The wave itself is incredible. It is so long, and really gnarly through some of the inside sections. You have the opportunity to catch the most thrilling and longest barrels of your life out there.
G-Land is located in the thick Java jungle. I took a boat from Bali with my friend Mike to get there. Since the roads were washing out due to gnarly thunderstorms and torrential downpours, the area stayed as close to empty as it gets these days over there.
Although our beds were wet from so much rain, we didn’t care because we scored absolutely perfect waves.
It is pretty rad to walk through the camp trails to go surfing. You end up cruising by packs of monkeys, over venomous tree snakes, and under toucans, and seeing six-foot monitor lizards before hitting the reef. When you get to the reef, you see all the tide-pool life — like trophy shells, giant clams, and octopus — as you walk out to the edge. When you jump in the water, you end up paddling out over sharks and dugong sea cows and get to watch the whales spout out in the channel — all while surfing perfect waves. G-Land is a special place.
I surfed a session of perfect six-foot double-ups where I was the only guy out on the entire point — unheard of at G-Land today. Mike eventually joined me. When there were other guys out, I would move way down the point to a section called Speedies that is really shallow and gnarly at low tide, but so perfect. It was epic down there.
I was calling the sessions I had to myself down at Speedies “the nasty west” because I’d be forced into these late drops and be driving as fast as I could through these draining funnels before they would spill out onto a closeout section in six inches of water right before the reef runs dry. I’d have to make it out of the barrel in time to literally run smack into the closeout section foam balls to keep from running onto the reef. It was so good down there at the end of the reef, real exciting.
I ended up breaking the nose off my board with my hip during a violent wipeout down there. It was the last board I had left. I found the nose on the reef and duct taped it back on so I could paddle back out and surf. My spring suit saved my hip from splitting open when my nose slammed it. You can see a little silver on my nose in the photos.
When it finally got too dark to see, I straightened out onto the reef to walk in on my last wave; it turned out to be the peak of a dead-low full-moon tide. Because I don’t wear booties like most everyone else out there, I got stuck on the dark, urchin-infested, sharp coral reef in six inches of water and had to inch my way over the quarter-mile-wide reef, avoiding giant clams, eels, crabs, and all the other life that could wreck my trip. I finally got to the beach an hour later and there was this radical drumming going on.
On full moons there is a local village that plays traditional Indo music in camp, and as I was walking up the beach with my feet polka-dotted in urchin spines I was put in an awesome energy trance. The combination of coming off the perfect full-moonlit barrels, escaping the reef in one piece, and zoning on the wicked drumbeat had me in a trance.
Apparently, a decade or so ago there were panthers and tigers that would roam through the camp. That would have been a radical experience.
One of my friends ruptured his spleen surfing G-Land and they had to Life-Flight him off the reef with a helicopter. He didn’t have travel insurance and the accident worked him physically and financially. He had to have fundraisers to pay off his medical bills.
G-Land is a really special place. The wave is out in the middle of a jungle preserve, which is why there is so much wildlife there. The locals are really nice and the surf is some of the best on Earth.