When asked about the surf potential in the troubled region of West Papua photographer John S. Callahan had this to say, "Excellent. In the northeast monsoon season this area receives consistent swell and there are dozens of potential surfing locations." Facing into the Western Pacific West Papua receives swell from a different window, indeed from a whole different ocean, then the well-travelled southern coasts of Indonesia.
Although it is controlled by Indonesia the legitimacy of their occupation is hotly contested and the source of the region's trouble, a topic recently discussed on Swellnet following a campaign to boycott Indonesian travel in solidarity with Indigenous West Papuans. The flip side of the debate is surf travellers visiting the area and meeting with the Indigenous locals, something Callahan and the surfEXPLORE team did.
All photographs John Seaton Callahan. Read John's full interview about West Papua.