            • Excellent food that will make you feel amazing during your stay
            • Fully equipped gym, ice baths, sauna 
            • Great location
            • Owner is long time Lombok resident with lots of wisdom for your trip 

            Cons:

            • Surfing isn’t main focus
            • Don’t run retreats all the time 
            • Basic accommodation on site 

            Loka Lombok

            Trip Advisor

            Roots Lombok – surf camp in Gerupuk

            BEST FOR PROXIMITY TO SURF

              Book at Roots Lombok to focus on your surfing and cut down the amount of time driving to breaks.  With Gerupuk insides, outsides and Don-Don’s just a 5 minute boat ride away, you’ll spend more time in the water here.  Gerupuk has a cool small town vibe with only a few restaurants and a picturesque bay at its fringe.  The surf staff at Roots surf camp is said to be exceptional and you’ll get lots of attention from the 1:1 or 2 instructors to guest ratio. Roots offers surf and surf + yoga packages.  

              Pros:

              • Closest to the surf at Gerupuk Bay – be the first out at sunrise 
              • Complimentary breakfast and food is 10/10
              • Great instructor ratio: 1 instructor to 1 or 2 guests 
              • Photo and video analysis of your surfing

              Cons:

              • Away from the action in Gerupuk, with fewer options for dining out 
              • Prayers at the mosque are audible from 4 am

              TripAdvisor

              Roots Surf Camp

              Ekas Surf Resort 

              BEST FOR GETTING AWAY FROM CROWDS

                Ekas is the reason you’d come to Ekas Surf Resort.  It is a massive bay with several waves that are away from the crowds of Kuta and Gerupuk.  Although many people come for day trips, you’d have the surf largely to yourself in the mornings and evenings.  Ekas can hold a big swell and still provide waves for all skill levels.  Dave, the owner, leads the surf instruction so you can expect Western style instruction and safety measures.  They also do kitesurfing lessons here as well. 

                Pros:

                • Away from the crowds and right next to Ekas break which has waves for all levels 
                • Natural beauty – remote local with amazing snorkeling 
                • Small groups with Western lead surf coach 
                • Surf as much as you want – no limit on water time or surf sessions 
                • Walk to beach

                Cons: 

                • Remote location – no external restaurants or bars 
                • Roads nearby are in very bad condition 
                • Basic accommodation – not for those looking for luxury or style 

                TripAdvisor

                Ekas Surf Resort

                Pop-Up Surf Retreats in Lombok

                Every year there are a few pop-up Lombok surf camps that look exciting and a great way to meet a unique group of women.  At Sea Hearts Surf Club, we used to run surf retreats every year and the women who attended were amazing.  These days, our retreats are on hold, but there are many surf retreats in Lombok that are one of a kind. 

                In 2024, two surf retreats that have caught my eye are the Facing Blank Pages retreat and the Same Wave Community Retreats.  

                The Facing Blank Pages retreat looks awesome because they focus on improving your mindset and confidence in the surf a lot like we used to during the Sea Hearts Retreats.  So many women surfers struggle with what’s going on in their head while surfing. At the Facing Blank Pages surf retreat, owner Anais spends time helping you improve your mindset. You’ll also get to do on-land skate training at the amazing Tribe Park skate bowl and learn about local culture and coconut oil at Nine-Nine.  This is a longboard focused retreat, so best for those learning to ride a log.  

                As for the Same Wave Community retreat this October, this pop-up Lombok surf camp looks epic for both longboarders and shortboarders who have some experience riding green waves and paddling out through the breaking waves.  The Same Wave crew is from Byron Bay and looks like a very inclusive, welcoming, and fun group of girls. The guiding will be done by female coaches which is rare in Lombok.  You’d be traveling with 8-12 like minded women who all want to improve their surfing.  Plus, they are staying at the fabulous Porter Hotel

                Surfing Lessons and Coaching at Lombok Surf Camps

                Kuta, Lombok has become quite a scene these days.  The local boys give surf lessons by day and run the party circuit by night (be sure to check out the Surfer’s Bar on Fridays).  You want to make sure that the Lombok surf camp you choose is serious about their surf instruction so that you can progress your skills.  

                For beginners, you’ll usually be in a group lesson at waves like Tan Juan Aan Beach or Don Don’s.  Be very careful when you are in a group like this, you want to keep yourself and others safe.   

                Top Surf Spots in Southern Lombok

                Learn more about the top places to surf in Lombok.

