I S EV E RY T H I NG
PHOTO : HAMISH H
PHOTO : HAMISH H
intro I M I S S T H E C I T Y.
I miss that blast of warm air hitting your face when you come down the subway stairs. I miss how two bucks can take you anywhere you need to go, and the people-watching is included in your fare. I miss hoops on blacktop. Two full courts running and two more squads talking shit on the sidelines, waiting to get next. I miss some kid in the liquor store parking lot trying to sell you his mixtape from out the trunk of a busted old Buick, telling you straight-faced he’s the next big thing in hip-hop. I miss doormen in funny hats and gleaming towers reaching to the sky. I miss being anonymous. Walking down the block and not bumping into someone you know at every turn. I miss walking places. I miss the feel of good pavement, and schoolyards, and skateparks across town. I miss urban blight. A new band on the marquee every night. I miss rich girls with low self-esteem and an empty penthouse for the weekend. I miss making out in elevators. I miss going out at any hour of the night and getting a slice of the best pizza on earth. Or a carnitas burrito. Or Korean barbeque. Or a big bowl of pho. Or whatever the fuck you feel like at that moment because the world’s kitchen is right here. I miss street performers and art in public places. I miss neighborhoods with history and buildings that didn’t pop up yesterday. I miss how the city air pulses when our team is in the postseason. I miss competition. The whole world hustling and trying to come up. Radical ideas and people making new shit. Weakness exposed and dreams crushed. I miss a town where an aloha shirt won’t get you in the door. Where folks aren’t satisfied. Where complacency stinks untouchable like the kiss of death. It’s time to go back to the city. Hurry up if you’re coming too. We’re not on island time here. – Bali Belly
Even in your fantasies thereâ€™s someone dropping in at Ulus. Photo: Murphy
Being in Indonesia, thereâ€™s a good chance that mountain there is filled with gold, copper, or other valuable minerals. Within the next five years there will probably be a massive hydraulic mining project here and surfing will be off limits. Until then, independent prospector C H I P P A W I L S O N will continue to mine the place with his trusty pickaxe. Photo: Bogdanov
See that dude in the whitewash on the inside? He’s about to get really worked. But there’s a silver lining: for a brief second, before he gets destroyed, this guy will get a front row seat to watch L E E W I L S O N park it inside this extra-wide cylinder. No one can claim a better view than this guy – other than Lee, of course. Photo: Hamish
contents 18. DAMN GOOD NIGHT 20. GROM 2 2 . T U R N T H AT S H I T U P ! 24. OLD SCHOOL 2 6 . C O N V E R S AT I O N 2 8 . S T R A I G H T, N O C H A S E R 30. POSTCARD 42. SUGAR IN HER BOWL 5 8 . L I V E F A S T, D I E L A S T 7 6 . D U R I A N D AY S 130. CREAM
B A L I B E L L Y is an independent youth culture publication based in Bali, Indonesia. Itâ€™s a collaboration between surfers, skaters, photographers, filmmakers, writers and artists. We produce a tri-annual book and feed our website daily at www.balibelly.com.
B A L I B E L LY / / I S S U E 0 0 4
B A L I B E L LY / / I S S U E 0 0 4
T H E S K AT E R S
M AT T G E O R G E
It all started with a mysterious submission via Instagram: some dude with a very Russian-sounding last name tagging @balibelly in a bunch of his photos. It quickly turned into us asking to see high-res versions of the images. And now we’re proud to present Bali Belly’s newest contributing photographer: Sergei Bogdanov. Sergei traded the cold concrete of Moscow for the warm beaches of Bali two years ago. He showed up to Keramas with a 7D and his laptop, ready to sharpen and oversaturate his surf photos like the rest of the herd. But he quickly figured out that wasn’t cool. So he pulled out his grandfather’s old film camera and began to shoot. His photos showed promise; so much promise that we sent him on a skate trip to Jakarta with four of Indonesia’s best skaters. Then we enlisted him to shoot our fashion piece in this issue. He’s even fit in a few trips up to the Mentawais this year (yes, he scored). But our favorite thing about Mr. Bogdanov is the homemade vodka he brings us from the motherland. Bravo, Sergei. Bravo.
Matt George might just be the most interesting man in surfing. In addition to being one of the most prolific surf journalists of the modern era, Matt has worked as a Karl Lagerfeld model, trained as a Navy SEAL, fought in Golden Gloves boxing tournaments, and twice climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. If we can manage a quarter of the living Matt has done, we’ll go to our graves with a smile. We asked him to put a small sampling of his vast life experience into words (“Straight, No Chaser”). As always, Matt didn’t disappoint.
We sent Mario Palandeng, Indra Kubon, Dewa Oka and Yogi Dharmawan on a mission from Jakarta to Bandung to answer one question: what does skateboarding in Indonesia look like today? The results of their Indo skate odyssey can be found in the titanic 60-page feature in this issue (“The Big Durian”). It’s our biggest feature ever – three times longer than anything we’ve ever done before! That’s how good the content in our vault was after our trip to Jakarta with the boys. And did we mention there’s a movie too? It’s waiting for you at BaliBelly.com.
O N G G A P R ATA M A
Ongga admits to an obsession with “all things shiny,” which is why she designs her own line of sassy jewelry here in Bali. She’s also one of the most sought-after fashion stylists on the island, which is why we enlisted her touch for our rebel girl photo shoot with Korean-born model/skater Sharon Coplon in this issue (“Sugar In Her Bowl ”). Ongga called us the morning of the shoot to say she would be a little late. “Last night was crazy,” she said from under dark glasses when she arrived. All we said was, “Tell us about it!” (See “Damn Good Night”).
We had the pleasure of hitting the road with Bol three times during a crazy two-week run of big swell this season. In addition to rushing the biggest and deepest barrels of anyone of the 100-plus surfers in the water, Bol destroyed all his boards, called us into death waves, and helped drive photographer Pete Frieden back to Bali after Pete snapped his leg on the shallow reef. To top it off, Bol conducted an insightful interview with his barrelmaestro protégé, Usman Trioko, on the subject of localism in Indo (“A Postcard From Lombok”). Thanks, Bol! We promise to never prank call you again :)
Who says you can’t have the blues in Bali? After 15 years on the road, traveling the worn blues path through Memphis, Mississippi and Louisiana, touring with the old school rockabilly cats across Europe, and sweating and fighting his way through the underground rock ‘n’ roll dives of Asia and Australia, Bali’s Made J knows a little something about the blues. His sound has been described as The Stooges, The Sonics and Reverend Horton Heat in a drunken fistfight with the devil himself. For this issue, Made opened up his personal record collection so we could find out what it sounds like when he turns shit up.
He’s quit smoking. He’s stopped drinking. He’s gone vegetarian. For a while he even managed to kick his Instagram addiction (after about two weeks he came crashing off the wagon and changed his account name four times in one week). With a newfound healthy energy, Hamish Humphreys, Bali Belly’s one and only staff photographer, had no problem assembling the many epic shots you see in this book. And somewhere amid all that activity, Hamish found the time to move house as well. Well, it’s actually the pool house in the back of his parents’ new home. But he’s got his own private entrance and mom knows to always knock first. He’s gonna put a studio in there too, so we’re looking forward to an even more productive Hamish (we’re pretty sure famed fashion photog Bruce Weber got his start out of his parents’ garage as well). Needless to say, the mother of all housewarming parties is going down soon. Follow @ham_hump for details!
18 // DAMN GOOD NIGHT
ongga pratama 35, JEWELRY DESIGNER, BALI
Black leather jumpsuit with a plunging neckline and white Cons.
Vin Diesel or Richard Grieco (when he was still in 21 Jump Street)
UNDER YOUR ARM
Black Honda Z90 modified or riding atop a white horse.
Tom Cruise in Cocktail or Ryan Phillippe in 54 (he was techincally a shirtless waiter, but I don’t mind).
Younger boys. Pro skater/model Dylan Rieder will do.
Anywhere with free booze, a special space for me and my friends to dance (minimum 3x3 meters), and a microphone and I’m in! DRESS CODE
Show up to the White Party in black. Someone’s gotta break the rules.
A bottle of cheap red wine and no dinner.
The Strokes, Wolfmother, Interpol, RHCP, Bon Iver, and the Junior Boys.
With my gay boy-friends.
Bloody Mary at 8AM. DRINK FOR YOUR BOYS AT BALI BELLY
Shots? Body shots???
Long live and prosper... and if you don’t dance or refuse to have fun I’ll kick you out of this party!
IN THE TOILET HAVING SEX
Tried that once. Pretty shit. Definitely nothing to remember. ON THE RAIL PUKING
No, only in the sink.
COPS SHOW UP WHEN…
I sing Wolfmother, “Woman.” MY BAD
I saw a microphone so I started singing. Sorry I’m not sorry.
YOU LEAVE WITH
Not my parents.
Christopher Walken is accepting challengers.
The drummer from The Strokes (my future).
SORRY, SEATS TAKEN
UPSTAIRS IN THE VIP
TOAST / SPEECH BANDS
SHAMELESSLY MAKING OUT ON THE DANCE FLOOR
Me and my friends dancing to Kaytranada / Ta-Ku / Girraffage. Some strippers can tag along too. There will probably be a few karaoke numbers happening, including Janet Jackson, ‘N Sync and Britney.
Paris Hilton, those people from Jersey Shore, and anyone with a hula hoop.
You, me, my house, NOW! LATE NIGHT EATS
Bill Murray, Johnny Depp, and Benicio del Toro. DESIGNATED DRIVER
Yes, please. Preferably cute and understanding.
ON THE RAIL PUKING
No, only in the sink.
Just my dignity.
Sate Padang, Mak Eri and nasi Padang with rendang, dendeng, cumi and anything else behind the window. Last time I went to warung Padang, I spent 72k rupiah – by myself!
20 // GROM
rio waida Age:
Practice, practice, practice.
What do you do when you aren’t surfing?
Best local band:
I don’t like local bands.
Think about surfing. Village:
Airs or barrels?
Favorite surf movie:
Is Tupac still alive?
Padang or Keramas?
Soul Surfer. Bethany Hamilton shreds.
Keramas, but I want to try Padang soon.
Favorite non-surf movie:
Yes. Have you ever kissed a girl?
