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So you're saying Rob Machado was the first guy to really surf the Grower?

(the Grower). And if you're not training or have a really good set of lungs, you could drown.

Think there will be a Blue Point Hotel here some day? Or another Dreamland?

Not to say that others hadn't gone down there before, because occasionally you can get a wave that will go all the way through and be good down there. But as far as surfing down there on a regular basis, a lot of the waves don't go all the way through, and most of the waves close out. Most of the time it hits down there in a big wedge. So it's a beautiful shot for the magazines. And that's what it's about.

What do you think this place will look like in another 20 years?

Who knows what's going to happen, but if I had to guess I'd say the local people here aren't going to win over the big money. Some big hotel or something will come in and kick them out. They'll get compensated, I would imagine. But they're fighting. They're trying to get their titles to the land. They're convinced they're gonna get titles, and hey, maybe they will. But there's a lot of big projects going up around here. This one around the corner is supposed to have a golf course, and there's another one up at Sekotong that's supposed to be huge. So the government's got big plans for Lombok. Who knows what will happen. I mean, this (the warung / losmen village) could go on for another five years.

It's so tempting to go down there and get away from the crowd. And you could get the barrel of your life on the right one. But it looks really shallow and sketchy. It's a dangerous spot. A lot of people don't realize how easy it is to drown here. On a big day at low tide, if you get stuck down there, it's an easy place to drown. Because that wave, it will not push you in and it will not let you out. It just keeps you right there. At high tide you get pushed in, but at low tide it sucks you right into the vortex, right into the worst place you want to be, wave after wave landing right on top of you. You'll get worked all the way down into there

Man, that's anybody's guess. Lombok right now is pretty much just blowing up. Bali is so crowded and so overdeveloped and Lombok is just starting. They just opened the new airport last year in Kuta, Lombok. And there's a beach right down here called Makaki where they've already kicked everybody out for a development. Because a lot of the land around here is government land. This is actually a national park, right? It's supposed to be. These people came in probably like ten or 11 years ago. And there's been rumors over the years that the government was going to kick the people out and they were going to build a big development here. It's sad to say for these people. They're farmers, they're poor people. They don't have anything. They came out here farming the land and then they realized they could make money by renting little rooms and making food for the surfers.

I'm surprised someone hasn't tried to build a luxury surf camp here already. They'll probably build a huge resort here. Probably with an infinity pool. I can see it happening. Hopefully they let me stick around and be the janitor or something; groundskeeper (laughing). Hopefully someone will put in a good word for me.


Bali Belly Issue 003