Friday, November 21, 2014

Surfing in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: Surfing in Sabah is relatively still a new adventure sport but it is catching up among a very small fraction of the local population, who are mostly youths and young adults.

But when people think of surfing in Asia, Indonesia comes to mind, having established itself as a destination for surfers much earlier because of its big waves.

And it was about five years ago when a surf enthusiast, local Ivan Nicolai, banded with some friends and decided to give the waves, initially at Tanjung Aru, a go.

From thereon, there was no turning back for the small group of friends and as word spread around, the number swelled to more than 20.

Ivan started with bodyboarding about 1990 and switched to surfing only eight years later in 1998 after he went to Bali and got his own board.

"Most of my bodyboard buddies left the scene and back then I never see or hear any surfers (in Sabah) so I stopped (surfing).

"I only started to really surf again when I met my friends Charles and Kanesh in 2005," he said.

While the waves in Sabah are considered mild, which are more suitable for beginners, it didn't stop the interest on it from growing.

There is even a surf lesson that will be held soon for those who want to give surfing a go.

For the benefit of those who are unaware of it, there is the Sabah Borneo Surf Club or Sabah Surfing Association (SSA), which is about to be formed soon.

A website that is dedicated to surfing in Sabah said Ivan and his friends regularly invite friends from other parts of the globe such as Japan, Brazil, Australia and the UK.

And they usually hit the waves at Simpang Mengayau in Kudat where the size varies from two feet to nine feet.

"December to March is when the wind changes to the Northwest monsoon and that's when the swells start coming in more frequently in Tuaran and further up north in Kudat," according to Ivan.

Continue reading at: Surfing in Sabah