G-Land, A World Class Surfer Paradise

Located on the south coast of Banyuwangi, East Java, G-Land is a very long, world-class, barreling left hand reef/point break breaks along the east side of Grajagan Bay. It has long been considered one of the world's best left hand waves. The correct name of the point upon which the main wave breaks is Plengkung Beach. The wave becomes shallower and more critical the further down the point one rides the wave. It is one of the most consistently rideable waves in the world in season, with offshore winds and often plentiful swell between the months of, roughly, mid April to mid October.

G-Land was first discovered in 1974 by Bill Boyum. Bill saw the break from the window of a flight he was on to Australia from Vietnam. When you see G-Land from this perspective, it is easy to see why Bill suggested to his brother, Maui surfer Michael Boyum, that he put together an expedition to find this amazing wave.

Soon after the discovery, Bill and his brother Mike Boyum helped set up the first surf camp at G-Land, which was possibly the start of the surf camp concept that has since spread across the globe. Balinese surfer Bobby Radiasa took over the operation in the late 70s and still runs it today. From the days of the original Boyum/Bobby's camp other camps have opened at G-Land offering various standards of accommodation and facilities to suit a range of holiday budgets, with Bobby's Camp the premier camp.

The wind at G-Land blows offshore between the months of April and September, which also happens to be when the swells are at their largest and most consistent. Since the swells are generated by low pressure systems circling Antarctica, their regularity coincides with the passage of these lows. So, the swell arrive in pulses, each lasting for a couple of days, with a couple of days between each swell. Waves tend to be bigger and better at high tide, so it's best to plan a surf trip for the week following a full or new moon, since this is when the tide is high during the middle of the day.

The G-Land surf break has been divided up into several sections. The first, at the top of the point, is called "Kongs," which breaks up to several hundred metres in length, and can hold quite large sizes (from about 2 to 12 feet+, Hawaiian scale). It is not usually a barrel, nor genuinely world-class, but more a series of takeoff zones with some long wall sections, although it can also barrel on occasions. This section picks up a lot of swell, and is rarely less than 3 feet, and can be a saviour when the rest of the point is too small. This wave can sometimes link up with the next section called "Moneytrees." Moneytrees works from about 2 to 10 feet (Hawaiian scale, or about 4 to 20 feet wave faces), usually breaking over several hundred metres, and is a long, testing, barreling, world-class wave. The barrels become more critical the lower the tide and the larger the swell. Moneytrees may also occasionally link up with the next section called "Speedies," with an outside takeoff section between the two called "Launching Pads." "Launching Pads" can catch the surfer offguard, as it can break a significant way out to sea in larger swells. "Speedies" is the heaviest wave at G-Land, but can be a perfect, very round barrel for several hundred metres, rideable from about 2 to 8 feet+ (Hawaiian scale). It usually needs larger swells, and low tide can be very dangerous. Most severe injuries at G-Land have occurred at "Speedies."

The dry season (May to October) is the best time to go. That is when the offshore southeast trade winds blow and the swell, pouring out of the Southern Ocean, is at its biggest and most consistent. In other word, G-Land is definitely a world class surfer paradise.