From elderly fishermen plying the reef passes of Nias to local kids riding planks with nails for fins in Maluku and western surfers in the bars and clubs of Bali, there’s a single myth which binds traditional Indonesian culture with modern surfing. One which states that Indo sees its best and biggest swells in conjunction with the full moon.

Indonesian history is a seafaring one, but would have offered little insight to the origin of Roaring Forties swells that often occur more than 3000 miles away. As recently as 160-years-ago, the naturalist and global explorer Alfred Wallace could still only speculate that the local wave climate was dependent on the storms and seas of the southern ocean. Even this knowledge didn’t rule out a moon phase / swell connection. However science can.

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