Spots in Indonesia
IN BALI" BY ROSS WILLIAMS
We arrived to Denpasar,
Bali, on a very warm evening, June 5. Benji, Akila and I are trying
to plot out a plan on how to avoid the money - hungry customs - authorities
who love to conjure up a fee (somehow) for bringing surfboards into
the country. Benji and Akila make it through. I wasn't as fortunate. The
man escorts me to a room tucked somewhere out of sight. He starts his little
routine on making his scandal seem legit, but it's not working. He
finally hands me a paper with $95 written on it. I laughed
and handed him $25 which I know was more than enough (this
is a very common thing in the Bali airport customs).
He was trying for more, but I had already made my way out the door. Benji
and Akila are laughing at me as I drag my stuff out the door,
because they know I got worked.
The first couple days
we surfed at a couple spots just near the hotel (I wonder why?).
The US dollar was so strong there that we got to eat at nice restaurants
and shop for dirt cheap. We started to feel guilty. Taxi rides were about
20 cents A huge meal at a really nice restaurant, I mean really nice, like
sushi steak, whatever you wanted, for something like two or three dollars.
We were thinking this how it must feel to be a millionaire. In Bali
terms, we were. It was kind of cool but we still felt guilty
and would try and actually overpay people just because we felt so
bad. We were living the life, sipping cocktails by the pool in our
A big swell was coming in
so Rizal planned a boat trip to an island across the channel about
two hours by boat. We get to the dock and met up with the driver."He looks
just like Evander Holyfield," Benji says, and we instantly
name him Holyfield. Benji kept us laughting the whole
trip. Benji is one of the funniest humans I know.
He’s one of my favourite surfers, too. Anyway, it was good
stay in a happy and atmosphere because we were about to cross one
of the most dangerous channels in the world. It's thousands of feet
deep, producing river-like currents. We were stoked to make
it across in our Bali - style boat.
We got great waves. Mostly
rights that would suck off a shallow reef making ideal barrel conditions
for the boys. It was such a beautiful day. The water was crystal
clear, the waves were perfect and it was sunny.
Huge volcanos and Bali mist
made for movie - like scenery. We were in heaven. We
went back the next day and got more of the same.
PLAYGROWN” BY JON ROSE
Imagine a skate park, but
for surfing, with all the red little bowls and hits. That's
the best to describe the little stretch of coastline
we surfed virtually everyday while we were in indo.
By far the most rippable waves on the planet! You all
know what I’m talking about!!!
The kind of waves that make
it easy for you to have a good session. Oh yeah, and
let’s not forget aboat the restaurant on the beach that serves
you a five-course breakfast for 55 cents.
It sounds like heaven doesn't
it? Well, don't be mistaken 'cause it is,...
FOR A DOLLAR" BY CHRIS GALLAGHER
“I'll have one of
those, three of these, a couple of them and another
one of this.”
That's the sound of
the Indo Rupiah at what must be an all-time low. But what's good
for us is not so good for them. I would rather pay more than see
riots deaths and hard times. Indo's are really cool people
and it sucks to see them getting rooted by their government. But
in all honesty, it seemed like business as usual in Bali. If it were
not for the daily warning disclaimers from my government (see opposite
page), the crisis was nearly unnoticeable. We got great little waves
almost everyday and one bigger swell with a couple of pits at Padang.
Rizal was our tireless tour guide and got us the
best waves and food Bali had to offer. The ASP called
me up while they were contem - plating the cancellation of
the G-Land event.
This was after a particularly
good day of waves and the NBA playoffs. My perspectives
was obviously biased and at that point, I was ready to move hole tour to
Indo. But they didn't listen and wisely cancelled the event.
G-Land is easily the best com on tour. Let's hope all is well next
year, so the surfers and the public can enjoy it once again.
REAL COOLIOS LIVE IN INDO” BY BENJI WEATHERLY
Rizal is the Greg
growning of Indo. They both would step in front of a us for
you, and at the worst of times you can always count on them
to be smiling and having a good time. Rizal is the silent hero
of Indo, the dark horse you could say. He's one the best surfers on tour
and I don't even know if he's aware of that. I 0nly been to Indo three
times and Rizal has taken care of me every time. Rizal has a group
of friends that he hangs out with at the beach break named
Halfway that's a mix between Waikiki and Huntington Beach. When Rizal and
all his friends are all hanging out on the beach they look like thugs looking
for a fight. But, as soon as you meet them they are the coolest, most down-to-earth
people you'll ever meet in your life.
PLAYGROWN” BY JON ROSE
Imagine a skate park, but
for surfing, with all the red little bowls and hits. That's the best to
describe the little stretch of coastline we surfed virtually everyday while
we were in indo. By far the most rippable waves on the planet! You all
know what I’m talking about!!! The kind of waves that make it easy for
you to have a good session. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget aboat the restaurant
on the beach that serves you a five-course breakfast for 55 cents. It sounds
like heaven doesn't it? Well, don't be mistaken 'cause it is,...
CIVIL WAR? BY AKILA AIPA
Jakarta is still a bit unstable,
Suharto has stepped down, but the people are not happy with his replacement
looks like it will take awhile to get the right person there. Anything
can happen. Here in Bali, it’s business as usual. When we first arrived,
Kuta was pretty quite. I think total town occupancy was at around 30 percent.
I know people were skeptical about the country's stability, so I'm sure
a lot of families changed their vacation destinations. No one wants to
be stuck in the middle Civil war. Good reason not to come, but Bali is
just one of those mystical places. It puts a spell on you. You’re mesmerized
and curious about all the waves going unridden. If Bali was in turmoil
I still think there would be surfers here. We came here, even after the
ASP cancelled the G-land contest because they could not guarantee the warnings?
No, we’re just your typical bunch of surfers, just like everyone else down
here. Too surf stroked to turn back. Besides, we were miles away from Jakarta,
and there were too many waves going unridden. Kuta was quite and everything
was yes, boss…
(taken from Surfing Magazine
South Issue, November 1998, Vol 34, number 11)