The fallout from the surfing of five women in particular is still descending upon the monsoon drenched Island of Bali. Bella Kenworthy, Kailani Johnson, Erin Brooks, Luana Silva and Betty Lou Sakura Johnson have opened eyes here. They turned up and owned it.
“The uncrowded line-ups here have been great for all of us too”, says Luana Silva. “A real chance for us to stretch out and focus on our waves rather than concentrating on getting them off the guys”.
With a number of fearless sessions under their belt, from Erin Brooks' barrel fests at Uluwatu to Betty Lou Sakura Johnson’s searing clinics at Keramas, these women have signalled a turning point in the Balinese surf scene. “It’s been so great” says Erin Brooks, “to get sessions like this feeding off the energy of the other girls out there just ripping”.
It also helps that Bali’s drenched monsoon has been experiencing a banner season of perfect swells. Top Balinese Local Kailani Johnson sounds relieved about the high performance surfing the ladies have been putting in. “It might have taken years, but with the level of surfing we are putting in, we are no longer a novelty out here, we are a force”.
Lockdown or no, these women are showing no signs of slowing down in rainy Bali. With empty line-ups, warm water and non-stop high performance size swells, Bali has become a petri dish for female high performance surfing. A must-surf destination for any serious female contender. It’ll be great to see when the pandemic sorts itself out because Bali, like the North Shore, is an open field for any woman who wants her surfing to be taken seriously.