Dawn Till Dusk on the Bukit

IT was never going to go. This Padang event has some very explicit numbers which need to be hit for the wave to retreat around the corner and morph into the clawing barrels we have become so used to at the Rip Curl Cup. This swell was just shy of the required weight.

“This storm was unusual,” said MSW's Ben Freeston. “Small and weak but relatively close, that is, in comparison to a typical winter season Indo swell. Its proximity made an early call tricky and it also meant this swell arrived (and left) far more quickly than a normal Southern Ocean winter blast. As forecast the swell arrived at a size under the standard set by previous competitions, offering some great surf but over a very limited window either side of an overnight peak.”

A solid dose of swell, enough to stir Padang without fully waking the Kraken. “This was the biggest swell to hit Bali during the event waiting period so far,” said Contest Director James Hendy. “Because of a variety of factors we were skeptical that this swell would provide enough size over a full day of competition, and that's exactly how it played out, with the swell peaking overnight and dropping quickly throughout the day. It's going to take a truly epic swell for us to give the green light to run the 10-year anniversary of the Rip Curl Cup. Hopefully we get it this year.”

It was however a perfect day to shoot that thing we all do when we're not watching other people. Surfing. To get there amongst the perfect waves of the Bukit, sliding out in the first rays of dawn, long before the red bodies would pile up on the sand. Past the improving litter/sewage situation hidden in the half-light, and out to the reeling barrels of Padang, Impossibibles and eventually Bingin.

Two weeks now remain in the official Rip Curl Cup event waiting period, which runs from July 1st to August 15th. The full roster of surfers: 16 of Indonesia's greatest and 16 of the world's top tube riders are right now in Bali ready to put on the best barrel-riding show of the season at Padang Padang when the contest gets the green light. The forecast? Well there is something stirring for Sunday and Monday.

See more Indo Sessions HERE

Ed Temperley

MSW editor. Instagram @edtemperley