September and October were crazy in Indo this year, there were non-stop swells. Every week you would check the charts and there would be another big blob of colour heading up past W.A and just as the current swell started to ease another one would hit. Some of them were often too big for a lot of spots around Bali and crew that had the luxury of heading off to chase swells scored some serious big barrels around Indo. I was locked into Bali as I was running all my coaching programmes and camps up there at the time, so had to make the most of what Bali had to offer. During the peak of the swells I scored pumping Padang on a few occasions but this session was actually a couple of days after the swell had peaked, once it had dropped enough for this spot which doesn't handle a big swell. I knew the tides were perfect for it and was just hoping the swell had dropped enough so it wasn't going to be washing through. When I arrived at first light it was too low and washed out, with no one out. But I could see that once the tide pushed in it was going to start lining up. I started making my way out and by the time I got out there it had started to line up and then it just turned on, it was one of the best sessions I've had at this spot! It definitely wasn't the biggest barrels going around over this seasons swells, but it was some of the most perfect I scored for sure.
You see that swell? You see that bump? Breaking it down, it pretty much had all of Indo frothing. Everybody and everyone, from pro's to bro's, from underground shredders to annual once a year Indo campaigners, from photogs and filmers, team managers and swell chasers, well basically it was a total archipelago island froth fest! I remember tracking it from South Africa to West OZ, up to Indo, and let's be honest, it wasn't just a swell, it was actually three solid bumps running out over a nine day period with a day in between them, now what sets this apart from all others is that it was thick, clean and no over lapping, no wonk, no lumps, just perfect. Well this basically meant all of Indo would be firing at some point due to another important factor of a moon tide and light trades....so basically you had three different swells and the best way to do this down the Bali end of Indo is to chase via the BaliWaveHunter, that way we could be in three separate islands over the nine day period...shit the swell was so good that the owner and brother of mine Made " Rocky " Senaya even threw in an extra day. So it was set in motion before it started, a triple blob with a contrast of colours from red to orange to even purple. A boat full of pros with Indobased photog Mick Curley and filmer Francesco Silli basically meant we had shredders and chargers from Bali, NZ, Aust, USA, and Italy...the funniest thing is the boat filled so fast with the quality of everyone that we had to leave some pros behind...first in, first bunk. The initial plan was to truck straight from Bali over to the Western Sumbawa side that holds some of the most incredible reefs to ever bless us surfers for the two first bumps, that would be The Lady Scar and infamous Supersucks, plus all in between and further north, and trust me there are so many waves in this region only accessible by boat. Then track back to the dirty Old Ladies wave of Deserts. Setting off the evening before I awoke to find us on the south side of Lombok, now don't get me wrong, I love a quick sail but the swell down this nether region, with those two bottomless ocean trenches to cross with wind is gnarly, we had sailed right into a galeforce blow that had triple strength hell gusts of 40-50knots. The Captain made the call so we pushed on through, the Balos, Bol Adi Putra and Garut were shitting themselves as the boat got pounded and pounded to the point where we snapped our back left trailing rigger, that was a heavy situation as a crew member slid down the shaft like Rambo and hacked at the rope and nylon as wind and surges pounded the boat, fark it was all on and this was with no swell !!!! It got to a point where Bol had his vest and boardies on, and his little 5'10" under his arm ready to jump, hahahaa...jump into what? As this was going on Mick Curley and Australian Shredder Nathan White were riding surges cheering into the wind with cold Bintangs on hand hahahhaa... epicness already and the swell hadn't even arrived. As we limped into the Scars Bay of Jelenga we were greeted by clean one foot dribble, arrrrrrrhhhh. Nothing better than arriving before a splendid forecasted triple bump. Sun up....solid thick lines were hitting the top section and flawlessly grinding down the reef. What made this special was the next six days we found just our boat load sampling this goodness, even better, forecasted were light trades which ended up been perfect light North Easterly from sunrise to sunset. I remember sitting in the lineup with huge barrells grinding and spitting, thinking about all the other options over the archipelago that would be firing, pretty much the whole god damn chain. These are swells I dream to chase and always chase with precision, deep down I just wish they were always this perfect, suppose we find out on the next bump.
Toby Hurren, Mentawais. Photo: Brad Masters.