MOTORBIKE SUP SURF TRIP IN INDONESIA WITH MY 9' INFLATABLE SURF SUP

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"Living in Indonesia gives you the opportunity to access everything that this beautiful country has to offer: waves, views and friendly faces! That's why I pack my Itiwit 9' inflatable surf stand-up paddle board for every trip. This time, we are heading to South Lombok: Ekas. Its surf, kitesurf and snorkelling spots make it a destination with a lot to offer, yet it remains relatively unknown. I have been to this part of the island several times, it is a personal favourite, but never quite this far and this remote. I have identified two potential SUP surf spots. One spot inside the bay, so an indirect wave but one that should pick up well on a rising tide with average swell. Another spot on the south coast at an opening of the coral reef. Ekas is not a very touristy place and is quite wild, so there should not be too many people in the water! It's low season for the waves and the forecasts are not looking great. I'm not getting my hopes up about the conditions but my excitement level reaches its peak when I think about exploring the untouched coastline on my SUP! At this kind of wild destination, an inflatable surf SUP is a great way to get to hidden spots and surf them. What could be more frustrating than watching perfect waves and not having a board to enjoy them on!" Étienne

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Preparation

The preparation is always the same. I prepare the carry bag with the SUP carefully rolled up. The strap keeping it in place helps maximise space. This is important because, as we often travel as a family, the bag doubles up as a kit bag. I add some accessories in addition to the split paddle and the high-pressure pump. I pack three "easybreath" masks, snorkel mask, fins, boots, hammock, all the necessary equipment to make the most of the environment we encounter with every trip! The capacity of the SUP bag means it replaces a standard bag. It is also useful for storing any wet and sandy items on the way back.

Total weight 21 kg, a little over the limit of the local airline. We get away with it! They are not very strict here. The bag goes off on the conveyor belt, I'm not worried, I know I'll be reunited with everything in good condition at the other end.

Arrival in Lombok: time to explore!

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When we get there, we hire a van; with 10 people and all our luggage, it's a bit tight but we all fit. With its rectangular shape, the stand-up paddle bag slides between the rest of the luggage. Very handy, especially when you consider that we are walking around with a SUP and all the necessary equipment!
As soon as we arrive at our accommodation, we hire a scooter and start exploring. It is not accessible by car, a scooter is ideal. With my surf SUP on my back, of course. The sight of the inflatable board sparks the interest of the French owner of our accommodation and he accompanies me. After being here for 15 years, he knows the area like the back of his hand and confirms the spots that I had identified. We head to the break.
The place is still untouched, free from any construction. The path to the coast is superb: we pass through rice fields and past gazebos, buffaloes and coconut palms. We end up on a muddy trail, more like a motocross track. The mud then opens up onto a carpet of grass, which mixes little by little with the white sand of the beach to lead us to the idyllic water in all shades of green and blue. All this in the middle of a coast carved up into big and small coves... another slice of paradise on earth that Lombok offers us. And here we are!
As expected, the season and timing of our arrival do not coincide with the ideal conditions, but I am still going to give it a go. The surf SUP inflates in 3 minutes, perfect for warming up your arms. I take to the water to surf the small waves. Exploration and a warm-up round on day one.
In the evening, we can't keep our eyes off the forecast, the "inside" spot looks like it will be working tomorrow morning at high tide with a weak onshore wind that will most likely flatten the waves without making my inflatable drift away. The waves should be between 1 and 2m. Excellent news!

SUP surf session

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The next morning, we all climb back into the pick-up and head towards the beach of the nearest village. We find a fisherman who lets us get on his boat to reach the spot. Offshore waves are common in Indonesia , hence the need to be dropped off near the break by local fishermen.
The waves are as expected! Our timing is perfect, 15 people in the water, locals and foreigners. We manage to easily get out to the spot from the side without having to face the waves head-on. This is all the more important on a SUP because 'duck diving' is impossible and the inflatable board pulls harder on the leash than a surfboard if caught in a wave.
The water is deep enough to stop us from hitting the coral if we wipe out. No large rocks either, so the spot is pretty safe!
I position myself a little behind the break, with my paddle in the water like an anchor to stop me from drifting away. The sets are spaced approximately 5 minutes apart with 12-second periods. The waves are big piles of water that do not barrel. Perfect for my level of SUP surfing. I'm loving it and take the opportunity to improve my carving, planting my paddle in the water to steady myself. It's a bit risky catching the biggest waves, standing right at the back of the board during the take-off. The board becomes very responsive, the paddle then becomes a real source of stability as soon as I pick up speed.
Two hours of perfect rides with a really sweet right-hander, with the following waves picking up where the previous left off. Two paddle strokes and I'm off to do it all again to make the fun and the experience last.
In between sets, the brief chats with the locals are always friendly, an opportunity for me to practise my Indonesian and for them to dust off their few words of English. They all come from the village opposite. The vibe in the water with the locals is generally very good in Indonesia and they are all intrigued by the SUP, which they are not used to seeing, especially an inflatable for surfing.
The spot is gorgeous, overlooking the white sandy beaches formed in small coves surrounded by cliffs. The cherry on the cake: the unobstructed view of Mount Rinjani (Lombok's highest volcano, 3700m). Living the dream!
The other days, the conditions were not quite right for surfing and SUP, so snorkelling was on the agenda, with my SUP of course to explore the coves and the best spots. We saw two sharks in the middle of all kinds of fish and some colourful coral!  

Summary of the trip

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The ease of transport of the inflatable surf SUP means I can take it to all my sea destinations. Its compact design is remarkable for such a product. The storage capacity of its bag is also a plus to store the necessary equipment and additional items. Public transport in Indonesia is quite basic, slow and varied; the SUP and its storage bag adapt perfectly to this nomadic way of life where you have to be able to juggle and adapt to the different options that often come out of the blue. It's the perfect companion for exploring and surfing idyllic spots off the beaten track. You save time with how easy it is to inflate. Its stability means that you can experience riding very quickly. Accessible for all the family, both big and small will love it. Its characteristics also make it a technical product to catch great waves and have fun. Also totally versatile to go off exploring at sea and on rivers when the environment allows it.

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