Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bali...only a few days left

It's my last few days here and I seemed kind of lost. I know that I'm leaving soon so I'm affraid to get wrapped up in planning any sort of adventures. Being sick yesterday didn't help either. It was more like the perfect storm of sickness. I surfed in the AM and when I got back I was feeling sore and had a thumping headache...I'm pretty sure I was dehidrated, my stomach was outta wack so I didn't want to eat, I hadn't slept well in a few days, and it was hot. I finally got my ass off the couch around 4 to get some food which helped. Eric came home and was heading out to surf so I figured that would make me feel better. Just the idea of surf seemed to work, but it was a different story once I strapped my leash on. The sandbar was ripping, and it was like a river moving along the reef, which meant alot of work. After 20 minutes I was thinking about going back in. Next thing I know the decission had been made for me by a wave on the inside of the sandbar. I was about to take one on the head so I tried to dive as deep as I could, but that only ended up being about 2 feet before I hit the bottom. I was always expecting if anything was going to go wrong here it would have been one of the shallow jagged reefs, not the sandbar. It was by far the worse pounding I've had this trip. I think I sucked up over the falls twice by the same wave...if that's even possible. I went back home, crawled onto the couch and watched some shitty movie before falling asleep. I feel much better today, but still haven't had a meal.

My old work switched my phone contract over to me alittle sooner than I imagined and I guess I already have a $200 phone bill. No more using my phone here.

Drex sent me a few pics of the Straits from the other day. I'm soooo stoked for you guys...wearing your wetsuits in cold water and driving hours to surf;) I'll be joining you soon. See you on election day.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bali Update #5

Belongan lineup first thing in the AM.

Swell picked back up a few days ago. I spent the first day surfing Belongan and Dreamland with Eric and Made (Maw-day). Belongan wasn't barreling, but it was alot bigger, and just as fast as the first time I surfed there. Even though it was pretty crowded I was able to get into a few set waves. Dreamland was fun, but nothing special. I made a bunch of the local kids laugh by pulling into a closeout barrel breaking onto the sand. I still have sand in my hair and least it's not coral.

Superman is Dead @ Rip Curl Music Fest.

That night we went down to the Rip Curl WQS 6 star Surf contest and Music Fest. Eric's friends band- 'Superman is Dead', was one of the headliners for the final night and they got us backstage passes. My camera is bigger than everyone elses so I got to walk around the stage freely and take pics while the guys hung out and drank beer. I met some crazy old dude who felt it necessary to tell me stories of how he used to do mounds of coke with Buttons Kaluhiokalani and beat guys up on the North Shore.

Kuta is a fucking mess. It's like South Beach, but with really dangerous sidewalks, a million scooters, and drunk Aussies. I've heard Eric call it Kuta-fornia. This chick we met had a Pheonix tattooed on her back and our Indo friend, Made, asked me why she had a chicken on her back. I told him it was cause she's Australian.


Next day we took a boat to an island called Lembongan to surf Shipwrecks, Razors, Lacerations, and Playland. The names are all very appropriate. The swell had backed off some from yesterday, but that was a good thing. Razors, and Lacerations, both break in a few feet of water over really nasty reef covered in rebar that fishermen use to rig nets up to. At Razors a macking set rolled through and shoved all of us inside. I was the furthest out and still took a couple waves on the head while Ryan wasn't as lucky and ended up getting stuck on the reef for a few more sets. Eventhough it wasn't the safest spot it was hands down the most beautiful water I've ever been in. Playland was gay. We even made it back to Canggu for a sundown surf.

Yesterday I didn't surf. Canggu was still barreling pretty good and I wasn't feeling like taking a beating so I jumped on my scooter and drove up into mountains to check out a temple. It was about 2 hours there and another 3 to get back. I made it a point take different roads than I've been on so I could get lost and find my way home. It was a really fun trip and I think I may head up to the volcano tomorrow after my morning surf.

Today I surfed for about 4 hours. Swell has dropped again and everywhere has mellowed out. I paddled out to a spot called 'Old Mans' and shared waves with about 10 guys for an hour before everyone went in leaving me there with one other guy. I think I logged more wave time in the last session than I have on my whole trip. It's a pretty mellow reef break about shoulder high and peeling for a good 150 yards. My arms are noodles.

Zummies guys are gone now. They both got Bali themed tattoos yesterday before getting on a plane. Yep, they got tattoos while they were here because the place just blew their mind. Niether of them had ever left the US before this trip. The younger guy also got his hair braided into corn rows like all the trashy tourists do down in Kuta. I refused to sit next to the guy in public.

I've read the news twice since I've been here. It feels so good not to pay attention to the election, although I have had a few questions about it from the locals. Most think BO is Muslim and they seemed surprised we're ok with the idea of an African American president. I haven't met a single person from another country that isn't keeping their fingers crossed for BO. I wish their vote was taken into consideration. While I'm on the topic of politics...why the Fuck is Palin still in the news? I was hoping she would been forgoten about by the time I got back. Is half of the US really that dumb that they feel they need to listen to her? Just the fact that her 15 minutes has lasted this long makes me really scared for the election.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bali Update

A few more days without new swell. Still plenty of waves at Canggu reef in the morning and evening sessions. Eric had some words with a few tourist surfers in the water the other afternoon. Only a few dudes in the water and these guys were paddling around the locals and then blowing waves most the time. Eric was pretty polite and told them to show some respect for the locals. The next day he gets a call from DCP who was in Canggu with Terje and Mads Johnson, they want to do some sort of interview with him for a show they are working on. After some chatting DCP mentions they were surfing Canggu last night. So Eric pretty was giving them shit, for good reasons, and now he's supposed to do an interview with them.

