Last year I finally got round to ticking off one of my most anticipated travel bucket list items.
As a surfer one of the rights of passage, almost pilgrimage if you will, is to spend some time on a liveaboard surf charter.
For anyone who centres their lives around riding waves the idea of spending a week on the ocean, surfing uncrowded remote surf breaks with a boat full of beer and like minded people is the ideal slice of heaven.
And when I got to Bali I managed to get it all sorted and jumped aboard the Dreamweaver Surf Charter, I’ve already published My Top Surf Charter Shots – but here’s a review of the experience as a whole…
REVIEW – Dreamweaver Surf Charter Liveaboard, Bali
From first impressions right through to leaving the week long trip the Dreamweaver didn’t fail to impress. The long converted outrigger comfortably catered for all 14 surfers on board.
From the on deck board rack, dinning area, spacious bunk bed room through to the music system and tinny boat to take us to the lineup it had everything a board short wearering beach bum could ask for!
The crew onboard where more than happy to help and the whole itinerary was slick and problem free. Ice cold water and chocolate when you get picked up after a surf?! No worries.
Boat cleaned daily – definitely.
There’s even onboard wifi (signal permitting!), although you wont really have the time to use it!
The only real thing I can even point out as a fault was the fact the air con in the sleeping area turned it into a fridge!
If you’re surfing all day you need to refuel. And the Dreamweaver kept us going all day long!
Breakfast was a min buffett of cereal and toast accompanied by things like scrambled eggs, bacon and pancakes.
After digesting that lot and surfing all morning lunch was everything from burgers and chips through to Indo dish nasi goreng, washed down with a few beers or something a bit more sugary.
After a solid day in the surf dinner was a feast – throughout the week I was amazed at the treats cooked up from the small onboard kitchen. Fresh crab and fish, lasagne, curry…a whole mix of epic feeds!
And of course it’s all washed down with an entire fridge of ice cold Bintangs.
When it comes to food I really can’t complain about anything!
Of course the main reason we were on board was to surf, surf and surf some more. I was slightly dubious that I’d be out of my depth as an intermediate longboarder but I was actually pleasantly surprised.
Most surf spots we covered allowed for multiple drop offs – so while the Aussie shortboarders on board got shacked at overhead Shipwrecks I stayed in one piece surfing at the more manageable Playgrounds.
Over the course of the week we covered Bali and Lombok – the time scale allowed us to hit Sumbawa if we wanted too, but given the swell and wind we opted not to waste a day sailing and got more ocean time at Lomboks.
We were lucky enough to score a solid double overhead Desert Point (something most people can only dream of!) and spots like Ekas, Lacerations and Shipwrecks all featured on our trip which we were all stoked about.
Obviously the surf spots you hit will depend on the conditions, but the crew know the area like the back of their hand and will make sure everyone gets the waves they want!
One of the great things was the fact you weren’t all on a surf schedule. The tinny boat could ferry you out the lineup whenever you fancied and all you had to do was wave your board in the air when you got tired and it would pick you up again! No mass entry into the lineup and no pressure to get out early or keep surfing. Ideal when you have a mix of people on board.
As with most of Indo it’s the land of the lefts and all the spots we surfed were reef breaks so it’s not ideal for a beginner, however there were a few cheeky right handers to be had occasionally for the regular footers!
9/10 times the surfers on the boat were the only guys in the lineup too, which was amazing. If a spot got too packed we merely upped anchor and found somewhere to ourselves!
Anyone who has a surf charter on their radar already knows that it doesn’t come without a price tag.
However the Dreamweaver is actually one of the best value boats I’ve found – especially given the level of service, facilities and whats included.
Starting at $1500AUD pp it includes all your food, soft drinks, snacks and even a beer allowance! If you get through the inclusive beers there’s more than enough spare cases on board to last the week and they won’t dent your wallet either.
It’s alot of dollar to drop for a weeks excursion, but it’s also one of those once in a lifetime things to do! I know I’ve spent more money drinking over a couple of months backpacking than I did on the surf trip – so it’s a case of having your goals in order – failing that you could always go all out and take out a personal loan to fund it…you can’t put a price on perfect waves!
There are cheaper charters out there, but you get what you pay – so be wary of dirt cheap boat trips!
For me the Dreamweaver was everything I’d hoped for when I envisioned a surf charter – lush boat, good food, great company and as many waves as you could bring yourself to surf!
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to any fellow surfers looking at heading to Indo and do the same – in fact I’m already planning my next surf trip with them!
Check out the latest surf charter trip dates over at Epic Gap Year and book your spot on the ultimate surf adventure in Indonesia!