Stab Magazine | How Natxo Gonzalez And Kepa Acero Spent The Last Indo Mega Swell
232 Views

How Natxo Gonzalez And Kepa Acero Spent The Last Indo Mega Swell

“I’ve heard stories of guys surfing this spot wearing motorcycle leathers because the reef just tears you up.”

cinema // Mar 4, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

“It looked like it could have been as good as Skeleton Bay, but a right.”

That’s what Kepa Acero saw in India on Google Earth a few years ago. So, being the good surf explorer that he is, he sojourned to the subcontinent to see what he could find. When he finally got there, he found himself barred from accessing the long, sand point. Kepa calls it the most arduous trip of his life, which says plenty. 

“It took me like three days to get to this point I wanted to surf. I drove all the way out there. I was right in the bay close to the point, there was a swell coming, and I waited there,” Kepa told Stab. “After two weeks in India, waiting for the spot to come alive, someone told me because it was on a military base, I couldn’t access it. But It was just in front of me: right there. I could see the waves right there in front of me. I went all the way there and it didn’t happen. I tried to pay money, to the police, to anyone, it didn’t work.”

Unable to disregard the potential, the wave has remained in Kepa’s mind ever since. And last summer, when the Indian Ocean turned into a giant purple blob and places like Nias were firing, Kepa decided to return to India. But this time he’d have company.

By a funky twist of fate, Natxo Gonzalez had also noticed the same set-up on Google Earth. Unbeknownst to the two Spaniards, they’d independently been watching and waiting for the opportunity to suss the place out. Eventually, they connected, realized they shared similar visions of Indian perfection, and a plan was hatched. Aritz Aranburu would play the role of the proverbial third wheel.

“It was the hardest trip I ever did,” Natxo said when Stab caught up with him. “It was a historic swell, huge in Indo, it was the biggest one I’ve ever seen in my whole career. So we decided to go try and find this spot rather than go to somewhere we knew would have waves.”

Facing similar hurdles to Kepa’s first experience, they were denied access by police and military officials. Refusing to take no for an answer, they ended up paying off a small fishing boat that was willing to break the law and take them there. 

“We finally did it. We got there! But after all that, the wave was just too fast. It was perfect, but it was too fast,” Kepa admitted. “It looked so good, but there was just no way to make it.”

Undaunted, Kepa and Natxo decided it was time to pull the plug and head somewhere more dependable (Aritz had to split for other career obligations). They beelined it to Indo. It took them a couple of days to zero in on a spot, but again, they commandeered a fishing boat and found themselves staring at a wave they really didn’t want to ride.

Remote, heavy and shallow, Kepa and Natxo decided to paddle out against their better judgment. 

“We should have had helmets. I’ve heard stories of guys surfing this spot wearing motorcycle leathers because the reef just tears you up,” Kepa explained. “Neither of us felt comfortable out there, even wearing fullsuits, but we’d come so far.”

In the end they got their share of barrels. Although it may not have been the score of a lifetime, they both admit that it was a journey neither will ever forget. 

“Adventuring is the most difficult thing to do. You have to keep up your energy and deal with all of the problems that come up,” Natxo said. “But what I learned is that adventure is the best thing I’ve ever done. If you find a wave, it’s all totally worth it. After that trip I want to keep adventuring…I will never stop, I think.”

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 3 

Nike has entered the chat.

Oct 5, 2022

Unlocked: Leonardo Fioravanti’s Stab Edit Of The Year Entry 

Watch 'The Cut' now, and baffle at the quality of both the waves and the…

Oct 4, 2022

The Pro Surfer Who Filmed A War Documentary In Ukraine

Damien Castera's got a story to tell.

Oct 4, 2022

Honest Review(s): O’Neill Hyperfreak Fire

Pushing the Limits of Wetsuit Tech for Men & Women

Oct 3, 2022

How Much Would You Pay For A Session Like This?

A cost-per-vision breakdown of Kian Martin and Tai Buddha's latest strike mission.

Oct 2, 2022

Ongoing Dialogue: Jack Freestone And Album’s Matt Parker On How They Get Sparks To Fly

"Nowadays, a standard thruster feels pretty alt to me." -Jack

Oct 2, 2022

Davo’s Death Strikes At Surfing’s Core

The underground icon battled demons til the end. His untimely demise is yet another cautionary…

Oct 1, 2022

Macaroni in the Pot

Jaleesa Vincent and 200 Lefts in the Mentawais

Oct 1, 2022

Introducing A Brand New Travel Series (With A Familiar Name)

Watch the first New York episode of Stab & Red Bull's No Contest Off Tour.

Sep 30, 2022

Leandro Dora: Pro Surfer, Businessman, Punk Rock Festival Organizer, Spiritual Mentor, And World Title Winning Surf Coach 

Meet one of the most beloved and effective individuals in the athlete's zone.

Sep 29, 2022

12:31

You’re Gonna Click On A New Oscar Langburne Video

Style that can't be denied.

Sep 29, 2022

Long Read: An Angel At My Table

From Stab Issue 15, October 2006: Chris Davidson has one more shot at the big…

Sep 28, 2022

5:07

Watch: Kalani David’s Last Dance

A final surf part from the Hawaiian surf/skate prodigy.

Sep 28, 2022

Taylor Steele Won’t Let Surf Filmmaking Die Without a Fight

Movies shown, filmmaking advice, punk rock at the 2022 Solento Surf Festival.

Sep 28, 2022

Wait, Are We Going To See Moana Jones In The Olympics At Teahupo’o?

Team USA (women) and Japan (men) should be able to choose anyone they want to…

Sep 27, 2022

Donald Brink and Matt Biolos Win Mick Fanning’s Electric Acid Surfboard Test

And we had a party in Oceanside to celebrate.

Sep 26, 2022

Kanoa Igarashi and Kirra Pinkerton Answer Call Of Duty, Win Medals Of Honor In 2022 ISA World Games

Teams Japan, USA, and France move into Victor’s Village.

Sep 26, 2022

The Best Euro Surf Trips That Mightn’t Be On Your Radar

Want to know which less-trodden nation offers the most potential?

Sep 26, 2022
Advertisement