7 August, 2018 7 August, 2018

A Visual Diary: Daniel Grebe in Indo

Following a spontaneous two week trip to Indonesia, with no real plan and hoping for swell, we caught up with Daniel Grebe who just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Over to you Dan:

A few days before I left SA I saw the charts lighting up pretty nicely and figured I’d head to Sumbawa to explore and surf a wave I’ve dreamt of surfing as a kid. When I arrived in Bali it was absolute chaos, scooters and people everywhere, it felt like I left the rat-race back home for an even bigger one there. I needed to get out of there fast so I left for Sumbawa the next day and got a taxi to Lakey Peak, organised a scooter with a guy named Joey Barrel (real name) and left the next day on an 8 hour long, insane journey on the worlds worst roads dodging taxis, chickens, goats and potholes as I headed towards West Sumbawa. I saw the swell lining up pretty well for this spot so I decided to spend a couple days in the area.

The next few days were absolutely perfect every single day. The perfect top to bottom hollow barrels running nonstop for a good few hundred meters along a shallow point. The lineup was quite busy on the day of the swell, with the likes of Brazilian pros Pato Teixeira, Leonardo Massari, Fabio Capistrano and Paulo Moura to name a few. I saw some of the best and longest barrel rides I’ve ever seen while swimming in the lineup with my camera that day.    

After spending a few days there I found out the guy I rented the scooter from at Lakey Peak was pissed and looking for me. Long story short, he thought I had stolen his scooter and reported me to the police who were apparently looking for me in the area as well, so I figured it was a good idea to head back & return it. I had also seen an even bigger swell was on its way, too big for that area, so I packed up, made the 8 hour scooter ride dodging potholes, goats and police (dodged the police by the skin on my teeth riding through a massive roadblock.) and caught a plane back to Bali. Some of the locals were saying it was the biggest swell they’ve seen heading straight for Uluwatu.

The day after I arrived back in Bali I woke up to the sound of a very angry ocean. I headed down to the cliff restaurants at Uluwatu, the swell was massive. Easily 20ft+ on the sets with two guys out trying their hardest to avoid them. An hour later a tow crew arrived, Russian Andrei Ovchinnikov and Eloy Lorenzo Jnr, buzzing over these massive swells with their ski straight to the backline. Within a few minutes, the restaurants were packed with viewers and lenses scrambling to get front row seats of the action. They both took turns riding and doing safety and surfed what some were claiming the biggest waves ever ridden at Uluwatu with Andrei riding one wave almost the whole way down to Padang Padang. It was unreal to watch the skill level and bravery of these two guys as they shared waves as if it was 6ft and fun.   

Majority of the guys who tried to paddle it got washed straight back down to Padang. And to add to the chaos that was happening on this day, Mt Agung erupted and rocked the city three times. It was wild! The next day the swell had calmed down a bit and Padang Padang was firing in the evening. Later in the evening, I watched from the cliffs as Arne Noel and Kailani Jabour traded off wave after wave with perfect 10 point barrels. It was an insane run of swell for the whole of Indo, from Bromley getting ridiculously shacked at Nias while dodging rogue boats in the lineup, to Twiggy getting perfect waves somewhere less explored. 

I’m pretty stoked to be out of there now though, there have been two earthquakes just off Bali and Lombok in the two weeks since I’ve been home, and Mt Agung seems to be alive and very much active there. I am forever grateful for having the universe on my side and lining things up the way it did in perfect timing. I went from having no plan of action at all, to surfing/shooting the best waves of my life and witnessing the biggest swell to hit Indo in twenty years. All in all, for me, my first trip to Indonesia was one hell of an adventure! One I will never forget and one that will be very difficult for me to beat again.    

1 Comment

  1. Linnie Ash
    12 August, 2018 at 10:26 pm · Reply


    Maybe correct that. Easy to happen with auto spellcheck.If I’m wrong forgive me.😊

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