g-land-surf

SURFING G-LAND JAVA

There are few surf spots so revered as G-Land.  Grajagan Bay was discovered by an elite group of surfers in the mid-1970’s.  Thanks to a 10,000 foot drop off a few miles from the edge of Grajagan, a series of mystic, clean, and hollow barrels break for 100’s of metres.  Each section is so long that they have their own name. Not unlike the 1970’s, you can still find yourself alone on the beach at G-Land, score a session to yourself, and go days without a phone call.  Read on to make the best of your next G-Land Adventure.

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SURFING CONDITIONS

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What kind of waves are there in Grajagan Bay?

Considered by many to be the best left in the world, this long stretch of coral bordering the last remaining patch of Javanese jungle is any goofy foot’s dream.  Grajagan is a left-hand reef break which utilises the natural topography to extend into a world-class left point break. The combination of a 10,000 foot drop off, a shelf of coral reef, and a nose shaped peninsula exposed to the full force of the Indian ocean creates the perfect storm for clean, hollow, consistent, freight train barrels.  Considering the wave is so long, each section is considered its own surf spot. Read on to discover which break is best for your personal style and preference.

The Bombie: The Bombie is the outside section of reef that breaks further offshore from the rest of the waves at G-Land when swells are macking. Ideally, you can access the Bombie by boat or a long paddle.  Know your limits, G-Land can give you some of the best waves of your life, but it’s likely to take a bit of skin, or bone, in the process.

Kongs: Farthest up the reef, Kongs is situated at the top of the point. As waves crash into the long stretch of reef that reaches from the Bali Strait around the Blambangan Peninsula, Kongs emerges as the first of many breaks along this stretch of reef that bends into Grajagan Bay.  Known as a semi-sloppy left ripe for maneuvers, Kongs can open up to 300 metres of barrel under ideal conditions. Typically slower and mellower than some of the other sections on the reef, this is a great place to start your G-Land exploration.

Money Trees: Probably the most popular and most well-known section of the wave, Money Trees made G-Land famous from Don King’s surf shots of Gerry Lopez and Peter McCabe in 1983.  At Money Trees, you can expect clean, long, fast barrels which break best on a Southwest swell. Keep your eye on experienced surfers during your first session at Money Trees, steer clear of low tide sessions, and drop as deep you can.  An easy approach is aided by a strong rip towards the end of Kongs.

Launching Pads: Next along the epic reef point that is G-Land, Launching pads is a steep barreling take-off point leading into Speedies.  Ideal conditions are double overhead plus which can connect into speedies meaning a seemingly bottomless 70-metre section of barrel.

Speedies: Under larger conditions, Speedies shows its face as another ideal section of reef.  If it’s closed out at Money Trees or Launching Pads, Speedies is your best bet. Known to hold up and stay hollow for up to 200 metres.

Chickens: While there are a number of breaks that offer the epic clean barrels that G-Land is known for, Chickens is a more intermediate-advanced wave saved especially for when swells are too big for the other well-known sections of reef.  While you probably won’t score the best barrels of your life, you’re likely to have a fun session of hotdogging with clean open shoulders ripe for maneuvers.

20/20s: Like Chickens, 20/20s is another smaller wave about 20 minutes down the beach from the better-known sections of reef.  Typically a left, however, the right breaks under ideal conditions and is known to mirror some of the barreling perfection of other breaks in the area.

Tiger Tracks: If your keen on a 40-minute jog down the beach from the main break at G-Land, Tiger tracks offers both rights and lefts, and is an ideal surf break for the beginner or intermediate surfers visiting the area.  This wave tends to pick up the same swell as other sections or reef at G-Land and breaks over a softer section of reef.

    • Wave type:

      Reef/Pointbreak

    • Wave difficulty:

      Experienced – Hellman Kamikaze

    • What way does the wave break:

      Left

    • Sea bottom:

      Sharp shallow reef

 

  • Booties:

    Yes

  • Surfboard type:

    Shortboard, Semi Gun or Gun depending on the conditions

  • Crowd factor:

    Intense when pumping (to be expected)

  • Hazards:

    The shallow reef, strong currents, big waves, hollow barrels, intense crowds, mosquitos, sea urchins (lots of them big and small!), aggressive monkeys, snakes, tigers and all. 

    • Best swell direction:

      S, SW

    • Best wind direction:

      SE

    • What tide does it work best on:

      Mid-high tide

    • Best tide movement for surfing:

      Rising mid tide

 

  • How consistent is the surf:

    Ultra-consistent during the dry season

  • Best time of year for waves:

    Dry season; April – October

  • What is the vibe like in the lineup:

    Intense under ideal conditions

  • What other names does G-Land go by?

    Plengkung Beach

    Grajagan

    The sections described above

How do you get in and out of the surf at Grajagan?

Paddle out through the keyhole near the top of the reef below Kongs. Take your time walking out over the reef and be very careful to not step on any sea urchins or you might cut your surf very short. Take just as much time coming in over the reef as well. The reef at Grajagan will become your worst nightmare at any chance it can get!

Surfing on the high tide is a great idea for the first few sessions until you become familiar with the reef at G-Land. The higher tide is a lot easier to come back in to shore over the reef. In remote surf breaks like this, you are always better to be safe than sorry, in other words, be smart about the decisions you make.

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE

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What is the beach like?

The beach at Grajagan Bay is a pristine section of white sand beach fringed by lush jungle. In the 70’s you would likely find large predators stalking the forest for prey such as tigers or panthers.  While these are less common today, you can still see amazing wildlife in the neighbouring jungle. A perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of Java and neighbouring Bali, the beaches will give you a taste of the wilderness this part of the world is known for, especially at night when the jungle can be louder than a city!

LOCATION

Where is G-Land?

G-Land is located on the southern tip of the island of Java.  At the far end of a peninsula extending westward into the Indian Ocean from one of Java’s largest ecological preserve, Taman Nasional Alas Purwo, G-Land is nestled into one of Java’s last surviving tropical forests.

How to get to G-Land from Bali?

There are two ways to access G-Land.

Option 1: The easiest option is by fast boat from Kuta, Bali which takes approximately 2 hours.

Option 2: The longer of these two options is overland via car as shown on the map below which takes at least 7 hours through the night, not including the time you spend waiting to board the short 4-kilometre ferry ride to Ketapang, located in East Java from the Western tip of Bali.