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!