When winter aproaches the decision to head to Indonesia becomes in the fore-front of so many surfers mind. The crowds at Indo have been increasing more and more every year and even some spots that you were sure to have to yourself, courtesy of a surf boat charter are now being populated by more than one vessel. However the waves are just so perfect and the climate is so tropical Indonesia is so hard to ignore.
Surf Charters have found their way into surf travelling. Surf charters are a great way to get into the some of the most inaccesable spots on the face of this planet in the shortest amount of time. Maximising your surf time, without the associated risks of over land surf travel. However understandably it's not for every surf traveller. Some like enjoying the adventure of the overland trip. When looking at taking a surf boat charter you need to consider a few things. Surf boat charters has a few of the things you should look for.
After all your life is going to depend on the skill and sea worthiness of the boat and crew. Check them out on the net and by listening to other surfers.
Some waters, especially through Asia and some South American countries, pirates run scams. Pulling into a port and looking for a boat to get out to an island or reef break can sometimes be a bit dicey if you do it alone. I've found myself left stranded on an isolated reef break. After surfing for an hour, I turned around only to find the boat I hired has made off with my camera, money and spare board. I was left with a kilometer paddle to shore and a two hour walk to the nearest village.
In some places it's also possible to fall into the arms of kidnappers. Remember there are some nasty and desperate people out there, so be alert and sensible.
For some reason there seems to be "the boys" atitude to drinking on board some surf charters. My advice is to keep it in moderation and remember what you are really there for. The waves. It's not so good to be sleeping in or hung over while the surf is cranking. Also drinking in excess dulls your reaction and judgement. Surf charters take you to places of high quality waves. Believe me you want and need all your ability.
A good surf boat charter crew should have good knowledge of conditions and when and where to head for. This should not stop you from doing your own research. A little knowledge of where you'll be surfing and what to expect will help keep your surf travel firm in your mind for years to come.
Sometimes the surfing peak season can be a bit crowded. It might be worth thinking about going on the fringes of the surf season. Many surf boat charter companies reduce the price a little at these times, and many islands have other sides to them that break well in the opposite seasons to the recognized times. It makes a new time for surf travel discovery. I know of quite a few secrets throughout Asia that go off in the "off" season.
Surf Charter Boats come in many types and sizes. Catering to all budgets. The boat you choose should be sea worthy and comfortable. I suppose this goes along with the reputation of the surf boat charter, but check out if they cater for your needs. Maybe you're vegetarian or a meat and potatoes man. Maybe your girl is going along and so the toilet and bathroom facilities are a little more important than if you were going alone or with mates.
If you are into a surf charter trip I hope this has helped, but of course as a surf traveller you'd already understand that no matter where or when you go there is the chance of NO WAVES, dread the thought, of course this is most unlikely if you plan a little, but isn't your whole life one big surf travel. Every flat spell is preceded by a swell now and forever more, as far as we can tell, so be optimistic the surf of your life is just around the corner.