Somber dancefloor reflections
Wake up to a misty, rainy, warm day
Constant drumming of rain on my roof the night before
The surf itch begins as i brush my teeth then realize the wind is offshore
Get to the beach and gawk at the head-high, feathering, groomed ground-swell cruising in..
As i'm frantically reaching for my wetty, i also notice a distinct yellow-brown tinge to the water..
I also begin to wonder why no-one else is out..
I then detect a slightly acrid, chemical smell wafting from the ocean..
But the waves are so good!
Hmm... surf nice waves while possibly exposing myself to mysterious fecal matter and other detritus?
Worry about unknown microscopic bacteria burrowing into my inner-ear canal or carve into some meaty wave-faces?
Hepatitus A, Ebola, Ecoli, plague? What's floating around out there?
Ethos of rhythm beholds conscious beings,
too few allowing themselves to sing.
Patterns of patterns
of panthers of wrath,
and fuzzed jungle branches from terraces swing.
Forward to yesterday, throngs teemed entranced,
forming a yearning that, meting in dance,
twice as good nicely
green glowing fortunes do torturous shan'ts.
Falling through meaning til sounds alone gibe,
Syllables grasping at referents chide
sometimes with sense
or balance the fence
matter not within without with vibe.
Somber dancefloor reflections
revelers sparkle and dance
to fuzzed jungle chants
parading their love
with cavalcading emotions
an onlooker pines
toward the emotive seductress
swallowing his urges
suppressing his gut
what for this play of turmoil
how come this glittering tension
release comes not quickly but eventually
the balloon fades but does not pop
withered its formally seductive veneer
the mounted tension forgotten
the seething lusts relinquished
two beings stand together.
Friday July 20, 2001
Just woke up after my first day on Oahu.. Sucks that I'm actually pretty sick.. fever, cough.. etc.. BUT.. that didn't stop my friend Kuster and I from having an opening day session at one of the outer Waikiki breaks yesterday.. The water was a perfect comfortable temperature.. a little silty on the inside from particulates picked up from the reef.. The wind was a mellow offshore.. Super long paddle-out - out to the outside reef - turtles swimming underneath.. 4-6 foot south groundswell in the water... Super "setty" though.. Caught a bunch of long, peely rides..
Pretty nice here in Kailua, where my friends the Kusters live.. Huge, vertical mountains covered in deep green vegetation.. Unbelievable Banyon trees growing all over the place... Lizards, cool, colorful birds.. Honolulu a bit dusty and down at the heels.. Today my fever is less but i'm still feeling kinda shitty so i might watch Kus surf the Ala Moana bowl (if i can desist from surfing.. doubtful).. and then we might drive up to check the legendary North Shore! should be sweet..
Saturday July 21, 2001
Didn't surf yesterday.. let my body work it's way through the final stages (hopefully) of a pretty standard flu cycle.. Instead Kus and i drove to the legendary North Shore! We cruised up the east (windward) side of the island, past elegant mamosa trees, spiny mountains and surfy beachparks and eventually arrived at Ehukua beach park, home of sunset beach and PIPELINE!!! The water was totally flat but we sat on the beach in front of pipe for about 30 minutes just imagining the winter scene and reveling in the history and energy of the place.. The North shore is much more funky and low-key that i expected.. it's really a mellow vibe.. no strip-malls, no traffic lights.. just little beach houses and surf shops and the most famous waves in the world.. Waimai (sp?) bay was gorgeous too! Then we cruised back down to the south side of the island and checked out Sandy Beach, which is an insane place where surfers, boogie-boarders and body-boarders alike repeatedly hurl themselves into thick, meaty totally unmakable close-out barrels! it was freaky and scary and exciting to watch.. Just huge 6-8 foot walls of water tubing and thrashing/crashing into shallow sand with dudes (and dudettes!) kamakaziing like there was no tomorrow!
Hawaii is so beautiful.. the mountains and old volcanoes are ridiculous.. so steep and in your face and present at all times.. The ocean water is basically the same color as the backgound of this web page.. deep deep rich blue.. the weather is balmy but breezy.. we're going to surf Ala Moana beach park whenever Kus gets up..
