BALI BELLY // ISSUE 001
conflict is festering in the Middle East. The Earth is nearing its boiling point and we’re being punished for our arrogance with drought, flood, fire and Justin Bieber. When the clock strikes twelve this New Year’s Eve, prepare for the shit to hit the fan. Just you wait, it’s gonna make Sodom and Gomorrah look like a tea party. The Mayans prophesied it. So did Jesus. Nostradamus too. We’re all doomed.
But why see the glass as half-empty? Why not instead drink what’s in the glass and order another round? As far as we’re concerned, it’s been another banner year for good times. Dolphins swimming alongside the boat. Grammy-worthy karaoke. Chlorine barrels at the FlowRider. And that was just last week. If this is the end of the world, then we want it to last forever.
Somebody has to squeeze the nectar out of this life, and our friends featured on these pages have taken it upon themselves to bleed it dry. We made this little zine about them. After so many escapades, there was too much good material piling up, screaming to be released. We had no choice. Consider this a rough guide for a life well lived. Take risks. Break a few rules. Get lost. And if the sudden urge for a Bruce Lee flying kick strikes you, don’t fight it.
So get comfortable, friend. Settle back on the couch. Pour out a glass of something good. Turn the pages and enjoy this sunny prelude to the impending doom and gloom in the forecast. Grand finales are overrated anyway. – Bali Belly
The sky is falling. That’s what they tell us. Economies are crumbling. Nuclear
Our friend Lee Wilson invaded several Bali Belly editorial meetings during the making of this issue, contributing his keen artistic insights and generally distracting us from work. Lee’s visits usually went something like this: “So, I heard you guys are putting my barrel shot on the cover.” Sorry, buddy. You’ll have to settle for the opening spread. For more would-be cover shots from Lee’s “trip of the year” with Marlon Gerber and Jay Davies, skip ahead to page 86.
Most family vacations involve beach umbrellas, breakfast buffets and Dad enjoying a few rounds of golf. When Ozzie Wright takes the fam on holidays it means a road trip to Lombok. Mom longboards the inside reef at high tide. Six-year-old Rocky plays with the local children. And Ozzie does this all day.
Garut Widiarta, Mentawais. “We hadn’t even dropped anchor and Garut was already sprint-paddling out to the lineup,” says photographer H. Hump. “The boys were like sharks smelling blood, it was a complete feeding frenzy. The surfers from the land camp didn’t stand a chance.” By day’s end, camp managers kindly asked the boys to leave and come back when they had a booking. Apparently surfers paying $2,000 a week to surf perfect waves aren’t too keen on this view. Looks great in our mag though.
BALI BELLY // ISSUE 001 // CONTENTS // 014 a GOOD NIGHT // 018 john vs dane // 026 THE big city problem // 046 let's get lifted // 054
// 060 cream // 082 THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!
Bali Belly is an independent Indonesian surf culture magazine. It’s a collaboration between surfers, photographers, filmmakers, writers and artists. We produce a semi-annual magazine and feed our website daily at www.balibelly.tv. You can contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Uji “Hahan” Handoko // 28 // Yogjakarta We were having a hard time deciding who or what to put on the cover of our first issue. Then we ran into Hahan, an up-and-coming artist from Yogyakarta who had an exhibition going on in Bali. When we saw Hahan’s stuff, we knew we had to get him in the mix (see his gallery on p.56). Hahan is a little R. Crumb and a little Andy Warhol. He prefers Jägermeister and intellectual women. His work has exhibited around the world, from Australia to South Korea to Cuba. Hahan sent us so much rad art, we couldn’t decide which illustration to run on the cover. To make things easier for us, he custom designed the trippy space scene you see on the front of this mag. Thanks, Hahan. We love it.
kick in the pants from uncle riz // 016 DAMN BREAD WINNER: ONEY ANWAR COMES HOME // 038 opportunity knocks // 056 uji hahan handoko // 084 STRAIGHT, NO CHASER // 086 the boat trip
Hamish “Hamas” Humphreys // 22 // Sanur
Albert “Betet” Judiyanto // 26 // Jakarta
Being a photographer isn’t easy. Expensive gear. Long hours in the sun. Overweight baggage charges on every flight. So why does Hamish do it? “Because it’s the only thing I’ve ever loved,” he tells us. And if there’s a picture in this magazine that you love, chances are Hamish shot it. He’s been living in Bali since he was 16, shooting and partying with the best of them. Before that, he was a boogie boarder in Perth, Western Australia. And before that, he was crawling around the islands of the Seychelles with fish curry breath. So where’s this guy moving to next? “I love traveling the world,” says Hamish. “This year I went to California, Hawaii, Canada, Australia and South Africa. But I don’t think I’ll ever move from Bali. This is home.”
Remember at the end of The Hangover 2 when the guys find their camera and go through all the photos from the previous night’s rampage? That’s what Betet’s photography reminds us of – except his photos have hung on the walls of fancy art galleries. Born and raised in Jakarta, Betet started taking photographs in high school, documenting the lives of his friends and other characters around town. He later graduated from Pelita Harapan University with a degree in Visual Communication Design. Like Jakarta, Betet’s photography (“Big City Problem,” p.38) is equal parts shiny and dirty; loud and sophisticated; beautiful and grotesque; and just plain bizarre. We asked Betet to describe himself for this bio, but he was out all night taking photos in the city and never got back to us. We can’t wait to go through his camera.
