Peter Sturm MY PERSPECTIVE Jan2015 (19)

Cheat Notes: Papua New Guinea

25th Jul 2018

Capped surfer numbers, world class lineups & an amazing cultural experience. Get off the grid and visit one of surfing’s true adventures.

Surfing in PNG

Equipment Recommended

Your equipment selection for Papua New Guinea is straight forward. Unlike the Mentawais or other popular Indo spots, PNG is consistently 3-4ft and fairly forgiving depending on where you are. Its very unlikely you will experience top to bottom 8-10ft kegs in PNG.  

You should bring your everyday board, the one you love to ride at home. A backup board, one that will fill in if your go to sled is damaged in some way and as a matter of choice over necessity, a 3rd board that you either want to experiment on or a step up in case you do get one of the more decent swells that roll through when Micronesia gets a big swell or Japan is snowing its tits off.

Optimal Conditions

The ultimate forecast varies depending on where you are. However the forecast which works best for most of the surf regions in PNG is swell from the North and wind from the West. As mentioned above, the best indicator for swell is when Japan experiences a powder dump and P-Pass reaches the 8-10ft range as a result of the same storms. When these swells hit, PNG is one of the best surf destinations on the planet and you could very easily have the session of your life due to the strict surfer cap limit enforced by the local villages and surf camps.

Yes! You heard right…perfect set ups with no crowds!

The Surf Breaks

Surfing in Papua New Guinea is still relatively new and therefore a lot of breaks are still being discovered. It is a wave rich region and the best thing about PNG apart from the crowd control is the diversity in waves to suit a number of ability levels. You can very easily walk away from PNG with the best surf experience of your life. You will catch more waves due to the minimal crowds, you will be enriched in the local way of life and get to see how surf tourism is benefiting local communities and you could potentially walk away with a few new reef tattoos courtesy of some of the more harsh breaks on offer.

Most of, if not all the surf camps have an experienced surf guide who will help make your trip that much better. It is always a good idea to listen to your guide, ask him questions on where to sit, waves not to take off on and what to do if you do get caught inside or dragged across the reef. Chances are its happened to them or they have seen what can happen and measures to best avoid it.

What to expect & how to prepare

A surf trip to PNG is one of the best trips you will ever do, however, it is very remote…Don’t expect high speed internet, air conditioning, hot showers or even electricity in some instances. Embrace the local culture and let yourself get off the grid for a week. Its amazing how much you will enjoy it and how rejuvenated you will feel upon your return to the western world.

Bring plenty of sunscreen & zinc, the sun can be harsh!

Bring a rashie and even a wetty top, if not for sun protection, for reef protection.

Your board bag needs to be packed with enough padding covering the nose and tail. (you never know what baggage handlers are going to do).


If there isn’t any trusty lemon or lime around have peroxide ready to go in your medical kit to kill reef bacteria (the reef is very alive in PNG).

Anti-inflammatory, Ibuprofen to sooth aching muscles from hours of surfing.

Last but not least…TRAVEL INSURANCE! We recommend Suresave Insurance!

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