by Dan Green

July-August sees prime time swell season hit Indonesia and as such makes it a dead cert as a surf trip destination to escape the summer flat spells so common around our UK coast.

Stepping off the plane in Jakarta a wall of heat strikes and that’s it the start of sun, surf and mayhem. We take a transfer to Denpasar and then after 2 solid days of travelling arrive in Bali.
Familiar smell hit the senses straight away from the hindu offerings to appease the spirits. Incense burn on every pavement, street corner and temples are plentiful.

For me it’s the surf gods I want to appease. We want nice powerful waves and to be scared but not hurt. Its our second trip to Indo having been here for honeymoon 5 years ago and we are soon paddling out into the line up at Kuta beach.

A big town, Kuta is home to the Aussie party scene on Bali and not somewhere I like to hang around for long. We have a great afternoon surfing powerful beach break waves playing the game of take off tuck in and wait for the close out, the ratio of close out to good rideable walls is pretty high and ensures we know who is the boss. After a few hours of beatings we call it a day and rest up ready for more travelling.

After a night of fun on Poppies Lane, home to most of the backpackers staying in Kuta we load our gear into a van and head north to Medewi home to a nice “mellow” left hander and somewhere to get used to the raw ocean power of the Indian ocean. With swells originated deep in the 40s the waves have miles of ocean to cross. This has the effect of flattening the chop and increasing power as the period grows. We arrive to wave periods of 18-20 seconds which when compared to a good North east day of 10 seconds its quite special to say the least. Back this up with over 54 000 km of coastline in the tropics and it’s easy to see why Indo is one of the worlds best surf destinations.

Arriving in Medewi we find what we have come for, perfect walls reeling along the point groomed by a light offshore wind.
We surf wave after wave with a great vibe in the water. Holiday perfection,we stay for 5 nights for dawn raids of 4-5 hours surfing followed by breakfast/lunch and long beach walks amongst fishing boats and palm trees with the sun beating down. This place really is paradise.

With the waves dropping in size and swell direction changing its time to move and we hit the road to the east side of the island to take the public ferry to Nusa Lembongan.
Crossing the Lombok straight on the public ferry is a great way to travel despite the apprehension caused by the somewhat tired boats. Big swells cause the boats to pitch around, crashing down on to the outriggers with an almighty cracking sound but we make it in good time to arrive find a room and get some waves.

This time it’s a wave of consequence. Get it wrong at shipwrecks and you get pitched into the seaweed farm stakes hiding just inches away underwater waiting to take a bite of your boat or your skin. Pitching walls race across the reef as the tide pushes in tempt the brave to go deeper and deeper until you realise the water is ridiculously shallow and a wipeout is gonna leave you or your boat high and dry. It’s a great wave though and we spend days getting up before the sun to watch it rise as you surf time standing still no worries of the modern world just you your boat and the odd sea snake for company. As the sun comes up we feel lucky to be able to get away and surf these great waves. World class diving and snorkelling can also be found on this island we take a snorkelling trip and end up face to face with 3 massive manta rays gliding through the water sifting plankton unaware as we watch jaws wide open.

On the last day we awake real early and paddle out in darkness, we have one hour to grab some waves and then jump aboard the ferry to return to the main land. We arrive at the reef to find the best waves so far and are torn do we stay and surf or do we stick to our plans and move on. We chop and change our mind so many times finally settling on moving on. It is two quiet surfers that board the ferry after one perfect hour of beautiful waves. Torn between the desire to keep moving and the whole reason why we came to Indo.

It doesn’t last long though because as we land on the beach the reef by the ferry point is absolutely cranking. I ditch Tamsin on the beach to find a room for the night. I get us sorted and as I walk to the beach see a guy take off on what looks like a double overhead wave, pull into a gaping barrel and get trashed on the reef. Maybe I was hasty in booking that room. We change and head to the reef for surf no two not quite sure what it will bring. We sit on the beach all dry mouthed thinking well it s big but worth a look. It’s a long paddle to the reef pass and as I am on the way out another guy takes off in the distance definitely double overhead and he gets covered up not once or twice but three times on one wave. It’s perfect Indian Ocean blue and the colour that all the amazing waves are in the surf mags. I soon forget the leaving Lembongan worries. I have way more pressing things in my mind. Can it be done? I watch a few bombs come through and decide that I need to try at least one.

I sit fairly wide not wanting to be deep when a big one comes through. I take off it is not a set wave but no doubt it s the fastest wave of the trip. I straight line it not wanting to do anything too radical other than scope the wave. I make it off the end fired up and still scared but happier than I had been. I look to the peak to see Tamsin deep and taking off. It is as if she has no fear at all and takes off on a bomb. It barrels covering her and I smile as she makes it out laughing. It’s the wave of the trip so far and we spend a few of hours working hard to surf and get lots of very big fast waves.

This was what we d come to Bali for. This is lucky as we have hit a surf spot that is normally reserved for the wet season, found it in perfect condition with high tides, no wind and huge swell, best of all only 5 people out other than us.

We stay on here for the rest of the trip getting huge waves with some great barrels and immense beat downs handed out in equal measure. Well you have to take a hit if you are gonna get the rewards.

Expect the unexpected in Indo. The weirdest/scariest thing was when I paddled out at this spot next to a surfer to see a fin rise just in front of us. It’s a shark. Now I don’t see sharks in Northumberland so its not that nice a feeling. Even though it is only a reef shark it got the heart racing………….It happened again the following day same sort of time fin popped up as you paddle out followed by the reef fishes leaping out the water and generally going crazy. Indo place of dreams…………It certainly feels that way now back home in the chilly autumn air.




Anonymous India Pharmacy said...

I didn't know that Indonesia was a great country for kayak. After I finish my course I hope that I can go there.

7:37 da tarde  
Anonymous safes said...

Surfing is my ultimate dream. How I wish I can surf like a pro. Can anyone give me tips? Thanks!

8:40 da tarde  
Anonymous seo sydney said...

Surfers are so hot. They do have great bod from surfing. How I wish I have a fit body like them.

9:34 da manhã  
Blogger Olga Wright said...

I wanted to try surfing ever since. But I really don't have the confident! Surfers have great bods!
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4:29 da manhã  

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