Latitude Zero Surf Resorts

Our story

“For us, the ocean is ultimate freedom. We’ve spent decades surfing the great waves of remote Indonesia and we wanted to share that feeling. So we built a place where people can surf perfect waves and relax in what we consider the most incredible corner of the earth. Welcome, enjoy, and be free.

Matt and Adam (Wal) 

The Beginning

Our story begins on board the Mangalui Ndulu (Mango) in 2006. Matt Cruden was sailing around Sumatra chasing waves with his family and a crew of well-travelled surfers, including Adam (Wal) Roffey. It was a life you could only dream of, and a life he loved, but an idea had been brewing on the decks of the 82-foot boat. Resort Latitude Zero was about to be born... 

The early days

Matt was one of the early surf pioneers exploring the archipelagos along the West Coast of Sumatra. Sailing in on the Katika from Australia in 1994, he fell in love with Indonesia. It quickly became home and in 1996 he built the Mango with local Bugis boat builders—a solid ironwood and teak wood motor sailor that remains globally renowned in the surfing world today. 

New breaks were discovered, new friends were made, and new adventures were had. Meanwhile, a keen young surfer, Wal, was surfing the archipelagos eastern islands right through to the Mentawais, Nias, and Telo. With a shared love for Indonesia and the ocean, Wal and Matt became close friends from the late 90s. 

A friendship forged by the waves

While their unbreakable bond formed in remote Sumatran waters, their paths had been running parallel for many years. They both discovered their passion for surfing at a young age—two grommets obsessed with the barrels of Australia’s East Coast.  

In 1996, Wal started working as a young chef in Terrigal at the same hotel as Jenny, Matt’s wife, and their paths collided shortly after, bonding over an all-consuming love of the ocean. When Wal came aboard the Mango as chef in 2001, it was the beginning of a dream team. 

The dawn

Raising a growing family, 2006 was the year Matt decided it was time for the next chapter and Wal was looking for a way to eliminate the exhausting, and sometimes dangerous, weekly crossing to Padang. They wanted to create a place where families would be more comfortable—somewhere they could continue to explore and share the beauty of remote Indonesia with others.   

They found the perfect spot in the Telo Islands set against wild forests and surrounded by epic breaks. Located right on the equator, the name Resort Latitude Zero felt like it was meant to be. Coined by Jenny, it struck a chord immediately and has stuck ever since. 

One year, 100 heroes

The resort would not have been possible without the camaraderie that followed over the next year. It was colossal. Nearly 100 local and international tradespeople came together, overcoming the challenges of building on a remote island. As materials were shipped in, dropped onto rafts, and carried back and forth from the shores, an incredible place started taking shape.  

By May 2009, it was time. Resort Latitude Zero welcomed its first guests. Knowing how to run a tight ship, some of the original crew from the Mango came ashore to work on the island and have remained with us for over 25 years. And the great food came with them. Passionate about bringing people together over a great meal, Wal remains hands-on with the menu to this day, taking great pride in training up local and international staff.  

A gateway to tranquillity and adventure

Today, Wal holds down the fort running operations with the team and Matt supports him from Byron Bay while raising his family, often making his way back over to his second home. Despite residing across the ocean, Matt remains a Telos local and familiar face in the line-up of pioneers that put the area on the global surfing radar. 

Over the years, beginner surfers all the way through to professionals and celebrities have enjoyed the life Matt and Wal cherish so much. Whether you’re a new face or a familiar one, our team are always thrilled to meet the next surfers and adventurers gracing the shores of Latitude Zero. Catch you out there. 

Make your dream surf holiday a reality