Indonesia is most proud of the Plengkung Beach at the eastern tip of Java Island. Aside from its enchanting natural beauty, the long curving coast line here is recognized as one of the best surfing sites on the face of the earth.
More familiarly known among world’s renowned international surfers as G-Land, the beach, located in the Banyuwangi Regency, is a paradise for surfers offering some of the most outstanding waves in the world. For, Plengkung Beach is dubbed “The Seven Giant Waves Wonder” by international surfers for its legendary 7 rolls of waves that can reach up to 6 meters high.
The popular name G-Land itself is said to have been given by surfers, where the G is said to refer to 3 different meanings. The first is for “Great” as an illustration of its outstanding waves. The second is for “Green” or “Green” Land since it is situated near the lush green tropical forest of Alas Purwo. Third, the G may also refer to “Grajagan”, the nearby beach which is also the starting point to reach Plengkung by boat. There are also others who suggest that the name G-Land was given because of the curving coast of Plengkung Beach that resembles the letter “G”.
What makes G-Land’s waves unique is that they break after 1 to 2 Km, rolling from east to west with heights reaching 4 to 6 meters in about 5 minutes intervals. This is hugely favored among surfers since they can then enjoy thrilling long barrels. For this reason, it is no wonder that the beach has hosted at least 5 international surfing championships.
With 7 layers of towering waves constantly hitting the shores in the “go to left” formation, G-Land is also favorite with left-handed surfers.
The waves of G-Land are considered 2nd best waves in the world after Hawaii only. But, whereas, Hawaii offers constant waves all year, the peak of waves in Plengkung Beach occur predominantly between the months of April to August. Besides Plengkung and Hawaii, similar waves can be found only in Australia and South Africa.
Bob Laverty and Bill Boyum were the first surfers who introduced the fascinating waves of Plengkung Beach to the international surfing world in 1972. They set up a surf camp here and eventually surfers around the world were drawn to the beach. Bobby Radiasa, an avid surfer from the neighboring island of Bali later came and also ran a surf camp which still operates here until today.
The vast swathe of white sandy beach is surrounded by pristine lush green tropical forests secluded from any hustle and bustle of city life. Obviously, you will not get any phone reception here or even a television network. However, that is exactly what makes this beach so special: it is a perfect place to escape from the “modern city” atmosphere so that you can truly enjoy what nature has so generously provided. In other words, forget all else, just get into the water and surf!
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