Last trip to Indonesia I witnessed a few unlucky Punters lose their boards due to broken leg ropes while surfing Outside Corner.
Because of the savage sweep heading to Padang I watched as they began the long swim, rather than battling the sweep and heading back up the line through Ulu's to try and get through the cave.
Maybe they came in at the little beach half way along?
Not sure if they ever got their boards back...
Has anyone here had to do it? And was it a struggle or could you just kick back in the nice tropical water and let the current deliver you to safety?
Always wondered this. Can imagine if you don't make it in by Padang, you've got a nightmare ahead too.
The beach before Padang is pretty long, and it's also much more sheltered than Ulus or PP, so I imagine anyone who's gonna handle big OC should be able to beach it there without too much of a problem.
Getting your board back is a different story.
I know some people have come in at Thomas Beach, the long one before Padang-Padang. It doesn't sound very fun in Jim Banks' story here though: https://balisurfstories.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/jim-banks-setting-the-r...
"...i eventually made it in through Thomas’s beach next to Padang. This is an absolutely nasty place to come in and i discovered that it’s even worse without a board! It now tops my list as the worst place anywhere to get out of the water."
Ha ha...but it looks so pretty.
Sounds nasty, especially in the dark.
I can imagine during the day though it could be a pretty relaxing experience just treading water looking up at the cliffs as the current whisks you along.
Agreed goofy foot , might be for people from southern Australia especially haha . With a mask snorkel it be good .
Get a bloody good leggy to start with !
Yeah maybe it's just the alluring warm water that makes it sound sort of fun. I could go some of that about now
Surfed big Ulu's bombie a couple of years back big tide only a couple of guy's out.The current was actually going out through the line up and going out and around the back of temple's.At one stage I noticed a booger paddling way wide of Outside corner and I thought "Cool someone else is keen to join us for a surf"He ended up outside us and with every set seemed to be going further and further out too sea till he was just a speck on the horizon.Finished my surf caught one in straightened out aiming for the beach side of the cave as you do.Snuck in tight to the cliff and washed into the cave which was full of water and was about ready to surge back out I remember being at one stage on my hands and knees clawing the sand trying not be sucked back out.Got up to the warung and asked the lifeguard about the Bodyboarder"What bodyboarder?was the answer"Jesus!!! he didn't even see the guy.Gnarley
Fraser the big A.I. single fin ..do you take that to Indo with you ?
Udo I used too but now have a nice N.R and a Webster D.S that get the gig these day's.
Anyone round here ever paddled out through Padang to tackle maxing Ulus? I wanted to give it a bash the other year - had the DS primed - but the predicted swell didn't get to where it was supposed to.
If I'm in that area, I stay in a nice little joint just down the road from PP. Seems less hassle all-round?
TT, wouldn't you be paddling against the current?
I kinda thought you could paddle straight out and around. In that Banksy link, the dude mentions a mate who did it. I don't mind a paddle.
The DS is a beast to paddle but also a beast if you cop one on the head.
What size ds?
That'd get ya up there
I've thought the same TT. Or even committing to coming in down there if you surfed through til high tide. Coming in the cave at high tide on a 6 foot swell was a bloody nightmare! I can't even imagine it on a proper big swell.
Exactly, Dan. See Fraser's tale above. As I said seems less hassle all-round.
If u paddle out wide it might be quite easy on a DS 9"0 !
Actually Dan, just read your Season on the Bukit instalments. There's your next one right there. Solid. Paddle out from Padang to Ulus. Get a set at the Bommie/OC.
fraser are u from WA .if so do u remember hatch newman and tom tucker
Not from W.A mate but have a few good buddies there.Just a end note about the missing Ulu's booger I went back the next day and asked the lifeguard if he heard anything "Yes Bodyboarder was picked up by fishing boat and taken too Benoa"was his reply.A couple of years later I was telling the story over dinner at Gland and a couple of bloke's where there the same day watching big high tide Padang and being amused by a booger doing laps trying to get in.Word is he freaked and started paddling out to sea looking for a boat to save him.I wonder if he still partakes in ocean sports after that.Paddling from Padang up to Outside corner or the Bombie taking a wide path would be no worries I think.Surfing Big solid Ulu's either tide you really have to be prepared in the back of your mind to swim down to Padang or you kidding yourself.
