Photos: Stijn Langenaken, Hans Isaac and Lucas Tozzi
Stijn Langenaken reports from his trip to Indonesia to ride the long peeling left-hander called T-land.
“My buddy Hans Isaac and I were hyped up from our previous trips to Bali, Sumbawa and Sumba. So, we decided to do another Indo summer trip and this time we wanted to head further South to the village of Nemberalla on Rote Island.
Our 30 hour flight started in Paris and after going through 5 airports, we arrived in Kupang on the Island of Timor. The next day the journey continued with a short 90 minute ride on a fast ferry. And the ferry was really fast –I mean– something like 30 knots… The guys from the Anugerah surf & dive resort were already waiting for us at Ba’a harbor and after the one hour transfer we arrived safely at our final destination – Nemberala.
We were overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of this place. If the palm and coconut trees, the white sand and the turquoise water were not enough, right in front of our place we could see T-land exploding all her raw power onto the reef.
Without hesitation, we prepared our boards and went for our first session. Being a little bit too enthusiastic and hectic, I didn’t fix my rear fin tight enough. After a couple of feel good waves I had my first wipe to realize that my fin was gone. Full of shame I had to paddle ashore to replace the fin. But what a way to start the adventure!
The forecast small 2 to 3 foot swell resulted in over head-high waves on our reef – and this was just a small appetizer of what was still to come.
Already on the next day the first swell arrived. A 4 to 7 foot swell woke me up with his thundering roar. The horizon disappeared behind the big sets. Double head-high sets came rolling in with the occasional triple head-high set.
The next days it got a bit smaller and in return more consistent. So, that way we had enough time to figure out the best position to catch those speed-walls which can be ridden all the way to the channel.
Actually you have three major sections on the reef of T-land: The first is ‘The Point’ which is smaller than the other ones but the wave is fast and dangerously shallow.
The second –my favorite– is ‘Pyramid’. This section walls up very nicely and if you catch a swell that’s a bit more southerly, it takes you past the mountain right into the channel – on one of probably the best and fastest walls I’ve ridden so far.
‘The Mountain’ is the last section which shows it full potential in a more westerly swell. Actually, it piles up big, big amounts of water with a big drop into some super nice carving bottom turns. Tempting to make the drop too much on the inside leaves you with no other option then to make a run for it, straight to the inside or take a truck load off whitewash on the head.
On the smaller days the line-up at ‘Pyramids’ is quite crowded, like 40+ people in the water and then gets harder to catch a wave. When it gets bigger the crowd spreads and it is no issue…
Nevertheless, the vibe is quite relaxed. The majority of the surfers are in their late thirties, forties or fifties which mellows the atmosphere.
Adventurers can explore and search for more waves in the nearby surrounding: a 10 minute scooter ride takes you to a barreling right hander called ‘Boa’. ‘Petrol Boms’ is a real heavy slab and not for the faint-hearted. ‘Sucky Mamas’ is a short intense barrel. And everybody who wants to have a wave for himself can take a boat to the near, small islands.
After several of mind blowing sessions the swell dropped. As we were exhausted anyway, the scooter ride opened our eyes for the beauty of this untouched island. This is how Bali must have looked like in the early seventies before the surfers flooded its shores.
Overall, I was lucky to spend 20 days in this paradise – with a huge amount of time in the water, in the most beautiful set up and enjoying the best waves with my travel buddy Hans. I would like to thank my family for letting me enjoy my passion, the guys of Anugerah for talking good care of us: Lucas Tozzi, Nemberala, local Dani. And travel buddy Hans Isaac for taking the amazing pictures providing me with great memories.
My JP weapons of choice on this trip: my JP-Australia SURF 8’2” PRO and the 92 sq inch JP Carbon Pro paddle – the perfect match for a perfect trip!”