Nikko and Canggu.
Last time you dropped in? You know they’re a tourist when...
On my brother. Sorry, Ryuki.
Luke Studer, 5'0” x 16 1/6” x 2 1/16”, Dede Suryana model.
They are taking photos of monkeys... or when they are covered in motorbike bandages.
Last time someone dropped in on you?
Betet, Da Guy.
Blonde or brunette?
What I hate about surfing:
When someone drops in!
Favorite local Surfer:
What I love about surfing:
Dede Suryana and Darmayasa Bleronk.
When I’m surfing I forget about everything and just concentrate on that moment. And it’s not boring because I can surf a different wave every day.
Favorite Grom Surfer:
Leonardo Fioravanti and Kanoa Igarashi. Nasi Goreng Or Mie Goreng?
Do you drink alcohol?
Kelly Slater and Julian Wilson.
I don't know.
When’s the last time you saw police take a bribe?
Every day at the intersection in front of my house.
Bagus Banana at Swich. Eikon or Skygarden?
No idea. Place you want to visit most:
USA and Hawaii. Are they the same place?
What’s your goal in life?
To be WCT Champion.
Do you still go to school?
How many times have you had Bali Belly?
15 seconds. No joke!
Yes, of course.
What I love about Bali:
Last time you cried?
Good waves and good food.
After I lost my heat at the Lakey contest.
To my brother for all the wedgies.
Nasi goreng. Pizza or Sushi?
Pizza. It's cheaper.
S H A P E R S F I N S . C O M . A U
2 2 / / T U R N T H AT S H I T U P !
Your new favorite playlist, courtesy of the new school Bali Blues Brother, Made J.
Artist: THE DIRTBOMBS Song: CHAINS OF LOVE Genre: GARAGE SOUL Comment: Drop this tune anywhere and people will lose it. Dirty, raw and sexy. What else do you want?!?
Artist: THE STOOGES Song: DOWN ON THE STREET Genre: PRE-PUNK Comment: Iggy Pop is one of the greatest/craziest frontmen I’ve ever seen, and this is Iggy in his prime.
Artist: REVEREND HORTON HEAT Song: BIG RED ROCKET OF LOVE Genre: ROCKABILLY/PSYCHOBILLY Comment: My favorite rockabilly guitarist goes fuckin’ nuts on this one! Boooom!
Artist: BILLY TALENT Song: DON’T COUNT ON THE WICKED Genre: ROCK Comment: Their fourth album down and they still can do no wrong in my book. The peak of the second chorus gives me a hard-on every single time.
Artist: JD MCPHERSON Song: NORTH SIDE GAL Genre: ROCKABILLY Comment: Even though it was recorded recently, this album has the grit of any old school rockabilly recording and boy can this guy write a tune!
Artist: THE SONICS Song: STRYCHNINE Genre: GARAGE ROCK Comment: The original garage rockers. Anything by these guys is pure deep-fried gold. No one does the scream like Gerry Roslie.
Artist: OBLIVIANS Album: DESPERATION Genre: GARAGE ROCK Comment: This, for me, is the greatest album of 2013 and will be a classic in the future. The best form of garage rock – and it couldn’t come from anywhere but Memphis.
Artist: CHARLES BRADLEY Song: THE WORLD Genre: AFROBEAT/SOUL Comment: If you liked Searching for Sugar Man, check out the doc on this guy called Soul of America. This guy lived it HARD and always stayed positive, and it totally comes through in every word he sings.
Artist: MADE J. Album: BEAT & BROKE AIN’T BROKEN Genre: ROCK ‘N’ ROLL Comment: It’s the best thing I’ve ever done, that’s for sure. Sixteen tracks that, if you don’t dig at least one of them, I’ll personally come over to your house and give you your money back. But then again, you’ll probably download it for free.
24 // OLD SCHOOL
adrift This version of Old School comes to us fittingly from the OG of media, the newspaper – the August 26, 1988 edition of the LA Times to be exact. Our friend Richard Lewis dug through the Times online archives and found this tale tagged under “Missing Persons,” “Rescues,” “Surfing,” and “Boat Accidents.” Something to consider the next time your friend invites you aboard a rickety Indo fishing boat for an open-ocean surf expedition.
“ J AVA S U R F I N G E X P E D I T I O N TURNS INTO OCEAN ORDEAL FOR THREE CALIFORNIA SURFERS” August 26, 1988. By JAMES RAINEY, Times Staff Writer
For three Southern California natives and their buddies from Hawaii and Australia, a visit to the remote west end of the island of Java was to be the highlight of an adventurous summer surfing expedition. The eight young men left the port of Labuhan, Indonesia, in a 52-foot charter boat Aug. 10 in search of the most unspoiled beaches, the most remote jungles and, of course, the perfect wave. Nearly two weeks later the surfers and their four Indonesian boatmen were happy merely to be alive. Their boat, crippled by a broken engine, chugged into a Sumatran fishing village, 120 miles from its intended destination, after 10 days adrift in the tempestuous Indian Ocean. “This was an adventure. We stepped out on the edge,” said Troy Alotis, 22, formerly of Dana Point in Orange County and now of Hawaii. “Actually, we got a
little bit beyond the edge.” Alotis and Chad Beatty, 30, of Redondo Beach, explained in a telephone interview from the Indonesian capital of Jakarta how they survived on the open ocean with lots of rice, a little ingenuity and a few gifts from the sea. The converted fishing boat Tirta Kencana left Labuhan for a nine-day cruise that was to include stops at Panaitan Island and the famous Krakatau volcano. Aboard were the four Indonesian guides, two Australian surfers and six Americans--Alotis, Beatty, Danny Camplin, 30, of Redondo Beach and three men from Hawaii, Bruce Hansel, Kenneth Bentner and Bob McGinness. The Tirta Kencana, or Water Jewel, traveled west along the coast of Java, where the men enjoyed two days of surfing and hikes into the jungle. On the third day, they reached Panaitan Island.
The boat, without a radio, flares or other safety devices, had experienced some mechanical problems along the way, and at the island, the tired engine failed. A furious current was rapidly pushing the Tirta Kencana away from land, so the surfers decided that Camplin and Hansel, veteran long-distance paddlers, should ride their surfboards the three miles to the beach and look for help. The current almost carried the two away, they later told authorities, but they reached shore after three hours and began to hike barefoot in search of a ranger station. Hansel and Camplin reported that they spent a harrowing night in the jungle, where they saw a cobra and two panthers, and then reached the ranger station the next day. Two days later, they arrived in Jakarta, where they told U.S. Embassy
officials about their missing comrades. Air and naval search teams from Indonesia began looking for the boat, and were joined a few days later by ships and planes from the Australian and American navies. Meanwhile, the Tirta Kencana had slipped out of sight of land. “We knew it was really serious at that point,” Beatty said, “but we just knew we had to do the best we could and that we had to stay on board and keep our heads.” The group had plenty of water and food, mostly rice and dried noodles. Beatty said they kept their spirits up by working on the boat, fashioning a rudder from a seat and turning mats and sheets into sails. But the makeshift riggings didn’t appear to bring them any closer to land. The boat seemed to be drifting west, away from any significant land mass. “After about three days the morale of the group had really dropped,” Alotis said. “We had a mopey morning. Everybody was very low.” Alotis said he was praying for a sign that things would get better. In rapid succession, rain began to fall, convincing the men that they would have adequate water. Then a rainbow appeared. And, finally, a large mahi-mahi swam up and circled the boat several times, seemingly permitting itself to be speared, Alotis said. “The odds were one in a billion that that would happen,” said Alotis, who lost 20 of his 175 pounds during the ordeal. “That helped us all a lot. The 12-pound fish provided two dinners. Later, the men captured and ate a sea turtle that swam up to the boat. Nighttime was the most difficult, Beatty said, as seas of up to 12 feet washed over the boat and water poured through windows
onto the sleeping men. The surfers and the Indonesians had assumed for several days that the ancient two-cylinder diesel engine was beyond repair. One piston had exploded entirely through the engine block. But with Alotis giving directions and the Indonesians assisting, half of the engine was cut away, leaving one undamaged piston. After eight days adrift, they got the motor started. Alotis said he then set the boat on a more northerly course, which he hoped would land the Tirta Kencana on the island of Sumatra. Could It Be? On the morning of the 10th day, one of the guides thought he spotted land. “We couldn’t really tell,” Alotis said. “We thought it might just have been cloud banks. Out there on the water, your eyes play tricks on you.” But as they drew closer, they began to make out trees. Alotis dived in the ocean and swam the last few yards to shore. “I just rolled around in the sand,” he said. “I was so happy to be on solid earth again.” The boat landed at a small logging camp near the town of Krui, on the west coast of Sumatra. The Indonesian Coast Guard then transported the group to Java, where they caught buses to Jakarta. There they had a joyous reunion with Hansel and Camplin and Alotis’ mother, Barbara O’Hara, who flew from Orange County to urge on the search teams. The Tirta Kencana had apparently given its all. While being escorted back to Java, the boat sank. Recalling the beginning of the ordeal off Panaitan Island, Beatty said with a laugh: “About the time we started to drift away, the surf got bigger. I think we missed the good surf.”
2 6 / / C O N V E R S AT I O N
the snake man Cruising down Jalan Benesari on the motorbike one evening, two friends spot a curious sight among the typical sunburned tourists and bored shopkeepers of Kuta: a small, bespectacled man in a floppy Outback hat, walking down the street with three large snakes wrapped around his shoulders and arms. With nowhere to be, the boys pull over to investigate what this snake man is all about...
BALI BELLY: What kind of snake is that?
SNAKE MAN: This is a Burmese python, this one is a ball python, and this one is a sunbeam snake, because when you look at them in the sun it’s like looking into a kaleidoscope.
And you just came out to give the snakes a little exercise, a little fresh air?
No. This is how we raise funds for the Bali Reptile Rescue. We’re only a small group so this helps keep us going. If people hold the snakes or take a photo, we just say, if you enjoyed it please make a donation.
And you’re not worried about him wrapped around your neck like that?
How long have you been working with snakes?
Nearly 40 years. I’ve been working at Bali Reptile Rescue for five.
Do you have names for them?