Sunday July 22, 2001
Not sure if any of you heads will be on the computer on Sunday but... Caught and witnessed some of the best waves of my life yesterday! Surfed Ala Moana bowl in the morning.. i'm pretty sure this is where Kalani Robb learned to surf.. Long 20 minute walk over not-so-sharp choral.. torquoise-blue water.. not too crowded.. 3-5 foot (1-3 hawaiin scale) set waves rolling through and breaking kinda like a sweet beachbreak on the giant reef way out. Huge black lava rocks poking up through the inside of the surf zone.. giant city-scape with lush/vertical mountains beyond.. Caught about 12 fast, fun down-the-line rides as the winds were blowin' offshore.. Tons of sun though.. came back to the Kuster residence to regroup and get the fark out of the sun for a few hours and then cruised back out for a late afternoon session at Rockpile, near Waikiki.. SICK!!! a true reefbreak going on here. Any trickle of a wave that came through would reer up and hollow out upon hitting this one part of the reef.. Pack of dudes (mostly local) swarming and ripping the place to shreds.. I caught a totally sick, super fast, HELLA-steep wave where i was just in front of the gaping barrel for a bit before being shot like a cannon out into the racetrack-like shoulder.. Dumped speed with some water-throwing cutbacks.. DUDES WERE SHREDDING this wave.. I saw about 20 barrels and countless huge/gigantic fans of spray from monster cutbacks.. my friend Kus got Shacked soooooo deeply on this one barrel that he got into from the backdoor.. but he just got pinched by the closing lip before exiting into the light and into glory! i actually witnessed the whole ride because i was paddling back out after a sick (but smaller) ride.. I was like, "that dude got PITTED!" and then when i realized it was my friend i was sooo stoked but couldn't yell because the vibe was pretty thick and everyboday was quiet and concentrating.. it was cool..
the old volcanoes here are unreal.. and crazy black lava rock/cliff beaches with deep blue water frothing around beneath.. unbelievably beautiful.. and the banyon trees!!!! huge!!! so cool.. We saw some hotties on the beach yesterday too! never a bad thing..
now we're off to see Mrs. kus compete with her paddle-racing team at the Oahu paddle racing chamionships.. paddle racing is where 6 people have one oar each in a polonesian-styled outrigger canoe.. Each paddle club has about 30 different divisions and they compete against other paddle clubs from other hawaiin towns.. it's huge here.. it's in all the papers and on tv..
then we're headed to the west side of the island.. where the native Hawaiin population is super high.. It's where Sunny Garcia grew up.. we'll check for surf and generally scope the scene..
hope everything is schweet on the mainland..
then i'm off to Indo on wed!
Monday, July 23 200
sick!!! Oahu is so sick.. we didn't surf yesterday.. instead we went on a ridiculous hike up Olamana peak near Kailua... The mountains here are all spiny and vertical and covered in thick, lush vegetation.. A few sections of the hike required rope assistance and much of the upper part consisted of climbing a ridge with sheer 1000 foot drops on either side of you!!! it was slightly insane..
We also checked out the West Side of the island yesterday, where Sunny Garcia is from and where the population is mainly native Hawaiin.. The West side of the island is drier and dustier and a bit poorer but still incredibly beautiful with one beach park after another and huge, desert-like mountains behind.. We went to the legendary Makaha Beach park and just chilled under the shade of a palm tree and the beach and watched the little right reef break peel along.. The surf wasn't any good right now but it's one of the best breaks in the world when it's firing..
in a few minutes we're going to surf this East side break that can only be accessed with a military id.... which we have because Mr. Kuster contracts with the military.. so... that should be sweet... then we'll probably surf the South side somewhere this afternoon.. get a nice double session in..
I also think that i might go to Costco today and splurge on a digital camera.. hmm... more later on that...
hope life is good on the mainland!
tuesday July 24 2001
Today is my last day on Hawaii.. i'm pretty bummed about that.. Yesterday we awoke to another gorgeous day (85, sunny and comfy).. we cruised into the nearby marine base (Mr. Kuster has military clearance) and went to this beautiful little nook of a beach for a surf.. Huge black lava rocks jutting out of the beach and shore combined with these lunar-like, pock-marked coral formations to produce a pretty weird/cool beach experience.. We surfed fun 3-4 foot waves with about 8 others (most marines) for about 2 hours. This is the first break i've surfed on the East (windward) side of the island.. the character of the waves was pretty funky.. the coral making it break in certain spots then back-off in others.. there was a 16 yr old asian kid landing airs and generally shredding his face off..
