fbAsu Camp Surf Club — Thermal
Accommodation
Private bungalows
Duration
6+ nights
Nearest major airport
Binaka Airport (GNS)

Hinako Islands playground

"Looking for an uncrowded world-class wave? Asu Camp is nestled in amongst the palm trees on Asu Island, just west of Nias Island in North Sumatra, Indonesia. Our tropical paradise is the only surf resort on the island and is situated directly in front of a reeling left-hander, with nine other surf breaks just a speedboat ride away. We offer a rural Indonesian experience for surfers who want offshore winds, consistent swell, and a friendly and comfortable place to rest their salty heads after a day in the water."

The surf

Peak swell
Variable swell
jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sep
oct
nov
dec

Asu Surf Camp is conveniently located directly in front of a reeling 200m left-hander with 3 barrel sections. Our surf guide Earl has over 10 years of knowledge to find you the best swell, wind, and tide combination around the islands. With 9 other breaks, all accessible by a short speedboat ride, we are dedicated to helping you find your dream wave! Our neighborhood is not designed for beginners, the waves out here are challenging for both intermediate and expert level surfers.

The surf here is powerful, fast, and barreling over live coral reefs, we would not recommend this camp for beginner-level surfers. The island of Asu is the crown jewel of our neighborhood and one of the most consistent waves in Indonesia, out here we don’t know the term ‘flat’. Of the 10 waves we regularly surf, there are 6 rights and 4 lefts, which provide a healthy variety for a surf diet.

A perfect surf day

"My ideal surf day is to wake up before sunrise and check the sound of the sets on the beach to hear how big it is and measure the glow of the whitewater and push of the swell on the high tide. Make the call and head for one of my favorite waves, the ‘Secret Right’. Quick breakfast, coffee, morning ritual and hit the trail through the jungle to the beach where we jump in the speedboat and head over to the Right, enjoying the sunrise over Nias on the way. Surf there till midday and then back to Asu for lunch, a siesta in the hammock in the shade of the coconut trees, and then an afternoon session at double overhead, pumping Asu for the afternoon…Frontside barrels in the morning and backside barrels in the afternoon with a dash of boating adventure. Doesn’t get any better than that for me." - Earl Sullivan

Swell Season

The peak season for swell is historically June-August. We run the camp March-October. March-April is the best for head high waves with very few people. In May the swells start to come and we see more visitors at the camps and more consistent swells in the water. June-August we can see weeks of waves in the double overhead range, and we get flat spells too, it’s a surf trip, so nothing is guaranteed. Come September the swells start to slow down again, but the people are still around, September is often the most crowded time of the year for some reason. October is a gamble, it can be amazing, it can be flat, the weather can be all time, or the rainy season can come early… Out here our motto is that ‘Anything can happen. We are in the doldrums and the weather can change in 3 hours, completely change, from onshore crap to offshore barrels. It keeps it fresh and adventurous and amazing.

Our ‘off-season’ is November - February when Indian Ocean swells are sparse, the rainy season kicks in, and the winds turn more predominantly westerly. There are still amazing waves almost daily at Bawa, but it’s just not our idea of a surf trip to have to get in a speedboat every day to go find waves, so we shut down, give our crew a chance to go be with their families and we also travel ‘home’ to Brazil or America to see our family and friends, and snowboard again.

The lodge

We fall asleep to the rumble and crash of the constant surf and we wake to the rhythm and songs of the birds at sunrise in the morning. Our camp sits on the very northern tip of the little island of Asu which gives us the unique perspective of seeing the sunrise and sunset right from the beach out front. There are no roads or cars on the island so everything is by boat, bike, or foot. Asu is surrounded by white sand, crystal clear water, coconut palm-fringed beaches, and coral reefs.

Asu Camp is the only surf resort on Asu island with an all-day, uninterrupted view of the wave at Asu from all locations across the camp. The layout of our camp was specifically designed this way. Wake up and know what the surf is doing out front before you've even wiped the sleep out of your eyes... It's that good.

Our place is so peaceful, there is a stillness that resonates through the camp and that is juxtaposed by the crashing waves out front. When people arrive, they feel it immediately.

If you seek adventure, you will enjoy our place. If you enjoy the stillness of nature, the sound of the birds, the crash of the surf, you will love our place. If you need to be in front of the wave at all times to have peace in your heart to know that you are making the right decision to take a nap, or read a book, then you will find peace in our place. If you value clean sheets, good food, and people with kind hearts who work to make you smile, then you will enjoy our place.