This is Emily, Beau, and Ivan. My name’s Peter. Do you always walk around with snakes on you, Peter?
No, I work for Bali Reptile Rescue. We got no calls tonight to go and rescue any snakes so I came down here.
What’s the most unusual snake call you’ve ever gone on?
We had a guy in Negara, he had a king cobra in his yard. We told him we’d be an hour before we could get there, so he called his security guard. The security guard brought four rottweilers – guard dogs – and stuck the four dogs on the king
cobra. By the time we got there, the king cobra was dead and so were three guard dogs. If the idiot had just waited it could have all been avoided. Have you ever had a bad experience showing snakes to people on the street? Like someone freaked out and just started running down Legian screaming with the snake on them?
No. Not with a snake on them. Not with a snake on them, okay.
I’m not gonna go around with a snake scaring everyone. That’s not the point.
flaps, right? Are they all over Bali?
This guy eats guinea pigs. These guys eat rats.
No, only in Negara and north of Negara.
What’s your favorite thing about snakes?
These snakes seem to really like you. Do you think if someone attacked you, they would try and protect you?
That a lot of people don’t like ‘em.
Nobody is gonna attack me. I’m walking around with snakes. Yeah, but hypothetically speaking. Like, do the snakes form a bond with you and want to protect you like a dog would protect its master?
There’s a lot of miseducation about snakes. We go into schools and teach the kids about ecology and how snakes are a really important part of the local ecology here in Bali. Why do snakes like the rice fields?
Food. That’s where the frogs and rats are.
[long pause] King cobra.
Yeah, they do have a bond – not like a dog, but like a cat. The way a cat, if you feed it, it hangs around. If it wants something it comes over and gives you a cuddle. Otherwise it couldn’t give a flying fuck. Same with a snake.
That’s the one with the
So what do you feed them?
When they grab them
What’s the most dangerous snake in Indonesia?
You know on those TV shows like The Crocodile Hunter where some dude picks a super poisonous snake up by the tail or the head. Can you do that?
by the head, they get agitated. Every predator in the world grabs the snake near the head. So that’s why they do it on TV, to make a show of it.
Yeah, well both of them were dry bites. Most of the time in Australia they don’t inject their venom.
What are the snake’s natural predators?
If they use all the venom on something they can’t eat, then they can’t catch a rat. It’s a waste.
When they’re small, birds, cats, dogs, people. The good thing is a lot of the cats here in Bali don’t understand cobras and the cobras do the cats up. What do you think of the Crocodile Hunter? Are you a fan? Or do you think he was exploiting these animals for personal gain?
He was the best thing to happen to teach kids to respect animals. But I don’t really appreciate the way he went about it. But as far as being a showman, being a TV personality, he was awesome. And he taught a lot of people a lot about wildlife. So you gotta respect what he did. What do you think about the places in Bali where they kill the cobra and you can drink the blood to make your banana strong?
Well it’s all bullshit because they kill cobras, pythons, monkeys, turtles. Monkeys?!
And they claim it all has the same effect as a sexual stimulant. But it’s all bullshit. I’ve seen it. They take the cobra and they put it in a glass tank, and the cobra attacks the window where the tourists are watching. And the local guy chops the snake’s head off and pours its blood into a little shot glass and the people drink the shot glass. I’ve seen it, dude.
The whole thing is just a scam for westerners. Have you ever been bitten by a snake?
Yes, twice. One was a taipan and one was an eastern brown. You got bitten by an eastern brown and you survived?
It’s just a warning bite?
How long does it take to renew the venom?
A couple days. It depends on how much they pump out. So if these ones bite us, it’s just like a dog bite because they have no venom? We’d just get a couple teeth marks?
He’s got 96 teeth. If you pissed him off, he’d bite you good. That one looks like it’s gonna crawl in my ear and go inside of me. What do you think about people owning snakes as pets?
So long as they’re not catching them from the wild, I’ve got no problems with it. If they catch them from the wild that’s bad because snakes are really good for the environment. And they kill pests too. Is there any rule of thumb for identifying venomous snakes?
[ladies walking by see snakes]: Ahhhh! What kind of snake is that?! BALI BELLY: Wanna touch him?
What kind of snake is it? Well, you can do it easily by picking up the head and counting the scales under here; that’s pretty accurate.
Peter: Burmese python. Can I, like, touch the back? Not the mouth.
Yeah, that’s not gonna happen. Okay, decision time: Would you rather be attacked by a snake or a spider?
Just put your arm out and let it crawl on you.
I’m not real keen on spiders.
Just go with it.
Yeah, snakes are the shit. You would never walk around with a spider on your arm.
I would if someone paid me enough, but I’m not real big on ‘em. I wouldn’t bother coming up to you if you had a spider crawling on your arm, that’s for sure.
No, I won’t hold it. But it’s cool though.
No, no, no. If I’m not comfortable... If you’re not comfortable that’s the best time.
I’ll pass. Seriously, I’ll pass.
which is the inland taipan. But inland taipans never kill anybody because they’re way out in the Outback and humans aren’t in their habitat. But in India you got the saw-scaled viper and the Russell’s viper, they kill about 10,000 people a year. So Australia might have the most venomous, but the most dangerous is the one that kills the most people. Is there a big problem in Indonesia with people killing snakes to make snakeskin products?
Yes. It’s a one billion dollar industry. Prada, Gucci and Armani. They buy 75 percent of the world’s snakeskin.
So Peter, what advice do you have for people who might encounter a snake in their garden or in their house and don’t know what to do?
Walk away and call the Bali Reptile Rescue. We provide free reptile removal and rescue service 24 hours a day. We have volunteers in Kerobokan, Lovina, Ubud and Sanur. Peter, thanks for helping us to get over our fear of snakes. I think the snakes and I have a mutual understanding now.
Do you want to try holding one now? No.
Ladies, would you ever buy snakeskin shoes or snakeskin bags?
Peter, what’s the most dangerous snake in the world?
Woman #1: No, I wouldn’t buy any of those things.
Well, Australia has the most venomous snake,
Woman #2: Do you know a good place to eat?
Contact Peter Nicholson and the Bali Reptile Rescue at +62 82146380270 or email@example.com.
2 8 / / S T R A I G H T, N O C H A S E R
matt george 49, HUMANITARIAN, BALANGAN, BALI
M A T T G E O R G E H A S M A N Y P E R S O N A S . If you asked ten people, you’d get as many opinions of the man: visionary; charlatan; humanitarian; the greatest lover womankind has ever known. The list goes on. One thing that everyone can agree on is Matt has a way with words. He’s a master of the sound byte, a proud purveyor of the gift of gab. In fact, we’re claiming Matt is surfing’s most magnificent orator. Which is why we asked Matt to give us a dose of worldly perspective in his own inimitable words. Behold, the universe according to Matt George.
evacuation in Indonesian history, having the President shake my hand for it, the Pendangaran Tsunami 2007, the Mentawai Tsunami 2010, evacuating all those people off Mt. Merapi when she blew (That was fucking hairy) and all my free medical work here in Bali…shit, man…I realized that Indonesia needed me more than Australia ever could.
K E L LY S L AT E R
I am the only man I know who has slept with Kelly. I went to do a profile on him when he was fifteen and he and his family, single Mom, lived in this tiny little house. And they slept on mattresses on the floor. So his Mom just bunked me with Kelly. Like a sleepover or something. I was a grown man at the time, so that was interesting. But Kelly was regal even then. A boy King. Like Alexander the Great. I have always thought of Kelly like that. Like a Knight. No armor, just blood and bone. Like he belonged in a royal court or something. Problem is, he is the only man worthy of standing in that royal court. Except for maybe Layne Beachley.
I truly believe that I appreciate surf photography more than any other human being on earth.
Despite the modern digital age, holding words in your own two hands will always be more meaningful then looking at them on a monitor. That is why I love surf magazines so much. The ownership of it all. And they are our cave paintings. Forever set in stone. You cannot delete a surf Mag. It’s like…It’s like if surfing was a number of different countries, then surf mags would be our flags.
I voted for him to be the President of The United States. Seriously. I wrote his name in. Shane is the finest leader of men I have ever met. In times past, he would have been Spartacus. But he has chosen to lead himself and let others follow. I am proud to count him among my friends. I would charge a gun nest at his side if he asked me too. I cannot say that about any other surfer. Not Kelly, not Laird…no one. INDONESIA
SEX IN SAN FRANCISCO
I once jumped out of an airplane without a parachute on. And that is nothing compared to what my eyes have seen while swimming in the dark sexual waters of San Francisco.
I have a strange appreciation for models. It always seems like they are about to take their clothes off. ACTING
Shane Dorian should have received a special academy award for his performance in IN GOD’s HANDS. For the movie, we would do a scene together and then for the next scene he would go out and tow into 50 foot Jaws. That would be like those guys in the movie 300 slaughtering each other for real. H O L LY W O O D
I have walked that boulevard of broken dreams. It took me years to realize that I didn’t like anybody in the business. I quit it cold turkey and went back to a penniless life with my surfing mates. I wanted live the movies again, not make them. It has been the second best decision of my life. The first was joining the United States NAVY at 28 years old.
It could be the mightiest country in the world. But who the fuck wants to be that? I love everything but the garbage. Fuck, man… what the fuck are we doing to this miraculous place? GETTING OLDER
Do you know that the weight of a tree’s combined limbs are exactly the same weight as the trunk? That to me is the best metaphor of aging. To keep your experience solidly rooted, to keep it holding you up, letting your wisdom counsel you, to keep you in the ring, throwing punches, reaching for the sky. To never stop gathering the experiences we seek as surfers until the day you cross over into the whiteness. And at my age? Being a surfer is still getting me laid. PROSTITUTION
The one thing men forget about prostitutes here in Indonesia is that we are the prey, not them. E X PAT L I F E
T H E G U I TA R
Yeah…ok…but if I actually had to become a musical instrument, I would want to be a piano. More drama in it. Funny, how all these Surfer Musicians are all guitarists, all front men. Not horn player in the bunch.