A Kick In The Pants From Uncle Riz Not long ago a friend asked me what it felt like to be “semi-retired.” I responded by laughing in his face, which I think embarrassed him because we were in front of a big group of people. I couldn’t help myself. The idea of retirement just sounded funny to me. I know what he meant. I’m not waking up first thing in the morning and calling photographers and chasing waves the way I used to. I don’t have to get shots in the magazines or get the number one ranking on the ISC. My paycheck isn’t coming from there anymore. I have a family now. I have to get my kid ready for school in the morning and after that I have to go to the Hurley office and do my “real job” – meetings, budgets, deadlines. Surfing isn’t my first priority in life anymore. But I still love it. And I feel like now is the best time to be a surfer in Indonesia. When I started surfing in Kuta back in the day, I could never have imagined what surfing in Bali looks like today. Now we have state of the art surfboard factories operating in Bali and all the best shapers in the world come here to shape boards. The entire surf industry is here too. We have our own surf tour, we have our own media, we have our own filmers. Now my nine-year-old son Varun is surfing. When I was his age I was still going straight. He’s already doing grab-rail cutbacks and trying airs. Varun has his own custom surfboards. He’s growing up in a totally different world. As a grom I looked up to guys like Gerry Lopez and Peter McCabe. The best guys were just trying to get big barrels. Now the kids are watching Dane Reynolds, Julian Wilson and these guys doing all these crazy airs. I see the kids in Bali coming up like Garut, Tonjo, Marlon and Lee, and
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they’re pushing it with huge airs and riding big barrels. The level of the top guys in Indo is up there with the best anywhere in the world. They just need to get out there and chase their dreams. That’s my one criticism of the younger generation in Bali, they’re too comfortable just surfing at home. Don’t get me wrong, who wants to leave paradise? But home is always gonna be there, and you’re only young once. If you want to make your mark you have to get out there and travel and mix it up with the best. I did it for almost ten years. I wanted to see the world and I knew I only had one opportunity in life to do it. I wouldn’t trade that time for anything. That chapter of my life is over, but my surfing is still progressing. That’s the beauty of surfing, it takes so long to become a master. Look at Kelly, he’s 40 years old and still winning titles. He’s the oldest surfer on tour and still the best at the game because the kids haven’t learned those Jedi tricks that you can only get from a lifetime in the water. I’ll be 37 this year and the way I see it I’m still young. I have no plans to give up my spot at Padang or start paddling an SUP around Nusa Dua any time soon. I might spend more time changing diapers and sitting in front of a desk these days, but when the waves get good I’m out there hunting for the wave of the day at the best spot on the island. If the waves are ever firing and I’m sitting on the couch watching ESPN, that’s when you can call me retired. – Rizal Tandjung
DAMN GOOD NIGHT MARSHELLO ARYAFARA, 32, LIFEGUARD & ENTERTAINER, LEGIAN PRE PARTY SURF Padma beach, my local spot. It’ll be glassy, 4 feet, sunset time, all the lifeguards and Padma boys will be out. I’ll be on my 5’8” fish. PARTY VENUE The Balcony for an acoustic jam session with my band (The Hydrant) and my cousin, guitarist Made J. Tai Buddha would step in on drums and RB would bring his bass. BANDS Bryan Setzer (rockabilly legend) would play and bring his entire orchestra. I’d invite Elvis but I better let him rest in peace! SECURITY We don’t need security because everyone is happy and we’ll be having a rocking old time! BARTENDER Winny, Putu, and Febri. The local boys know how to pour a strong mix. FIRST DRINK Sex on the Rocks. LAST DRINK Whatever’s left in the bottle. A DRINK FOR YOUR MATES AT BALI BELLY There’s a Circle K across the street, boys! UNDER YOUR ARM My wife and my guitar. IN THE TOILET HAVING SEX It’s empty, everyone is on the dance floor! ON THE RAIL PUKING Febri SURPRISE GUEST Heru (Vocalist of Shaggy Dog). YOU LEAVE WITH We stay! AFTER PARTY We jam til sunrise.
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THE BREADWINNER: ONEY ANWAR COMES HOME – 26 –
Lakey Peak, 2002
Nine-year-old Oney Anwar is sitting beneath the shade of a banyan tree, watching the waves sweep up the cobblestone beach near his family’s home. In his lap is a plastic bag filled with dusty used bottles. Oney collected them yesterday from the trash-strewn riverbed outside of town. Today he will surf with his friends until dark, then take the bottles to one of the local warungs and trade them for pocket money; enough to buy himself a plate of nasi goreng before walking the two miles back to home. Soon Oney’s brother Gazalin arrives with the rest of the crew and the footrace to town begins. Whoever reaches Fatma’s warung first will get his pick of the used surfboards on the rack. Oney is one of the youngest in the group. His legs are shorter than the older kids and lugging the bottles doesn’t help. He usually winds up with one of the beaters. By the time he gets to Fatma’s, covered in a sheen of sweat, all that’s left on the rack are the usual scraps. Today it’s a sunbaked 7’0” that’s taken on a few quarts of saltwater. Oney’s older brother Tony mended it from two pieces of a board one of the visiting surfers snapped out at the Peak. “Late again, grom,” says the man working behind the counter. He’s a friend of Tony’s. “No worries,” replies Oney, a bashful smile spread across his face. “I know how to ride this one.” Oney carefully sets down his bottles in a corner of the warung and examines his tool for the day. He struggles to lift the heavy board and the man can’t help but chuckle. “Wait here,” the man says, and disappears behind the store. He returns a few minutes later holding a 5’10” thruster in good shape. While it’s still too big for Oney, the shortboard should be much easier for the grom to maneuver.
