Surf Consciously

Surfing Sumba – Meet Petu, King of the Sea

We went surfing to Sumba last week and stayed at the surf homestay of our friend, Petu, where we learnt much more about this fascinating character who can be referred to the King of the Sea (Raja di laut) by some of the locals who know him well.

Sumba Homestay
View from Petu’s homestay

Petu, King of the Sea in Sumba

Petu is a 32-year old Sumbanese man that used to work as a surf-guide and lifeguard at Nihiwatu for the last 8 years, before he could finally fly by his own wings and open his dream homestay on his family land facing amazing surf breaks.

Sumba Surf homestay
Petu, Raja dari laut

We also had the chance to spend a day at Nihiwatu and surf the world-class wave where Petu brought us with his speedboat. We’ve noticed how warmly Petu was welcomed and respected over there. It was a day of big swell, where Petu and I had Nihiwatu’s surf spot just for ourselves. Later during the day the sea became very dangerous with a storm approaching the coast, Petu was busy with other stuff to pick us up so we asked some of the staff at the boat house at Nihiwatu if they could give us a ride, but they told us that the only man who could make it in those stormy conditions would be Petu. Although he finally made it, we decided in the meantime to go back walking back on those infinite white sand beach, crossing some jungle through rain showers.

Most ideal surf location in Sumba, INDONESIA

Petu’s homestay is definitely one of the best available locations in Sumba at the moment, if you can’t afford the 650$ / night at Nihiwatu (Petu’s homestay is less than 50$/day including 3-meals). He asked us to keep the location secret, although if you are really motivated to travel to Sumba, you can drop us a message below and we’ll help you out planning your trip.

Sumba Surf Camp
Sunrise from Petu’s homestay

Read also: “Surf Coaching Retreat in Nusa Tenggara Timor”


Our chat with Petu, ‘Raja Di Laut’

Below is a short interview we had with the King of the Sea, (translated from bahasa indonesia, although his English is not too bad).

IndoSurfCrew: How’s your daily life in Sumba?

Petu: We wake up here slightly before the sunrise every day, check the waves from our view point, prepare some coffee for the guests and depending on what they want to do we either go surfing, fishing, or sometimes horse riding when the waves are flat.

Sumba Surf homestay
Packing the boards before the boat trip

IndoSurfCrew: Would you say working at Nihiwatu changed your life? And the life of Sumbanese people?

Petu: Without Nihiwatu, I wouldn’t be able to have the dream life I have today, I am grateful to them. Sumba is a very remote island and offers rare work opportunities such as the one we can get in Nihiwatu in a luxury environment. It contributes tremendously to the development of the island and to open our minds towards tourism.

surfing sumba
When it gets a bit more gnarly. One of the many secret points in Sumba

IndoSurfCrew: What is your best memory while working at Nihiwatu?

Petu: Being by the sea, and surfing the wave with the guests. I started in the kitchen before becoming life-guard and my best time was by the sea, spending 12 hours a day by the beach.

Sumba Nihiwatu Boat House
View from Nihiwatu’s boat house

IndoSurfCrew: What about the waves in Sumba?

Petu: During the good season (April-November), the wave in front of our homestay can be epic and give a ride of over 600 meters long, a mellow wave for longboard. And when we want to get barrelled, we just need to do a 15-minutes ride with the boat to find empty breaks, left and right handers for all levels.

Sumba Surf Homestay
Last week’s swell – when it gets good this wave can be 600 meters long!

IndoSurfCrew: What are your plans for future?

Petu: We still need to improve the conditions of the homestay, install solar energy, build a small restaurant with view on the waves and one more bungalow. I don’t need more than 4 bungalows in my homestay so we can keep the great vibe we have with the guests,I want to keep it as a place that is only known through word of mouth. This homestay is not for business but mostly to be happy and healthy with my family and friends. To remain happy we need to spend as much time as possible in the ocean. Lastly, I want to keep exploring my beautiful island with my boat and the guests, surfing new waves!

Sumba surf homestay
One of Sumba’s beautiful beaches

Interested in a surf-trip in Sumba?

1 Step 1
Which dates are you planning to travel to Sumba?
What is your surf level?
Are you a single traveler? If not what is the size of your group?
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Indo Surf Crew

Indo Surf Crew was first born in the year 2018 as a surf photo & video content creative project while the first surf coaching trip organised by Uriel & Rodrigo happened in 2019 on an island off Sumatra. Since then, they have been running surf coaching retreats for all levels and mostly specialise in surf coaching for intermediate to advanced surfers. Surfing Consciously is our motto. To us it means, bringing awareness to our body, thoughts and interactions – in and out of the water. We take pride in working with eco surf resorts that are acting responsibly in preserving Indonesia’s nature, supporting and educating local communities. Indo Surf Crew was founded by Uriel Jean Armel, a French surfer and film-maker who has taken roots in Indonesia. You can read more about Uriel here, on an interview with Magicseaweed & here during an interview with the Surfing copywriter. As for Rodrigo, he was the first surf coach to join Uriel in his adventure and he’s the founder of the Power Surf techniques – a method that is now practiced internationally to train surf athletes from all over. Power Surf is a land based practice that combines ginastica natural, yoga, capoeira and martial arts, breaking town the fundamental surf techniques through a series of exercises. It also involves video analysis a skate practice for optimal result, which we do during our surf coaching trips.

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  1. Hi there,

    Thanks for the article. Petu’s surf homestay sounds exactly what we are looking for. Please can you help by proving some more info and how we can go about booking etc?

    We are 2 intermediate/ advanced surfers looking to have a great time and surf un crowded waves. Dates: 7-15 Sept

    Any help with the above would be much appreciated,

  2. Hi Indosurfcrew,
    Thanks for this great interview with Petu! I would love to know more about his home stay and woudl be very grateful if you could drop me a line or two. Sumba is on my list for June 2020!
    Thank you and best,

  3. Hey guys,
    I’m trying to plan my trip to sumba. I would really love to stay at Petus place, I already found d the address but I can’t figuere out how to get there.
    Do you have any recommendations? Please send me a message.

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