Surfing in G-Land

By Tim Nunn

Sep 9, 2001, 6:40pm

Since I first saw a picture of G-Land when I was at school I knew I had to go there, long powerful tubes, hot weather and water, and a remote jungle location straight out of a boys own adventure. It did however take me sometime to realise the ambition. For some reason which is now beyond me, I decided to concentrate all my efforts on going to Hawaii every winter and spending as long as possible each year on the North Shore. Five crowded winters later and I was finally over it and was ready for the good stuff that G-land had to offer.

G-land is located at the eastern tip of Java, one of the most populated islands on the planet, yet G-land lies undisturbed in the depths of the area's national park. Its remote, undisturbed nature belies the fact that it harbours one of the surfing world's freaks of nature.

The live reef which skirts the fringes of the jungle creates one of the most awesome lefthanders in the world. The size of the reef is so vast that there are numerous sections.

The outermost and biggest swell magnet is Kongs. When the swell is small to non existent this saves the day in G-land, but as soon as any semblance of swell hits then it turns into a section of huge walls and peaks, and becomes a serious challenge. The next section down, situated in front of the bobbies camp is Money Trees. Probably the most surfed section, it 'handles all swell and produces long quality lefthanders at varying degrees of suckiness. The third section is the jewell in G-land's crown: Speed Reef or' Speedies for short, this is where you've seen all of those sick pits going down in the contest vids. To work, it either needs a lot of swell or just the right direction of swell for the mechanical lefts to start their gut- wrenching trips down the reef. Takeoffs here are always late and are not for the faint hearted, with only a few feet of water below the trough. Beyond speedies is chickens, another long left section which works on big swells, and beyond this into the bay are a couple of other reefs which pale in comparison to the main sections.

Staying in G-land is currently a choice between three camps, Bobbies(the most expensive), Jungle Camp, which has recently been refurbished, and the basic Tiger camp. If you are going to Indo for a long stay then the best bet is to book whilst in Kuta. You're likely to get a better deal and you can arrange to go when you know there's a solid swell on the way. If you are limited to a short trip the best thing to do is to get in contact with The Surf Travel company in Australia and book a place through them so as not to waste time when in Bali . Prices vary from $300US a week to $600 depending on the camp and the package you choose, this includes transfer from Bali, accommodation, all food and as many waves as you can get!

The weather conditions are best from May through September with the biggest swells and consistent offshores which kick in at 10am . April and October also come up with the goods, although big swells are less consistent and the offshores can be a little lighter. There are no shops there, so bring any luxuries with you and plenty of reading material, although the camps do have DVD machines.

It is the ultimate in surf experiences, the wave is as good as anywhere, it provides a very serious challenge and shouldn't be taken lightly, however don't expect it to be uncrowded. There can be up to eighty other surfers in the camps and there is planning permission for two more camps. Paradise it is but if you want to surf alone then you need to go deeper into Indo's jungles.