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Silver Linings: The Beauty Beyond Big Sunday

Photography by Manu Miguelez/Kandui Resorts and Jack O’Grady (Bank Vaults), and Damea Dorsey (Deserts).

It wasn’t like the swell went anywhere. Those big long-interval swells always have a long back side, as the shorter interval bits file in behind them like obedient ducklings, and all the people who surfed the first burst lie around wondering which board to break next.

But behind this one, amid the shorter stuff, another long-range pulse pushed in and lit up waves that if not quite in that mega range, made a lot of people’s days. 

Two of these spots: Bank Vaults in the Kanduis, and the east of Bali classic, Desert Point.

You know it’s good when people hit the reef and keep smiling. Oscar Guiss, lil head bump. Photo: O’Grady

And when you’re in this deep and you’re just standing around watching the thing. Bank Vaults charger keeping the chin up. Photo: O’Grady

“It has been a really long day,” reported in Manu Miguelez, Kandui Resort’s ace lens-person. Manu and his friend Aritz Aranburu had done all anyone could at the left on Sunday, but a day later, they were on it again. “We decided to go surf super early, the super long period was already in the water, and Bank Vaults was as good as it gets. Aritz had a sore neck but surfed even with that, he was leaving tomorrow with Natxo Gonzalez and Kepa Acero … they go exploring.”

Aritz got in, surfed the left and Bank Vaults, and got out with no more than a sore neck and a single board broken. Good going. Photos: Miguelez/Kandui Resort

The cause of Oscar’s froth. Photo: O’Grady

Aritz, Manu and team had to leave early, but Jack O’Grady stuck around for the late show. “Our last session was crazy,” he says. “It started overcast, then the sun came out, then we got this storm rolling in and it went all dark, then it started raining.”

That’s what proximity to the Equator will get you.

Above and below: Sebastian Ribeiro’s a pro kite-surfer, which explains two things: one, he’s quite calm in a water situation…

…And when concluding a ride, he instinctively reaches for the kite. Photos: O’Grady

Equatorial Indonesia, sunny one minute, pouring down the next. Afternoon storm brewing. Photo: O’Grady

Waving at the wave, a classic surfing pastime. Gustavo Deutrich and his best friend, Bank Vaults. Photo: O’Grady

Way off to the south-east, Damea Dorsey was on a different mission — to Desert Point. Or more accurately he’d just completed it. “We took my friend’s boat from Bali early Saturday morning (two hours) and came back midday Sunday (three hours),” he says. “Was a rough ride on the way home.”

More than 70 surfers were already there, waiting for this super-swell, but the steep west angle reduced its impact on the fabled reef-point. Eventually everyone fell back on the great surfing fall-back option: “Wind turned onshore Saturday afternoon and my friend Mattia who owns Island Brewing brought like 10 cases of beer, so we had a massive sunset session at (local b&b owner) Booty’s place. Gave him some cash for using our own beer and he still sold all his beers.” Good times!

Land of fire and water. View from Lombok. Photo: Dorsey

Above and below: Waves here do wonderful things. Here, 14-year Deserts resident John Kelly pulls in high…

…A wave performs a spectacular inversion…

…And John happily emerges down the line. How’s that afternoon light. Photos: Dorsey

Every board’s a story. Photo: Dorsey

View. Photo: Dorsey

Above and below: Will Reid, a long way from his South Bay LA home, but not minding too much.

Photos: Dorsey

Booty’s penthouse. Front row seats to the Desert Point show. If there’s no room, make room. “Fishlock” and “Sparrow”, happy as peanut butter and jelly. Photo: Dorsey

This time of year, Indo is famous for its underground chargers. Here’s one, sadly unknown to us. “He straightened out of this one but pulled in on a heavy one earlier that day,” says the photographer. Photo: Dorsey

Here before any surfers, here after all of us have gone. Photo: Dorsey


More from the Gold Rush: G-Land Before The Storm | Scary Saturday | Big Sunday

And the splendid evolving situation: Indonesian Outlook Update

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