Watched a poor bastard snap is board on a sizey set, tried battling the current to get into the cave for a bit no bueno, attempted to scramble along the cliff to the left of the cave unsuccesfully. The lifeguard up on the cliff's sighed heavily and waved him on down through to Padang. Must be so used to the scenario by now
True Frazer. Especially these days, no one thinks their leggie will really break, or that they will forget it. I've pretty much done that paddle. Surfing low tide outside corner on a quickly increasing, super consistant swell, a guy lost his board. I saw him yelling for help at the end of a wave, trying to swim out to sea, so paddled over to him. The boys were all on the cliff, and he was getting tired and freaking as we just kept going further down. In the end the boys were waving in, so I had to just force him over some pretty horrific sucky shit way down. He ended up really cut up but survived. I was so far away from ulu's, I thought I'd go down, to go around the back of Padang, but it was really sketchy and so much shit, logs, etc in the water I went back. Its not so hard wide, there's way worse paddles.
I remember surfing solid ulu's alone at the start of the wet season. First low tide, then filling up the peak was getting good. It had started drizzling early, and then was pouring rain. I could make out everyone on the cliff waving, and hear faint yelling, so thought maybe a shark. When I went in it was fucked, as I approached the cave, I had to paddle through horrendous sludge washing out. It was a full on mission, and a waterfall was pouring over the ladder. it was nothing like nowadays, where its pretty much luxury. All the shit and crap was pouring over the ladder, just fucked getting back up, getting hit by everything. The locals eventually got my board, and that was a bit easier.
I surfed Golden Island one arvo with another guy. A big swell. It was heavy, the wind swung and got too strong, but all fine till we started to head in. The tide turned and was raging, we weren't making any ground, the sun set, and we eventually grovelled onto the beach way after dark. The shark factor was fucked. There's another island that has a horrific sweep when its really big, and you end up out in the middle of no where. And the shark factor is even more fucked.
You can do some good swims/paddles/grovels in that big right in winter, out the front of town.
But whilst not the most dangerous, Lennox etc in big, consistent, south swells make other paddles look relaxing.
It all makes you realise what machines guys like Jose Angel were.
There's a thread: paddle/swim in stories. More dramatic the better. Go Dan Cubed next biggie at Ulus/OC/Bommie!
Herc, just read that link on Angel.
Dissapeared diving at 300 feet! What a freak.
That guy you helped get in, was that at the beach between ulu and Padang?
Jose Angel, backwards somersault in pike position from the Waimea high board:
nick chong 1 insta.. a heavy Desert Pt somersault
From July last year ...a flying kiwi git Stuart.
Yeh, there would be some epic sagas. I mentioned that right at the cliffs. It has some form in winter. Never anyone around. Sometimes Emes would come for a paddle and have a good dig. He was pretty good on his forehand. One day he rounded me up, frothing, its happening, we should surf it. So I went up there, my partner came for a drive. It was looking good, but that means big closeouts across the bay, and a ton of water pouring out. So you can always get out, even if you don't want to, you'll be dragged through the impact zone until you are way out where the sets are. Its a shitty place to eat it, some really deep crevasses and gullies that you get dragged down into and through. Anyway he rolled up, but lo and behold, no wettie, so was going to get it and come back. Classic emes, he didn't. My partner was used to long surfs, so she curled up to sleep. After an hour or so I got smashed and busted my leggy, and ended up in the rip getting slammed by bombs closing out across the bay. I had no idea where my board was. At first I wasn't too worried, and went way out and over to the left. The swell was getting really consistent, and I was blowing it by trying to get pushed in by a left between closeout sets, but kept getting swept across into the rip. I had been swimming for ages, maybe half a dozen laps, and was starting to worry. Emes appeared on the cliff, running around waving. He woke my partner up and seeing them there was a kind of relief. I decided to get way, way over, by the other left bombie, and risk getting slammed, rather than swim more. It was heavy getting into the impact zone so far over and I was freaking, but it worked, and I ended up right over to the left, in the bottom corner. Lo and behold, my board was in there, wedged in the rocks near the corner as I made my way across the bottom. I was so stoked to be on land, but the climb up that cliff, so tired and cold, made it more horrific than it used to be. And for a while it used to be almost life and death every climb. Emes loved it, giving me heaps.