Kus and i then did another sick hike up this ridge, then down into a gorge with a huge waterfall (dried up now)... yet another hike with crazy sections where you had to repel with ropes and shit.. it was fun.. jungly too! thick! i saw some crazy colorful/tropical birds..
then we did some shopping and i purchased a digital camera! i'm psyched.. hopefully i'll be able to figure out a way for you to see pics while i'm still on the trip..
have a good tuesday!
Wed July 25, 2001
It's my last morning on Hawaii right now.. Again with the beautiful sunny/warm/comfy/mountain-reaching-skyward-views/Eden-esque scene. Yesterday we had another great session at this low-key East-Side reef break at the Marine base. The tide was a bit lower and you could really check out the bizarre cratered lava/coral formations.. I say "lava/coral" because it was difficult to distinguish the coral from the lava rock.. Much of the lava rock had these circular, sand-filled pools within it, like little aquariums containing fishies and shells etc..
We then went to this other beachy-beach for a bit of snorkeling amongst these mushroomy coral heads.. Kus saw two huge turtles but i didn't see any.. though the coral was super cool to check and i witnessed tons of mini tropical fish of various techno-colors.
For any of you that know about my bone.. it's been getting a little scraped up with all this un-wetsuited surfing.. soo.. i brainstormed for a way to deal.. ended up buying one of those little neoprene beer holders, cutting it up, then sewing it to the inside of this rash-guard shirt that i have.. now i have this little circular rubber patch for my bone! pretty tech..
We kinda got skunked on my last session in Hawaii, went over to Waikiki but the waves were mini.. and wherever a micro-wave was consistently breaking on the reef there were 30 dudes scrambling for it.. It's a great scene out there though with alllll types of people out chillin in the water on the full spectrum of different wave-riding vehicles.. old hawaiin ladies on longboards, random japonese guys out there fishing off their board.. groms scrambling for scrappy waves.. chill old grey hair dudes just letting waves cruise right by them.. it was cool..
So now i'm doing some final packing and uploading of digital images.. then i'm basically flying to tokyo in about 3 hours.. Kampai!!!
Friday July 27 2001
Just finished about 20 hours of flying.. Hawaii to japan to jakarta to Denpasar... Now i'm in Kuta, Bali!!! just arrived.. it's night-time.. haven't seen the surf.. drank a few beers.. crazy nightlife scene with hordes of travelers swilling and cavorting and generally having a grand time.. this little town in japan i stayed the night in was schweet.. classic narrow, winding, city streets lined with teak-wood houses, meticulous gardens and the wiff of beauty around the corner.. huge, awe-inspiring shinto temple dominating the middle of the town.. ate sushi at a little joint.. a few japanese in there.. joked about saying "big tits" in japanese.. they cracked up uncontrollably every time i said, "Deche chi chi schtedunai!" it was funny..
Kuta is a total scene.. scantily clad females runing about .. random, slightly-slimy indo heads lurking in the shadows.. sweet, old-school indo architecture.. mangy dogs.. third-world pungent aroma.. japanese heads.. generally good scene.. first surf check upon wake-up.. i'll let you know what the deal is!!!!!
ps.. i heard through the grapevine that our own matt "sky" walker rubbed shoulders with, none other than.. Laird "tow-in god" Hamilton" .. word is that Laird was asking matt advice about his backside layback tube riding.. way to go matt!!!
Saturday July 28 2001
Wow... first day in Indo is just about to end.. impossible to relate the totality of the experience.. woke up at 4:30 am.. dawn-patrolled Kuta beach.. fun beach break with 3-4 foot peeling/glassy waves.. psyched to get into the flow at a relatively mellow beach break.. then.. while chilling at my guesthouse eating breakfast.. none other than Flea walks in and takes a room! crazy..