“You’ll like this a lot better,” the man says with a grin. But he’s talking to himself. The bulky board is gone and so is Oney. The man puts a hand above his eyes and looks towards the water. In the afternoon glare, Oney is already stroking eagerly through the lagoon out to the waves.
Lakey Peak, 2012
Oney Anwar’s iPhone won’t stop ringing. His flight from Bali landed a few minutes ago, but apparently everyone in Lakey already knows he’s back. Oney is on winter holidays from high school in Australia and coming home for the first time in six months. He’s not alone. A media entourage has accompanied him on this trip: two photographers and a filmer, all hired by his sponsor to get photos and video of Oney surfing at home; an independent film crew making a documentary on Oney’s life; and a journalist looking to write a profile piece for an international surf mag. In a country overflowing with fresh surfing talent, 17-year-old Oney is Indonesia’s most promising export. Outside the Bima airport, groups of men try to hustle the foreigners into their vans for transport out to the coast. The film crew is overwhelmed by the shouting men who grab their bags and head in different directions. “Don’t worry,” Oney assures one of the panicked cameramen. “I know these guys. Get in this car and I will meet you in Lakey.” During his one-week stint back home, Oney’s itinerary is full: Shoot action and lifestyle shots with the photogs; answer the journalist’s incessant questions; do interviews with the documentary film crew around his hometown; surf in the annual Lakey Board Riders contest for locals; sign the paperwork for the land he is purchasing in the area. In between, he’ll also try and spend some time with his mother and father, brothers,
sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins and newborn nephew. // Before surfing came to Lakey Peak, people here survived from fishing. Then surfers began to flock to the perfect waves peeling in front of this humble fishing village, situated on the fringes of one of the poorest islands in the archipelago. Now surfing is the life blood of the entire town. Every year more local kids take to the water, and every year the rate of progression is astounding. Lakey Peak might be the only place on Earth you will see nine-year-olds landing airs and making it out of deep tubes. The kids have seen what local boys like Oney and Gazalin have accomplished through sponsorship and are hungry to follow their lead. But it’s not just the young surfers in Lakey for whom surfing represents a meal ticket. Nearly everyone in town survives – directly or indirectly – off money funneled into the village via surf tourism. The doughnut lady carrying her plastic tub from inn to inn. The guys trying to hustle you into renting their motorbikes for the week. The local boys who will film your session with your own video camera for ten bucks a day; and the women who worked over a hot stove in the kitchen behind the warung where you had dinner. In Lakey Peak, opportunity and surfing are inextricably bound. And for the locals, no one represents opportunity realized more than Oney Anwar. // Coming in along the dirt track we pass his father’s rice fields, where Oney and his siblings grew up playing, and the abandoned single-room house where the family used to live. It’s made of scrap lumber and leans on stilts a few feet above the ground. A bit further down the road, his family’s new house sits right on the beach where Oney started surfing. It’s a fitting location,
Oney & Andre, 2010
considering it’s Oney’s talent in the water that helped build the modest home. A low cobblestone wall lines the perimeter of the property and fishing nets hang from the shade trees in the front yard. A crew of workers is busy building an extension to the house and construction materials are splayed out under the trees. Oney’s mother, Janu, greets us and apologizes for the construction. Things are good, she says. Between his school and contest schedule, Oney doesn’t get home often (Rip Curl agreed to pay for at least two trips home per year), so it’s a treat to have her youngest son sleeping in his old bed. Living in Australia to finish high school and improve his surfing is what’s best for both Oney and the family, she says. “Oney and Gazalin are the only ones who help,” says Janu. “We depend on them.” The youngest of 12 children – nine brothers and two sisters – Oney packs for more than just himself when he visits home. This time he’s brought a bulky suitcase filled with clothes and shoes of various sizes for his family. He’s also brought a little kangaroo stuffed animal for his baby nephew, some aboriginal crafts for his mother, and of course, surfboards: one for his brother, one for his uncle and one for his nine-year-old nephew, Andre, the family’s next surfing phenom. “I like my family to be surfers,” says Oney. The first thing you see when you step inside the Anwar household are Oney’s trophies. A slew of awards – everything from the Lakey Boardriders Comp to the Rip Curl GromSearch – are displayed on a small bookshelf and spill onto the floor. Most are for First Place. Tacked to the wall above the trophies are a few faded photographs of Oney surfing and a tattered page torn from a Surfing magazine, circa 2007. The spread is from an article in the annual Bali issue featuring “five Indonesian youths on the rise,” as selected by Rizal Tanjung. Of the five groms profiled, Oney is the only one
from outside Bali. The opening spread shows him flashing a shy smile next to four of Bali’s brightest young surf stars: Garut Widiarta, Mega Semadhi, Mustafa Jeksen, and Raditya Rondi. All four of the Bali boys grew up with a booming surf industry in their backyard. In contrast, Oney’s primary link to the world beyond Lakey was visiting surfers. He would hang out at the warungs all evening, his mother tells us, fetching food and beers for the sunburned men, and listening to their stories of faraway places.
