The season had been deemed slow for the Indian ocean due to the lack of regular winter swells. June came around and finally a swell was on its way. In fact, we were in for a flogging. The internet hype started clogging the airways and the stage was set. We began our search for some waves worthy of an Indian ocean winter.

A few good friends, a car full of boards, and a good swell forecast can do wonders for your happiness. We packed the essentials: Toilet paper (extra soft), hand sanitizer, an assortment of boards on the roof, hand sanitizer, tim tams, hand sanitizer and an ipod that was lost in the shuffle on a previous trip, thanks brother.

Bali based photographer Nate Lawrence was at the wheel and we were rolling; flying through red lights, past hordes of partying tourists, and onto an archaic sea vessel. At about 4am, we passed over the Wallace Line and into a glorious new world of flora, fauna, loud speakers, dust and heaving cavernous lefts on all but dry reef.

After our brief but glorious run in the desert, it was decided that a good shower, solid food and a rest up in the bosom of Bali was in order. Gado-Gado for every meal had left some crew members less than solid, and with no Imodium pushers in sight, it was time to peel out. As we crested the dust bowl’s upper rim, cell phones began chiming in unison. Thankfully, social media’s wavelength doesn’t reach inside the dust bowl. It did however bring news of Titan’s unrest in the lower Indian Ocean –the headlines read: ‘Mega Swell’.

The swell arrived and it was big. Padang pumped for days. Many spots washed out. A plethora of different waves came to life. As for a ‘mega swell’, I’m not so sure.

We linked up with the local boys Mega, Bol, Betet (Herry AUS), and Garut. Julian Wilson flew in for a bit and snagged a couple but after all the Padang hype, opted to punt crazy airs away from the circus with just him and his mates. We ventured around and scooped out secret slabs and big wave spots that called for a ski or larger boards. Then he was off to Jay bay to meet up with Mick Fanning and the surprise wild card in their finals heat.

So the Indian Ocean set off to a late start but seems to be alive and kicking. As Tolkien wrote, ‘the waves pumped, world order was reestablished and middle earth was safe again’.

Images and words: Tim Ridenour

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