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All these coconut and banana trees are new. Everything you see growing here now wasn't there before. There used to be big beautiful trees and they just hacked it and sold the wood and burned it. It looked like a battlefield. It was sad. Now they farm peanuts, tobacco, beans and stuff. If you brought someone here who didn't know anything about surfing, they would probably think this place was some kind of refugee camp or something. It's like a surfer ghetto out here. There's a lot of problems going on down there that need to be addressed. The trash. They dump it in the riverbed. They burn it. I mean it's everywhere. It's sad. It's grown so much, it's really gotten too big for what the locals can provide. They don't really have any money they can put into it. The sewage. You got the septics right next to the wells. I'm surprised there hasn't been an outbreak. I've always said it's just asking for an outbreak of hepatitis or typhoid or something else like that. You have that many people in that little area with your septics right next to your wells. It's a disaster waiting to happen, really. Are you married? Nope, just me. Ever been married? No (laughing). Ain't nobody gonna put up with me. I got my family. Somehow they all ended up in Austin, Texas, so I'll go down there and visit them for a few months every year and then head down to Mex. It's pretty trippy going to Texas after being here for six months. I would rather not, but you gotta do your family obligations. I'd rather be by the beach, but it's alright. I used to do more time in Mexico because I used to fix dings down there to make money. So I used to go straight from here down to Mex and go fix dings there. But I taught a couple of the local kids how to fix dings, so now I don't have a job there anymore (laughing). Same like here. But that's ok, I can work other ways, no problem. How else do you make money? I have a thing with my sister. We make jewelry and stuff. I take some stuff back from here and sell it there (Texas). Are you on Facebook? Mmm, sorry (chuckling). What do you think of that stuff? Social media has become really popular in the surfing world. Yeah, like I said, I'd rather just catch my waves and not worry about that stuff. It's just a different mindset, I guess. I'm not getting a wave and posting anywhere and showing everybody. I'm from a different school. Back in the day my friends used to joke that they'd always ask me how the surf's been over here, and I'd tell them, oh, it's been shitty. And they'd say, dude, the surf is always shitty, huh! So I'm more that school where I'm not too much on advertising. It's the complete opposite now. And it's kinda strange to me because the guys are complaining that it's crowded. You can't have it both ways, posting all your shit and showing everybody and

then you wonder why there's 100 guys in the lineup (laughing). When did you know that this place was going to be your part-time home for the rest of your life? Did you know it from your first barrel? Oh, just as soon as I seen it the first time – when I came by land. I remember walking up the beach here with all my stuff and it was seriously pumping. It was like 8-foot or something. And I was coming up from the Grower, carrying my boards just looking at it, and I'm like, I found it. This is it. This is what I was looking for! I mean, the search was over. Where am I gonna go? What else am I gonna go look for? Geez, there's nobody here. I'm gonna milk this thing till it's dry. I'm stoked I did too. Ain't money that can buy what I got. What I had, you can't buy that. When you would stay out here for months at a time was there anything that you really missed? Oh, you know, you start thinking of all kinds of things, mostly food (laughing). Like an ice cream, or a cold something. But, no, at the end of the day you don't really need anything. And now there's even ice cream here. Yeah, you know it, the ice cream man comes around on his bike. How's that (laughing).

It seems like you got here at the perfect time, because the crowds still hadn't found this place but board design had really started to improve for this type of wave. Yeah, back when Bill (Hike) was coming, the boards weren't that good yet. By the time I got here, the tri-fins had really started to come in. I remember when I was at Ulus in '81, the first guys were coming over with the three fins and it was like, whoa, check those out. So I was kinda on the edge of where the boards started getting way better. I mean, you could surf here before, but on a big single fin it'd be kinda sketchy. You could do it, I seen a couple guys surf pretty good on some single fins out here, but the boards these days are a whole 'nother ball game. That was the perfect era where there wasn't that many heads that surfed and the boards made it more accessible. That was the perfect little window right then. As time went on, did you refine your boards for Deserts? Back then I used to fix boards here. There was no one living here and a few crew used to come visit. Obviously, I hadn't been working a whole lot (laughing), so it's not like I had a whole lot of money. I don't have a grand to plop down on two or three new boards. So I always surfed broken boards.

Bali Belly Issue 003  

Bali Belly magazine from Bali, Indonesia.

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