Stab Magazine | No Contest Unplugged G-Land: The Legacy And Lore Of "The Forgotten Left" With Kelly Slater And Luke Egan
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No Contest Unplugged G-Land: The Legacy And Lore Of “The Forgotten Left” With Kelly Slater And Luke Egan

Mick Fanning and AG hosts the ’95 And ’97 G-Land Pro champs to talk “Sea of Darkness,” Bill Murray’s Balinese escape, and the luxury of a one-day Garagajan speed-boat strike. 

cinema // Jul 11, 2020
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

“It’s almost like G-Land is The Forgotten Left,” says our co-host Mick Fanning, on this special collab episode of Red Bull and Stab’s No Contest x Unplugged. 

For the rest of what should have been the 2020 WSL Championship Tour season, we’ll be taking a look at the WSL Championship Tour locations we’re currently missing during the global pandemic.

On this episode, we’re getting the inside scoop and near mythological history of G-Land, the left-hand reef pass on the Island of Java. 

Surfers Bob Laverty and Bill Boyum first spotted the fabled left-hand reef pass on the east side of the Bay of Garagajan on a flight home from Java in 1972. Seeing G-Land’s picture-perfect reef from the sky, you can understand why they returned soon after, eventually bringing Bill’s brother, Mike Boyum, back with them to build what would be the very first quote-unquote surf camp, which Balinese surfer Bobby Radiasa still runs today. 

Assuming you can find your way to Bali, the trip to G-Land isn’t nearly the mission it once was. For the budget-conscious, it’s a half-day overland trip, a half-hour ferry from Gillimanuk, then another hour out to the point. If you’ve got five guys or more, for a few hundred bucks there’s now a three-hour speedboat that’ll bring you right up to the wave.

Accommodation is limited to three camps on the point at G-Land, one posh luxury option, then Jojo’s and Bobby’s. The cost starts at $1,000 USD a week and goes up from there.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/tqBLuGOyRdE

In 2010, director Michael Oblowitz and storied surf explorer Martin Daly of the famed Indies Trader, won pretty much every award a surf film can win for Sea of Darkness. The film plainly portrayed the culture of drug smuggling and surf exploration in Indonesia during the 1970s and ‘80s, how G-Land was a key location and meeting point in those black market trade routes, and the shady connections to some of the surf industry’s biggest brands during their infancy and rise to power.

Despite countless Best Picture awards, as well as double nominations for Best Surf Film and Best Documentary at Surfer Poll, the film was suddenly disappeared shortly after, for reasons you can probably imagine. It is widely considered the greatest surf film ever made. 

G-Land faces south into the Indian Ocean, and lights up from swells generated from storms thousands of miles to the south off Antarctica. Serendipitously, the winds at G-Land swing offshore during the dry season around April and stay that way until September, when Southern Indian Ocean swells are most consistent and sizable. 

G-Land’s reef has myriad faces, and a handful of unique sections all with their individual charms and challenges and their own names. We had the ’95 champ, Kelly Slater, to walk us through Kongs, Moneytrees, Launching Pads, Speedies or Speed Reef, and the rest of the Garagajan lineup.

Screen Shot 2020 07 10 at 9.42.43 AM

After five months off the road, discussing and daydreaming G-Land will certainly have you pining for a surf trip. On the next episode, we’ll be looking at one of the tour’s most polarizing and culturally attractive locales: Brazil, where Mick won his first World Title.

Have something you’ve always wondered about the most dominant nation in surfing today? Leave your questions in the comments and we’ll see what we can do, and while the tour’s on hold you can revisit each stop with every episode of No Contest, now.  

Mick Fanning

Last year’s Rip Curl release, Red Monkey, Full Moon restoked the core when it came to the storied Garagajan left. Turns out the entire session was a one-day speed boat strike on one of the days of the year.

Photography

Corey Wilson.

G-Land faces south into the Indian Ocean, and lights up from swells generated from storms thousands of miles to the south off Antarctica. Serendipitously, the winds at G-Land swing offshore during the dry season around April and stay that way until September, when Southern Indian Ocean swells are most consistent and sizable. 

G-Land’s reef has myriad faces, and a handful of unique sections all with their individual charms and challenges, all with their own names. We had the ’95 champ, Kelly Slater to walk us through Kongs, Moneytrees, Launching Pads, Speedies or Speed Reef and the rest of the Garagajan lineup.

Thanks for watching the first No Contest Unplugged,

After five months off the road, discussing and daydreaming G-Land will certainly have you pining for a surf trip. On the next episode we’ll be looking at on one of the tour’s most polarizing and culturally attractive locales: Brazil, where Mick here won his 2007 World Title, actually.

Have something you’ve always wondered about the most dominant nation in surfing today? Leave your questions in the comments and we’ll see what we can do, and while the tour’s on hold you can revisit each stop with every episode of No Contest, now. 

 

 

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