but the highlight of the day.. and probably the trip thus far.. was the Uluwatu experience.. Uluwatu is probably the most serious wave in Bali.. it's at the southern tip of the island and received unimpeded Indian ocean swells... to get there.. you drive about 1 hour out of the town of Kuta, through some dirt roads and 3rd-worldy/jungly settings... finally ending up atop this massive cliff.. Looking out over the cliff you see lines of cordoroy stretching out to the horizon.. seriously! you can sort-of discern bizarre patterns and colors beneath the surface of the water... that's the reef! the glassy waves cruise in.. hit the reef.. and lurch up and suck out.. peeling and barreling, peeling and barreling.. pack of 40 dudes on it.. SHREDDING!!! We watched from this little restaurant/deck/patio setup on top of the cliff for about 2 hours.. watching people get pitched over the falls into the shallow water.. watching people get shacked and watching people smack the lip then race into the oncoming barrel... it was REAL!!! video surfing in your face.. then.. i decided i might as well paddle out.. ... i chilled a bit to the inside of the main take-of area.. caught my first left and frickin RACED down the line turbo styly.. the wave just pushing and powering me onward.. barreling behind be.. but i didn't really stop to look.. it was just kind-of an awareness based on the shape and speed of the wave.. crazy.. 3 waves and one sucking-backward-over-the-falls later i cruised in.. walked over the reef for a bit in my reef-booties which hooked it.. then into and through this cave.. which is the only access to the break.. soooo SICK!!!! my next move is to stay in a little guest house right near the break and focus on actualizing the true goal of the trip... Barrel-quest.. the quest for a deep pit that spits me out.. Uluwatu can and might deliver the goods for me.. it certainly did for many many others today.. and today was supposedly small!!! guh!!! it was overhead and pitching furiously!!! small!!!!!!! guh!!!!
anyhoo.. more later..
wed aug 1 2001
Hey everybody!!! sorry it's been a few days since the surf report has been updated.. i've been staying in a little bungalow down near Uluwatu where there is no internet or phones.. or toilets... or electricity at night..
However!!! the last three days have been out of control... off the hook.. ballistic.. insane!!!! Monday and Tuesday days were filled with epic surf at Uluwatu... thick, ledging lefts over a sometimes shallow coral reef.. over those two days i probably caught around 20 rides.. most of them racing furiously down the line after a stomach-lifting drop over the ledge.. wave barreling behind me while i simply try to survive and outrun the damn thing! Basically you sit outside with a pack of 10-50 hungry shredders jockeying and micro-positioning.. a few little scrap waves come through and you might take one.. the risk being that the small waves break shallower than the big.. so when you ride the small waves you see the multi-colored coral streaming under you.. slightly threateningly... but when the sets come through the pack scrambles.. then becomes chaotic as the waves lift up and start to hollow out!!! Everything happens extremely fast at this point and if you're in position for one you basically focus your energies and fricking commit yourself for the drop.. less than 100% commitment means being pitched over the "falls" with the crashing lip.. something that has happened to me about 5 times already!!!! fark!!! luckily i haven't me the reef.. my friend has giant gouges all over his body from the reef and many of the serious surfers have huge scars all over their backs!!! hard-core!!!
TODAY however.. i walked down to uluwatu from my bungalo and from a far distance saw the telltale lines of corduroy swell rolling in!! it was nutty.. got to the top of the cliff and saw GIGANTIC triple-overhead waves reeling along the reef.. 2 dudes out.. it basically looked like reverse mavericks... only with rides 10 times as long!!! we saw a dude get caught inside then crushed by a giant set.. breaking his board.. then he swam all the way in..
i then went over to padang padang, which is the most famouse wave in bali.. it's a left reef break that is totally hollow.. it was going off today.. double overhead gaping standup barrels.. tons of pros - Rijal Tanjung, Kasey curtis.. tons of brazilians, japanese, americans, aussies..etc.. tons of absolutely beautiful women on the beach.. tons of guys shooting video and stills from the water and the cliffs surrounding the break.. it was insane.. witnessed about 100 sick, disgusting pits while chiling on the beach..
culturally bali is super cool.. i've walked through and checked out a bunch of mellow, authentic villages and seen some monkeys, a scorpion, had a sea cow or manateen come up to me in the lineup.. i've seen a few cool temples and been swindled a bit by a shady money changer... i'm traveling now with this cool singaporean girl and these two dudes from Santa Cruz.. the plan is to rent a truck and go to lombok tomorrow!!! should be sick.. the swell is unreal!!!!
keep it real my friends!!! more later..
