Two weeks ago, Luke Hynd was lounging on his balcony on the Gold Coast quite literally twiddling his thumbs. His feet rested on the salt-rusted railing, his eyes shut. The northerlies were blowing, the swell was pushing straight past the points, the blue bottles were invading and going for a surf was the farthest thing from plausible.

“It was flat and shit and I was going mental,” Louie said. His voice agitated just from the memory. “But then Darcy (Ward) came ‘round one day and I started telling him stories of a trip I’d taken a few years back – I’m not sure how it came up – but I was saying how I got really fun beach-break-ey reefs, heaps of lefts, good winds and it was a beautiful place.”

So three days later Louie had roped in his good friend and Rip Curl teammate, Kipp Caddy, locked in photographer Ted Grambeau, and hopped on a plane.

Each day the boys would wake up, hop in the tray of their guide’s ute, and drive. The single coast road bends and tucks and meanders in line with the ocean, never letting the blue stray out of sight. With every turn, the boys would check another wave, another reef, without ever having to turn their heads. “A lot of the time, you didn’t even have to park. You’d just drive, check, drive, check, and eventually, decide on somewhere that looked like the best option. That was the hardest part really, choosing.”

The routine? Choose. Surf. Hop out and find cover. Wait for the afternoon storm to blow through. Drive. Check. Surf again. Head back to the town. Nap. Head into the jungle.

“It’s a really different feeling than most trips,” says Louie, “when you go to a unique place that you wouldn’t normally think of for a surf trip. It’s going to a place to experience another culture and a wild place, and on the side, you score fun waves. It’s just really fun, surfing in a unique area like this. There were kids playing cricket on the beach, and they were all frothing out because they hadn’t really seen surfing that much.”

Even for someone like Kipp, whose sole purpose in life IS to find that perfect barrel, agreed. “What’s the Search all about? Well, this was my first time really Searching, and after this experience, I would say that, to me, it’s about getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing new places, people, and waves. It’s about going somewhere completely new. No expectations, just going and seeing what you find. It’s inspired me to travel.”

“For me, there are two parts to a Search trip. One-half is to go and find perfect, pumping waves with no one out. And then the other half is about going somewhere you wouldn’t expect – a really cool place – meeting new people, and finding waves on the side. Discovering what a new place, a new country, is all about.”

Speaking of comfort zones…

For more from their trip check out