Hours from Bali, you’ll find Lombok: a surfer’s dream with left-handers for days and miles of uncrowded breaks. During the dry season (April to October), the surf can be hit or miss. If you’re ok with paying the small price of surfing in the rain, traveling from November to March (wet season) is sure to bring warm water and waves that work with only a handful of people to share.
After punching your way through the impact zone and out to the line up, it’s in these quiet moments that any surfer feels a sense a harmony with the ocean. And after taking your last ride in, the hard questions about our actions, outside of the ocean, as they coincide with preserving the earth, begin to persist.
Two of the three pillars to travel sustainably are environmental (reduce, reuse, recycle) and fiscal benefits to local communities (supporting fair wages to locals). With those in mind, here are our top tips from our recent surf trip to Lombok.
Stop Single-Use Plastic
We are doing our part to end single-use plastic by using plastic-free biodegradable hygiene liners in our products.
Still, there are ways, no matter where you are traveling, to further that. To cut back on plastic waste, carry tote bags inside of your luggage and opt for locally purified water in recycled glass bottles.
Indonesia is known for their amazing fresh coconuts, but with having one, comes with drinking through a single use plastic straw. Invest in a simple bamboo or glass straw that comes with a protective case and is easy to throw in your bag. You can pick them up in a number of shops throughout Bali and Lombok.
As of June 2019, Bali has banned the use of single use plastic island wide, so please be aware and refuse the plastic bag from the local markets, straws from the local warung and carry your own reusable silverware when eating out.
Local government regulation state that 80% of new tourism development must feature some form of eco-tourism.
Places like Hotel Tugu Lombok, a plastic-free resort that reuses its grey water and runs a coral reef regeneration program, are part of these eco-chic accommodations.
Karar Lombok Leisure Boutique Hotel, designed by Bambook Studio, Lombok’s leading sustainable architecture firm, is a property designed with all of Bambook’s sustainable principles. It also offers surfing as well as day trips to the local market. The restaurant on site, Yaya’s, focuses on fresh, locally grown and produced food.
What to look for in your accommodations: Focus on things like shade, air flow and off grid solutions. These are pieces that are sure to help you stay comfortable because you’re not in a concrete, air-conditioned box soaking up electricity in a tropical climate. If you want a truly unique accommodation, opt for a dome house.
Hire a Local Chef
From enjoying a smoothie on the heels of dawn patrol to a fresh fish dinner after an afternoon session, hiring a local chef is a great way to give back to the community both fiscally and environmentally.
Ask a travel guide or use a service like Take a Chef to find a chef. Be specific with the chef about your sustainability goals, noting that you opt for plastic-free, recycling is a high priority, and composting is a must. In case you’re wondering, you can compost. Lombok Eco Development not only teaches residents and businesses about composting, but if you’re traveling, they will accept your compost. You can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Like any tourist destination, you will find places that cater to fast fashion and tourists.
Before purchasing while you're traveling ask yourself:
- Do you need this item (the answer is usually no)?
- Can you get it more sustainably (the answer is almost always yes)?
If shopping is on your list, organize a car ride to Mataram, making sure they don’t take you to the mall. Here you’ll find local fabrics and wood carving villages. If you head to Kuta, you will find ikat weaving. And remember, there’s a reason you brought that tote bag in your luggage after all!
While we aren’t going to tell you all our favorite surf spots, activities like surfing, hiking, or riding a bike are a great way to stay active without enhancing your carbon footprint.
If you're unfamiliar with Lombok, the most famous break is "Desert Point" on the south-west tip, and Kuta Lombok is the most central point for surfers. We love Capsule Hostel in Kuta Lombok: Bamba. It is centrally located and perfect for visiting different breaks without traveling too far.
Where you want to surf depends on what you're in the mood for. If you're looking for fast peeling shoulders "Are Gouling" will get you a nice left or a right depending on the side of the bay you are on. Regardless, whatever your flavor, Lombok is sure to have a break to satiate your palette.
Added bonus: if you rent a board from a local shop, you’re likely using your wallet to help support a local in the community. We love Flow Surf Lombok. Hands down, the best curated selection of surfboards, boardshorts and swimsuits in Lombok. Very knowledgable and helpful staff, you won't be disappointed. Plus you can get surf lessons from them.
Remember that even when you’re not traveling, there are small steps you can take towards sustainable living from using Reef Safe Sunscreen to examining day-to-day waste and using your purchasing power to support small sustainable business like SEPTEMBER.
Been to Lombok? We’d love to hear more of your tips and tricks. Click here to shop now.