EMBARKING on a surf trip to a totally new location is guaranteed to raise the endorphins!
I've been fortunate to travel to some exotic places all over Indonesia like Bali, Nusa Lembongan, Lombok, Sumba,G-Land, West Java, Nias and Mentawai's.
From my very first trip to Bali in 1975, coming to Indo is always an adventure and yet there are so many more locations to explore.
I think this is my 17th trip to Bali although a good Gold Coast friend of mine, Bobby Knight, who came to Bali in 1974, trail blazed with Tony "Doris" Elthrington, opening up that incurable sense of adventure.
Bobby's lost count of his trips, probably over 50 times while Doris now captains yacht charters in search of those perfect waves from Aceh to Papua.
Each time I come to Bali I try to checkout somewhere different and this trip was no exception.
I left the booking part to my wife Megan, who wanted us to check out Sumbawa.
Of course Lakey Peak is a spot that readily springs to mind although it's more for the young crew situated on the South East side of Sumbawa.
As we had our family in tow including five-year-old grandgrom Lucas, the travel agent at Nomads suggested we go to the Tropicals Surf Camp on West Sumbawa, being more family-orientated.
Despite the expense this 5-star resort had it all covered, including a right and left reef break straight out the front known as Tropicals.
West Sumbawa hosts other world class breaks such as Yoyos', Scar Reef and Supersuck.
I had spoken to Snapper pres, Shane Bevan, on the way over in the plane and remember seeing some epic photos of Bevo and the boys taken by Martin Tullemans in the early 90's at Scar Reef and Supersuck.
However it was a story in the GCSURF last year, written by Burleigh Boardrider Nick Heath, which really caught my eye.
The Surfing chef from Burleigh loves to take off to Indo in the prime winter months and surf his brains out for at least a three month stretch.
Affectionately known as "Stench", he pulled into one Supersuck after another last year and with excellent water shots to back it up.
I'd actually spent three weeks with Nick at G-Land in 1999.
Initially I was only there for three days but he convinced me to extend although it didn't take much convincing.
Once again Nick was kind enough to brief me in vivid detail what I could look forward to in West Sumbawa and fill me in on some invaluable travel and surf tips.
When Bevo and the boys had it on there in the 90's, it was mostly accessed by a yachts or hiring a boat charter.
Nowadays it's a little more accessible but still a mission and that probably helps to keep the numbers down.
To get there from Bali, it's a one hour flight to the next island, Lombok, followed by a one hour bus trip across Lombok and then a one hour boat trip to West Sumbawa. We left Bali at 8am and arrived at Tropicals at 2pm.
The previous week we were greeted by an 8 to 10ft swell on Thursday when the Rip Curl Padang Padang one day comp was held and Nick Heath was in his element at Supersuck.
Nick was surfing stand-up barrels on that last big swell during the Padang Padang event and he was frothing about how good it was, calling it his best surf ever in Indo.
And that really is saying something special from a modest man who calls it as it is and believe me, he has had his share of perfect waves in Indonesia.
"It was 6- 8ft and solid, some were calling it 8 - 10ft, but it was by far the best I've surfed with 10 second stand-up barrels to pull in at random," Nick said.
He even said it was better than in the photo he generously supplied for this story, which was taken last year.
Unfortunately our timing was not as good as Nick's and the swell has been small all week but there is another swell expected this Saturday so fingers crossed.