stumble along the sidewalk. Women, smelling of vanilla and jasmine, strut up and down the street in high heels and short dresses, displaying sunkissed skin. Everywhere people are selling things – watches, shoes, laser pointers, a wallet that breathes fire when opened. Oney is transfixed by the frenetic energy all around him. This island is strange; a little scary. While he doesn’t know it now, this place will become Oney’s second home. //
It’s two in the morning on his first night in Bali and Oney Anwar is standing in front of Kuta’s Bounty nightclub. He’s sipping a Sprite, waiting for his new friends Cory and Beau to return from the club. His chaperones bought him the soda and told him to wait outside before disappearing into the thumping darkness. Jalan Legian is bustling with people, but Oney is the only fifth grader among them. Cory and Beau are surfers from Santa Cruz. During their stay in Lakey, the two men took such a liking to Oney that they offered to bring him to Bali. Although he didn’t admit it, Oney was scared on the flight over. It was his first time on a plane and Cory and Beau let him sit in the window seat. Looking down on Sumbawa from above the clouds, Oney felt like he was in a dream. Then they arrived in Bali and it felt like he had landed on another planet. In Lakey everything shuts down after dinner time. But Kuta never goes to bed. Chickens and goats have been replaced by lines of cars and beeping motor bikes. Small warungs of warped wood are now gleaming white malls full of bright lights and shiny windows. Oney has never seen so many people in one place. A river of faces, rolling by in endless shapes and colors. Young men, sweating and red in the face,
Oney isn’t the first surfer to make it out of Lakey. There were others before him: Joey Barrel; Dedi Gun; his older brother, Gazalin. But Oney’s always had a special quality that hints of big things to come – beyond Lakey, beyond Bali. “When I first met Oney, I knew he was going to come to Bali,” says Kuta kingpin Made “Bol” Adi Putra, who first noticed Oney in Lakey when he was 12 years old. “He was so small, but had such a big personality. He reminded me of the kid in that movie Slumdog Millionaire.” After observing the charismatic grom in and out of the water during a oneweek trip to Lakey, Bol told Oney he would hook him up with Volcom if he came to Bali. Oney came to Kuta and stayed with Bol for four months. Volcom stickered up his board, saddled him with new clothes, and gave him 50,000 rupes per day spending money (about $5 US). Three meals a day, no bottle collecting required. Tagging along with Bol, Oney was quickly adopted by the Bali locals. From Kuta to Keramas, Sanur to Ulus, everyone knew Oney. He continued to visit Bali for months at a time, competing in all the grom contests and crashing wherever there was an open couch. Bali-based photographer Nate Lawrence was one of several people who Oney stayed with over the years. “I would get busy, go on a trip
somewhere, and I wouldn’t see him for a couple months,” recalls Nate. “Then I would see him in Bali with a group of surfers or some bule lady. Any time someone was coming back from Lakey they would buy him a ticket and he would come over with them. He was always making friends like that. You have to have that quality to get out of Lakey.”
Northern Beaches, Sydney, 2010
Oney Anwar looks out on the crowd gathered on the beach and raises the silver trophy high above his head. He’s just become the first-ever Indonesian surfer to win an ASP Pro Junior event. Oney came from behind to win a four-man final at the Dripping Wet Pro Junior, held in unremarkable twofoot beachbreak. Indonesian surfers aren’t supposed to excel in shitty beachbreaks. They aren’t supposed to travel well or enjoy surfing in cold water. Oney, who has spent the past three years living on the Gold Coast and sports a distinct wetsuit tan, begs to differ. “This is why I moved to Australia,” he tells the Australian press after his historic win, “to take my surfing to the next level.” There are tents, flags, and large speakers set up along the beach. There is prize money and cameras and many girls smiling at him. News of the feat will air on the local news tonight. Within hours, photos and a press release will be uploaded all over the internet. Oney’s Australian detour is beginning to bear fruit.
Lakey Peak, 2010
There’s no webcast of the Lakey Board Riders contest. There isn’t even a horn to signal the start of heats. All the locals gathered in the tower on the reef just scream in unison when it’s time for the surfers to paddle in. The winner receives a grand prize of 100,000 IDR, or about $10 USD. To
no one’s surprise, this year’s winner is Oney Anwar. His nephew, Andre, finishes fourth in the grom division. “You’re kidding me!” says Oney, watching the grom heats. “I can’t believe how good these kids are surfing.” Before the awards party, Oney takes his 100,000 rupiah bill to the local money changer and swaps it for a stack of 5,000 Rp bills. That evening at Fatma’s, he tosses the loose stack into the air, along with a fist-full of shiny Rip Curl stickers, sending all the groms in the room into a frenzy.