Friday Aug 3, 2001
hello from Lombok! we just arrived after a 6 hour ferry boat ride.. lombok is east of bali, about the same size, mostly islamic people (bali is predominantly hindu)... there is huge 14500 ft volcano in the middle of the island.. though i haven't seen it yet since it's dark now..
yesterday i had a ridiculous surf session at a spot called Impossibles - which is between Padang-Padang and Bingin.. Impossibles is a super long left reef break that was dubbed "impossibles" because of the fact that the wave peels along rapidly and is almost "impossible" to keep up with.. We walked about 40 minutes from our guest house in Uluwatu to get to the trailhead.. then we walked across this cliched third-worldy rickety wooden bridge, then through a couple cow pastures with the occasional palm tree and monkey siting, then down this cliffy trail to the granular-white-coral beach at the bottom.. beautiful picturesque beach with a colorful coral reef and volcanic rock outcroppings.. we had to walk for about 20 minutes over the reef.. then sketchily sprint past where the waves were dumping onto dry reef... a long 30 minute paddle through a channel, out to the giant (double overhead) lefthanders... got us in position... my friend was pretty sketched about the freight-train character of the set waves and chilled in the channel... I was swept up in the stoke of anticipating myself carving long turns on the macking waves and paddled right into the take-off zone.. the first wave that came to me was potentially the biggest of my life! seriously.. probably about 12 feet (they call a 12 foot wave about 6 foot here - hawaii style) i paddled and paddled and scratched to get into the heaving beast.. then finally stood up at the top of it and raced down the precipitous face.. screaming and burning with speed, i laid down a thick bottom turn and ran up the face again.. did a long top turn then fucking sling-shotted down the face again.. this time i initiated another bottom turn.. but saw that i wouldn't make the next section.. the wave was closing out.. so i straitened out, the wave exploding into 2 stories of white water behind me..then catching up to me and sucking me down and under.. i was ragdolled and churned for a bit.. then came up beaming with excitement and stoke!!!!!!! SICK!!!! i caught a few smaller.. but fun waves. then another big, phat wall of heaving/racing/bulbous liquid energy before i started to get chilly from the offshore winds..on my last ride i cruised for a bit on the open face... then got pummelled on the head by the crashing lip.. and was thrown down into the suprisingly shallow reef and dug a fairly deep hole into my knee!!! my first encounter with the reef.. a day later and it seems to be doing allright.. much antibacterial ointment applied..
the plan now is to surf tomorrow on the gilley islands - which are a short boat trip from our current location on lombok.. then hopefully participate in a fullmoon party on the beach on the gilleys... should be sick!!
the trip to lombok was typically 3rd world... we had to bribe some police 50,000 rupiah (6 dollars) to let us on the boat.. it was a bit dodgy (Australian for "sketchy")..but we're here and psyched!!!
monday, aug 7 2001
Hey everybody!! my travels have taken a huge turn for the better! We rented a car in Bali... drove to the East side, took a 6 hour ferry ride to Lombok, went to a semi-lame little island looking for the full moon party that was reputed to be there.. but wasn't... As we stepped off the small ferry from Lombok to this island (Gili Trawangan)... this tall blond girl said to us "Welcome to paradise.." We were psyched at first but then 10 minutes later, as we walked down the main strip and realized the island was but a touristy, kinda-cheezy place mainly catering to 2-week-holiday conservative-styled aussies and europeans, we thought that the girl's welcoming comment was pretty funny... ANYway... we left the little island and returned to lombok, huge volcano looming over, we then drove about 2.5 hours south to a town called kuta, on Lombok.. the drive itself was amazing.. through the main Lombokian city of Mataram... soooo sickly authentic and teeming with REAL third-worly, Indonesian tropical scenes... winding dirt back alleys, scroundrily looking men hanging out.. a uniform level of dirt and delapitation... but a refreshing total lack of western brand names... we didn't see one coke sign, not one Mcdonalds, not one tourist.. it was great.. then we drove through some mountains.. saw the sea poke out and cruised into the funky/dusty/chill town of Kuta.. we were immediately stoked to drive through some beautiful/colorful/authentic villages.. animals, stilted-homes, thatched rooves - sweetness.. we're staying at this little, low-key bungalow setup at the beach.. Danny and I immediately took a walk through the local village and had the refreshing/exhilerating exchange with the throngs of local kids that ran up and wanted to interact and play and chill and converse.. i juggled and beatboxed for them and they were scared and then psyched about the beatbox.. it was cool..