Food

Our food is lovingly prepared by local chefs Lili and Herlina who cook up tasty treats and delicious meals every day. We serve a variety of healthy cuisine with European, South American and of course, Indonesian influence, and we eat lunch and dinner together family-style at the large dining table. Breakfast is made fresh each morning, your choice of the ever-popular fresh fruit bowl with all the fixings, (chia seeds, walnuts, almonds, goji berries, yogurt), as well as the classics: banana pancakes cooked in cold-pressed coconut oil, amazing omelets and scrambles, freshly baked homemade bread, egg sandwiches stacked with ham, avocado, cheese and tomato, or maybe just a simple bowl of porridge or Corn Flakes with fresh banana or ripe papaya picked from one of our many fruit trees spread around our coconut gardens. Please let us know about dietary preferences before you arrive, we are happy to cater to vegetarian and vegan diets. We also have homemade Indonesian sambal for those of you that like it spicy!!!

Location

Southeast Asia/Indonesia/Nias and Hinako Islands
Getting there
Fly from Jakarta or Medan to Nias. Our driver will meet you at the airport to pick you and your bags up. From there, it's a 2... read more

Asu Camp Surf Club

Leading trips since 2009
Earl Sullivan
Owner
Earl Sullivan
Earl Sullivan

Asu Camp Surf Club has been satisfying surfers with epic waves and a slice of paradise since 2009. Run by a team of two young families, one expat and one local, with friendly local staff, Asu Camp welcomes you to our magical island home. We want our guests to experience rural Indonesia and the kind of atmosphere traveling surfers found in Indonesia in the 1970s and ‘80s, with a very natural feel, good vibes, low crowds, powerful waves, coconut tree fringed Islands and non-English speaking locals.

"Our experience at Asu Camp has been an amazing rollercoaster of a passion for surfing, a love of adventure and sharing cultures, of friendship across nationalities, of family, surf, salt, wind, rain, and sun…it’s an amazing story and could fill a book…too much to even think of where to begin here.

Our lifestyle is amazing. The birds are our alarm clock, I wake at 5:30 every morning to their song and take a walk with the dogs to the beach to check the surf. Coffee and fresh fruit every day for breakfast and then finding the best 2-4 hour surf session that the day has on offer at one of the 11 breaks in our neighborhood." - Earl Sullivan

Protecting the place we love/community support

Our Navy/Police in the area don’t have a speedboat, so one thing we do is have a network of fisherman and people in the community that calls my partner when they hear bomb fishing going on and we send our speedboat to pick up the authorities and then we track down the perpetrators.

We are doing what we can to minimize our footprint. We run small and simple single-cylinder diesel generators that are efficient. We use 6m speedboats with 40hp Yamaha engines for efficiency as well. We minimize the trips we need to make back and forth to Nias for supplies by being incredibly organized. We minimize the material that we bring to the island as much as possible. We sourced almost all of the lumber for our building from locally harvested trees on Asu and the wood was hand cut with a 36” chainsaw and hand-delivered to our property. We have planted banana and papaya trees all over the property. We use reusable straws to drink our cold coconuts. We repurpose old refrigerators and give them to local fishermen to use as iceboxes. We have a hydroponic vegetable garden to grow our own herbs and green leaf lettuce. We do what we can, with what we’ve got.

Obstacles that we have encountered are many… but nothing cannot be overcome with persistence and ingenuity.

Up next

Next, we would like to build a pier so we can more easily load and unload our boats to the beach with the greatest of ease. We want to build a recreation center complete with a yoga space, mini ramp, and massage room with AC. We want to build 2 more private bungalows to be able to accommodate only 8 guests with maximum privacy and comfort.

Languages: English, Indonesian
Response rate: 100%
Response time: Within 24 hours

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Questions?

What's included?
Wifi, freshly prepared meals, speedboat rides to nearby waves, airport pickup and transfer to Asu.
What's not included?
Beers, sodas and isotonic, fresh fruit juices.
What's the cancellation policy?
Cancel and get a full refund within 48 hours of purchase, or at least 90 days before the trip starts.
Risk-free booking
Cancel any trip within 48 hours of purchase for a full refund.
Change of plans? No worries. Cancel any trip within 48 hours of purchase for a full refund, no questions asked.
Best price guarantee
If you find a lower price for the same trip, we’ll match it.
Booking with Thermal never costs more. If you find a lower price for the same trip, we’ll match it.
Connect directly
Speak to the team on the ground, instead of a travel agent.
Instead of a travel agent, we connect you directly to the team on the ground for the answers you need.
Exclusive experiences
We have a roster of amazing, one-off trips in the works.
Each week brings something new to discover. We have a roster of amazing, one-off experiences in the works.