But Azza did a pretty good effort paddling around out on the phantom on a humongous, consistent, lumpy, late afternoon, raw day. It shattered Toddy, who was in, but bailed on the mission at the last moment. We watched Azza get rolled by some monster slobs, but he did well, and nearly caught some really good ones. Toddy was praying for him to get washed into a mega, quadrupleup reef drainer from hell, and he was close, but much to his horror, Azza survived. And he almost took the belt off shattered Toddster. Well, in a way he did.
But then, Toddster had a mission from hell out there that I've described before, having to be tied onto his board, with leggies, at night, and be paddled down to the beach miles away. I thought he was paralyzed. Saving his life, keeping him alive, was the least I could do for him. We often reminded him of it. The merryweather board riding champ (except at blax) was there too, teeth chattering and terrified eyes shining like spotlights. I've rescued other east coasters, but knowing that without me that Toddster is just, well without me he was just, well, its enough to...
I just saw your thing goofer. I don't really know, I couldn't see, I just pushed him into where everyone on the cliff was waving. It was really shallow slamming on reef, low tide, and after he went over in one, I had to bolt out. Later up the top they told me he was really cut up but ok.
Even I liked that story.
Big swims? I followed Captain Cook's route after my leggy snapped during this unsuccessful sesh...
Didn't get a wave, got cleaned up, couldn't get in on the rocks, so I put my head down and started humming 'Bound for Botany Bay' while swimming through the heads, finally beaching it near Cooky's obelisk.
I had one, I've had a few actually, gone overboard twice: once in the Gulf coming into the rivermouth at Karumba, once in the Pacific during a squall between Majuro and some other atoll in the Marshalls.
I used to like to chase tuna on a board, paddle out with a rod and a knife. One arvo at Broken head a massive tuna bustup out off the second island. Kegs. Big S swell with a nor-west wind. Sun low in the hills and I launched an old surf ski that was under my mates house, one of those old goat boats you don't see anymore. It was a dry hair paddle out in the lee of Broken head.
Got out towards the end of the Islands and all hell was breaking loose. Mostly jellybean yellowfin in the 30-40 pound range with the odd 100 plus keg hitting gar and slimies. Water churned to foam. I hooked up straight away to a barrel with fins and was spooled in about one minute flat. Then I started getting towed out to sea and towards the North-east, towards Cape Byron.
I had to put my feet in the water to stabilise the ski and pretty quickly, once out of the lee of Broken, the sea state got really ugly. Big long period S swell running into a north wind. I thought at first I might have been able to get back to the beach and fight the fish from there with a tiny chance of landing it, if I could get some line back on the reel.
Pretty soon I realised that plan was toast and I was heading north by north-east. Fantasising maybe I get could get around Cape Byron in the night and maybe beach at Wategoes. I could kill the fish, door knock and get a mate to pick me up. It seemed feasible. It got dark pretty quick.
The fish must have headed back towards a more parallel track, i was using the lighthouse at Cape Byron as a bearing but didn't notice the change in direction without a point to triangulate off.
At some point north of the Suffolk rivermouth a wild open ocean swell capped and hit me broadside. It knocked me off, took the ski, who knows where, I never saw it again and left me in the ocean at night with a big tuna still dragging me through the water.
It took me about ten seconds to realise I had to jettison the rod and make a play for the beach. I was probably 6-800 metres off the beach in 6-8ft of surf in the night, and I didn't want to move a muscle. I felt if I so much as moved I was going to get munched. So I doggy paddled/sidestroked into the impact zone and got to the beach about 20 minutes later.
Slunk up the beach with my tail between my legs, walked home and went straight to the bottle-o.
Gave up the idea of tuna fishing from a board.
Freeride that's an absolute doozy.
I was in a panic just reading
It. Could you see when the sets were coming once in the impact zone. Or just head down straight for the beach
Yeh, full on. And stewart, epic photo. As much as surfing, getting lots of waves under your belt, or catching a deluxe wave change your surfing, those types of experiences play a big part as well.
That's a great story Freeride. The idea of what you set out to do in the first place, the decisions and plans along the way, and then the outcome. What an adventure. There's a bit of the old man and the sea in that tale.
Jeez Steve, it's just a fish...
And stu what the hell are you thinking being out in that nonsense?!
Freeride's adventure - though hair raising in its result - at least had a comprehensible idea behind its beginning.
Unlike your photo , Stu.
You weren't considering riding that large , lumpy , shitstorm pitching onto near - dry rock were you ?
Cool story , Freeride. Maybe get a boat ?