I voluntarily fled America. And I always saw myself retiring in Australia. But after all my aid work I have done here, our remote boat operations in the outer islands in the wake of the 2004 Tsunami, the Padang earthquake work, conducting the first test Tsunami
N AV Y S E A L S
I was an insect compared to those guys. When I joined up, I was a top triathlete competitor, in the best shape of my life. I thought I was tough. And these guys made me look like a feverish child. I was never, ever going to be tough enough for what they do. My attempt at becoming a Navy SEAL was pathetic. They chewed me up and spit me out of the Navy. The pride I have for the Armed forces will never relent, my Dad was a fighter Pilot, my Godfather was an ace. I grew up in the Navy. But I never had what it takes to stand with men like that. No way. MARRIAGE
People ask me why I have never been married. I always answer… just lucky I guess. SOCIAL MEDIA
Human beings have never written so much in history. Texting and such. Problem is, 99% of it is nonsense. I hope that social media evolves into something that brings us physically closer to the each other, not farther away like it is now. It’s so masturbatory.
H U M A N I TA R I A N I S M TOM CURREN
I love what Mick Curley once told me. Never look down on someone unless you are helping them up. I am very proud to be able to say that I have almost lost my life on a number of occasions helping others during disasters. I no longer need to know the answer to the meaning of life. I found it. The only thing I could have done without, though, is being shot at by the Pakistani Taliban. Me and my translator had to jump into a freezing cold, raging river to get away. And did I mention the landslides? If I wasn’t a surfer, she and I would have drown. PUBLIC SPEAKING
I have heard it said that I love the sound of my own voice. That could be true. But I have never thought of it that way. I just love the mastery of words, the lyrical aspect of them and the live connection with more than one person at a time. To me, public speaking is like being a conductor of a symphony. You can hear what people are feeling, what they want, and then you can give them the best noise it takes to get them there. It’s a rare talent, to be really good at it. Tai Graham is the best I have seen on this side of the world. His tone is very calm, very family. And that hybrid accent of his sounds like a macho song.
The Halcyon days when my brother Sam and I and Tom and Dave Parmenter traveled the world together were the best performance surfing days of my life. We were all really good then, coming on and we shared a common intellect. Like a private joke on the rest of the world. I remember being in the surf with Tom once, Mexico, I think it was, and he dropped into this barrel and I swear, I really do, for a few moments I could see right through him…it was like he had become the water himself. Tom Curren is not a surfer, he is a sorcerer. AMERICA
I believe we are witnessing the fall of Rome all over again. But that’s not such a bad thing. Look at Italy now. Everybody loves the place. T R AV E L
Surfers don’t take trips…trips take surfers. MUSHROOMS
I have never been drug cool. I can booze it up, sure, I am Irish…but being mind fucked never appealed to me. What if I had to run from a tiger all of a sudden?
30 // POSTCARD
a postcard from lombok: bol & usman
I N B A L I T H E C O N C R E T E H A S B E E N P O U R E D . The new airport is open. Another hastily erected mega hotel is celebrating its grand opening and more are on the way. Meanwhile, across the cavernous waters of the Lombok straight, on a dust-blown finger of island, a makeshift village of crusty surfing nomads is settling in for the night after another day of mining Indonesia's number one inexhaustible resource: reefbreak barrels. Sitting on a bamboo bench in front of the sea, cleaning the cuts on his feet, is Bali's Made â€œBolâ€? Adi Putra. Behind him, making the rounds of the beachside warungs, shaking hands and welcoming his many visitors from around the world, is Usman, who was born and raised on this desert coast. Of the roughly 100 surfers who were out battling for waves today, Bol and Usman were the only Indonesians. Usman strolls over, his boom box pumping out the latest club music from Bali, and parks it next to Bol. Bol snorts the saltwater from his nose and a discussion kicks off between the only locals on hand for this swell.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY HAMISH & BOGDANOV
Maybe we take Awan to surf Grower tomorrow. You think Grower will be good tomorrow? Don't ask me. I'm not local here, you the local here. You know better than me.
You are local here too, Bol. Local in Indonesia, everywhere.
Bol: Fuck, Awan is surfing good now. How old is he?
Usman: Awan is top grommet at Deserts now. He's only 15 and the top backside local. He's learning fast. Three years ago I tell him to paddle outside and get a big one and he's scared. Now he's doing it. You think Awan can get sponsor? For sure, that's what I tell the Volcom guys, Awan is the next Andy, the next Wardo, the next Jamie O'Brien. He's got everything in there. He's been influenced by all those guys because they come here all the time. He's got the style, he's got the moves. He's been learning from the best since he was a little grom.
You get the better shot at Grower today.
I surf Grower sometimes, but only sometimes, because it's too gnarly for me. But when it's good, I surf there. I like to surf the outside, and then I go to the Grower, catch one wave, come back outside. Just a little bit (laughing), so scary. I need to come here more often if I want to get the good one at Grower. I start to come here a lot now because I love this place. Now, on big swells, I let the Bali kids take over Padang Padang and I take over Deserts.
(Bol asks the girl in the warung for one last Bintang and to add up his bill. Beside the counter, clinging to the wall by a few crusty strands of Scotch tape, is a poster for “IndoBarrels,” a competition put on by a Brazilian surf magazine offering 10 million IDR ($1,000) to the surfer who gets a clip of “the best barrel ride in Indonesia” from June 1st to Sept. 1st, 2013. In small print, at the bottom of the poster, it states: “This contest is for Brazilian surfers only.”)
What was that contest at the Grower this year?
I don't really know about the Brazilian contest, you know. I was in Bali waiting for the Padang Cup when they have the contest at the Grower. It's crazy to me, those guys don't put any locals in the contest. That's a weird contest. If I was here then, I would drop in on all of them. Those guys get a permit to do that (laughing)? He ask the local boys? You can't do that in Hawaii, man. Not in Australia, not in California, no way. All the local boys should be in there. Usman, you surf better at the Grower than all of them. How many local surfers at Deserts?
Local? Maybe ten, but mostly only surfing when it's small wave. When big wave, they are busy working, taking care of all the surfers who come. When big wave, only like five of us locals out surfing.
That's why this place is like a party wave. You need more locals surfing here. The locals here are too nice. You don't want this place to become like Sao Paolo.
No. The locals should be ruling this place, sitting deeper and taking the best waves. Right now these guys with uglystyle in the barrel are taking all the best ones. At Padang we don't have that problem. We always take over when we surf there and take the best waves. When we're there no one can fuck around, you know.
I see many fights at Deserts. Hawaiian fight with Brazilian. California fight with Australian. A couple days ago Brazilian fight with each other in the water. So funny. I watch from the Grower. I wait for the set and it's coming and they too busy fighting. I'm laughing in the barrel. Fighting is no good. Better to just enjoy the waves.
(Two blondes pass by, displaying long tanned legs stretching up to tight short-shorts that catch the boys' eyes) Lots of girls at Deserts now.
Oh yeah, now there is more girls. Before, like, one girl, two girl coming. But now I see like 10 girls coming. You like white girl or dark girl?
Oh, I like any kind of girl. If the dark coming, ok. If the white coming, ok. Doesn't matter what kind. When you lose your virginity?
(chuckling) That's long time already. How long?
I don't know, like one year already. That's not a long time.
What you think this place is gonna look like in 15 years?
I don't know. Now Deserts so different than when I was small; new buildings, not like before when it was a little bit quiet, not so crowded. In 15 years, I don't know, it's probably gonna be too crowded. Maybe people coming from another island and buy the land. You think there will be a disco out here?
I don't know, maybe (laughing). You wanna make some bar one day here?
Maybe I try one day, but not in the next two years. Maybe a few more years. Don't do that shit. You need to keep your local culture. Keep this place country. Don't let a bunch of bule take over like in Kuta.
(Bol gets up to pay his bill when a Brazilian surfer sitting at a nearby table in the warung starts talking to him) Random Brazilian: Hey man, thanks for drop in on me today. What?
That was the best wave of my life and you go in front of me. You get so many good waves in the morning already. (Bol approaches the man's table) No, you get too many waves this morning. You don't like it, go home. Go back to your fucking country.
(The man and his two friends sit in stunned silence. They sink their heads to their plates of fried noodles and eat sullenly. Bol returns to pay the ibu in the kitchen, leaves a tip, and rejoins Usman at their table.)
That's the shit I'm talking about. Some tourists think they're local.
You coming back for the next swell?
Maybe because they camp here when it's flat. They stay here long time, they think they live here.
I don't know. Maybe.
When you go to Hawaii you see everyone is always careful and give a lot of respect. But here I don't see any respect from tourists. They think they own the place. So many people here, they think they stay in Bali for six months and then they're like, oh, I live in Bali! But, fuck, it doesn't matter how long a bule lives in Indonesia â€“ five months, fifteen years â€“ you will never be a local.
Gonna be good. Because the tide very low. Good tides. (Bol calls over to his new Brazilian friend at the opposite table) Hey, Sao Paolo! You gonna be here on the next swell?
(At first the man ignores Bol's goading, but his pride has been wounded and he can't help informing Bol of just who exactly he's talking to) Of course I'm surfing here next swell, man. I live here!
sugar in her bowl PHOTOGRAPHY BY SERGEI BOGDANOV STYLING: ONGGA PRATAMA MODEL: SHARON COPLON
T H E W H O L E T H I N G W A S S O S T U P I D . Mortifyingly stupid. And now practically everyone in Jakarta knew about it – including her mother, who had left her no less that ten voicemails about “how disappointed your father and I are with you.” Her father couldn’t even speak about it. “Don’t you know that’s illegal here?” her boyfriend had said, angry, emasculated, and thoroughly embarrassed – though, apparently, not too embarrassed to tell everyone about it. She had wanted to say, “Don’t you know not to go snooping through a woman’s closet?” She wanted to tell her mother, “You get all dressed up and go to the mall just to catch a young man’s attention. What I do in my bed is nobody’s business but mine.” Of course, she couldn’t tell any of them any of that or she would lose her job and her mother would probably have a heart attack. What really needled her, though, what made her feel like she was about to explode, had nothing to do with her boyfriend’s total inability to satisfy her in bed – or his absolute refusal to talk about it. It was the fact that this man – the only man she had ever been with – wasn’t even hers by choice. He was hand-picked by her parents from the shallow pond of Jakarta socialites. And so was her job as a secretary at her boyfriend’s father’s company. And the suffocating business skirts and painful heels she was required to wear to work every day. And her creepy old boss who would call her into his office and ask her to go through the filing cabinets so he could get a better view of her ass. It was all bullshit and none of it was her choice. But this was her choice: packing her suitcase. She had called up her best friend Kat that morning and together they had decided to escape. To Bali. Just saying the name of the little island made her smile. She told her work she wasn’t feeling well and wouldn’t be able to come in on Friday. She booked their tickets that night and didn’t tell anyone they were leaving. Kat was bringing her old Leica camera, just like she used to do when they were in uni together and would take road trips from the city down to the beach, stopping to take photos of all the things they saw and the people they met. She switched her phone off and left it sitting on the nightstand. She didn’t need to hear any more from anyone in Jakarta this week. For the next 72 hours she would wear, say, go and do whatever, wherever, and with whoever she wanted.
