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As I lay basking in the Pacific sun setting behind the palm lined headland, I notice silhouettes on the beach holding wooden planks. I grab the binoculars for a closer look. Marcus the skipper confirms what I’m seeing, said he’s heard of the children surfing around these parts before but had never seen them. Twenty minutes later I’m paddling my board into the beach with my camera gear hoping to fire off a shot or two of these kids. When I set foot on the beach I’m met with a dozen of them, each with a plank underarm. They smile and wave, happiness beaming out of them like a floodlight. I notice the weathered blue paint on the waterlogged hardwood. Looks like Dad’s old fishing boat became their new boards. Standing on the beach surrounded by these pint-sized pioneers, I take breath and observe surfing in its purest form. It could be the year 1550 for all I know. Lost in the moment, I put my gear down and jump in the water with them, laughing and carrying on like I’m eight years old. There I was with my expensive camera gear, the million dollar boat parked out the front and my fibreglass surfboard lying on the beach, a stark contrast to the bamboo huts. Mum, Dad and a wooden surfboard, which seems to work just fine for the little guy smiling back up at me.

Bali Belly Issue 005