I had another good one, for a fish, last Easter. Easter Sunday to be precise.
I was on the rocks about 2 hours before first light, my favourite time to fish. At the most deadly spot in the Northern Rivers, a proven killer. There was a long range, super inconsistent E groundswell in the water: a tricky combo because you could check the surf for a half hour and see nothing of significance and then a set twice the size could loom up but I was confident. I'd had a long, long look at it on dark the night before after a surf. Checked the buoys upon waking.
What had happened in the night is a slug of sand had built up in front of the rock pinnacle which protrudes right out in the Pacific ocean.
Straight away I had a couple of good tailor, which meant I was covered in tailor blood and slime. Then I started getting spooky and decided I'd head in and sip coffee from a thermos and profit take the tailor until first light.
I had one long look into the darkness before turning landward to make sure I wasn't going to get tagged by a set walking back. And then the pit of my stomach dropped out. I could see/feel these black things rising up out of the dark.
It was a very, very long slow sense of horror as I realised I was about to get thumped and there was nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. But I had no idea how badly I was about to get hammered. Instead of just getting mildly smashed the first wave of the set drew off the sandbar in front of the rock shelf and stood up and threw out a top to bottom thick lipped tube. The lip of this tube landed on me.
You've seen swells smash into rocky headlands and you've seen that explosion. I was now in that explosion. There was a long, long moment of weightlessness as i was in the air, it felt like I was 8, 10feet in the air. Then a massive thump as I backslammed back onto the rock, luckily my fishing bag broke the fall and I landed on my arse. If I was knocked out, I obviously wouldn't be here sharing this tale. A massive weight of water pressed down on me then rolled me off the rock into the drink, my fishing bag caught under a ledge and pulled me underwater and I shrugged it off and got free.
The next whitewater now hit me and smashed me into the rocks, I got into the survival position and pinballed off a few rocks, pushing off with my legs. As the whitewater drained off I had a futile attempt to grab hold of a vertical wall of barnacles and cunji. Then the next white water smashed me.
I was still in shock, not really believing it was happening. Then I came to and realised it was Plan B, swim away from this nightmare and around to the keyhole. A 3-400 metre swim. Swam away from the rocks (incidentally, quite obviously, if lifejackets were mandatory I would be dead because I wouldn't have been able to swim under the whitewater to safety) got the old fish slime covered jumper off and started swimming, very slowly around to the keyhole.
I swam for about 10 minutes before I realised I wasn't getting anywhere. The East australian current was flowing strongly and pushing me back against the rocks. Swimming with the current meant a K swim against a cliff line to the next safe exit point. Fuck that.
I went out wider, to get away from the strong current. Swam out into the deep and into the bay. Then cut in and got to the keyhole just as the sky was turning purple.
Family was still asleep when I got home. I didn't tell my wife for a while. Went back in the afternoon and got back out there. Not ready to quit.
Rockfishing is a problem in search of a solution and the solution is a boat.
In 1973 before leggies , was surfing the OC very early morning with Mike "Mushroom" Boyum , had this amazing omelette for breakfast , and as the waves were pretty solid , I got washed down the point , as you couldn't let go your board , and in a moment of ....ah adventure , I went fuck it , I'll keep paddling .
I sorta remember , catching these never ending lefts that got smaller and smaller , and then a huge paddle over a big stretch of water , and somehow ended up at Kuta on dark , with everybody freaking out that Ulu's had claimed another!
great tales, i've clearly lived a sheltered live
Those fishing ones are classic. There's been some horrific rock fishing incidents, drownings. Here's a fish related one. More ludicrous than anything.
We all had some pretty wild theories about why we didn't have to worry about sharks. There were some radical stories back then, most didn't get reported. Streaky had the worst I reckon, one local ledge getting used as a toy by a huge pointer, at a remote spot for an hour or so. He cracked and left town. Anyway a medium sized whale had washed in to the tiny beach where we paddle out. Everyone was freaking on the cliff, the surf was deluxe, sun shining. I had my rostered day off, and the weekend, so was spewing. At that time, through the week I usually had to surf early and late, and was hating it. So somehow I came up with the ludicrous theory that any shark wouldn't be remotely interested in us, it was actually a kind of blessing, they would only be focused on the whale. No one was keen, I can still remember Roger pleading with me, as I decided to demonstrate how safe it was.