Zumies dudes are in the house now too. Two shop workers won a contest for selling the most Spacecraft stuff. One guy is 22 and asked me what my favorite Indie band is. He talks alot.

Going back to the Bukit this afternoon after I see the faith healer- Pak Sirkus. I guess he's world famous as a healer. Not sure what I need him to fix since I'm pretty near perfect.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Bukit

The Bukit is where I need to be. Canggu is great and all, but the Bukit is what I came here to surf. I think I may find a cheap place out there for a week when the house clears out again. some Zumies guys are coming in today so I'll see if I still want to hang out.

Yesterday I surfed Bulongan beach and Padang Padang. Padang was nothing like the usual pictures you see in the mags. It was about knee high, but kept me entertained for a few hours in the afternoon. Bulongan was also pretty small- about shoulder high and the waves ending up in knee deep water a few feet from dry reef. Even at shoulder high it was barreling enough for me to squeeze into a couple tubes, but rarely have enough speed to make it out. Scratched my shin up pretty good on the reef.

Canggu was fun this AM. Surfed the main reef until the tide made it too shallow. I've been riding a 6'1" Stretch Quad the last few days and loving it.

Heading to check out some temples today, and doing my best to stay out of the sun.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Still in Bali

It's real hot. Hottest days they've had in years I guess. Lots of sitting in front of a fan during the peaks hours of the day. Surfing only early in the AM and again before sunset.

My last few days of surf have not been as ideal as the first day at Uluwatu. I've been surfing at the local spot down the road from the house called Canggu reef. Pretty strange setup with a few breaks on the reef and a few more sand bars. I've been making alot of late take-offs and getting pitched. It's not nearly as predictable as Ulu's. There's a few other breaks down the road that are a lot easier, but also more of a crowd. Not nearly as pristine as the Bukit.

So the house I'm staying in isn't on the beach as I had thought, but about a mile away, or 5 minutes on my scooter. It's in a district/community called Canggu. Canggu is know for being mostly rice fields and farming, but more recently has become a surfing hot spot. I guess guys like Machado, Taj Burrows, Taylor Steele, Dustin Humpreies, and the Hurley team, have built houses all right here because it's far enough from the circus of Kuta, but just a short drive away. So with the pros being there the local hot shots spend alot of time trying to be seen. The reef is super close to shore so it's perfect for filming too. I've seen some sick turns and big airs being thrown.

We're heading back to the Bukit today and going to stay for a night. It's only a few miles away but takes about an hour to get there because of the roads and traffic. Since we can get a hotel there for next to nothing we figured it would nice to surf this afternoon and tomorrow without having to deal with driving back to the house, Although I am starting to have some fun driving around. Traffic is pretty much a free for all. The roads are painted with broken and solid lines and from what I can tell the broken line means- dodge in and out of traffic using either lane to pass, and the solid line means- dodge in and out of traffic using either lane to pass on a corner or blind hill. I have know Idea why they waste there time painting lines on the road.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Greetings from Bali

Getting here wasn’t worth talking about, just 3 flights for a total of 26 hours. I think I slept for about 4 of them.

Once I landed Erich pretty much had everything covered for me; directions to the house with a number for the driver to call when we got lost, a surfboard, and scooter rental already lined up. He also put me in touch with an old friend Franklin, who was driving out to Uluwatu the next morning. We had a meal down at Echo beach and that was about it for my first day.

Woke up at 5:15 to catch a taxi so I could meet up with Franklin and Simon and catch a ride out to the Bukit and Uluwatu. They were stoked because the swell was calling for 6 to 8ft (Hawaiian). I was scared I might have to sit it out, but luckily it was small than expected. Smaller than what they expected was still some of the largest surf I ever paddled out into. It’s set up pretty much like Salidtia, but on a much grander scale. It was no problem making it out and once there I just hung out on the shoulder to watch for awhile. It was like sitting on a second story balcony and watching guys surf on the sidewalk below. I never caught any waves on the main peak but opted for down the line a little. Catching waves was a lot easier than I ever imagined. It’s like a machine so once you’re in the right position you pretty much just take a few strokes and you’re in. I wasn’t taking off deep so I would get to my feet and have a sec or two before the wave would turn into a wall a few feet overhead and then start to pitch. I only caught 3 or 4 waves and didn’t make a single turn. I pretty much just raced down the line to make each section. I never bounced off the reef so I would consider it a successful mission.

After surfing Franklin dropped me off at the Spacecraft office. I was introduced to Britt, and within 5 minutes of hopping on the back of her scooter to catch a ride home, I decided I was going to tag along with her to Ubud to meet some friends. Ubud is smaller town inland that’s known as being artsy and good food. We hung out there for a a night walking around eating and drinking. Britt’s friend Katie designs bras which totally fascinated me, and her other friend Steve just retired from Subpop as their Promotions director. Both really cool folks.

It ends up that Britt knows Clem and Drex. She designs clothes for OR, has been the announcer for the Baker banked Slolom for something like 8 years, and her boyfriend is a snowboard filmer who was responsible for the Whiskey movies. Gary and I don’t even know each other but he was a pretty big influence one point in my life. I can almost hear the beer bottles breaking over heads right now.

Having computer issues so no pics yet.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Spent the weekend visiting Heidi in San Fran. We lucked out with the weather. The forecast was calling for rain, but ended up being sunny most of the time. Did some hiking, eating, drinking, and clubbing...good times.

Just got a call out of the blue from my old companies competitor, they heard I was let go and want me to work for them now. They're trying to create a full-time gig for me, but have some immediate contract stuff I can do while I'm in Bali. I wasn't planning on working while I was there so I agreed to answer emails. At least I'll have a paycheck when I get back.

I leave in a few days and until then Jackie has a list of things do like painting and building a storage shelf. I may try and squeeze a trip to the coast between chores.