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ROUND 7 Every day after school Raju is down at Padma with his family, selling drinks on the beach. Raju's parents have been running their umbrella at Padma for ten years. Mom handles the money. Raju and his sisters, Bella and Ellis, serve the drinks and help pack up the chairs after the sun has set and everyone on the beach disperses into the narrow streets of Kuta. Their No. 1 customer is a tatted-up Aussie surf dog by the name of Johnny Uluwatu. Raju calls Johnny his “crazy grandpa.” Johnny teaches Raju and his little brother Leo karate on the beach. Raju helps Johnny with his Indonesian, gives him waves out at Padma (“Usually the shit ones,” says Johnny), and covers for Johnny when one of his many Indonesian girlfriends comes around asking where he was last night.

ROUND 8 Raju started surfing at Padma when he was seven years old, alongside the older Padma Boys like Winnie, Blacky, the Amar brothers, and the twins, Tonjo and Bleronk. “Padma is every kind of wave in one,” says Raju. “If it's big, stand-up barrel. If it's small, good for airs. It's the best wave for training.” For Raju, growing up at Padma means no hassling for waves. But Raju has no plans to get the Padma Boys' trademark anchor tattoo on his hand. “My dad doesn't have any tattoos, so I don't want one either,” says Raju. Bala the boxer admits that he doesn't like needles. “I'm afraid of the needle,” he says. “Better you punch me.”

ROUND 9 Raju is the current ISC junior champion. He wants to be the best in the water every time he paddles out and says that surfing in a heat is a lot like sparring in the ring. Last year Raju was invited by Hurley to train with their international team on the Gold Coast during the Quiksilver Pro, but he couldn't go because his visa didn't get sorted in time. It was a bitter pill to swallow for Raju, but he says he has a plan to make it to Australia this year: win the Rip Curl GromSearch National Final at Halfway Beach and a ticket to compete in the international final at Bells Beach. He's finished runner-up the past two years in the GromSearch National Final, but according to Raju, “this is my year.”

ROUND 10 Last year Rizal took Raju to Pacitan on a big swell. Padang was breaking back in Bali and Rizal was calling it 8 foot out at Pacitan. Riz and Raju were the only ones to paddle out. On his first wave, Raju got smashed. He snapped his board and hit the reef – hard. But like Rocky Balboa getting back up after a vicious uppercut from Apollo Creed, Raju picked himself off the mat and got back in the fight. The next day Raju paddled back out and dropped into the biggest barrel of the day. Did he come out? “Of course!” says Raju, with more swagger than Floyd Mayweather at a pre-fight press conference. “Rizal has the photo. You should run it in the mag.” The Prince Of Padma is a cheeky grom, but like Muhammad Ali said, “It’s not bragging if you can back it up.”

Bali Belly Issue 002  

Bali Belly is an independent youth culture magazine based in Bali, Indonesia.

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