Oney Anwar is dwarfed by the massive red Rip Curl logo adorning the brand’s Asia headquarters on Sunset Road. He’s here for an important meeting with his sponsor. It’s become plainly obvious that Rip Curl has a prodigy on its hands. Oney has won nearly every major grom contest in Indo. But in order to groom him into a champion on an international scale, Oney must leave the comforts of home behind. Inside the office, at a long table beneath a large framed photo of Padang Padang, the Rip Curl brass present 15-yearold Oney with a proposition: move to Australia to finish high school and train with some of the best coaches in the sport. Instead of nasi goreng and perfect reef breaks, it’ll be a steady diet of meat pies and sand-bottom points. Instead of hanging at the Lakey warungs in the evenings with the latest surf dogs blown into town, it’ll be running sprints and mock heats with coach Phil McNamara (who also instructs Mick Fanning) on the beaches of the Goldie. Oney will live in Palm Beach with a homestay family, relatives of an Australian friend of his who stays in Lakey most of the year. He will study English for six months in an ESL program, then transfer to Palm Beach Currumbin High School. He will be one of only a handful of students to earn a
spot on the school’s surf team. He will make new friends, win the prestigious Queensland surfing title, and meet an Australian girlfriend. Of the more than 2,000 students at PBC, Oney will be the only one from Indonesia and the only Muslim. He’ll have to get used to wearing a wetsuit for part of the year. He’ll have to adjust to a new diet. He will miss the waves back home and the smell of his family’s house in the late afternoon when his mom is cooking curry.
Lakey Peak, 2012
Thirteen-year-old Andre Anwar is sitting on the back of the motorbike, chugging south of town. His uncle Oney is driving. Andre holds their boards, one under each of his skinny arms. Andre’s new Rip Curl hat is slanted sideways, “gangsta style,” as he calls it. Oney has found a brief window free from responsibilities. The film crew is busy interviewing Oney’s Aussie homestay family back in town. The journalist and photographers are escaping the midday heat at their hotel. Oney sewed up the last of the paperwork for his land deal this morning. It’s time to go surfing with Andre. It’s been six months, and Oney is curious to see how his young nephew is progressing. Andre is eager to show him. They pull up in front of Oney’s house at Cobbles and check the waves from under the shade of a tree. “Wait here,” Oney says, and disappears into the house. A few minutes later Oney reemerges into the front yard holding a brand new 4’9” thruster. He had it custom-made for Andre by his shaper in Australia. Oney can’t help grinning, anticipating his nephew’s fevered grom excitement. He calls Andre over, but gets no response. Oney walks down to the cobblestone beach and squints out at the water. Andre is already past the shorebreak, paddling intently out to the waves.
PROBLEM Photography by Albert Judiyanto
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5 surfers. 10 days in the Mentawais. $50,000 for the best air of the trip.
“It’s got to be something where the wow-factor is through the roof, like at least ten feet out over the bowl.” – Chippa Wilson
Dear Airstrike people, The plan was not to do turns in the Mentawais. Our boat was supposed to flee from offshore wind and groomed waves. Everything below the lip was to be ignored like a crazy person on the subway. I didn’t mean to throw buckets today – but I did anyway. I couldn’t help myself. Sorry. Sincerely, Ryan Callinan
“Someone is going to land a 540 on this trip.” – Matt Meola
“That trip was gnarly because the very first day we surfed we saw John John do this huge sideways flip, just something I’ve never seen before. So then I started trying flips and just getting weird.” – Albee Layer
“There are only a few surfers out there doing airs like veteran vert skaters. John Florence is leading the charge with tricks like this frontside stale ‘360’ (but we skaters know it’s actually a 540).” – Tony Hawk John and his $50K stalefish.
John Florence is having an existential crisis. “Am I an air guy?” he asks us. Matt and Albee insist that landing ten-foot helicopter airs makes John an air guy. But John doesn’t seem to think he falls into the category. The truth is John is also a “barrel guy,” “turn guy” and “big-wave guy.” And he’s a “contest guy” who wins events in Brazilian beach break. I tell John not to worry about it. They are all just silly labels the surf world creates to simplify things. They aren’t mutually exclusive. Then I ask him to list his top 5 favorite “air guys.” Here they are, in no particular order: Bruce Irons Nathan Fletcher Chippa Wilson Matt Meola Dane Reynolds
OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS Made “Bol” Adi Putra receives a mysterious phone call one morning. A developer is interested in buying his family’s land in the heart of Kuta. Could this be Bol’s big pay day? Let’s listen in...
Hello, can I please speak to Mr. Adi Putra? Yeah, who is this? Hi, this is Bob Slydell from Best Western Hotels. I’m calling because I heard that you own some land in Kuta along Jalan Benesari.
cars passing by, and the road is very small. So many times I can’t get my car out of my driveway because your guests park in the road. Everyone has been complaining. It’s such a mess. I don’t understand how you can make such a big hotel and not make a parking lot on the bottom. In the future you need parking if you don’t want to have a problem.
Yes? I’m just curious, how long have you owned this land? A long time. You want to rent some land or something? What are you doing with the land right now, Mr. Adi Putra? Any plans to develop it? I’m running a business on my land already. I’m running a homestay. I live on that land too. Who am I talking to? Who is this?
How much would you be willing to sell your land for, Mr. Adi Putra? We don’t sell any land here. Me and my family we rent our land, but we don’t sell our land. It’s not for sale. I like you Mr. Adi Putra. You seem like a straight shooter, so I won’t beat around the bush. We are interested in building a Best Western fitness center on your land in front of our Kuta Beach hotel. Let me ask you a question, Mr. Adi Putra. What would you do with one billion rupiah?
How big is your property? I only have a small area right now, but... How did you get my number? One of my staff gave me your phone number. Are you familiar with the Best Western Hotel in Kuta Beach, Mr. Adi Putra?
What would I do with one billion rupiah? I would invest it. Well, we are prepared to offer you 500 million rupiah per are and a lifetime membership to our Kuta Beach fitness center. Are you joking?
