I’d never surfed The Left before.
On the speedboat on the way over from Bali Andy was frothing. He’d surfed it a bunch of times and was telling me it was one of the best lefts in the world. I was hoping he wasn’t talking it up too much. After listening to him I didn’t want to get there and find it wasn’t the best left in the world.
We get there and it’s two foot and no good. Nothing. Mate, it was three foot and a fat little lefthander when we pulled up in the morning because it was high tide. It doesn’t really do much on the high tide. But as the tide starts going out it gets bigger and bigger and better and better. It’s an amazing wave, a unique wave. It’s almost like a novelty wave in a way because it’s so tidal and so much water moves up the point out there.
JS was the first one out. He paddled out at quarter past 11. I jumped in half an hour later, and we got out at six that night. Over six hours in the water. It was kind of onshore when we paddled out, then this rainsquall swept through and after that it went perfect offshore and was unbelievable.
You take off up the top and it’s this 60-second ride down to the end section. The top of the wave has a few barrels and also lets you do a few turns, but if you get too carried away up there you’re going to blow the best barrel of your life down on the inside. You just go into survival stance from the top of the point down to the barrel section, just race it, then you just lock in. I reckon one in every 50 waves will let you out down there, but it’s so perfect that it just keeps staying open. It’s pretty heavy. You get in the barrel and there’s not much margin for error because it gets really shallow down on the inside. I had to straighten out on a couple down the end because I just couldn’t keep up with it. There was a bit of dry dock reef but down there, but it’s not too bad, you know. I didn’t lose any skin.
Andy surfed the best, definitely. He got better and better and his barrel riding got more fine tuned as the day went on. He kept pushing himself harder. Andy just goes straight to another level when a wave gets like that. He rises to the occasion, especially in hollow reef waves.
We had a great window at the bottom of the tide and it just pumped. The only other left I’ve surfed like it is Speedies at G-Land, but I was really young when I surfed Speedies and didn’t have a good sense of backhand barrel riding and couldn’t really appreciate it. But after that afternoon at The Left I’ve got to say that’s the best lefthander I’ve ever surfed in my life. I love going left because I hardly ever do it, and I’ve been surfing so much at home recently that I’ve been dreaming of going left all day, surfing perfect lefthand barrels. It’s not even one of those things where you wish you could surf that wave on your forehand. That wouldn’t even make it special because it’d just be like any other day at home on the Gold Coast.
Joel, Tiago, Andy and Granger. Wax on. //LJ
Squally one. //Pat Stacy
Tide dropping... now we're talking. //Pat Stacy
Turn at your own peril. //LJ
Mid-afternoon water and Beng Beng break. //LJ
Low tide afternoon cabin. //Pat Stacy
Joel rediscovering the joy of going left.//Pat Stacy
Drydocked. //Pat Stacy