Stab Magazine | Is It Still Possible To Surf The World's Best Waves... With Nobody Out?
59 Views

Is It Still Possible To Surf The World’s Best Waves… With Nobody Out?

This is what good fortune looks like. 

cinema // Oct 1, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Still, to this day, it is possible to score the world’s best waves, on stellar days, all by oneself.

It happened to me at Desert Point, 2015.

You’ll recall what was then considered Indo’s Swell of the Century—Craig at Kandui, etc.—but after the Nias boat-hurling incident of 2018, now seems like another night at the Roxbury?

By mere fortune, I landed in Bali two days before that Indian Ocean blob eclipsed the archipelago, and knowing nothing about Indo other than what I’d seen in surf movies and Youtube clips, I figured Desert Point was the place I wanted to be when it hit. 

I was wrong. 

By pure face measurements, the point was about 20 feet on daybreak and growing with the dropping tide. Sets of ten, 15, 20 waves would barge their way down the reef and augment on that mythical Grower section. Thirty-foot tubes was my assessment from shore. Bigger than first reef Pipe.

Where was Mark Healey?

This was, as I’m sure you’ll understand, totally beyond my physical abilities and fear factor.

This must have been true of everyone else on the point, too, as no matter how hard I squinted, I couldn’t find a head bobbing in the brine. 

One terrible ferry night, a torturous drive in, and a whole swell gone to waste!

Except. 

As the tide filled in, the swell magically started to drop and revealed a still terrifying, but much more manageable version of the fabled left-hand reef. By 2 pm, my friend Ambrose convinced me to paddle out, and we braved the lineup, alone, on borrowed 6’4s. 

Crew eventually starting paddling out around an hour later, but can you imagine being halfway around the world, surfing an iconic break on one of its most impressive days, with just your longtime pal?

A moment I’ll never forget, to be sure, and it seems Costa Rica’s Anthony Fillinghim just experienced the same sorta luck in the Ments. Fun-sized Rifles, as clean as any wave gets, and not another surfer in sight.

Majestic.

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

“Airlines Hate Me:” Bad Boy RyRy’s Guide To Surf Travel

Want to get pampered at the pointy end of the plane for free?

Aug 17, 2022

Yes And Welcome Back: The First Day Of Female CT Competition At Teahupo’o Since Melanie Redman-Carr Was Taking Scalps In ’06

Carissa Moore is now two heats away from her 6th World Title, btw.

Aug 17, 2022

7:11

What Happens When You Borrow A Pro’s Board?

Joyride: The Shrizz from PANDA surfboards.

Aug 16, 2022

2:17

Mick Fanning Samples California’s Finest Local Produce

Mayhem at Lowers.

Aug 16, 2022

Mountains Died So You Could Surf

The value of sand.

Aug 15, 2022

9:12

UPDATE: People Are Still Surfing ‘La Jetee’ in Reunion Island

Returning to the best & sharkiest air wave in the world, as seen in Mod…

Aug 14, 2022

These Are Your Favorite (Female) Surfers

What the Stab reader survey teaches us about taste.

Aug 14, 2022

2:14

Kelly and Local Gal to Win Teahupo’o?

Local insights and a firing forecast.

Aug 13, 2022

These Are Your Favorite (Male) Surfers

Insights from the 2022 Stab Reader survey.

Aug 13, 2022

16:04

Fear And Loathing in Mainland Mex

Parker Coffin, Harry Roach, and the Roark crew embark on an authentic Oaxacan (surf) trip.

Aug 13, 2022

Tahiti Preview: The End Of The Road For 72% Of The CT

And hello there, blob of swell.

Aug 12, 2022

3:24

While Everyone Flocked To Tahiti, Kelly Stayed in Jbay

...And proceeded to rip the hell out of it on a "borrowed" 5-finned Tomo.

Aug 11, 2022

1:38

Can A GQ Cover Boy Take Out Teahupo’o?

Kauli Vaast is your incredibly handsome Tahiti trials winner.

Aug 11, 2022

Watch: Ramble On With Caity Simmers 

An action-rich tour behind the scenes of her triumphant first voyage to Oz.

Aug 11, 2022

PSA: Surf Filmers Not Welcome In Nicaragua

Cameras and drones are being seized on arrival, Stab spoke with two recent visitors.

Aug 11, 2022

Inside The Alternative Surfboard Marketing Machine 

Two of the biz's best — Matt Parker and Blake Peters — spill many beans.

Aug 10, 2022

The Tragic Parallels Between The Murder Of Ricardo Dos Santos & 8x World Jiu Jitsu Champion Leandro Lo

Two Brazilian sporting icons killed brazenly by off-duty police officers.

Aug 9, 2022

The Pick-Up, Vans US Open: In The Belly Of The Beast

Finger flips, shaping with Zion Wright, slurpees, Hawaiian takeovers, and the king of Surfline rewinds.

Aug 8, 2022
Advertisement