After a successful visit to Australia I thought it would be worth having a quick month in Indonesia. This might sound like a long trip but you could spend years here and not get bored, as long as you have the sense of adventure. Therefore with only 4 weeks to play with and so many amazing options it is important that you use your time wisely.
On arrival into Bali we settled into a few bintangs and acclimatised to warm water surfing at the standard spots of Uluwatu, Bingin, and Impossibles. All are very fun waves but the only problem is that you need to bring your competitive A-game if you want to snag a couple of waves, the crowds are un-avoidable. For me 24hours in Bali is just about enough, there is so much to see in Indonesia and it is too easy to get stuck in Bali.
We therefore booked onto ‘captain coconuts’ boat trip. This was a great week of surfing different and incredible waves everyday across Nusa Longbongen, Lombok and Sumbawa. When we booked we understood that the swell was not massive so famous places like Desert Point and Super Suck were unlikely to do their thing. This was the case but that is the beauty of being on the boat, you can really explore the coast and you will always find waves. On the boat you literally surf-eat-surf-eat-surf-eat-sleep-surf……!
"You get fed like a king and it is a great chance to meet like-minded people from all over the world"
Following an amazing week on the boat we decided we wanted to go and explore what Java had to offer with the aim of finding uncrowded perfection. We did just that! Luckily we had been given an amazing tip by another TTR family member, Sam Millar. Sam definately has the explorative genes having spent the last few years all over the world in some very remote but incredible locations. He was kind enough to share his wisdom. To get to where we were going it required a flight, bus and taxi into the middle of nowhere. On the whole journey, which took a whole day, we did not see another westerner. I am not going to lie there were points where I was beginning to question Sam tip as I felt I was deep in a jungle on a bumpy track not getting anywhere. Eventually and possibly by luck we stumbled across an incredible beach that just so happened to have a heavy barrelling left and right reef set up. After we saw one wave break we knew that we had found our spot.
"It was Pumping with barrels wider than they were tall and their was genuinely 1 person in the water"
We managed to get chatty with a few locals on the beach and ended up staying in a local families house on the front. It was a very amusing few days as the language barrier was severe. We had to play charades to communicate and be very patient with an indo-english dictionary. After a day or so we had built up a very funny relationship with the family we were living with. They loved watching a cheeky surf movie with us and insisted on making animal noises when anyone did an air! The surf we had that week was un believable and scary. The waves were picture perfect, however the depth of the water was a little daunting. The waves here certainly packed a punch and just to spice things up it broke over fire coral, which is notoriously sharp. There was not much room for error. Ed ‘maddog’ realised this after attempting an air drop on a wild set wave. It was a bold effort, and hats of for trying but it did not end well. He met the reef hard and deposited a lot of skin off his back. Dr Guy swiftly followed up with some lime to clean out any coral and make Maddog scream like a little girl.
While we were in tropical paradise deep in Java we began to over hear rumours a bigger southerly swell that would max out where we were but be perfect for G-land. We acted fast and managed to get a 13 hour night bus which was pretty unpleasant as the majority of the journey is along a bumpy mud track. We arrived in G-land literally as the swell kicked in. G-land has recently had a reputation of being over crowded and arguably not worth it. Either people are lying to me or things have changed because I don’t think 8 people sharing 8- 10ft barrelling perfection is crowded, all the surrounding camps were virtually empty and we were not complaining. For 3 days we had some of the best surf both Maddog and myself have ever experienced. The swell direction was perfect for ‘Launching pads’ and ‘speedies’, which are 2 peaks at G-land that don’t always break, but if and when they do it is the place to surf. We ended up spending a week in G-land surfing as much as possible.
'By the end of the week we were broken, this is no surprise due to the size of the surf and the amount we were surfing.'
Maddog had snapped 4 boards (all 3 of his and one of mine) and ruptured his shoulder and I picked up a pretty tasty cut along the bottom of my foot (through my reef booty) which then got heavily infected. G-land is deep in the jungle so any cuts are very susceptible to infections due to the humidity; thankfully they always have a doctor in the camp due to the nature of the wave. So we both left the G-land camp feeling pretty broken but having had an incredible time.
With only 2 out of our original 6 boards left and with a number of injuries we decided to have a relaxing last few days in Bali. We went to our favourite spot, Leggies, in Bingin and nursed our wounds. We did manage to get a few surfs in here and there but having been in amazing waves with no corwds your stoke for surfing average waves with 100’s of other people gets a little lost. I am sure I will regret being a wave snob after a few weeks back at home. It was a good chance to explore what bali had to offer other than surfing. This mentality lead to us having a few very fun nights out as bali is famous for a good party. We managed to catch up with a few friends who are living and working in bali. However our dedicated last surf was as eventful as ever. We thought it would be a good idea to try and avoid the Uluwatu crowds by doing an evening spring low tide surf. This resulted in Maddog doing what he does best again…..playing with the reef. He cut his hand elbow and back badly, all on a waist high wave. It was bad enough for a few stitches this time.
All in all the last 4 weeks I have spent in Indo have been incredible and I feel I have used all the time I had wisely having had incredible adventures everywhere I went. This is arguably why I love surfing.
"There are very few sports, if any that can take you to so many incredible locations all over the world."
It is amazing how hard us surfers will search for the perfect waves and what situations you find yourself in to get to these locations. It is defiantly fair to say if you go searching it is always worth it.
Check out the pictures!
If anyone is thinking about heading to indo for a surf trip do not hesitate in getting in touch with us. Between us all in the office we have got years of experience of travelling extensively across the islands out there and we would be happy to offer advice on travelling and surfing in indo.
Ticket to Ride Indonesia....?
Watch this space...