Back in Lombok some of the Nine Wise Men had actually suggested that I should consider giving a surf a miss at G-Land, describing it as a “death wave.” However I haven’t come this far just to chicken out when things get challenging.
All the waves here are over the reef surrounding the island, and inspecting some of the sharp rocks that you see here at low tide did little to settle my nerves. They were painful to walk on even with footwear, and I didn’t want to think too much about a hard landing upon them as a result of a wipe-out. A monster swell also arrived while I was here so I had plenty to think about when paddling out for the first time.
Kongs and Fan Palms are where the biggest waves break at G-Land, but they are also the least steep and have the most water under them. You get to both by paddling out through a narrow channel in the breaking waves, known as the key hole, and then turning left or right once through the white water. Where each break starts and ends is a bit vague so I am reporting on both together.
I surfed these breaks a few times over a number of days but decided that having bought one I should be wearing my helmet in the water for each session. On my first outing I did really well and bagged a number of the waves which were easily overhead, and on this one I actually out ran the breaking section by building up so much speed.
The waves were getting bigger all the time but the huge drop into the action seemed to be ok. The bottom turns were not too manic either but then you would swerve onto the unbroken section and see how long you could last.
This picture is of my best wave of the session and arguably of the trip so far. I had made a couple of turns and was charging down the line at Fan Palms when I heard a sound like being inside a drum roll. It was because the wave was jacking up as I travelled along it and then pushing the lip right over my head, and the sound was the drops of water falling on my helmet from above. By the time I had realised what was going on the wave dropped the lip on top of me and I got clattered. Sadly the two second interval between frames missed most of my tube time, but did catch the end of it as the wave landed on me.
The same two second interval can also be used to calculate that I then didn’t come up for air for 30 seconds because there were fifteen consecutive shot of the board being in or under the white water with me nowhere in sight. It felt far longer and I was gasping for air when I eventually came up. Panic levels were increasing during this process because I also got bounced rather heavily off the bottom, miraculously doing so without getting even a scratch.
This picture is from another stage in the sessions I had at these two breaks but shows me getting another pasting over the reef, with which I became intimately acquainted during my stay.