Traveling to the island of Sumbawa is a long hot ride form Denpasar but the allure of pristine waters and pumping waves brings surfers from all over the world to it shores. Recently in my adventure to Lakey Peak I was honored to meet Miss Yulia Mawar, recipient of a Ripcurl Humanitarian award.
Sumbawa is an Indonesian Island located in the middle of the Lesser Sunda Island chain, in the province of West Nusa Tenggara. The island is bound by bodies of water and on the southern coast the Indian Ocean unites with the reef to form the world class surf spot known as Lakey Peak.
Lakey is famous for its cluster of reef breaks. The perfect A-frame Lakey Peak is accompanied by the left handers Lakey Pipe and Nungas, and right handers Periscopes and Cobblestones. Lakey Peak has an intense hollow right and peaks perfectly on the left to provide deep barrels at low tide. A popular spot for body-boarders, Lakey Pipe is a sucky left edge. The least crowded spot Nungas, is a long thick left with many sections, which handles any size swell. Periscopes can be found at the eastern end of the reef, forming a great right-hand tight barrel on high tide. For the less expert surfer Cobblestones forms a fun right-hand break.
The majority of tourists to Sumbawa come for the supreme surf. Tourism in Sumbawa by comparison to Lombok and Bali is nascent, with the majority of the population working in agriculture. The pace of life in Sumbawa is slow and life for most local people is hard. Traditional beliefs and practices continue to influence daily life, however one extraordinary Sumbawan woman has taken on a quest at Lakeys to enrich the life of local children.
Miss Mawar together with her mother own Fatmah's Warung overlooking Lakey Peak. Miss Mawar was the first local female surfer at Lakeys, finding her love for the ocean at age 12. Now at the age of 24 she splits her time between her home at Lakeys, and university in Lombok where she studies Economics. Miss Mawar has taken an extended break from her studies to focus on her work within the community. It is the exceptional commitment that she has demonstrated to improving the lives of young Sumbawan surfers, that has resulted in her receiving a Ripcurl Humanitarian award.
Her warung has become the unofficial daycare center for local children who flock to surf the waves at Lakey Peak. The morals that Miss Mawar teaches to each child within her care are, Respect Life, Live Responsibly, Realise Dreams. Miss Mawar provides the children with food and a place to sleep. In addition to this Miss Mawar encourages the children to focus on the importance of education, ensuring that each child she supports attends school, often teaching them English and Maths herself of an evening. Once the children reach 16, Miss Mawar offers them positions within the warung to further their understanding of the value of hard work and help develop life skills.
Daily you will see one of the local kids dominating at Lakey Peak; many of them dream of becoming a professional surfer. Miss Mawar supports this dream by collecting donated boards from tourists and through her affiliation with Rip Curl. In addition she instructs them on good behaviour and courtesy in the water, the merits of dedication, and the importance of care for their environment. Miss Mawar and her mother offered this support to the now Ripcurl sponsored surfers Oney Anwar and Dedi “Gun” Satriadin.
Miss Mawar's aim is to make it as easy as possible for the young surfers at Lakey's to become sponsored and if not, to have the best chance possible of leading a good life. So if the perfect surfers playground of Lakey Peak is calling you remember that donations of surfing equipment, clothing and books will be greatly welcomed by Miss Mawar and the family of Fatmah's Warung.
Words by Kelly Powell
Kelly Powell from Wales
Originally from Wales in the United Kingdom Kelly Powell is a bright, bubbly surfer girl that loves to travel. Kelly worked in the corporate world, as well as a makeup artist before opting for the 'surfer lifestyle' of the east coast of Australia.