Once out there, I was stoked, the surf was pumping, all to myself. Its ridiculous what the mind can concoct. I was laughing at how everyone was missing out, what wimps they were, and couldn't believe that they wouldn't come out. This went on through the weekend. On the last surf, the tide really filled in, and as I paddled in, a horrendous stench filled the air. The whale had moved right into the centre of the tiny beach/bay where I was exiting, and was rolling around, beginning to break up a little bit. I was suddenly in a maybe football ground sized, stinking slick, seething with fish. Fish were everywhere, all sizes flying out of the water every paddle stroke. It was like paddling through living soup. I was freaking, the theory vanished, and I began bolting to the shore, for what seemed like an eternity, and had to go right along side the thing. I sat at the bottom of the cliff for ages, thinking, 'what an idiot'. And smelling like burley. But, as you do, I composed myself, and made a reasonably casual, nonchalant, big deal, appearance over the cliff edge. Thankfully the swell dropped and an ab diver got in and towed the thing away.
The ab divers have some major stories that defy belief. There was a legend, super wild guy in the old days, nicknamed 'Zorba', for obvious reasons. The fisheries couldn't nail him despite constant efforts. Everyone in town had a classic 'Zorba' story. The best was when he was coming back in, and was getting the bends, so way out at the top of anxious, well after dark, he stopped the boat, instructed the sheller/driver and went back down, deep. He then crawled and grovelled across the bottom, through the night, coming in shallower and shallower to decompress. FFS.
Back when I was younger, fitter and gamer I used to do commercial free-diving for trochus shells in the southern Great Barrier Reef. It was a bit of a cowboy operation – in the first year or so that I did it, there were no radios and no epirbs on board the 14ft Clark dories. Maybe some flares, can’t remember.
So there was one day in particular when it was blowing a gale, 30 knots+.
The boss said that if we wanted to we could take the day off. As most of us were mad keen spearos, a few crews loaded up the tinnies and headed off out of sight of the mother ship for a day of chasing fish.
Which is, of course, what you do when the boss says it’s too rough to work and you’re 70 nautical miles or whatever offshore.
So me and a mate, The Glassman, headed a few miles downwind until we were in the middle of nowhere. We drifted with the boat and did pretty well, with the usual trout as well as maori wrasse and barramundi cod (this is back when they were legal).
Then The Glassman said he’d jump in the tinny, head down to the end of the reef, anchor up and have a poke around until I drifted down.
So for the next half hour or so I drifted towards the end of the reef.
After a while it kind of occurred to me that something wasn’t right – I wasn’t closing on the boat at the pace I should have been, and after kicking myself high in the water I could see that by the aspect and the motion of the boat, it wasn’t anchored and was drifting. It was a few hundred metres away and moving steadily with the strong wind. Closer inspection showed that The Glassman wasn’t in the boat, and was swimming after it, trying to chase it down.
I put my head down and basically started kicking for my life. We were now out in the blue and it was obviously a case of catch the boat before we tired, or we were gone.
I caught up to The Glassman. We still had fish hanging off our floatlines which had attracted maybe three whalers, which circled at a distance of about 15 metres. We kept kicking for the tinny and after about 15 minutes we finally caught it. I think it might have been a little while before we caught our breath enough to drag ourselves into the boat. We sat there in the boat in stunned silence.
It turned out that reef pick we’d used had no chain on it and had simply pulled free of the reef. Rookie error.
Bravery Award for this bloke - Surfer Michael Williams
Trawler went down in the dark after nets snagged the reef about 10 miles off Byron Bay
Interview on ABC - Online
The current at Outside Corner is really weird. In the whitewater it runs really strongly to the north. Out the back there's either no current or it's slightly the other way helping you back to the take off spot.
If you're getting washed to PP and want to take that option as your get out spot. Paddling out the back is a very dubious option.
Some cracking tales on here.
Sharkman, you paddled from Uluwatu to Kuta?
Worth remembering that once there were just little boat huts, shelters, and outrigger canoes at Padang. Getting into Padang from the dirt track/road that led to Ulu's was very hard. I slept on the beach there. The locals would show up, at night, with fish and rice, bananas etc. They would launch their canoes from there. Work up and down that area. Paddles, not many had motors. Down in Kuta, where that big, horrendous slab of bitumen carpark at airports is, was also a fishing village. They had motors, but went up past Ulus. You could get lifts with them.
Nowadays they carry surfers, up and down the peninsula, in all swells.