Decent Exposure: Nias | A Photo Gallery

Timo Jarvinen's Stunning Dry Season Score

When you think of the very finest surf spots on the planet, Lagundri Bay surely ranks very highly among them.

And while images of the iconic righthander have been sending surfers to the Indonesian archipelago ever since its discovery in 1975, the earthquake in 2005 is said to have made the wave even hollower and more sucky by raising he reef, updating the quality of the wave in tune with 21st century tuberiding performance standards.

When a perfect swell was headed towards the mythical spot, France-based photographer Timo Jarvinen headed straight there with surfers Leo Fioravanti, Aritz Aranburu, Nic von Rupp and Indar Unanue.

And if the resulting images don’t have you planning an Indo mission in the very near future, the only plausible explanation is that you’re already there.

Photography and captions by Timo Jarvinen

1. (above) Moroccan tube master Jerome Sayhoun showed up with Nic von Rupp, and showed right away how is is actually insane to have your homebreak as a hollow freight train on your backside. All those years of backside tuberiding in home showed how world class barrel hound Jerome is. Another golden hour gem straight outta textbook, how hollow waves are supposed to look.

2. (below) Nic has been on a mission for the last couple of years, doing events when they don’t overlap with pumping surf in some far away destination. Not afraid to leave at a moment’s notice, and definitely not afraid to go when the occasion rises.

3. Fisheye view of Aritz threading through another pit. Nias is extremely punishing for a wave in Indo, solid hold downs are the norm. Word is that the reef’s shallower than it was before that dreadful earthquake.

4. Leo on a thick bomb, flipping the image in the mirror brings up thoughts about a Tahitian reef pass rather then something off Sumatra. Swell arrived with 21 second period and those kind of a numbers tend to do something special for an otherwise perfect wave.

Beer o'clock
Indar cracking the top off a smaller one before swell hit. It's days like these when wave is surfable more often now, following the earthquake.

There are few other waves in the immediate area, first the outside one which you see from Lagundri’s line up, Indicators. Then there’s this one, a seriously interesting case just a five minute boat ride away. This day Lagundri was chest high and soft when the real deal was pushing 10′ sets going all slabby in front of a semi dry barrier reef. Leo got semi greedy after a good one and decided to try his luck from deeper. This was minor but the one which landed on him when he was paddling back was just nightmarish. If you end up in lagoon it’ll be a painful walk back to Lagundri.

“This day Lagundri was chest high and soft when the real deal was pushing 10′ sets going all slabby in front of a semi dry barrier reef”

Empty one basking in morning light, begging for some human interaction.
Leo, outside bombie
Aritz, fat day fun with grab rail cuttie.


(below) The evening when the swell started to pulse. I thought it would be a good idea to try and get some water stuff done, but since it was my first time there I wasn’t aware what the wave does when period hit 20 second mark. There was no current whatsoever, but just a surge of water pushing you deeper into the bay, painful to swim against. I found out pretty soon that it won’t be productive swim, I hate it where you tread water constantly like an idiot but you’ll never be in position when anything worth shooting comes through. This one I was way too deep, but thought that I’m gonna eat it anyways so might as well do ‘rabbit in headlights’ and shoot it. I barely managed to get underwater when it hit, it put me in deep where you can’t see anything due to the murky water. Kinda rolling and waiting for an ugly hit, anticipating, but nothing. Didn’t touch it.

This Kiwi traveller stayed at same joint as we did, he paddled out hair dry through the keyhole and as soon as he reached line up then this one came through. No warm up waves no time to think about anything, just whip it around and go.

Aritz and Leo waiting for a set at the outside bommie. It had few different peaks but it was a wise decision to stick to the one closest to the channel.

Indar knifing it into something which could be from South Pacific.

‘Whattt??!!” “Outside!!!”

Lagundri has it all what you can ask from a wave, small and playful to thick, hollow, mechanical and seriously powerful. It can whip up some amazing air sections too, and it didn’t take much time for Leo to figure that out.


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