Scoring Scar Reef

Alex Smith, Arpad Leclere, and Kayu Vianna get shacked during a last-minute trip in Indo

When chasing a swell, sometimes it’s best not to be too tied to your original plans. You never know if the swell or the winds will change unexpectedly. Always wise to have options.

When staff photographer Ryan “Chachi” Craig headed to Indo’s Bukit Peninsula to meet up with Arpad Leclere, Kayu Viana, and Hawaiian Alex Smith, the crew decided to bail on Bali and take a road trip to Super Suck. And along the way, their plans changed more than once. “I started talking with Arpad, whom I had been with in the area before, and he was saying we should drive instead of fly,” Chachi told us. “We got a big, old van and all piled in. I was under the impression we were going to Super Suck, but I realized on the ferry ride that we were going to Deserts for the first day.”

The squad scored Deserts, but that wasn’t their final destination; they packed back into the van and continued on the road. “We did an all-night drive and took two ferries, which took about 12 and a half hours,” said Chachi. “The game plan was always to go to Super Suck, it was never Scar Reef. We had to make a decision to drive an hour to Super Suck and stay there. We were so tired of driving, so we ended up saying at Scar Reef the whole time. Featured image: Arpad Leclere; All photos by Ryan Craig.

“When we first checked it, all we could see were big offshore plumes and people dropping into waves,” says Chachi. “It breaks really far out, so we were looking at it from half a mile away, and all we could see was low-tide reef.”

“We figured we should check it out, so we chartered a boat,” says Chachi. “You have to walk super far out onto the reef just to get into the boat. There were urchins everywhere; it was wild. It felt like we were on a real surf trip, and we were putting in a lot of effort to score waves.”

“Scar Reef is one of the most beautiful surf spots I’ve seen,” says Chachi. “From far away, you couldn't see much, but when we got out there, you could understand the layout of the reef, and it looked like a better wave up close.”

“The first day wasn't huge, but the winds were perfect, and there were about 8-foot faces,” says Chachi. “It was a perfect evening and the swell was on the increase, and we were thinking, ‘If it’s this good today, it’s going to be amazing tomorrow.'”

“I'd say this is a 7 out of 10 for how good this spot can get,” says Chachi of this reeling wave, beautifully surfed by Kayu Vianna. “There's a spot out the back where it starts breaking, so it’s easy to see it when it does. On the outside, the wave can barrel. On the inside, you can see why they call it ‘Scar Reef’: it’s all super-shallow fire coral.”

Alex Smith

Alex Smith

Alex Smith

Arpad Leclere

Arpad Leclere

Alex Smith

Arpad Leclere

The one that got away