1. Top & Bottom by Olenka Vintage suitcase courtesy of La Favela 2. Sunglasses by Valley Eyewear (Drifter) Bikini Top by Flook Necklace by Just For The Money jewelry 3. Necklace by Just For The Money jewelry 4. Sunglasses by Valley Eyewear (Drifter) Denim top by 16DS Bottom by One Teaspoon (Drifter) 5. Top by Obey (Drifter) Bikini by Air Resort & Swimwear 7.
Sunglasses by Graz and Valley Eyewear (Drifter) Bikinis by Flook and Air Resort & Swimwear Towel by Kykullo Hat by Fallen Broken Street (Drifter) Clothing by Olenka
8. Sunglasses by Karen Walker Dress by Olenka Hat by Fallen Broken Street (Drifter)
interview WORDS AND INTERVIEW BY LEO MAXAM
I’VE GOT CHRISTIAN FLETCHER I N A D E AT H G R I P A N D I ’ M N O T L E T T I N G G O . I’m on the back of his two-stroke motorbike holding on for my life as we blast down the airport road in Bali, weaving in and out of traffic. His engine lets out a chainsaw wail as we bank into a tight turn and shoot a one-foot gap between a bus and a rusty pickup truck. One drifting car, one dog in the road, one patch of loose Indo gravel, and we’re fucked. This is the kind of shit you have to expect if you want to interview Christian Fletcher. It’s an assignment that’s had me follow surfing’s aerial pioneer into the dark corners of thumping Bali nightclubs, to a sumo wrestling tournament and Metallica concert in Jakarta, and to Christian’s impromptu wedding on a cliff above Uluwatu. And I still haven’t managed to record a single word.
No, no, no. No crashes. I got precious cargo in the back now (Christian’s girlfriend, Chhum). Having a girl on the back, you know, I drive a lot slower and mellower. Still faster than the average person, but…
Lucky for me, what was originally supposed to be a three-week Bali vacation for Christian and his new wife has turned into a threemonth tour of Indo. So I was given a bonus round to try and hunt him down – 56 days to be exact, and I’ve needed every one. But Christian flies back to California tomorrow, and this time it’s for real. This is my last chance to capture some Fletcher gold. I’ve literally got him in my clutches. We just have to make it back to his hotel alive.
Let’s talk about speed, since you pretty much dusted us here on the motorbike.
I like speed. All kinds. I just refrain from doing some kinds of it now. I like riding waves that are really fast, shallow, hollow reefs. I like riding street bikes. One would think that because of the aerials and everything that I probably wanted to jump on motorbikes, but that’s the last thing I want to do. ‘Cause what goes up must come down, and you come down an inch too short and you’re fucked. I’m friends with all the freestyle dirt bike guys and they’re always hurt. Road racing, those guys usually walk away from crashes, unless it’s a highside. But down here (in Bali) it’s a different deal. You’re ridin’ in sandals and shorts, you know, so you crash and you’re fucked.
Have you ever been in a high-speed chase?
Yeah, how many tourists do you see these days all covered in bandages?
Yeah. I ride fast and I ride safe – well, pretty safe. I’m not cautious. When you’re cautious, you end up going over the falls in life in general. Cautious means you hesitate. The way I look at it is, you commit or you don’t – and I commit. When was the last time you were scared?
I’m scared on a daily basis. Walking across the street around here scares me. If you’re not scared you’re stupid. That goes for surfing and everything – if you’re not scared that means you’re dumb. Like, I love the element of danger – it makes the heart beat, makes you feel alive – but at the same time you gotta be smart about it. Driving around here is like a video game
where your life’s on the line. Shit’s scary. And I definitely don’t ride scooters ‘cause they scare the livin’ shit out of me. No clutch. No power if I need to get out of the way. Plus the way they turn, they weeble wabble – those tiny little tires and shit. That’s scary. Have you been in any motorbike accidents?
I’ve been in a few, when I lived here before. I been in four of ‘em, but none of ‘em were really my fault. I’ve been rear ended twice. I don’t like going slow – that scares me. ‘Cause slow means people are passing you and people are gonna run into you. I had another kinda head-on collision up in Jimbaran – I flew like 20 feet in the air and landed on my head. But I wear a full-face helmet usually and that saved me. My ankle was a little hurt. Other than that I was good.
Yeah. The second day she got here we were looking for helmets and my ATM card got demagnetized, or they shut it down because I was in Bali and they thought somebody was stealin’ it. And I was in Denpasar tryin’ to buy her a helmet. Well, they were stoppin’ traffic on the way out of Denpasar. The police pulled us over and I started to pull over and then I hit the gas. The cop tried to do a flying punch into her head and we went down Sunset Road the wrong way, horns honking, all the way down to the Double Six stoplight. We hooked a left, a cop on a big bike pulled up, went around him – had like a fifteen minute chase all the way into Oberoi. You lost ‘em?
Yeah. There was a lot of traffic but I got a loud horn – bam! bam! – fuckin’ in and out of traffic. And I’m going, is he still back there? She’s trying to look but her hair is flyin’ in her face. Was she freaking out?
No, no, she was all good. But she was kind of pissed, like, “Get me a fuckin’ helmet!” (laughing).
A CONTRACT HAS BEEN DRAFTED BY CHRISTIAN’S G I R L F R I E N D C H H U M . She wrote it on a bar napkin from the Balcony restaurant in Kuta, where we’ve agreed to meet Christian to do this interview. It starts out like this: “We, Bali Belly, do not want to do something shitty - we want to be committed. We aim to amuse, shock and educate the masses on who Christian Fletcher truly is.” It goes on: “No hipster shit or emotional memoir crap.” What do you think of rules?
Our video guy, Carlo, looks deeply confused. We’re all confused. How did our lunch date interview with Christian turn into a showdown at the negotiating table?
There’s a time and a place for rules. Down here there’s not many rules, but the ones there are, if you break ‘em they’ll kill ya. And I kind of like that, ‘cause it’s a way simpler deal. In America there’s so much red tape. Down here it’ll just cost ya fifty thousand. In America it’s fifty thousand too – but fifty thousand dollars, instead of fifty thousand rupiah. And here you don’t go to court. You stick the money in a cop’s hand and bail – that’s it, life’s good. I like that way better. People want to stop the corruption and stuff – I like the corruption, makes it easy. The little guy gets paid and you only pay a little bit. What do you think of all the talk that the world is gonna end soon?
Fuck, I’ve had my fun. If I die tomorrow I’m fuckin’ good. I’ve had more fun than most people have in ten lifetimes. For sure. What’s it like being a dad?
Well, the kid’s 22 (Greyson Fletcher). It’s like any father / son relationship – kids don’t listen to parents – that’s just all there is to it. I could tell him something and he doesn’t give a fuck. Then somebody else will tell him something… Kids don’t listen to parents, but they’ll listen to somebody else. You tell ‘em the exact same thing, but it doesn’t matter. It’s pretty cool though. I mean it’s not easy. Try and point him in the right direction. My parents must have had a hell of a time. You havin’ one any time soon? Not that I know of.
Nate: He sure has been practicing a lot though. Oh, practice makes perfect, right!
After a period of awkward silence, someone in our camp signs the contract and Christian agrees to give us an interview. But not right now. Right now he has to school Noa Deane and photographer Nate Lawrence on the art of Tabasco tequila shots. And he has to show us the footage from his visit to a haunted house in Lombok. And he has to perform his juggling act. By the time we finish it will be midnight – and we still won’t have an interview. But we’ll have a damn fun evening to recall. And a very large bar tab. And a future interview that’s growing more epic by the day. It will happen. The napkin says so. //
ii Was there any chance your son wasn’t going to end up skating or surfing?
Well, I was doin’ wheelies with him down the street when he was three weeks old. The other parents kind of tripped out. But it’s like the Crocodile Hunter, he had his kid around the crocodile. And bikes and skating and surfing is what I did. So that’s what I know. That’s what I know how to teach the kid. Same like the Crocodile Hunter. People think it’s crazy but it’s not crazy. My dad had me on a surfboard as a tiny baby – that’s just what he did. If your dad’s a mechanic, you’re hanging out in the mechanic shop, you know. It’s just part of the deal. Some people just start their kids younger than others. Funny, though, sometimes you see kids and they end up the complete opposite of their parents.
Oh yeah, my kid’s a skateboarder. But it’s evolution. My dad was a longboarder. I brought the skateboarder tricks
into surfing. So it’s only natural for my kid to be a skateboarder, you know. But he’s surfing pretty good now. He’s finally learned how to surf. Stoked. He’s launching some airs and shit. He’s ready for Indo. Ready to come get barreled. Where do you think is a better place to raise a kid – California or Bali?
I told my girlfriend – she wants to have a kid eventually, you know – and I said, as long as we don’t have him in America, I’m down for it. I wouldn’t want to raise a kid in America. It’s no fun. Like when I was eight years old, I could ride my bike to the beach by myself, go surfing at my grandma’s house – my grandmother lived on the beach at Capo Beach. You can’t do that now. Too many people, and too much traffic, and too many weirdoes. Too many fuckin’ people touching kids and stealin ‘em. That shit doesn’t happen down here – they kill ya. They don’t have the rape problems down here either. You can
go pay for sex if you want it that bad, you know what I mean? At home you can’t, you get busted. And down here it’s cheap enough too, so everybody can afford it. And they don’t look at sex like such a taboo. In America it’s like, oooh you shouldn’t do that, it’s bad – so of course you’re gonna want to do it. Do you encounter a lot of people who have preconceived notions about you based on all your tattoos and how you look?