Yes. My family owns that land, but we rent it to Best Western. That hotel’s been open for one year almost. But it’s kind of messed up what they’ve done there, making a big hotel without any parking. It’s getting fucked up around here because of your hotel. You build this big hotel and don’t make any parking area, so all the guests use the road for parking, and it’s making traffic all the time in front of my house. Your land is directly across the street from our Kuta Beach hotel. Is that right? Yes, and the traffic has gotten out of control here. There’s a lot of motorbikes and a lot of
I thought you might say that, so how about a little something to sweeten the deal. I’ve been told you are a professional surfer. Is that right? Yeah, sure. What would you say if we were to offer you a position as head surf instructor at our fitness center? Man, I have a lot of stuff going on right now. I don’t want to be too busy. I’m talking big billboards all over town with
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your face on them! I think instead you should be doing something about the parking problem at your hotel. You need to talk to the man who owns the land next door to the Best Western hotel. It’s still just coconut trees, everything is still empty there. It would be perfect if you make a parking lot there next to the hotel. Well I hate to break it to you, but we plan on ramping up business at the hotel with the addition of our new fitness center, and we expect a lot more traffic in the near future. Well there’s gonna be more people complaining. It’s gonna happen. One day, I don’t know, people here are gonna get fed up and they’re gonna do something about it. Is that a threat? Look, your hotel has been packed. I never go inside, but I see a lot of guests. You have a lot of small rooms and those ugly rainbow color windows in front, but it’s working for you. That’s fine. The hotel design is ‘Modern Minimalist.’ Ok, whatever. But my place is different. My bungalows are more green, more gardens. I have a lot of guests too. I don’t have 100 rooms like you, but my guests love what my place is. I just think the parking at your hotel is a mess. You seem like a sensible man, Mr. Adi Putra. Why don’t you come by for one of our worldfamous All American breakfasts – on the house of course – and we’ll talk about it. At the Best Western? I don’t know, maybe. I will let you know if I have the time. You won’t regret it, Mr. Adi Putra. Our steak and eggs is the best on the island. We’ll be in touch.
UJI “HAHAN” HANDOKO
I grew up in Magelang, a small town near Borobudur Temple in Java. Now I live in Yogyakarta where I studied at the Indonesian Institute of the Arts. YK is a good place to be if youâ€™re into art, music and youth culture. Thereâ€™s a cool scene happening there. // Art school kids get loose. On Saturday nights we sneak into the school and throw a party in one of the classrooms. We decorate the place with Christmas lights and cheap disco balls and we bring in a sound system. Everyone brings their own playlists and we trade off being DJ. For refreshments we usually just buy a few bottles and mixers, but sometimes we make the booze ourselves. We learned how to distill liquor by searching on Google. Our moonshine is famous in YK ;)
I used to do a lot of art in public places, like on abandoned buildings or under freeways. I love street art because you’re sharing it with the whole world. Lately I’ve been more focused on work done in the studio, but sometimes if I really get the itch to go back to the street I will grab some paints and head out at night. You have to play it smooth. Otherwise you can get in a lot of trouble with cops and stuff. I’ve been lucky so far. I met Rizal (Tandjung) through Memet and Heru from Dub Youth (Jogja-based drum and base duo). Rizal is really passionate about art and supporting young artists in Indonesia, so we hatched a plan to hold an exhibition at the Hurley Space in Bali. I was really happy about how it all came out.
To be able to collaborate with Rizal and those guys in the surf and skate world was new and exciting for me. For me, surfers and skaters are like artists. They make art with their own medium – on waves or in the concrete jungle – and every surfer and skater has his or her own style. It’s more like performance art. // Maybe one day when I’m really established and selling paintings for thousands of dollars I will live in Bali (hahaha). But, seriously, it’s expensive there! Bali has plenty of new art and music going on and all kinds of international influences coming through town. I would definitely be interested to live and work there. For now it’s a great place to visit. So many wild people on that island.
CREAM Chippa Wilson
Garut & Lee
Owen & Ozzie
Made “Bol” Adi Putra
THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!
Russians drink vodka. Russians win Chess tournaments. Russians endure long, cold winters; and wrestle bears; and engineer super fighters to take on Rocky Balboa. But Russians don’t surf. At least they never used to. Blame the global financial crisis. Blame global warming. Somehow the natural order of things has been disrupted and Bali has become inundated with Russians hell-bent on conquering the waves.
Russian surf schools are multiplying on the island faster than you can say “Vladivostok.” On any given day at Halfway you will find legions of their students slapping the water, while their instructors struggle to stay afloat. We captured one of the generals leading Russia’s surfing invasion of Bali – a 29-year-old instructor from Russia living in Seminyak – and demanded answers. When he refused, we waterboarded him until we got some.
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Where are you from? I’m from Kaliningrad, a western city in Russia. How are the waves there in Kaliningrad? We do surf there, but it’s not like the ocean waves in Bali. We are on the Baltic Sea so it’s only small wind-waves. After I discovered surfing in Spain I realized it is actually possible to surf in Kaliningrad. It’s not very good waves, but it’s possible. How long have you been surfing? I started six years ago, more or less. But I started working as surf instructor around four years ago. So I surf every day for four years now.
boring, but every day you have to explain the real basics to people. And after a while, you can get bored if you don’t like people and if you don’t like teaching. So you have to love surfing and you have to love teaching. Otherwise you would get bored very quickly.
talking to the waitress in the restaurant in Russian. And then they get angry when they don’t understand them.
