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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Virginia Beach

    Boats Vs Resorts

    So by the grace of God (or a hard hit to the head), my wife said she was okay with me going to Indonesia by myself, for a two week surf trip for my 39th b-day (a little over a year and a half away giving me plenty of time to develop a budget and save). I originally pitched it to her as a boat trip- now I'm wondering if that's the best way to go. I initially was set on a boat trip to the Mentawai, but now I'm wondering if a camp in Bali (or elsewhere -definitely in indo, not the maldives) might be equally as fun, and save me a grand or two. I know a couple of you have posted about boat trips before, and I've noticed that prices vary from $1500 to $5000+ (not including flights). Just wondering what those of you who have made a trip similar to this have done and why. Is a boat that much better (I guess I'm looking at you get what you pay for) than a resort?

    I have my heart set on going to Indonesia, so you can skip the whole go to Nica or somewhere in central or south america and save the $$$.

  2. #2
    I'm $5 Gs in and have not left yet (boat). I suspect I will spend at least another G. Can't comment on the land deal in Indo and await the experience on da boat....stay tuned.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Lonely, But Intoxicated
    Boat all the way. Don't overthink it

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    I have NOT gone to Indo or anywhere near there. But I would suggest this--try to find a resort (a surf resort) that has available boat trips to other locations departing from the resort area. That way, you get the best of both worlds, really, and you pay only for those boat trips you take. That type of setup should exist as it does for SCUBA, sailing, ecotours, etc. After all, surfing is now for tourists....
    Just a suggestion.

  5. #5
    Boat is a million times better than a camp. Camp is for those poor a-holes who have to drag their woman and kids along.

    No woman: Boat the Ments.

    Woman: Camp. Prolly in Bali if she doesn't surf as good as you and wants to do tourist crap.

    Do not just go to Bali if you go by yourself, that would be the biggest waste.

    Here's a quick list of pros and cons of going Boat:
    + Go where the waves are. During flat spells, you can hang at Burgerworld (with a million of your best buds) and at least get something.
    + Avoid the crowds. A good guide will direct the captain to places that are firing and uncrowded. With a camp, you're stuck with what's nearby.
    + Wake up on the break. No waiting for the day trip boat guy to take you somewhere where it's breaking. You can jump off the boat and paddle in if the dinghy guy isn't awake yet.
    + Surf anytime. Wave to the boat and the dinghy comes to pick you up. Or you can paddle back if you need to eat, hydrate, patch up after a reef hit, etc. The camps drop you off and the longboat doesn't always stick around--heads off to ferry more guests. So you could be stranded on the break for a couple of hours if you're surfing a remote spot and your board breaks.
    + Surf dawn to dusk.
    + You get to know your shipmates. Maybe a little too well. You can discuss strategy with them if somebody's being a wave hog, or if you're having problems with other boats.
    + Being on a cheap boat is hardcore surfing (if you push yourself), because you will be in the water 10+ hours a day for 10+ days. You will come back (home) looking like death, white from SPF 100 becoming part of your craggy skin, bleeding and oozing from reef rash that has turned into skin craters from never drying out and scabbing over, and beat all to hell from the reef. Satisfies your surf craving for like a week or two afterward.
    + No flying bugs. Bedbugs maybe. You can just chill on the roof of the boat and watch the break peel off as the sun sets without getting eaten alive by mosquitos and gnats.
    - It's expensive. Even for the cheap boats.
    - Anything non-surfing is crap. The food will keep you going. The best thing you can hope for is the crew catches some fresh fish. You might watch a bootleg dvd movie in the galley at night. Beer runs out, then mango juice, then the rest of the juices by order of goodness.
    - Shared sleeping quarters are bunks in a dank cabin. AC if you are lucky.
    - No cell or internet. Satellite phone might be working if you're lucky and want to spend $$$$$$ to call home and let them know you're alive.
    - One toilet/shower and a bunch of dudes.

    None of the cons is a big deal unless you have some sort of phobia or medical condition. Even the ratty boats are pretty comfy. It's tropical paradise, boardshorts and rashy(for the sun) all day every day, and you have an A/C cabin to pass out in at night. Total sickness. You're gonna be in heaven!!

    If you ignore good advice and become a camp weenie, camp in the ments. Not Bali.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Central FL
    Seems legit

  7. #7
    sick rundown speedbump

    I mentioned the ments to a buddy and he said 'mate, its overrun, youd do better to go to a fringe location'

    I know everyone's experience is different, but I dont want to pay 6k+ for a trip where I surrounded by frothers

    whos been on a boat trip? what breaks? what was the crowd factor like?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by stankasaurus View Post
    sick rundown speedbump

    I mentioned the ments to a buddy and he said 'mate, its overrun, youd do better to go to a fringe location'

    I know everyone's experience is different, but I dont want to pay 6k+ for a trip where I surrounded by frothers

    whos been on a boat trip? what breaks? what was the crowd factor like?
    I go every few years early/late season to the ments, and yeah, it's still busy. I don't do high season cuz of crow rumors and mostly because boats are mo money then. I go when I'm in the region anyway, so the flight isn't a big deal. Early/late season is hit-or-miss. Tatty boats are cheaper during that time and not as crowded (onboard). Usually don't go further south than Maccaroni's.

    The big-name resort-adjacent breaks like HT's are always zooed, but you can sit off-peak and get plenny waves. I will wait in line and catch a few at the office, then fade off and catch the set waves breaking along the boat channel, all to meself, for the rest of the day.

    Gets bad when the swell is small and everybody's on the few breaks that work. When you get an early/late season swell and everything starts pumping, there's not another soul to be found. So it's risky going at the edge of the season, but you can get sick rewards.


    I "camped" at Lohi's in the Maldives too. That was nice, and a good one to bring your woman if she likes to relax and spa. Pretty cheap, and Lohi's is a sick wave. The resort is a (kinday shotty) resort, not a surf camp. There's a little patio and bar like right on the break. It's stupid awesome if you're goofy. Nobody surfs it during the day because they go boating to the other breaks, so plan to hang out at least a few days and catch it all by your lonesome. I was there during the early middle of swell season maybe 5 years ago.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Rhode Island
    Hot damn, a boat trip with a couple of bros sounds like heaven on earth.

    I've never been on a true surf vacation like you guys are talking about. Provided there's enough beer, though, that boat trip sounds pretty epic.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    milton delaware
    We did Indo by boat 10 years ago. We stayed on the Bohemian, a 50 foot catamaran. It was great having a very knowledgeable boat captain always keeping an eye on swell and wind, and moving around getting us on clean waves every day. We went in September and the winds were a bit shifty so we frequently got offshores at one spot that would go onshore around noon so he would cruise like 30 minutes away to another spot that was offshore...having constant long period swell, tons of little islands to find lee conditions is a beautiful thing.