Oh, lots of people have preconceived ideas about me, for sure. I talk to people and they’re like, wow, you’re not a dick. And I’m like, excuse me? What, you read something in a magazine? They trip out because I’m polite, I have manners, I have common courtesy. ‘Cause at the end of the day if you don’t have that stuff, then you really ain’t got much – no matter how good you ride a surfboard, or fuckin’ fly a kite, or drive a car or whatever. Some common courtesy, some manners, and some respect. And that’s the thing my kid
does have too. He’ll walk up, he’ll look you in the eye, he’ll shake your hand and say: hello, my name is Greyson. That’s very important, I think. Yeah.
America went to shit when they made it illegal to beat your kid. I don’t think kids need to be beat, but I know I needed to be smacked on a regular basis. That’s how you learn. The kids have no respect nowadays. I had a kid snake me twice at the pier. I did an air behind him and landed in front of him and he bottom turned and crashed into me. He came up from under water and he’s yelling, fuck you! Go down the beach! I said, what? Fuck you! And I started paddling up to the kid and he’s like, I’m only fourteen! Kids just have no respect now. They think because they’re under age they can get away with doing whatever they want. That’s when you pay another little kid to go kick their ass (smiling). I know a lot of bad little kids that’d be more than happy to do it (laughs).
We’re on a cliff overlooking Uluwatu at sunset. Mega, one of the island’s top shredders and a Balinese priest in-training, agreed to perform the ceremony. It’s his first wedding and he looks more nervous than the bride and groom. But Mega handles under pressure (he won the Padang Cup yesterday) and keeps it short and sweet. Christian says, “I do.” Chhum says, “Fuck yeah!” And then they make out like two kids peaking on Ecstasy at senior prom. The Technicolor sun dips into a purple Indian Ocean and the dance party begins.
Christian and Chhum walk out to the edge of the cliff to set a Roman Candle off over the ocean. Rizal brought the fireworks. They were left over from New Year’s Eve 2002, he said. Christian lights one and points it out to sea. Nothing. Maybe they’re too old? Boom! The thing explodes in Christian’s hand and falls to the lawn, spinning out of control and sending blasts of fire back into the crowd and the neighboring villas. Everyone hits the deck screaming until the rogue firework has exhausted itself. We’re all ok. Laughter all around. It was a beautiful ceremony. The marriage won’t be legal back in California, but who cares? The kids are in love – and the neighbors’ living room may be on fire. //
That was a fun wedding.
Kinda random, right? The wedding was an eclectic group of people. It’s cool though. I like random. Greyson’s stepmom is ten months older than him (laughs). Do they get along?
Have you ever made art?
was Tina Turner.
Oh, I got my point across.
Is this before or after Ike?
What’s one thing that no one knows about you?
After Ike. But I used to listen to Ike and Tina.
I’d say my life’s been kind of an open book. I don’t know, I saw a Frankie Goes to Hollywood concert, the “Relax Tour” when I was 12 with my parents. Also saw Talking Heads, “Speaking in Tongues.” That was pretty sick. But how ‘bout this: that same year, The Pointer Sisters concert was one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen. That’s something nobody would know or guess.
I think you’d do good on Jeopardy.
Uh huh. They’re buddies. Chhum seems pretty easy to get along with.
She got straight As in university – she’s smart. She majored in fine arts. Sometimes she’d be like, I’m not going to school today. And I’d be on my way to work and I’m like, fuckin’ bull-shit. Get your ass out of bed and get the fuck to school; I expect nothing less than an A.
Who are the Pointer Sisters?
Who are the Pointer Sisters? You don’t know who the Pointer Sisters are? Fuckin’ YouTube! The Pointer Sisters were bad. They’re three black chicks. Are they old school, like Motown?
No, no. It’s like fuckin’ like in ‘82, when Tina Turner
I know a lot of random facts. My head is filled with random facts. But the facts on Jeopardy are different. Like, my aunt (Joyce Hoffman) was a five-time world champion surfer. My grandfather was ’50 and ’51 tandem champion at Makaha. Got pictures with the Duke handing him the trophy and stuff. But my aunt was married to an architect and her husband designed the Chart House – the one in Palm Springs – there’s like 70 of ‘em or something, the one in Dana Point where they’re built into the cliffs and all that. Well I remember discussing IQ tests with my family one time. And I said if I had an IQ test that was geared more towards the stuff I know, I think I’d rate just as high as my aunt’s
husband, the architect. And my mom and my grandma are laughing at me. They’re like, you’re so full of shit. I’m all, well, you put him on a street corner and you put me on a street corner, who’s gonna come back with a bag of weed? Not him. It’s true. All those questions are just whatever questions they want to ask. Same with standardized testing. The questions are geared towards a specific type of knowledge.
It’s all more, like, fuckin’ book learning shit. Yeah.
I went to the University of Life. Quit school when I was 15 and started traveling around the world surfing and getting paid to go surf. Living in Gerry Lopez’s house. I had to deal with all the gnarly locals every day – Dane Kealoha, Johnny Boy, everybody, you know. It was cool. That was my school.
W E A R E G A T H E R E D H E R E T O D AY T O J O I N C H R I S T I A N A N D C H H U M I N H O L Y M A T R I M O N Y. None of us had planned on attending a wedding today – not even the bride and groom. It just happened.
I’M ABOUT TO DROP ACID FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY L I F E . I’m sitting in the restaurant of a five-star hotel in downtown Jakarta. There are 12 million people in this city and I’ve just watched 10 of them carefully place multiple drops onto the tips of their tongues. I look over at Nate and ask him one more time: “If I do one you’ll do one, right?” Just then Christian walks up out of nowhere and says, “No you’re not! I’m not babysitting tonight.” We’re here to see Metallica. Christian has been friends with bassist Robert Trujillo for a long time - since back in his Suicidal days. After running into each other in Bali, Rob invited Christian and Chhum to postpone their honeymoon and come hang backstage at the Metallica show. Being the on-the-fly couple that they are, Christian and Chhum didn’t postpone their honeymoon. They had it in Jakarta. “Thank god I’m not on acid,” I keep telling myself. We’re standing in line to buy tickets to a sumo tournament. A 600-pound wrestler in a loincloth throws rice into the air and charges his opponent. He misses his target and flies out of the ring, slamming the ground ten feet from where we’re sitting. Thank god I’m not on acid. I’ve lost Christian and the rest of the group. Or maybe they’re lost. I’m not sure. Either way, I’m standing alone in a sea of 60,000 rowdy Indonesians wearing black Metallica t-shirts. Thank god I’m not on acid. It’s 3 a.m. and we’re entering a strip club. At least I think it’s a strip club. On one floor there’s 10 to 15 topless girls dancing on the bar. On another there’s a couple hundred people stomping to techno, all wearing sunglasses. At a table by the stage I see two hulking sumos in robes drinking and another up on stage dancing. Shit. Am I on acid? I’m having a vision of the @christianfletcherlives Instagram post tomorrow morning. I can already see the caption: Sumo wrestling + Metallica + The Stadium in Jakarta = what a honeymoon. //
Do you surf with your brother much?
Sometimes. I surf Salt Creek and stuff and I see him. He’s traveling a lot though. Like, I go to work every day. So he surfs in the hours when I’m usually at work. What’s it like growing up with Herbie Fletcher as your father?
Fuckin’ gnarly. My dad’s gnarly. ‘God dammit, get the fuck out of the water you little pussy!’ Then he drops in on you and runs you over. And he yells at you for it. ‘What are you doin’ taking off behind me?’ It’s like, can’t you catch your own waves on that fuckin’ longboard you fuckin’ asshole? Gotta resort to snaking your own kid? ‘Oh, I wanted that wave!’ Yeah, well so did I! Nah, it was cool though. My dad’s tough. And he would not accept a pussy. So that makes it hard for me to deal with lot of people – a lot of photographers too – ‘cause a lot of them are pussies and I wasn’t trained to deal with that.
You’re working at the factory?
I work at Astrodeck. I live at home with my mom, my dad and my kid and we all work together at Astrodeck. Talk about your living situation right now.
I live with my parents. I live at Trestles; can see Cottons from the living room – pretty cool. Almost 43, can’t even bring a girl home. But I got married now so we’ll see what happens. She lives with her parents too. What do you do at home when you and your wife want some alone time?
We both work during the week and we go stay at hotels on the weekend and go surfing, go to the
beach. But I’m in the process of getting a boat from my friend. His boat was getting destroyed and impounded so I’m getting the paperwork straight and stuff. It’s a 32-foot Motorsailer. So I figured it’s about time I get a captain’s license. I have a history of about 13 or 14 captains in my family. My dad’s dad was on the USS Arizona, him and his twin brother. Two weeks before it got blown up they got transferred. At Pearl Harbor?
Pearl Harbor. I even have a grandmother that was a captain – all on my dad’s side. You want to live on the boat?
Yeah, that’s what I plan on doing. That’s the only way I could afford to get my own place, because business is slow. And when you work in a family business and business is slow, you don’t get paid. But I’ve had a roof over my head. I’ve had gas money – nothing to complain about. Nobody likes a complainer anyways.
CHRISTIAN IS CARRYING HIS G R E E N T I M M Y PAT T E R S O N U P A CROWDED BEACH AFTER SURFING IN THE EXPRESSION SESSION O F T H E P A D A N G C U P. He just did “The Zombie” (front-facing, straight-legged barrel stance – his signature daredevil move) through some deep low-tide pits out at Padang. A guy with a microphone stops Christian to interview him on the live webcast. The interviewer asks him the same tired questions: waves, conditions, prize money. Then he lobs one of several hundred clichés that will fill the day’s broadcast: “But it’s not really about the money, is it Christian?” Christian sniffs in the pungent aroma of bullshit and pounces on the poor bastard like a jungle cat. “Of course it’s about the money! I got a family back home. What, are you new around here?” And with that, Christian Fletcher claims the “Only Original Interview Of The Day” award. //
Some guys come to Bali and they barely even surf. They just party or get lost in other stuff. You seem to be really psyched on surfing this trip.
