Bali Surf Report
Bali Surf Spots
Surf Spots in Indonesia
Bali Surf Scene
Other Links

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 five-star hotel. 
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. 

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,...

“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. 

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. 

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,... 

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)

Copyright by Cybersurf - Bali , Email :