North Sumatra is one of Indonesia’s last surfing frontiers. “North Sumatra” consists of 5 islands or island groups: Hinako Islands, Nias, Telos and 2 other obscure island groups to the north. North Sumatra receives similar swell to Mentawais and enjoys its peak swell season from May to September. Despite Indonesia’s reputation for hollow lefts, in North Sumatra right-handers are slightly more prevalent. While Lagundri Bay at Nias has been surfed for decades, it is the more obscure rights like Bawa (a Sunset-like right bowl that holds up to 15 feet) and Treasure Island (a long, hollow, mechanical right peeling for 200 meters) that have attracted the attention of late. Throw a mix of hollow and bowl lefthanders into the picture like Asu, Afulu, the Machine, and many more obscure rights and lefts.
In contrast to the small island of Bali, North Sumatra province is large with one of the biggest lakes in the world, Toba Lake, at its navel. The continuous mountain of Bukit Barisan, which extends from Aceh at the tip of Sumatra island to Lampung at the bottom of the island, guards the province on the west side, providing home for thick, tropical jungles and lush vegetations. As you go down the western mountains towards the beaches of the east, mountain streams, strong rivers, and gorgeous waterfalls will accompany you.
The people of the region can be can be divided into five main ethnic groups: the Coastal Malays, living along the Melaka Straits, the Bataks, consisting of the sub-tribes around Lake Toba and Samosir Island, the Pesisirs along the Indian Ocean coast, the Mandailings of southern Tapanuli, and Nias Islanders off the western coast of the province. These groups each have their own dialects. Religious beliefs, arts, costumes and cultures. Several ethnic groups live in Medan and other towns of Non Sumatra, tittle largest of these being Chinese and Indian. Other arts of the archipelago arc represented notably the Acehnese, Lake Toha Minangkabau and Javanese.
Relative to Bali, North Sumatra has very heterogeneous ethnic groups, and thus, cultures. The people of the eastern coasts, also known as the Malays (Melayu) have markedly different traditions and culture from Batak highlanders who live around Toba Lake and Samosir Island. Further south, the Mandailings and Angkolas, and Nias Island, have yet more flavors of traditions and culture. Besides them, there are several ethnic groups who live in Medan and other towns of North Sumatra. Its largest groups are Chinese and Indian, who being naturalized Indonesian citizens. Other Indonesian tribes like Acehnese, Minangkabau, Javanese, etc also live in many parts here. Each of the mentioned tribes as well as the ethnic groups has its own dialect, religion, beliefs, traditional customs, etc. Arts and cultures make this region, a paradise for social scientists. Among the ancient Indonesian cultures, which can be seen at Samosir Island, are the centuries old tombs of Batak Toba kings and a stone-table with its benches, where the Siallagan chiefs formerly held meetings.
The diversity of arts and cultures make this region a treasure chest for social scientists and culture seeker. Ancient carved-stone graves of Batak kings, the megalithic culture of Nias, unique dances, ceremonies, arts and crafts are just waiting for you to discover. North Sumatra is also one of the richest provinces in Indonesia for flora and fauna. And of course the jewel of North Sumatra. Lake Toba, the legendary birthplace of the mountain-dwelling Bataks and the largest inland lake in Southeast Asia. The region tiers more than 30% of Indonesia?s export commodities, making it a vital cog in the economy. Tobacco, palm oil, tea and rubber are produced in large quantities, particularly around medan in the north of the province.