Could I become a surf instructor?
Well, I can identify Russians because of the style. We don’t have any good style because we are too young.
Yeah, sure. Actually, in Europe for example, to be a surf instructor you need a qualification. You have to pass an exam. But here in Bali or in Dominican Republic you don’t have to. So I don’t have any paper which confirms that I have surf instructing qualification. In Europe you couldn’t work without it. But I think I could pass the exam. Are there any surf schools in Russia? No.
How do you become a surf instructor? Well it was pretty easy for me. After my first time surfing in Spain, I had a dream to be close to the ocean and surf all the time. At the time I had a normal job working in finance as a consultant. Then we had the crisis in 2008 and my firm didn’t have any contracts and I didn’t have any work. So I decided to take off for three months and try to go surfing. I wrote some emails to different surf schools, and one of them replied to me. It was Russian school in Dominican Republic. At that time I couldn’t actually surf well. But because I was into it and I could explain to people how to surf, the guys hired me as a surf instructor. How did you wind up in Bali? I came to Bali two years later for Russian surf competition. Every year we have in Bali a competition for Russians. And so from Dominican Republic I came here to compete, and I got a good result. I took third place and the guys from the school where I’m working now offered me a job. Where is the Russian surfing contest held? At Balangan beach, maybe you have heard about this beach? I don’t actually like it. It’s reef break, so it’s more dangerous there. But the wave is still ok. You couldn’t do a lot of tricks because the wave is really fast and kind of hollow. So it’s just about going straight, doing nothing. What qualifications do you need to be a surf instructor? Well, you have to like surfing first of all. Also, I wouldn’t say that sometimes it’s
Why do so many Russians want to come to Bali to learn to surf? Surfing is a trend in Russia now. I remember maybe five years ago I didn’t even know anything about surfing in Russia. Nowadays we have advertising with surfing for mobile phones and so on. There is more and more people interested in surfing in Russia. They see movies with Keanu Reeves learning to surf and they say, I want to try that! Do other surfers give you a hard time about the surf school? The good part about Kuta Beach is it’s a really long beach, so you can always find some space for the students. But the crowd is a really big issue here. The basics is that one wave is for one person. So if you have 40 people, you have to wait at least 40 waves before it will be your turn. I guess there is also a problem with Russians. Some locals don’t like Russians in particular. Why do you think that is? Russians are a bit closed-off. They are not that open-minded. When we had the Soviet Union we were cut off from the rest of the world and only between ourselves. Now we have the open borders and we can go anywhere, but still the mentality is the same – a bit closed. We don’t smile that much. We don’t communicate much. We don’t come into the store and say, hello, how are you? Not because we don’t like it, but because that’s just the way we are. And I think that’s why some of the locals consider the Russians to be rude. And also the big problem is we don’t speak other languages. All the time I see Russians coming here and
Can you identify a Russian surfer just by looking at them?
Who is Russia’s greatest surfer? Is there a Kelly Slater of Russia? No, no, no. For example, last year I was the Russian champion in longboarding. But if I will compare myself to the biggest names in longboarding in the world, I’m just a beginner. You have to understand that in Russia the history of surfing is only five or six years maybe. So we don’t have any big names right now. Where did you win the Russian longboarding title? It was in Vladivostok, on the east coast of Russia. The waves were not good. Actually, the waves weren’t big enough for the shortboard event, so we only had longboard. But it still feels good to win. Even though I’m surfing for only for four years, I have the title of Russian champion. But I never tell it to the Australian or Americans who can surf well because they would laugh at me. As long as you can tell Russian girls about it and they don’t laugh at you. Do you sleep with a lot of your students? Well (pauses). I don’t have to say this (more pause). It’s not considered a good thing at the school. Ok, have you dated many of your students? Well, yes. You have really close contact with your students, so it’s really easy. The first step is already done. You get introduced to each other; she knows that you’re a surf instructor, you know that she’s a student and she’s here for a while and she wants to surf and so on. And starting with surfing then you can get involved in some conversation, and then you can just ask her out. Or sometimes they ask me out. I wouldn’t say that I’m bored of it, but lately I’m beginning to think I need to stop and find just one woman. I’m not old, but I’m not getting any younger. I should become a surf instructor. Yes, it’s good.
straight, no chaser. Garut Widiarta, 24, Kuta Everyone in Bali knows Garut. He’s the fastest surfer on the island and the crown prince of the chaotic Kuta kingdom. Garut makes Kuta look effortless. He floats around town on his custom Honda Tiger like a Zen Buddha, unfazed by the blaring music, bulldozers and Bintang-branded riffraff spinning around him. What does Kuta’s favorite son make of it all? Here are Garut’s thoughts on...
It’s bad. But it’s also great. When I’ve been on a long trip in the jungle, the first thing I do when I get home is have a cold beer. It’s Bali, there’s no way you can’t party. I don’t go out too much because I need to be healthy for surfing. But if there’s a good reason for a party I’ll have a drink for sure.
I love competing – until I lose! I think everyone is like that. I get stressed out. I walk away, go home and calm down. I get angry at myself, like, why did I lose? Winning is the best feeling ever. I can feel it in the morning before the contest if I’m going to win. If I feel 50/50, I’m going to lose. It’s a confidence thing.
Some people in Indonesia say that tattoos are really bad. They think if you have tattoos it means you’re a bad-ass mafia guy, like a Yakuza in Japan. Other people think tattoos are like art, and I agree with that. I love tattoos.
