Situated between Nias and the Mentawai island chain in the northeast corner of Indonesia, a remote tropical island hosts a bevy of endless air sections and yawning, turquoise-blue tubes. Young rippers Seth Moniz, Kai Hing, Shane Sykes, Griffin Colapinto, and Imaikalani DeVault recently ventured there and made the isle their own high-performance playground. But along the way, the group realized that this wasn’t going to be a typical Indonesian wave fest. “The name of the island we visited roughly translates to ‘The Cursed Land’ in English,” says DeVault. “According to local legend, cannibals were exiled to this island from Nias, and there are lots of ghost stories about the place. We heard one about a guest who stayed at our camp, got possessed, and needed an exorcism. There were definitely some spooky vibes.” From left to right: DeVault, Sykes, Moniz, Colapinto, and Hing, safe in the lineup from the ghosts of any cannibals.

When a group of young phenoms spends a few weeks on a desolate island with world-class waves at their fingertips, big maneuvers are bound to happen. “We all compete against each other throughout the year, so freesurfing as a group was really fun,” says DeVault, pictured here reaching new heights with a lofty frontside air. “When someone would get a big barrel or pull a huge air, that would push everyone to do something bigger.”

“Griffin and I surf together all the time,” says Moniz. “He’s solid in bigger waves, smaller waves, and does big airs. He’s the all-around guy.” Colapinto, all-arounding himself into a tropical thumper.

Although much of Indonesia is typically thought of as a wave magnet, this island in particular works only on specific swell directions, and the break the crew came to surf wasn’t firing on all cylinders when they first arrived. But when the swell did appear, the boys were charging 6- to 8-foot waves at full tilt and flirting with dry-reef sections. “My favorite part of the trip was my last day of surfing, when we scored barrels and crazy ramps,” says Sykes, pictured here going mad on a wind-groomed kicker. “But that same day, I landed on the reef and got three stitches on my shoulder blade, which put an end to my trip. The next day I had to watch the boys rip all day from the beach.”

Between threading heavy barrels and boosting ankle-busting airs, the boys would play pool, watch surf videos, and casually launch fireworks into each other’s rooms. “We had a big fireworks war between our three-story bungalows, which was probably really dangerous,” says Moniz. “No houses were burned down, but there were a couple holes in the roof and my board bag got blown up.”

If this wave Colapinto is driving through looks familiar, you’ve probably seen it in an Andy Irons section or two. “When we got there, I didn’t realize that was the wave Andy got in Blue Horizon—the really long barrel that was heard around the world,” says Moniz. “Ever since I was young, I watched that wave on repeat, so I was dying to surf it on this trip.”

“One day when the waves were on, Griffin was the first guy to paddle out,” says Moniz. “His second wave was probably the biggest wave of the day—an absolute bomb—and he went over the falls, hit his board, and had to get stitches. It’s a pretty dangerous spot. It sucks up off the takeoff and then the inside gets really shallow. We all had cuts on our backs and legs.” Colapinto, toying with a critical inside section.

Hing, pictured here, landed these enormous alley-oops routinely during the trip. But every massive air and deep tube seemed to come at a price for the crew. “We got really good waves, but that was the most hurt I’ve ever gotten on a trip,” says DeVault. “Everyone got scraped up from the reef. Shane and Griffin had to get stiches. I sprained my ankle. Most of us got staph infections and had to go to the hospital when we got home.”