21 May 2014, Kuta-Bali: The ASC’s 2013 pro surfing champions were treated to an all-expense paid 3-day surf trip to the legendary G-Land (Grajagan in East Java) from the 16th to 18th of May, thanks to the generosity of G-Land Bobby’s Surf Camp. And as if a free surf trip wasn’t already enough, the wave at Speedy’s was going off at a solid 6-8 foot when the crew arrived on Friday!
After the 1.5 hour speedboat ride from Kuta Beach across the Bali Strait to the wild jungles of the Alas Purwo National Park, home to one of the world’s most perfect lefthand pointbreak setups known to the international surfing community as G-land, the ASC crew was transported to their accommodations at Bobby’s Surf Camp by the infamous and timeless Jungle Taxi.
The ASC team included 2013 ASC Open Champion Raditya Rondi (Bali), runner up Dede Suryana (West Java), and 3rd ranked Garut Widiarta (Bali), with Master’s Champion Wayan “Kopling” Wirtama (Bali), Women’s Champion Rina Kitazawa (Japan), and Junior Division runner up Riman (Bali).
(2013 Junior Champion Raju Sena (Bali) was unable join in due to a major school exam, having recently competed in Lakey Peak in the Rip Curl International GromSearch Final where he narrowly missed a final’s berth by less than half a point, bowing out in the semifinals to eventual winner Pat Curren. 2013 Longboard Champion Arip “Mencos” Nurhidayat (West Java) was unfortunately also unable to attend as well.)
After a quick breakfast and throwing bags into their rooms, the surfers hurriedly waxed their surfboards, tightened down their fins, and double-checked leg ropes in preparation for taking on the pumping waves, while Sean Gilhooley from Indo Inc Productions and ASC GM Tim Hain scrambled to set up camera’s and video gear before heading out to the lineup with veteran boatman Alan.
With 6-8 foot bombs and spitting barrels reeling down the reef, it was every pro surfer’s dream come true. Arguably the best wave of the day was nailed by Dede Suryana at the very start of the session, but of course it went unrecorded. Suryana, who had lagged behind the rest of the crew, sneakily paddled out into the lineup instead joining the others on the boat. As the boat got close to the lineup and before the cameras were even out, Suryana appeared out of nowhere, dropping into a massive 8 footer and proceeding to disappear for what seemed like forever before popping out the end in a blast of spray. Cheers went up all around, but then the bittersweet realization that the camera gear was still in cases under a pile of surfboards in the front of the boat.
Fired up by witnessing such a long and massive barrel, the rest of the surfers wasted no time in jumping into the water and heading out into the lineup. But with such a sizable swell there is always a price to be paid, and before long Raditya Rondi had already broken both his boards! Thankfully Kopling had a spare in the boat so Rondi could continue the session, though he had to wait out the back for the bigger sets on the much larger board. The next day he added to his board breaking total by snapping Kopling’s board as well…though it wasn’t his fault as another surfer dropped in on him and the board broke as he straighented out and was pummeled by the lip. To his credit, the at fault surfer did give his board to Rondi and paddled himself in on the snapped half, so luckily Rondi wasn’t resigned to watching the others have all the fun for the rest of the day.
Raditya Rondi broke his board on this epic drop.
Day Two saw the swell drop down into the 4-6 foot range, but with perfect medium sized barrels rolling in by the hundreds. It was very easy to lose track of who was on what wave at any point in time, but the barrel catching prize certainly went to Garut Widiarta, who just couldn’t seem to get enough time in the shade. Though he also broke a board halfway through the session, he borrowed Riman’s spare board and proceeded to go another barrel frenzy until the tide got too low and it was time to head back to camp for some food and cold beers.
After two days of pumping waves, most of the crew took the third day off to just rest and relax around the camp as the swell was down to a rare 3-4 foot set wave. Rina, Dede and Riman went out for surf, but the small and inconsistent sets had them back in camp after an hour or so to watch TV (the National Geographic ‘Science of Stupid’ show was a big hit), some video clips of the days before on Sean’s laptop, and just relax and swap stories until dinner time.
Later that evening they were all asked for their thoughts about the trip and what they would remember the most about it. Here are their replies:
Raditya Rondi: “This was such a great trip. It was one of the very best trips of my life for sure. I wasn’t expecting to have such a perfect trip with such perfect waves and such a perfect crew.
Barrel smile for Raditya Rondi.
I’ll always remember how much fun we had together. Breaking 3 boards in two days of course I’ll remember, but mostly I’ll remember how much fun we all had.”
Dede Suryana: “I had so much fun, so stoked to be here. I flew from Cimaja to Bali, then from Bali straight to G-land. When we got here we paddled out into 6-8 foot pumping waves…it was so good. So stoked to be on this trip with the best surfers in Asia.
Deep backside barrel for the Cimaja local Dede Suryana.
I will never forget the first barrel I got on that first day….and one on the second day also, where I had a late take off straight into barrel, then a full stand up before the exit, and getting spit out. It’s the best backside barrel I’ve had in awhile, for sure so far this year.”
Garut Widiarta: “This trip was pretty much the best trip I’ve had in a few years, no doubt. I’ve been to Deserts, Super’s and other places, but this is the most perfect long and barreling wave of all. So good!
What will I remember most? Getting 20 barrels in like 2 hours. I can’t imagine getting that many barrels ever in a session. It was such an epic day. It was like Disneyland out there, like going on a roller coaster for hours…super exciting!”
Wayan “Kopling” Wirtama (38 years old): “Bagus! The best trip in my life! So happy. I hope I can keep winning the Masters Division so I can come on more trips like this!
Best waves, lot of surfboards and leashes breaking, and tubes, tubes, tubes!”
Rina Kitazawa (20 years old): “There were such perfect waves, and even though it was hard for me on my backside sometimes, it was an awesome experience to be surfing with Raditya, Dede, Garut, Kopling and Riman, the best surfers in Asia.
Rina Kitazawa from Japan enjoying every single waves in G-Land.
These were the biggest waves I’ve ever surfed in! It was scary, but it was very good for me.”
Riman (16 years old): “I’m so happy to be here, so lucky I got invited by the ASC to come on the trip. The waves were so good, so amazing, and all the people here at the camp treated me so nice.
I’m going to remember this trip because I got smashed (by the waves), and because I got the best waves of my life!”
On behalf of the ASC, we want to thank G-Land Bobby’s Camp for their generosity in giving this trip to the ASC Champions, to Bobby, Ferdy, Dody, Jacky, Alan, Dave and all the team at the camp. It was beyond expectations from beginning to end, and having epic waves made it even better!
Thanks also to the ASC surfers for their hard work and dedication in traveling and competing around Asia on the ASC Tour, as well as their sponsors and families who support them in their efforts to become the region’s top professional surfers.
To book your trip to G-land and score perfect waves visit www.grajagan.com
About the Asian Surfing Championships (ASC)
The Asian Surfing Championships was established in 2010 as the progression of the highly successful Indonesian Surfing Championships that began in Bali, Indonesia in 2004. The mission of the ASC is to develop and progress the sport of surfing in Asia by assisting in the organizing and sanctioning of professional surfing events, which will help their growing surf communities and draw more attention to their areas for the progression of surfing locally, nationally, and throughout the Asian Region.
See more at http://www.asiansurfingtour.com
All photos courtesy of Tim Hain/ Asian Surfing Championship Tour