During the last week of June, the Indonesian islands were yet again front row to some of the best swell on the planet. Predictable perhaps, but no less beautiful for those lucky enough to be there. Damn that consistency is something.
Padang Padang is a famously restrained fellow, rarely willing to fully commit. But when he does watch out because you'll be left slack jawed and still dancing long after the sun has gone down. A fact Nick Jong knows only too well."Oh Padang Padang. One of the Jewels of the Bukit, Bali and one of the most perfect barrels to ever bless us. This wave of beauty is such a rare beast and can offer up an intense pipe, one which is sought after by surfers from all around the world. So good in fact that you can never have a bad session here and most times it will offer the barrel of your trip.
She doesn't break that often and at most times just offers glimpses of actually how good this wave can get, there are so many variables that need to align to produce and deliver real Padang.
"She doesn't break that often and at most times just offers glimpses of actually how good this wave can get, there are so many variables that need to align to produce and deliver real Padang. But if you can figure out the right variations with tide, swell direction and wind, then you will be guaranteed a wave as good as it gets.
"It is a quite easy wave to surf, but it does take some time and patience to surf well. There are always different moods to how she breaks and some say there hasn't been proper Padang in a many a season. Which I think is true. But these glimpses we get are enough to make you sit and wait, and wait, just to get one Padang pipe.
"Depending on what’s going on you need to adjust, the first barrel section is normally a high drive line into a pinch, followed by a nice fade, drawing it out for as long as possible… Until that split last second when you can backdoor the second bowl and find out what its all about. This bit can change the way you think about how to ride the pipe, every second bowl has its own thing going on and there’s enough time in there to slow down your surfing and express the way you want to ride the tube.
"Every wave is different, that’s what makes this barrel so perfect. After the blowout, as you fade into the channel, you realise this is what it’s all about – the satisfaction and stoke you get is always enough to make you paddle back out and try to snag one more. Well that's the plan anyway. Love Padang, always have, always will."
All photos Liquid Barrel