AND THE SURF!!! not to be forgotten.. this morning we awoke at 5:30am, drove about 10 minutes to this bay called Grepak.. this mellow guy took us out on his this pontoon boat.. through the bay... which is filled with seaweed farms.. little rectangles of floating bamboo.. with rows of seaweed inside the rectange.. it was cool.. there were huge choppy waves on the outside of the bay but inside was glassy and the groundswell cruised right in.. Just three of us climbed out of the boat when we got to the spot.. we couldn't really judge the waves because it was still a bit dark and the boat was parked behind the break.. so we could only see the backs of the waves.. We paddled around to find a sweet right reef break that was mellowly peeling, though steep enough to whip you along.. we caught about 5 or 6 rides each until some other boats cruised up.. We surfed for almost 4 hours!!! i caught about 30 rides.. the biggest one maybe 7-8 ft (3-4 Indonesian/Hawain measurement)... i had a few waves with big, long carving turns!!! yeah!!! it was a nice mix of locals and traveling surfers in teh lineup.. i had total spaghetti arms by the end and was glad to take the boat back.. then chill at our bungalow and eat some banana pancakes and lombokian coffee.. and also a freshly cut pineapple that the locals carved out with a knife so that you can just chomp on it like a popsicle..
after surfing i went for a walk along the beach, though this little village, i met a super cool little kid who spoke choppy but effective english..we chilled for a while.. he taught me a bunch of indonesian, i answered many questions about California and America.. the locals ooohh and ahhh when you tell them you're from america.. " sreets are paved with gold..." soo... this place (kuta lombok) is super chill.. we'll probably stay here for a week... surf all the breaks on the south coast.. then i think that i'll go to Sumbawa.. sick!!! Bali was cool.. but not what i was looking for.. though the waves were SICK... Lombok is the real deal.. authentic village culture combined with sick, low-key surf breaks..
sending out my love!!
sunday august 12 2001
Hey everybody! I've been removed from the digital..err.. electric world for the last week or so. i tucked myself into the far south-east corner of Lombok, which is the first island east of bali. I stayed at Sulamat's house, in the village of Bangko Bangko... Another surfer told me that Sulamat lets surfers stay at his house for a small fee (about $1 a night!) and his wife cooks up some tasty/spicy indonesian cuisine.. well.. it was true.. "mama" ... as i called her... cooked up some mean Gadu Gadu and Nasa Gurang.. actualizing the third-dimension of taste... that being the world of SPICE!!! damn!!! spicy!! the wave near sulamat's house was also very special.. it's called Desert Point.. it's a long left-hander that basically pitches and barrels for about 3 football fields!!! seriously.. many claim that's it's among the top three best waves on earth! the only problem for me being that it's also considered by many as one of the top three difficult waves.. grrr.. the first time i surfed it the swell was small... about 3-5 foot Cali style.. my first wave i was too late with my take-off (backside) and got thrown with the lip into the shallow coral, shaving a bit of skin from my shin.. arghh! whatever though.. that's par for the course.. On my second wave i powered through the ledging/gnarly drop, grabbed my rail, and began to sream down the near-impossibly fast wave.. continually shifting my weight and maneuvering just to keep up with the speeding wave.. then i saw a big wall looking like it was going to close down on top of me.. i ducked down low, , gulped and witnessed the lip of the wave throw over me.. i was in the frickin barrel!!!!! sick!!! ... i had about 2 or 3 distinct moments of consciousness, saw the light at the end of the tunnel.. thought i was going to make it out.. then got jacked downward with the crashing wave, ,spinning and careening.. and not making it out of the barrel... nevertheless.. i was invigorated and STOKED!!! not and "in and out".. but my first lengthy barrel ride ever.. and it was backside!!! i pulled into the barrel once more that session.. but didn't make it out of that one either.. the scene amongst the surfes was intense.. everybody was good and charging.. and the waves were super fast and steep and broke over coral reef that you could see through the clear water.. Commitment to the take-off was the penultimate necessity! i wimped out on many sucking/ledging/dredging/awesome set waves and most likely lost the respect of many of my fellow surfers.. the surfers here are serious and partially crazy!
i had another 4 or 5 sessions at Desert point but never made it out of a barrel. the last session i was basically avoiding every wave because of the tremendous size and power of the new swell that had rolled in.. as soon as i paddled out and witnessed, first-hand, the size and intensity of the first set.. all i could think about was how to safely make it back to the beach without getting stuffed into the reef! the trouble with Desert Point is that the perfection of the wave is very tide-dependent. on any tide but low.. the wave often barrels then closes out.. crunching the would-be barrel-rider into the reef.. that happened to me about 8 times!! in 6 sessions i got about 15 rides and 4 unmade barrels.. but the rides were some of the fastest and most insane i've ever had..
