Description: In a word, a closeout. Just one that runs for 300 yards at warp speed over almost dry fire coral. The best closeout in the world then.
History: Surfers had watched the wave across the bay from One Palm Point for 20 years deeming it unrideable. They were right, kind of. Guys like Dylan Longbotton, Mikala Jones and Timmy Turner however took it on in the early 2000s, the results blowing minds.
Death Factor: 11 out of 10. Doesn’t break till its six to eight feet, and slabs heavily across a shallow ledge with no exit. You literally get locked into a freight train ride that 9 times out of 10 ends in disaster.
Logistics: Still as difficult as anywhere to get to, Panaitan Island is a throw back to the good old days of Indo exploration. Get to Jakarta, then slowly and painfully crawl in a shitty boat to the island. Eat rice. Get tubed. Survive, just.
Why you must surf it: You don’t, it’s for the insane only.
Season: It needs a super solid swell to march into the bay and so winter is the best time to catch this rare beast.
Expense: The price is low, but the cost can be high. Dengue fever and malaria are just two of the concerns, before you even worry about the wave and the reef.
Description: A mile long swathe of reef that offers more than half a dozen different sections, the easiest being Kongs at the top, the best being Speedies at the very end. When they link, paradise is found.
History: Spotted by Mike Boyum from a plane, he and his brother surfed it first in the ‘70s, then set up the world’s first camp, Bobby’s, which exists to this day.
Death Rating: No one has died, but plenty have come real close. Extraordinary power combined with a shallow reef and extreme remoteness make a heavy combo.
Logistics: A white-knuckled 8-hour night bus and boat ride from Bali has been superseded by an hour speed boat or even chopper. Stay at one of two camps where you lead the ultimate surfer’s existence.
Why you need to surf it: As a pure surfing experience it is hard to beat and Speedies remains one of the most flawless waves on the planet.
Stand Out Performers: Gerry Lopez (in Speedos) was legendary in the ‘70s, Tom Carroll in the ‘80s, while the Quik Pro saw Kelly and Luke Egan dominate. Kong has a section named after him while guides like Camel and Dave Scard have clocked up the most tube time.
Season: June through to September provided clockwork offshores (usually around the stroke of 10) with consistent swells.
Expense: Pound for pound one of the best surfing trips you can do, with no distractions, hookers, clubs, or girls.