Now that’s more my style. You can see the swell coming, get a plan together, and nobody can stop you. It’s your choice where you surf and when. If I get a good clip or a sick shot, it’s the same feeling as winning a contest. If I get a good clip I can’t wait to watch it. I rewind that shit like ten times! If the filmer misses a good wave I try not to get pissed off. But if he wasn’t paying attention because he was smoking a cigarette, or ordering a jaffle, that’s when I do get pissed off!
CIGARETTES Here in Indo 99% of guys smoke. It’s part of the Indonesian lifestyle. If a chick smokes cigarettes I think it’s gross. It turns me off. These cigarette companies sponsor everything – concerts, parties, even sporting events, which doesn’t make any sense. They sponsor soccer matches on TV and sometimes they put surfing in their ads too, and it just looks silly.
KELLY SLATER He’s a freaking alien. Nobody can beat him and he’s getting better with time. It’s never going to end unless he gets injured. Even now with the young guys like John John, he can still match them! Did you see the full rotation 360 he did in New York? With the lien grab? The 10-point one? That was fucked up. He’s a hungry old man.
FEMALES There’s so many girls here. Chicks come from everywhere to get laid in Bali. It’s the center of punani. It’s a vagina town. But you can’t tell which ones are nice or naughty. The MILFs come for the Kuta Cowboys, and their daughters come for us!
It’s fucked up. If I’m surfing far away I’m going to take my motorbike, for sure. It’ll cut a two-hour drive into a 30-minute bike ride. I’ll get my waves faster.
He’s a true legend. He’s the guy who put Indonesian surfing in the international spotlight. Because of him we know the world and the world knows us. He’s still pushing the next generation coming up. These days there’s so many talented groms overseas, you need to work your ass off, but I think our guys can match them.
Tourism is good for the economy here – that’s obvious – especially in Kuta where I’m from. But the tourists who rent bikes and ride around like it’s a party on the road, and nearly crash into people, they aren’t cool. It’s dangerous. A guy died on my street when he crashed into a pole. He was drunk, driving a motorbike and not wearing a helmet.
It’s our food. We survive off it. Our first meal as a baby is rice, and probably the last one too. People here can eat just rice and sambal. Or rice with salt. No meat or veggies. Without rice all the poor people couldn’t afford to eat.
We have perfect waves, cheap food, and an easy lifestyle. The bummer is the traffic and pollution. A lot of people here do things that don’t make sense, like throw rubbish out the car window. Who the fuck does that overseas? But what I love about the Indonesian people is that they’re all mellow. From Sumbawa to the Mentawais, from the village to the city, if there’s a problem we can usually talk about it. If you show up and respect the locals, they will respect you back.
If the locals can get work and surf too then it’s not a bad thing at all. If it’s your first time in Bali and maybe you don’t speak our language – or even English – then you might need someone to show you the spots so you don’t waste time. What I don’t like is when foreigners guide the tourists. It’s like taking jobs from the locals, and to me that’s not right.
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THE BOAT TRIP
Our boat was lucky to be floating. The paint was peeling. The deck was rotting. It was infested with cockroaches. We had engine problems every few hours. About halfway through the crossing we realized there was no GPS or radio on the boat. How the captain made the crossing overnight in the pitch dark I will never know. // The eski and ice were our ticket to a decent meal. After we ran out of ice, it was just noodles, noodles, and more noodles. Fortunately, everything tastes better when you’re surfed-out, hungry, and on a boat in the middle of nowhere. // The cabin fit three of us sleeping side by side like sardines in a can. The fourth person would sleep on the deck, or on the roof if it looked like it wasn’t going to rain. Every night we would be rolling back and forth with the rocking boat, trying not to bump into each other. But I was so tired from surfing all day that I could sleep anywhere. // It was a bit of a survival mission, but it was so worth it. Those were some of the most amazing waves I’ve ever surfed. – Jay Davies
I was on my way home from the Oakley comp at Canggu when I got the call from Lon. We’re going in the morning, he said. I missed out last year so I didn’t question it this time. // It was my second time there. Nate was frothing hard on the swell, so I was preparing for the real deal. The first time I went there it was barely breaking. This time it was almost 10 feet. // The wave is like no other. It was crazy. // The best wave of the trip came through and it was just me and Jay out there. It was his turn so I was like, go Jay! He started to paddle for it and then let it go. I was like, what the fuck dude? He said I didn’t psych him up enough when he was paddling for it. He would have gotten so barreled. I have the clip. That wave was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen Jay take off on way scarier waves than that. I don’t know what got into him, I guess the sight of such a perfect wave just froze him. – Lee Wilson
It was my first time there and I wasn’t expecting to get what we got. Best waves I’ve seen. Dreamy kine. // The boat was ok. We had all the necessities, like a place to sleep and food. Nate Lawrence, our photographer, doubled as our chef. He brought an eski full of cheese, quesadillas, salsa and chips. We didn’t have a toilet though. // We saw the usual suspects out there. Laurie Towner got the craziest one. Dylan (Longbottom) was on it too. I think Laurie or Dean Bowen got shredded the most but Mikala probably got the worst beating. He blew out his eardrum and couldn’t surf anymore // Yeah, I was scared. // It’s an unreal wave, but I don’t think I would go back. I just don’t think we could ever get it that good again. – Marlon Gerber