The last couple years I’ve just been surfing every day. I’ve been getting back to the basics, like when I was a kid. I go to the beach, hang out, smoke joints and surf all day on the weekends and every day after work. It’s been a lot of fun. I’ve been stoked on surfing again. Were you ever over surfing?
It goes through phases. You get burned out. I turned professional in ’85, surfed the Pipe Masters in ’85. So you get burned out on it after a while, especially the way my dad is. My dad was gnarly. He’s dropped in on me and ran over me my whole life. Still does it to this day. If he doesn’t run me over on the wave, he’ll run me over when I’m paddlin’ out. But he made it so I could surf in any crowd and he took me to really good surf spots. And if I got out of line he’d smack me in the head and tell me, get the fuck out of the water you little pussy! And I thank him for that. That’s the best thing he ever could have done for me.
Is there anybody who you watch surfing right now who gets you psyched on surfing?
Eddie Blackwell. The Predator. Gnarliest fuckin’ backside surfer I’ve ever seen. Nobody compares. Not Kelly, none of ‘em. At a big gnarly left he’ll smoke all of ‘em. You know who I’m talking about? That guy with the dreads and…
And no front teeth, yeah. Guy has no front teeth. If you could turn back the clock to any era in surfing history, what era would you want to go back to. Or would you stay in the present?
Life’s good now. I don’t know if I could live through being young again. That was a rough one. I’m stoked where I’m at right now. I think I surf better than I ever have. I ride the tube better. I do as big of airs as fuckin’ anybody. I hate spinning – I think that’s weak – it’s easier. That’s why all the guys do it, ‘cause they don’t know how to do a proper air most of ‘em. ‘Cause if you do a proper air you have to be accountable for your fins when you’re landing in the water. If you land sideways or backwards, you
v don’t. And you don’t have to be over the top your board. You let the wave push you back up on top of your board. That’s why everybody lands sideways and backwards. What about grabs?
Grabs are sick – as long as they’re not double grabs. Like, I don’t want to see my buddy riding down the street with training wheels on his bicycle, you know – kind of embarrassing. That’s how I feel when I see my buddies do double grabs – unless it’s a specific maneuver that calls for a double grab, which there ain’t many. If you could create a wave, what would your perfect wave look like?
The Wedge was created. It ain’t exactly perfect, but it’s perfectly gnarly. It’s the only place I can go around my house where it’s guaranteed you’re gonna get the shit kicked outta ya. They just need to drop the blackball. Or at least give the surfers and the bodyboarders a couple days a week where they can surf. You know what I mean? Trade off. It’s blackball from 10 o’clock to 5 o’clock, no flotation devices allowed. From around March till Halloween. Why is that?
‘Cause of some rich bodysurfers and their fuckin’ lawyers and shit. The Balboa Group. They grew up in Balboa (Island). Their parents are politicians, know what I mean? Yeah.
I had a bodysurfer screaming at me one day, ‘This is body surfing break, this isn’t a surfing break!’ I said, that’s funny, I come out of the tube. You don’t. As far as I’m
concerned it’s a surfing break. Bodyboarders are sick though. I’m friends with all the bodyboarders. Bodyboarders get the biggest, heaviest waves that come through. And the fuckin’ Wedge crew are fuckin’ sick. They’re like Aquaman. How do you deal with crowds?
My dad was worse than any crowd. Surfing around crowds, that don’t bother me. I’ve surfed Trestles, I’ve surfed Pipeline. The crowd at Uluwatu is kinda gnarly these days ‘cause there’s a lot of Russian beginners, so it’s dangerous. I’m a wave catcher, it don’t matter how crowded it is. It’s easier to catch a wave at Pipeline with 60 guys in the water than it is in a heat at the Pipe Masters with four people. How’s that?
‘Cause in a heat there’s interference rules, and fuckin’ people paddling over each other, you know what I mean? With 60 people you can drop in on somebody and deal with it afterwards, you know. It’s just easier. Have you gotten into many scraps over surfing?
Oh yeah. Surfing’s a violent sport; a selfish, violent sport. I was bummed out on it for a long time ‘cause you paddle out and there’s like two people in the water and they’re still giving you dirty looks. I decided to go skateboarding because there’d be like 50 people on the skateboard ramp and everybody’s still like, what’s up! Stoked to see you and stuff, it’s cool. Crowds, I don’t know. I can deal with ‘em. I don’t really care. I catch waves anyway. If it’s fuckin’ crowded I just go surfing at night and I can have any wave I want.
W E M A D E I T . Christian’s banshee bike screeches up to the hotel. I hop off and wipe my sweaty palms on my shorts. Christian does a couple more wheelies out front. A family of Japanese tourists snaps photos of him from across the street. Christian gives them a thumbs up and a smile. They all return it enthusiastically. We take a seat in the hotel bar and order beers. Christian says he’s kinda sad about leaving Bali, but it’s his mom’s birthday in two days and he has to get back to San Clemente. Tomorrow he’ll be on a plane bound for America. Back to a different reality. We order a round of tequila shots with a bottle of Tabasco on the side. “A beautiful girl from Sulawesi taught me how to drink tequila like this,” he says. We toast to his mom’s birthday. And to living in the moment. It burns. Good.
You seem to really like living in Bali.
Down here I feel alive. In America I just exist. That’s what a lot of people do there. Like when you’re stuck in rush hour traffic and you look at all the people…
What’s next for you? Like, where do you see yourself in another five years?
Next month I see myself in Japan. That’s about as far ahead as I can give you. I’m not one of those people that really plans for the future. I live in the moment. In a lot of ways it sucks ‘cause you don’t think about the future. But what happens if there is no future? And I ain’t gonna live in the rear view mirror and dwell in the past. I’m fuckin’ here now and gonna have as much fun as possible. Simple. Live it up. That’s why I got a tattoo on my knuckles that says ‘LIVE.’ Everyone says, why don’t you get the other knuckles done? And I say, ‘cause livin’ is a hard enough job and I’m busy with that one. I don’t need nothin’ else.
There’s rush hour traffic here too. But you drive the motorcycle on the sidewalks and you fuckin’ ride around it. In America you’re just existing. There’s too many police. Too many rules. Nothin’ seems to work. Down here there’s not many rules, but everything kinda flows. A lot of shit doesn’t work here too.
Well, yeah, that’s if you’re trying to do business. But if you’re just livin’, it’s pretty simple. It’s a pretty easy life. It’s a hard life for a lot of the local people who live here ‘cause they don’t have nothin’. But the one thing about the people here, even if they don’t have nothin’, they still usually have a smile. You go back home, and they got all kinds of fancy things, but they don’t even got a smile.
That just goes to show you, you can’t buy a smile. Sad. They’re so worried about everything, you know? How do you think the world is gonna end?
How do I think the world’s gonna end? Ahh, I’d rather not say. There’s two things you’re not supposed to talk about at the dinner table: politics and religion. And those are both kinda how I think the world’s gonna end. Do you have any kind of religious philosophy?
Yeah. Don’t worry, be happy. My mom would consider herself Buddhist if she had to pick a denomination. My dad too – or Taoist. My wife’s Buddhist. Me, I believe in that philosophy. It’s pretty simple. When people ask me, I tell ‘em I’m happy. That’s the religion I am: I’m happy. I’m a happy person. I like to see people smile. I believe in karma, I believe in being a good person. And if there is a God and he can’t accept that, then fuck him, I wouldn’t want to hang out with him anyways.
W E L C O M E T O T H E B I G D U R I A N . Smog City. Where there’s pavement for days, even if it’s swarming with traffic. Indonesia’s top skaters know these streets well – it’s their job. We took Mario Palandeng, Indra Kubon, Dewa Oka and Yogi Dharmawan on a one-week road trip from Jakarta to Bandung and sent them into the concrete jungle with one mission: go big. We hucked them over giant gaps and down rusty rails. We made them puke at night. They just kept asking for more. They hopped barbed wire, got chased by security, and ran across freeways in pursuit of new skate spots. They turned national monuments into mini ramps and made the evening news. The boys were beyond psyched to push it for our lenses. In return, they took us as far from the beach as we could get. Deep into the smoggy chaos. Our throats burned. Our eyes blurred. Our ears throbbed. And we loved every minute of it.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY HAMISH & BOGDANOV
Yogi, Backside Smith.
Mario, Frontside Boardslide.
MARIO PA L A N D E N G
I D O Y O G A . I’m not embarrassed to say it. I’ll bring my yoga mat with me to the skate
park so I can stretch out before skating. It’s really good to help prevent injuries. Call me a hippie. I guess I’ve been living in Bali too long. Indra and I are both from Jakarta, but we live in Bali now. I’ve been living in Bali since 2006. It’s funny because you would think as skaters we would want to live in the big city, but that’s not the case. It’s hard to explain why I’d rather be in Bali, but it all happened through skating. I started skating when I was nine years old. I was really close with Indra from back in the day. He was older than me and always pushed me to skate. I wasn’t skating in Jakarta that much because at that time they didn’t have any proper skate parks (now they have two parks, but they’re really far away from each other). That’s why Indra brought me to Bali. When I was 17, Indra came to parents and asked them if he could bring me to Bali with him – to live! My dad said, “Do it. If Mario wants to, then you have my permission.” My parents have been really supportive of my skating. That’s not typical of Indonesian parents. Usually parents would not support their kids to be a professional skater. I’ve been sponsored by Volcom since I was nine, so that helped. When I first came to Bali in 2005, they had a skate competition in Kuta and I checked it out. And pretty much as soon as I arrived it felt like home. I made a lot good friends really quickly. When I first came to Bali I was thinking all I want to do is skate. But when you’re 18 in Bali it’s easy to get sucked into the party scene. I started to go party every night with Indra around Kuta. Pretty much from 2007 to 2010 I was partying every day. Lucky I grew out of it and I’m still skating today. I’m blessed. I skate with these guys (Indra, Dewa, Yogi) every day at Motion. We all know each other and feel comfortable skating with each other. But this is the first time we all went on a trip together. It was a special thing, for sure. And it was special because we were filming for the movie (Durian Days). I have a filmer in Bali but I can’t normally afford to pay his ticket to go on a trip. My filmer and I usually only put together two edits a year. Before this trip I only ever had one video part, a “Welcome To The Team” video for Motion Skateboards. So to be able to all go on a trip together and film for a movie about skating in Indonesia, it was a big deal for all of us. Security guards all over Indonesia are gnarly. Sometimes they don’t even know what skating is. They think it’s a crime. They always chase us and try to kick us out. Usually we give them some money and they’re cool, but on this trip they always kicked us out, they wouldn’t even take the bribe. We’d get to skate a spot for about 30 minutes and then they’d kick us out. Carlo (the filmmaker) tried to pay them but they wouldn’t take the money. I’ve broken my arm twice in one year – in the same spot! Both times it happened trying the same trick: ollie over the pyramid. Both times I got stuck on the obstacle and ate it. I remember thinking: damn, my arm is broken. It was like a joke. It took a while for me to get my nerve back after the injury. I didn’t skate for a year after the second time I broke my arm. I was all about big rails on this trip. That was my goal. With street skating especially, sometimes you just have to do it. You see an opportunity, you see something there, and then you just do it. You have to try and see if it’s possible, even if you’re scared. I love to scare myself. If you don’t have fear in your life, it’s not worth living.
