Surfing in Indonesia

By Tim Nunn

Sep 7, 2001, 4:13pm

Wow! What a morning...

There is only so much of Kuta you can take, even when there is surf, returning to it's evil clutches is enough to test any mans resolve, add to that a week of no surf and the arrival of party animals Karl Christ, Bjorn Storey and Smitter means life just deteriates into one night out after another! So at last the day dawned when we could get on the boat and sail off to score perfect un-crowded waves,un-crowded if you consider sharing the breaks with ten other boats laden with euro's, yanks,aussies and brazo's.

But when you look at it from there point of view, your sitting out at a lonely reef on Lombok, you spy a boat approaching pretty quick, you're relieved to see no sign of surfboards on deck, it pulls up, and then to your horror ten spongers pile over the hand rail and are sprinting to the line up to sit deeper and catch more waves than you! That was the potential scenario but as we left Noosa.

Fancy a bite?

Lembongan, Indo was suffering a long flat spell so getting in the water at all was looking unlikely. Morning dawned in the middle of the lombok straights with a new swell running underneath our boat, on surveying our surroundings it soon became obvious we were leading a pack of four other boats heading for the world renound but notouriously fickle Desert point. On arrival it was clear there was a new swell, Deserts doesn't get much swell and it was about head high on the biggest sets. The bad news was that there were eight boats there in total! Our boat piled in and within twenty minutes had got out again, it was smaller than it looked, very rippy and very over crowded! Time to move on to our overnoght moorings at the North end of Lombok on the little island of Gillie Air . Now on every trip you get some surprises in the way of surf, and Gillie Air served up our surprise. The reef we were moored behind had a perfectly foiled two to three foot righthander barrelling down it with no one out and a perfect evening glass. The whole boat bailed in for some action and as the last hour of light slowly slipped away we finally got a good surf.

Next morning we awoke to swell under the boat motoring towards Scar reef on Sumbawa , hopes were high on scoring good swell,but on arrival we were faced with four other boats and a decreasing swell with a light onshore. The only spot worth surfing was a chest high left hander known as Pussy Peak , it provided some light entertainment but that was about it. The next five days tested everyone, we surfed Yo-Yo's once along with twelve other boats, the consistent right hander was barely enough to get out of bed for so we surfed it just the once. Instead the following flat days consisted of snorkling, spear fishing and a daily diving contest. Evenings were spent under the stars, stereo blazzing drinking and catching squid under the lights of the boat.

Up, up and away!!

On the seventh day we were finally rewarded, all the other boats on seven day trips had gone, we were on a ten day trip, and the swell was building. Scars at high tide was fun but the daily onshore was just taking the edge off it. The tide dropped all afternoon and the swell got more solid and a lot more hollow. At three PM the daily thunderstorm rumbled over us and after a brief squall the wind

Started wafting lightly offshore producing at last some serious barrels. Everyone revelled in the conditions, Mark Jackman got a bomb pulled into one got sucked over the falls landed on the foam ball and rode out to everyone's delight. Wall, Prisk, Christ and Phelps all got pitted off there nuts, Bjorn got wipeout of the day pulling into the first wave of the set of the day, he got nailed, the rest of the set washed him up the reef leaving him high and dry and with an interesting paddle out. At dinner that night spirits were high, the swell was still building and at last it appeared we had scored.

The next morning and high tide revealed a bigger swell, by ten it was blown out , the day was spent waiting for the afternoon offshore which had blown every day. every day that is except today, we watched as the swell built and so did the wind. Danny ventured in and despite getting a triple barrel wave soon got out as the lineup was a mess. The trip ended that evening and we made the long haul back to Bali , we'd scored one epic day in ten, not too good, but spending ten days on a boat in paradise surfing and spearfishing for tea is not a bad thing!