Lombok also offered up the authentic tribal, old-school village life.. stilted, thatched-rooved huts were the norm.. livestock (chickes, ducks, cows, dogs, frogs, etc) running everywhere, including underneath the rooms of the house!.. the kitchens were also little thatched-rooved setups, complete with little/funky wood-burning ovens.. most of the lombokians don't have motorized vehicles.. horse-drawn carriages being the norm!! seriously!! it was cool.. the kids are awesome.. totally running up to me as i made the daily 50 minute walk from Suluman's to the surf break.. all the boys have little sling-shots tied around their necks with which they shoot little animals for food.. I beat-boxed for many of them on my first walk and on subsequent walks they would mimic my beatboxing and yell "Etan Etan, Disco, Disco!!".. which was a request for me to beatbox again.. so oftentimes i would beatbox for the kids.. usually throwing their names into the mix and making them crack up! so cool..
now, after about 10 hours of traveling, i'm back in Kuta Bali.. My plan is to head to an island called Sumba, which is 3 islands east of bali, on Wed.. i'll probably be there about 10 days.. then on to Sumbawa..should be sick!!! tomorrow i might surf my first mellow wave of the trip at this spot called Medewi.. which is up the west coast of Bali.. i have to get up there before around 10am.. at which time the wind picks up and starts to blow side-shore, which is considered shitty around here!!
shouts go out to jerm and Julie and N-dogg!! hope that you heads are keeping it real in SF! Also a shout out to Robbie Scott! you would love it here bro! a goofy-footer's paradise! i haven't surfed a right the whole time!!
Also to mom and dad! good talking to you on the phone today, have fun on BI!!
also to X-factor.. the villages in Lombok were awesome.. i thought about you often!!
later - e
wed, aug 15 2001
what up! I'm preparing for my 10 hour boat ride to sumba... leaving in a few hours. I'm ready to bust back out of Kuta Bali.. it's nice to eat a bit of western cuisine and enjoy the potential for interaction with the bikini-clad throngs of femalian travelers here in Kuta.. but the dirty/touristy/commercialized aspects grow old fast... Kuta is the largest town in Bali and the focal point for backpackers,surfers and 2-week aussie holiday partiers... there is a huge outdoor bar here called Tubes, which constantly shows surf vids on a huge movie screen and at night has live music while the surf vids play on.. pretty schweet..
Yesterday a friend of mine and i rented motorbikes and threaded and careened through the urban/third-worldy traffic jungle of Kuta... Destination... SURF! we cruised down to the famous Bukit peninsula (Uluwatu, Padang-Padang, Impossibles, bingin)... We surfed at impossibles, a spot that i've described previously.. I had a "rightious" session..caught about 6 waves, all overhead waves.. biggest about double overhead.. My best ride was a beastial set wave which i scratched and paddled frantically to catch.. then.. just as the wave threatened to pass me by, i caught it and charged down the face.. then a long, drawn-out bottom turn followed by an arcing/racing/accelerating top turn.. back into another bottom turn.. etc.. for about 4 sequences of bottom and top turn.. it was rad.. after the ride i let out a un-premeditated "whooo!"...
i've been quick to highlight moments from the many good sessions here in Indo.. but i want to point out emphatically that surfing here is often frustrating and damaging to one's self-esteem.. I've only had one or two uncrowded sessions (out of about 30 sessions!), almost every wave is demanding and penalizing, instead of waking in the morning and looking forward to a mellow surf you wake up in the morning and start to get nervous butterflies about the daunting reef that looms below and the aggro crowds that threaten your peace of mind.. but... it's all good.. and the waves are undoubtedly gifts from the sea god Neptune!
cool.. well.. i'm off to chow some Nasi Gurang (fried rice with veggies).. then purchase a mosquito net.. then chill on the beach until my boat leaves..
shout outs to Danny from Santa Cruz! welcome home homie! hopefully your flight wasn't too suspi!
also a shout out to Deni!! so psyched to see you in SF... we will get many sessions in my friend!
and also a shout to Uncle Dan and the Wilmington Kleins!! thinking about you guys!
and also a shout to my hawaiin bruddah-man Kustah!!! Keep in real bruddah! or ya know ya got beef wit me brah!
lates - e
Wed aug 29 2001
Hey everybody!! long time no internet/electricity/phone etc... Things have been going stellar here on Sumba (3 islands east of Bali)... I'm not sure where to begin or what events/images/happenings to highlight so i'll just sputter out a smattering of thoughts and reflections as they occur to me..
