Bali Stories: Grajagan

In the Spring of 2012 i went to Bali.  After surfing around the island for a few weeks we decided to head out to Java and surf Grajagan.

I’d read quite a bit about G-Land prior to this trip so i knew generally what to expect in regards to surf.  Heavy, barreling lefts, with live coral reef.  I packed my reef booties.

We arrived to 3-4 foot surf which was plenty manageable.   A bigger swell was scheduled to arrive in a couple days so 3-4 was a perfect intro.  In Indonesia 3-4ft really means well overhead.  Overhead surf at G-Land has a lot of power.  The first few days before the bigger swell arrived were super fun.  I managed to pick off the biggest wave of my life to date..full-on slow, arcing, snowboard turns.  Watched all my friends get a ton of sick ones as well.

Some of the waves that came through on the “small days” were gigantic.  I’d literally never seen anything that big move that fast.  Like an optical illusion and mind fuck that makes time slow down for a brief second.  It didn’t seem real.

In the photo below the wave in the front is easily head and a half.  The outside wave gives me nightmares.


Day 3

Woke up to the distinct sound of huge surf in the distance.  The dull roar of the waves breaking on the reef was significantly louder.  After breakfast we walked out to a 3 story observation tower for a better view.  The lineup was about a mile out from where we were on the beach and you could tell it was gigantic.  None of us had any desire to step to that.  Luckily there were options.

We relegated ourselves to a spot called Tiger Tracks located a ~10min boat ride up the point.  While it was 8ft (15ft faces) and hammering at Launch Pads, Tiger Tracks was manageable at 4ft.  Super fun, non-scary, peaky lefts and rights.

Sitting in the lineup spacing off looking back towards the jungle and noticed something walking on the beach a few hundred yards in the distance…looked familiar.  Where i grew up had a huge wooded park.  It had a pool, swings, monkey bars and all the shit you’d expect in a suburban park.  What made this park really cool was the fact that it had gigantic Peacocks just roaming around.

I looked again at the beach and instantly recognized the long tail feathers and slow stroll of a peacock.  WTF?! Were there peacocks in Indo?!   After the session i opted to walk the mile back to the camp.  I made my way to where i’d seen the peacock walking, found the tracks and confirmed that i wasn’t seeing things.  Evidently there are peacocks in Indonesia – –


Day 4

From the camp it was a short jaunt down a trail to where the boats were.  The jungle was really thick and there were these gigantic bamboo stands everywhere.  Ten-inch diameter bamboo stalks, grouped together in giant bamboo bushes with this crazy barbed wirey vine looking stuff wrapped around it.

The monkeys were a constant presence–up in the bamboo, on the camp roofs, on the ground..everywhere.  They would raid any food left unattended within 5 seconds.  Coke bottles for that last sip, beer, and any food scraps.  On big day #2 we were heading to Tiger Tracks, walking thru the jungle when i felt something dripping on me.  Looked up and saw a monkey literally pissing on me.  Got me good–Fuck you monkey.


After six days of amazing waves it was time to split.  The boat ride back was rough–especially for the people who’d partied it up the night before.  One girl who’d tagged along was clearly still drunk.  The channel between Java and Bali is deep and makes for potentially rough seas.  The return trip seas were extra gnarly.  Gnarly Seas + Drunk Chick = losta pukin.  This chick was balling her face off while barfing.  Red faced, bloodshot eyes, and all the veins in her neck were sticking out.  I had to focus, breath deep, and almost meditate to keep from yaking myself.  If you’re ever heading to G-Land and tend to get seasick, you might consider taking the overland route.

Here’s a good video that shows the waves.   This video shows some of the jungle and monkeys.


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