Aura Surf Camp – Simuelue Island

Aura Surf Camp – Simuelue Island

A preface to this post: Aura is a surf camp. And the criteria for judging a surf camp are simple – it’s all about the surf…size, consistency, and variety. And for this, Aura rips in.

The rooms overlook a world class peak – creatively named ‘the Peak’. Genius. The wave peels left and right and holds when heavy. I’m told it’s pretty consistent, as they don’t rely on trade winds. Plus, with only a couple of resorts on the beach, the line-up’s never too busy.

The Peak breaks over a lava shelf – reportedly thrown up during the boxing day tsunami. But don’t stress, when there’s an earthquake you’ll get time to evacuate. You can finish that crossword before heading to the hills.

Feel like a change? Check out Tea bags and Secrets.

Tea bags is a short boat ride away – giving you time to contemplate your own demise. Bring boots, a spare leggie, and a large set of agates. I lost mine on the reef. This super-fast right barrels down the line. And, with no channel, getting raked over rock is an occupational hazard. I was grated like parmesan on pasta. Go for platinum cover on your travel insurance, then find god.

Secrets is a more mellow experience. It’s a weird doubling right hander. I tripped on the scenery – foreboding jungle down to azure shore. Think Hawaii 5-0 meets Apocalypse Now. It’s that type of vibe.

But here’s the kicker: if you’re expecting a 5-star resort, then you’d best go to Bali. It’s $200 a night – without massage, beach babes, or hot showers. The wifi’s as fickle as a well-fed cat, and alcohol is banned (email the manager for the low down). Power and water tend to come and go, and the cooking is honest but ample. If there’s a flat day there aren’t many options – the snorkelling and fishing are as good on dry land. But, hey, you’re there to surf, right?

My final verdict: go check it out. I had a great time. Great waves, good crew, and good weather. But remember: Aura is a surf camp. And the criteria for judging a surf camp are simple.

[Post script: On our way out we couldn’t get our boards on our flight off the island. There were 18 from other surfers already. Make sure you check in the morning of your flight, even though it leaves in the arvo. We asked the manager at Aura for a hand to get them sent the next day – and he dead set replied with “not my responsibility”. Not cool. Not cool at all.]