just spent 4 days deep in the heart of remote, tribal west sumba.. in a village named Ngiwatu.. On a hilltop about 2km from an epic lefthand point/reef break called "God's Left" or "Occy's Left" the 4 of us (2 South Africans, an Aussie and myself) stayed at chief Metabulu's house. The little village of Ngiwatu consists of about 20 or 30 stilted, thatched-rooved homes and buildings.. all risen above the ground to keep animals (pigs, roosters, cats, ducks, water buffalo etc.) out of the living area.. The homes are mostly constructed of bamboo and palm fronds, both of which grow abundently in the lush, jungly surroundings.. The West Sumbanese are renown for the creative architectual stylings of their rooves. The style is to build a secondary pyramidal shape of thatching above the primary pyramidal shape.. it looks as if the roof is wearing a birthday-party cap.. pretty schweet.. i'll post pics when i get back..
To get to the wave you had to walk 2km down a winding mountainside trail, through palm groves and dense jungle.. 3 snakes, one 5 foot and supposedly deadly, where seen on the path at various times by my friends... though i never saw one.. thankfully.. I was so anxious of encountering a snake, however, that i carried a stick and whistled loudly most of the way up and down the trail to warn any potential malicious snake of my approach.. the trail to the surf then wound down and through green/fertile rice paddies... pretty cool.. farmers would wave and the sun would beat down.. there were occasional swarms of locusts that would rip through the fields.. at one point i got smacked violently in the ear by one.. once down to the beach the sand fleas attacked in mass numbers, leaving annoying little red bites that continue to itch 5 days later.. Bitches!!! BUT... tranquility was achieved as soon as i entered the water each day.. a short paddle around a channel in the reef... at most 4 other guys out (usually 2 or 3 person sessions!).. The swell during most of my sessions was small but long period, so the waves would cruise in as low but fat mounds of water.. when they hit the reef they would suddely jack up, steepen, and peel along the reef.. sometimes closing out, sometimes barrelling... always steep.. every take-off had to be well-timed and committed.. i got another 2 tubes but didn't make it out of either.. so my trip total for tubes is 5.. but i have 0 successful exits.. This was my best few days of the trip, surf-wise.. i racked up almost 20 hours of surf in just 3 days. i caught about 30 or 40 rides a day on a solid, tuby left-hander.. I'm stoked to come back and charge Ft. Point! I learned the utter necessity of speed and commitment on the take-off.. when you've selected a wave as yours upon seeing it on the horizon.. basically lock down on the perfect take-off spot and commit yourself fully to going! paddle super hard and invision the line of your first turn or projection down the line. This pattern of thought helped me immensely on the bigger waves.. waves which, on the beginning of the trip i would have questioned my ability to make the drop and potentially would have wimped out.. or partially wimped out.. and then gone headlong over the falls into the reef!
sidenote: the room that i'm currently checking the internet is sooooo hot and stinky with body odor that i'm about to vomit.. i'm breathing in through my mouth to try to avoid the smell... aachh!! i'm in the capital city of Sumba.. Wangapu.. i'm taking a ferry to the next island over, Sumbawa.. tomorrow.. off to a famous surf spot called Lakey Peak! there is a swell due in two days so it should be sick!
i just completed two weeks without the availablity of electricity (except for a little solar-fueled battery at one place), no cold beverages, no running water, no mirrors, no dairy products, no meat except fish, and little to no english.. it was sick!!!!! really refreshing but also tiring.. i didn't shower for about 5 days as there was no shower or mandy (tub of water with bucket - use bucket to scoop water, then dump over self) in Ngiwatu.. I've actually been shitting in the ocean ... as the toilet scene at Ngiwatu consisted of a dirty outhouse.. complete with hole-in-ground and hornet's nest in the corner! not even a squatty potty.. just a hole!! it was cool..
currently there is some independence day festival going on here in Wangapu.. we saw some traditional Sumbanese dancing and heard the piercing, quasi-harmonious shreek/chants of the traditional sumbanese singing.. wish i had a minidisk to record it..
want to give shouts out to mom and dad! i'll call tomorrow! hope that BI was relaxing and beautiful!
also another shout out to Robbie Scott and one to B. Biggs! the lefts in indo, bros! the lefts in Indo! that's all i have to say..
also a shout out to the X-factor, always an inspiration! keep it up my brotha!