Like a round of buckshot into a tree of blackbirds, Indonesia’s opening day swell sent surfers scattering for all four corners of the Archipelago. And not just any surfers, but quite literally, the best surfers in the world.
With impeccable timing, and maybe a few prayers at work, the entire WSL roster was greeted with a pumping swell with a perfect direction and perfect winds for just about every break in the island chain.
While most the crew tore into their board bags at G-land, cagey surfers like Medina, Yago Dora and Jack Robinson took a stealth mission over to Desert Point to avoid the Speedies rush. And Man, did that pay off.
And Italo Ferreria deserves an honourable mention. He had arrived early and had been blowing Uluwatu to bits. “That was a smart move”, says Rizal Tandjung, “A great way to warm up for G-Land.
The power and the set-up is similar and the creature comforts make sure you are rested and ready for the jungle come crunch time”.
As for the rest of the WSL crew, Kelly and company and just about the entire female contingent hightailed it to G-Land as the swell waned a bit, settling their feet into the wax for the big weekend to come.
"Kelly made it looks like his living room," says local hotshot photographer Federico Vanno, “not scared at all. And Kelly? He made it look like his living room”.
Another standout was Callum Robson, confident and powerful, staking his claim and Ethan Ewing was channeling Andy Irons on everything that he could catch.
As for the local crew, the Bukit lit up like a nuclear test site and Uluwatu and Padang Padang saw the heaviest sessions since the Pandemic shut things down years ago.
“This swell had a lot of water, alot of energy ” said Local Koki Hendrawan, “Perfect for Padang Padang. Barrels there were like being inside jet engines."
Meanwhile, out at giant Uluwatu, gunslinger Jake Mackenzie and his 13-year-old daughter were taking on the outside corner with the big red gun crew.
Of course the Mentawai contingent had been licking their lips for days in anticipation for the swell. The entire chain was bombing and pushing the resort and charter boys to the limits.
“I saw this swell coming,” Said San Clemente’s Rob Ripley, “but I never expected anything like this. The whole place looked like a special effect in a disaster movie, except that the waves were perfect."
And when the first 12 foot sets starting pouring through HT’s, a hungry crew of devotees were there to meet them. Including Maya Gebeira who snagged this mutant on her backhand.
All in all, just what you expect from the opening day in Indonesia. Big perfect waves, big name surfers and the biggest opportunity on earth to chase your dreams.