Direction: Mostly lefts but sometimes right too.
Best wind: South West
Best swell size: 4 - 12 ft
Best swell direction: North East
Best tide: Low
Cemetery can be surfed at any tide and anytime but is probably best around low tide.
Best for: The intermediate surfer looking for a scenic walk to an uncrowded left ... and doesn't wanna take / pay for boats everyday.
Crowd factor: Usually not crowded! A lot of the tourists don't hear about Cemetery or figure out how to get there so this wave still remains uncrowded. Most of the surfers will be local Filipinos or foreigners living in Siargao.
How to get there: Most people choose to walk to cemetery. You start at Pagoda Beach Bar (close to General Luna town) and walk straight out across the exposed sea bed to the surf spot. So because you wanna walk to and from cemetery it's best to go there an hour or two before low tide and then come back and hour or two after low tide. The walk takes about 15 minutes and I suggested wearing some sort of foot wear for the walk. Wearing reef booties for the walk and during the surf is best to protect yourself from reef cuts or even worse; stepping on a sea urchin. But if you don't have or don't like wearing reef booties then you can wear any kind of footwear for the walk and then put your shoes/sandals on a rock while you surf and pick them up again as you start the walk back. Or you can just go bare-foot, watch where you're stepping, and hope for the best! So because you wanna walk to and from cemetery it's best to go there an hour or two before low tide and then come back and hour or two after low tide.
Cemetery can also be accessed at high tide by taking a boat from the market/boulevard in General Luna. However, the boat drivers can only take you to the far-end of the reef and you'll still have to walk / paddle quite a way back to the breaks and if you don't know cemetery well it's hard to find the breaks from where the boats drop you off.
Kind of wave: Cemetery never seems to be the same wave twice. But if there's swell then there's waves.
In big and off-shore conditions cemetery can grow to huge mountains of waves rolling in slowly from a great way off. Very hard to catch but if you're in the right spot and paddle hard you'll get an easy take-off into one of the biggest waves of your life. If there's big waves but the winds not quite right then it can be choppy, bumpy, sloppy, and huge.. however, there's still plenty of chances to catch a monster wave during these times! When it's smaller it can be glassy, breaking perfectly at shoulder high and an absolute joy to surf... or It can also be sloppy and hard to read with hard, fast drops into waves that flatten out as soon as you stand up. Sometime's there's a strong current, sometimes there's not. Sometimes it barrels, sometimes it doesn't. There are sometimes right-handed waves to take but not always... usually it's a left. Because cemetery is a long-reef there are several breaks that make-up what's known as 'cemetery' and surfing each different peak will give you a totally different experience. But in my mind, cemetery will always be a foot or two overhead and with off-shore winds creating long left and right handed waves that are easy to catch, get up, and ride on.
This is the joy of cemetery. You just never know what kind of waves you'll find until you get there.
Surf season: Spring thru fall. Cemetery is very affected by even small winds because it's an exposed surf spot with no protection from the wind. Anything but off-shore winds will produce sloppy, hard to surf waves. For these reasons cemetery is used surfed from Spring thru summer whenever there's any swell (waves) and especially during the peak season of late Aug – Nov when the winds are off-shore and we often have good swells. During the winter months the wind is usually on-shore and therefore cemetery can't be surfed except for a few lucky days.