                • Segar: Both rights and lefts located near town on the ocean side of the Mandalika track. Surfed on small swell by all levels of surfers including lots of local groms but be careful on low tide as it is a reef break. Also a great place to watch the sunset! Located 5-10 minutes from Kuta.
                • Tanjung Aan: Fun right-hand wave for all levels located on famous tourist beach.
                • Gerupuk: Located about 20 minutes drive and then a 10 minute boat ride to Inside, 20 minutes to Outside waves.
                  • Don Don’s: Don Don is an easy A-frame wave inside the bay that breaks left and right and requires a large to medium swell to break.
                  • Gerupuk Inside: Inside right hander that is often frequented by beginner to intermediate surfers. A very fun wave, but can be extremely crowded. Depending on the swell and low to mid tide here can be pumping!
                  • Gerupuk Outside: Both a left hander that breaks over shallow reef and big, washy right hander. Needs the right swell, not too big and good winds.
                • Mawi: Located 30 minutes drive west of Kuta. Mawi is one of the go-to spots all year because it picks up heaps of swell and often has favorable winds. The break changes drastically from low to high tide. You can go left or right. Low tide is best suited for advanced surfers, while surf on higher tide on a small day can be enjoyed by all skill levels. The beach itself is very beautiful and nice place to spend the day.
                • Are Guling: Epic right-hander that needs the right winds (found during wet season) but a far paddle for experienced surfers only.
                • Selong Belanak: A 40 minute drive west of Kuta past Mawi. Beach break reserved for beginners, longboards and those wanting a less powerful wave with a sand bottom. Usually not crowded expect surfing lessons. 
                • Ekas: Similar to Gerpuk, except less crowded. 40 minute drive from Kuta, then a 20 minute boat ride to break so we will make a full day trip to Ekas if conditions allow. Extremely beautiful and desolate terrain. Often uncrowded, you may be on the only boat there.
                  • Ekas Inside: Easy wave, both rights and lefts, good for all kinds of surfers including longboards and SUPs. Requires a big swell to have sizeable waves, but can hold swell up to 12 foot.
                  • Ekas Outside: Outside is a more challenging, bigger left-hander.
                • Secret” Spots: Our guides often have little known spots to check when the conditions align.

                Best Time to Visit Lombok for Surfing

                The best time to go surfing in Lombok, Indonesia, depends on your surfing skill level and preferences. I highly recommend February, March and April for the best winds for all breaks.

                1. Dry Season (April to October): This is the peak surfing season in Lombok, characterized by consistent swells and offshore winds, especially from May to August. The waves are typically larger and more powerful during this time, making it ideal for experienced surfers.
                2. Wet Season (November to March): While the wet season can bring rain and less predictable conditions, it can also offer good surfing opportunities, especially for beginners and intermediate surfers. The waves are generally smaller and more manageable during this time. More surf spots, such as Air Guling, light up the the wet season. My favorite month of the year is probably March or April.
                3. Crowds: The dry season tends to be more crowded, especially around popular surf breaks like Kuta and Gerupuk. If you prefer fewer crowds, avoid the European summer and consider visiting during the wet season, when the beaches are generally quieter.
                4. Water Temperature: The water temperature in Lombok is warm year-round, ranging from 25°C to 29°C (77°F to 84°F). The surf guides often wear wetsuits but if you come from somewhere like Australia or the USA, you can leave your wetties at home

                Reviews and Recommendations for Your Lombok Surf Camp

                Before making a final decision on which surf camp to choose, it’s always a good idea to read reviews and recommendations from previous guests. Online platforms such as TripAdvisor, surf forums, and social media groups can provide valuable insights into the quality and reputation of different surf camps in Lombok.

                Look for reviews that mention the surf camp’s instructors, facilities, accommodation, and overall experience. Pay attention to both positive and negative reviews to get a well-rounded understanding of what to expect. Also, look at what month the reviewer visited as the surf changes a lot from season to season.  Keep in mind that everyone’s preferences and expectations may vary, so consider reviews as a guide rather than a definitive judgment.

                You can also reach out to fellow surfers who have been to Lombok and ask for their recommendations. They may have firsthand experiences and insights that can help you make an informed decision. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and gather as much information as possible to ensure that you choose the right surf camp for your adventure.

                Choosing the Best Lombok Surf Camp for Your Adventure

                In the end, choosing the best Lombok surf camp depends on your reasons for the trip, preferences, and budget.   A great number of surf camps have popped up in Lombok and you don’t want to get lost in the crowd.  Quality of instructors, amount of surfing you’ll do per day, locations you surf, and the crowd you paddle out with certainly affect your experience. If you are after a unique Lombok surf camp experience, you might even consider designing the trip yourself (more on this later).  

                Start with the time of year you want to visit and the level of luxury you want in your accommodation and build out your trip from there.  There is something to be said for just showing up and having everything taken care of for you from the moment you land at the Lombok airport.  Choose a Lombok surf camp like this if you need a quick and easy break.  If you’ve got more time and appetite for adventure, DIY it! Also, I wouldn’t count out the pop-up retreats!  These Lombok surf retreats often offer more attentive staff than a permanently based Lombok surf camp.

                The goal is to have fun, improve your surfing, and enjoy an amazing experience. Hope this guide helps, please leave your questions in the comments and I will get back to you! 

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