December 6, 2010
Bobby Fisher photographs the exclusive surf resort of Nihiwatu for T Magazine’s winter travel edition. Located on the remote Indonesian island of Sumba, Nihiwatu is home to one of the best surf breaks in the world. Adventurers flock to the eco-resort to test themselves against the legendary waves and to see one of the last Stone Age cultures on Earth. Claude Graves, one of only 3 Westerners living permanently on the island, has spent the last 20 years building the resort. It functions completely off the grid, producing much of its own food, electricity, and diesel fuel. In addition to surfing, Nihiwatu boasts world-class fishing, diving and snorkeling and land activities such as mountain biking, trekking, yoga, and massages.
Outside the gates locals live much as they have for hundreds of years, in small villages largely untouched by modernity. To protect the area’s unique culture, Graves has set up the Sumba Foundation, which builds health clinics, digs wells, and fights malnutrition. Visitors to the resort make up the majority of donations to the foundation.
Fisher photographed the resort and the local villagers over the course of 3 days on Sumba. The images of the surf were photographed in between wave sets from a boat in the channel using a 70 mm lens on a Nikon D3X. The reef break is shallow and the waves can get big quickly, creating explosive and heavy surf.
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