A Day in the Life of Padang Padang

Matt George

by on

Updated 12d ago

The surfers on Bali understand what is below their feet, a roiling world of molten rock to which our reefs are no more than a thin crust.

With the entire island on high alert due to the rumblings of Mt Agung, a volcanic eruption here could change the face of our surfing forever. As it has a number of times before.

Corok Gunanta was easily the MVP of the session. Hailing from Uluwatu, a couple hundred yards up the reef, he is one of the ultimate locals with the ultimate point of view on waves like this. “I just point my board and go,” he laughs. “The Gods take care of the rest.

Corok Gunanta was easily the MVP of the session. Hailing from Uluwatu, a couple hundred yards up the reef, he is one of the ultimate locals with the ultimate point of view on waves like this. “I just point my board and go,” he laughs. “The Gods take care of the rest."

© 2017 - Everton Luis

Recently a super session came down on a semi-flat day at Padang Padang. Those in the know knew exactly what was going to happen, this crew, armed with intimate knowledge, knew the perfect tide was going to arrive at mid-afternoon.

Mega Artana lucked into this session, driving up from Kuta to the Bukit on a hunch from friend Sima Rai. “I thought everyone was crazy on a day like this,” says Mega. “It did not look like there were going to be any waves.

Mega Artana lucked into this session, driving up from Kuta to the Bukit on a hunch from friend Sima Rai. “I thought everyone was crazy on a day like this,” says Mega. “It did not look like there were going to be any waves." Mega was happily proven wrong on the few waves that he was gifted by the Bukit boys. Still, as evidenced by the bottom right corner of the photograph, it was beyond shallow.

© 2017 - Everton Luis

Photographer Everton Luis is one of these surfers and he swam out with the crew to capture this very short, but very intense session. “I couldn’t believe it when that first set rolled in. It was like fire, that session, it burned so short, but so hot."

"This photo really shows how deep these guys were taking off,” says Everton. “You can see the headland of the bay off in the distance, that’s the normal take off spot." Paulo Moura, wearing extra protection in case of disaster, sizes up his chances on one of the biggest waves of the day with heaven only a channel away.

© 2017 - Everton Luis

Gorok Gunanta proves his mettle once again, taking off way scary deep and running for the channel. “He wasn’t surfing on local knowledge”, says photographer Everton Luis.

Gorok Gunanta proves his mettle once again, taking off way scary deep and running for the channel. “He wasn’t surfing on local knowledge”, says photographer Everton Luis. "He was surfing on local belief."

© 2017 - Everton Luis

Sima Rai, King Of Tuban, up for the day, racing the fall line. At this juncture in the wave, the end of that whitewater line can seem a world away. Only total commitment will see you through. You do NOT straighten out on a day this deep.

Sima Rai, King Of Tuban, up for the day, racing the fall line. At this juncture in the wave, the end of that whitewater line can seem a world away. Only total commitment will see you through. You do NOT straighten out on a day this deep.

© 2017 - Everton Luis