W H E N I WA S 1 0 Y E A R S O L D M Y F R I E N D T O O K M E T O T H E O L D S K AT E P A R K I N I M A M B O N J O L , B A L I . That’s how I started skating. Since then I’ve skated
in Jakarta, Medan, Bandung, Surabaya, Solo and Kuala Lumpur. Skating has been a way for me to travel and see places outside of Bali. If I could skate anywhere in the world, I would go to Barcelona. From the videos I’ve seen it looks like they have a ton of crazy spots there. I was trying all kinds of new tricks on this trip. In Bandung I tried a frontside flip but never made it. In Jakarta I stomped a 360 flip on the Big Five stairs. Everyone was going huge, but I’d say Indra was going the biggest – except for the last day after a night out with the Bali Belly boys. He was pretty worn out the next morning. I don’t remember whose idea it was to try and skate the monument at Tugu Angkatan 66 right next to the freeway, but it was the craziest thing any of us did on the trip, for sure – a close second would be when we stopped traffic on the toll road so we could shoot some downhill skating and filming; I thought we were either going to die or wind up in jail. We didn’t get in trouble for skating the monument because there was no security there. They couldn’t get to us through the six lanes of traffic and smog. On the way home we checked our phones, and there was footage of us skating the monument all over the Jakarta news! I could never live in Jakarta. It just seems too busy and too hectic. Bali is way more mellow and laid back. Even at the most posh mall in Jakarta you can’t find a beach like Bali has, and everywhere you want to go there’s traffic. Plus, there are so many security guards at all the spots in Jakarta. My favorite skater in Indo would have to be Yogi, and my favorite international guy is Brandon Westgate. I think my all-time favorite skate movie is Road Less Traveled by Fallen Footwear. If I wasn’t a skater I’d probably be like one of those weird biker guys in Bali who race their little bebek bikes around Renon with helmets covered in stickers and t-shirts that say, “pang cang kene.” I would probably spend all my time going to punk and heavy metal concerts. When Base (legendary Bali skatepark at Central Parkir in Kuta that got demolished in 2007) closed down I tried to start surfing, but it was super hard and after a month of not being able to get the hang of it I just went back to skating. I thought it would be cool to surf because the local surfers get more chicks in Bali than the skaters. But we skaters do all right too. The best thing about being a skater instead of a surfer in Bali is I never get grom abuse. I always see the surfers torturing the younger guys down at the beach – shaving their heads, burying them in the sand – but that doesn’t really happen with skaters. Like, on this trip, I never got any abuse from the older guys, even though I was the youngest by far. It’s the opposite. The older guys are always psyching me up to go bigger and get better. I know they got my back.
Yogi, Crook Grind.
Indra, Backside Kickflip.
I U S E D T O B E A D D I C T E D T O P L AY I N G T O N Y H A W K ’ S P R O S K A T E R O N P L AY S T A T I O N . I would go to the video game place every day after school and
play. After a while, I decided I wanted to try skateboarding in real life, but I didn’t have a skateboard. I asked around at school and someone had a board I could borrow. I would borrow the board for a day, go home and skate, and then give it back the next day. My first board was a piece of shit plastic thing from Matahari market. I got it secondhand from a friend and I rode it till it broke. When the wheels busted I kept using it. I would practice doing flip tricks with just the board on its trucks. My first good board I got from a friend who had it and didn’t know how to use it. I kept borrowing it and eventually he just said, keep it. I learned tricks from playing Tony Hawk. I would play the video game and try out different tricks. Then I would go watch Afandy (Dharma) and the boys skate in front of Double Six from a distance. After they would leave, I would go skate and try and do what they did – but I couldn’t. One day Daniel Amar saw me at Double Six and invited me to come skate the bowl at his house. It was a small pool they had drained. Then his brother Dylan came out with no shoes on and dropped straight in and did a big air. It was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. From then on, that was all I wanted to do. I’m sponsored by Motion skateboards, Lakai shoes, and Electric. In Bali you can’t make a living just being a pro skater; you have to work. I have my own skate shop in Denpasar (Breeder Skate Shop) and I also run my own clothing brand (Mash Potatoes). I sell my clothes in Motion (skatepark) and at my store in Denpasar. It’s a lot of hard work. You’re tired at the end of every day. But it’s worth it. My friends and I were the original crew who set up the little skatepark that used to be at Simpang Siur. We didn’t have much to work with at first, so we would go back to my friend’s house who lived just down the road and build rails and boxes, and then carry them down the bypass back to the park. That’s how we made the skate park. We skated there for years until we got kicked out when they built the underpass. One day we showed up and everything was gone and there were bulldozers. My dream skatepark wouldn’t look like a skatepark at all. It would look like a street, but would be perfectly set up for skating. There would be marble ledges and benches and stairs. And, of course, there would also be a bowl. There would be plenty of big trees around to keep it shady and cool, because at a lot of the skate spots in Bali it’s too hot to skate during the day. I would also put in a big outdoor kitchen for barbeques, and a bar and swimming pool so girls would come hang out by the pool. Other than a few of the girls who skate, there are never any hot chicks hanging out at the skate park. They’re all at the beach with the surfers. So I would make it so people who don’t skate can still come and hang out and have fun. Oh, and we’d have a Playstation room, of course.
Mario, Frontslide Lipslide.
O N A T R I P L I K E T H I S Y O U N E E D T O R E A L LY F O C U S O N W H AT Y O U ’ R E D O I N G . I know we were all pushing ourselves hard. You don’t want to waste your time.
You don’t want to disappoint your homies. You don’t want to disappoint the photographers. You don’t want to disappoint the people walking on the street, because we were using their spots. They would stop for us, waiting in front of the stairs on their way to work, and watch. You don’t want to disappoint that. I was going for everything. Mario did a huge handrail lip slide, like twelve stairs and really high. My goal for this year is to land a kickflip feeble. I’ve been trying the feeble grind but still haven’t pulled it. I’ve been wanting to do that trick since I started skateboarding. It’s kinda sketchy. You go over the rail and grind on your back truck. I think that rail where Mario did the lip slide is the perfect spot. I just need to grow bigger balls. From an outsider’s perspective, you’d think that there are no rules when it comes to skating here in Indonesia. You can drive crazy on the road, run red lights, etc., but it’s actually harder to skate in the cities here because every single building can afford to pay for security guards, because security is so cheap. In Europe and America not every building has security, but here there is always a security guard giving you a hard time. So you only get so many opportunities to make a trick. On this trip we were constantly being stopped by security. Some spots we had a lot of time to skate, but at most spots there was only enough time for one of us to really go for it. We’d only get to try two or three, maybe four times; then we’d get kicked out. And some spots you only get one shot. It’s so frustrating. Like that big rail we did with Mario, I’m sure Yogi wanted to do something huge on it. If he wasn’t stressed out about the security I’m sure he would have gone for something big on that rail, like a crux grind or a feeble. I travel a lot for skateboarding. That’s the only reason I’ll get on a plane – not visiting family or anything, only skateboarding. I think it’s the same for surfers. They travel for waves. I think it’s pretty boring to travel all the way to the other side of the world to walk around and look at landmarks. Why would you walk around when you can cruise around on your skateboard and see what new spots you can discover? Without having to pay a bunch of money to go to expensive museums or restaurants. In my experience, skaters have the same attitude everywhere you go. If you skate with the homies in their town, they’ll bring you into their scene even if they just met you. You’re instantly one of the homies. It’s like a family. It’s a worldwide community. Every time a take a trip overseas, I’m still like, wow, I’m from the other side for the world and here they like the same things as me. You’ll meet skaters in a new city who will take you to their spots because they want to see if maybe you can do something new there. They want you to show them what you got. Then they’ll tell their friends, yeah, this trick’s been done by this guy. It can be done. It becomes a story, part of the local history. I don’t understand the government in Indonesia when it comes to skateboarding. When I travel outside Indonesia to places like Australia, I see the skate parks are all free. Why can’t the government do that here? They can see skateboarding is getting really big. Why can’t they give us a small plot of public land by the beach? A place where kids can come skate and have fun. On the Gold Coast there are parks everywhere. They’re public; you don’t pay. And the kids get so much better. I think Indonesia has to do the same thing: at least one public skate park. Why not? There’s so much land. Why build another giant hotel or villa when you can afford to give something back to the local community? We need to make a skateboarding organization in Bali to promote the sport here. We need to get support from landowners and politicians. The spot next to Simpang Siur where they used to have the little skatepark would be the perfect spot for a public skatepark. It’s government land. It’s open now. There’s nothing there. When people watch the movie from this trip, I hope they see that skating here in Indonesia is legit, even though we’re on the other side of the world. I hope it makes people want to fly over here and come see the homies. Come enjoy our spots, our cities. Come enjoy skateboarding here. Because it’s the same culture on the streets. Yeah, different language, spicier food. But this is your family here.
Mario, Frontside Ollie.
Mario, Tailslide Crailgrab.
Yogi, Hard Flip.
Oney Anwar. Photo: Rhzphoto
Mega Semadhi. Photo: Hamish
Betet Merta. Photo: Hawkins
Dane Reynolds. Photo: Childs
Mikala Jones. Photo: Masters
Marlon Gerber. Photo: Hamish