Come live in colonial splendour on Indonesia's "Island of 1,000 mosques"!
First the surfers came to Indonesia, then the tourists, and now the bankers.
(Of course, erudite readers will complain that this is not completely true. The Portuguese and then the Dutch came, plundered, enslaved and so on before Sukarno showed ’em the door in 1949.)
But for the sake of modern Indonesia, that’s the lineage.
Let me ask. Are you a habitué of Bali and beyond?
Do you enjoy the terrific deals you can get on a hunk of land and a modernist villa right there on the beach? It ain’t what it used to be in Bali, half-a-million bucks used to buy you a palance, now it’s a villa way off the sand.
The smart money is headed to Lombok, home to Desert Point and only forty clicks across the Lombok Strait from Bali.
And, today, in the newspaper, The Australian Financial Review, there is an excellent story that confirms the rise of the Australian banker in the gentrification, no wait, that came with the tourists, the wolficiation, of Indonesia’s pretty islands.
Australians Andrew Corkery and James Nash were typical young gun investment bankers who liked to work and play hard. They met as traders in Hong Kong in 2006 and, like so many others their age, were soon making an annual Bali pilgrimage to surf, relax and drink Japanese beer far from the madding stock exchange.
“We wanted to invest in Bali but couldn’t make the numbers work,” Corkery reflects. “Then we went to South Lombok in 2010 for a surfing trip and it just made sense.”
“Fast forward to May this year and Sophisticated Traveller is sitting with Corkery and Nash enjoying Bintang beer, cocktails – an organic lemongrass mojito in my case – and warm sunsets by the infinity pool of Aura Bar & Lounge, part of their luxury villa community, Selong Selo Residences. Despite the perfect surrounds, the complex is still very much under construction.”
“The project won’t be completed until 2020, when they hope to have most of the villas built (their vision is for 58), along with a kids’ club, health spa, fitness centre and tennis courts.”
“But there’s reason to clink beer necks: four of the villas have been completed, with many more sold off the plan. Investors pay $US500,000 ($632,000) on average for a two-bedroom villa spanning 250 square metres, although they are building villas of up to seven bedrooms, the largest home being 910 square metres.”
Can you imagine living out your days in splendour, the lord of the manor, while little brown men and women scuttle back and forth with your citrus-y cocktails, you admiring how they keep those uniforms so white?
Oh I could!
And do you think the people of this island of four million muslims, promoted by the Indonesian government as a sharia paradise and where hotels have signs pointing to Mecca, korans in the rooms, MTV is banned, unmarried couples are turned away etc, are thrilled when hunks of their ancestral land is cut off to be filled with “exclusive communities”?
I think, yes!
The Balinese are still smiling and they sold everything!
The U.S. Open at Huntington Beach must be one of God’s favorite professional surf events on His earth. It seems that better than usual surf has pulsed in right before the beginning of the contest window for the last few years creating a buzz of excitement amongst the rebellious pre-teens with their Sharpie’d “Insert Here” and “Do Me In The Butt” skin slogans.
And yesterday Hurricane Methuselah filled in around the pier while some of the best surfers in the world slashed and soared.
Stand-outs included French surfers Marine Le Pen, Maud Le Car and Pauline Ado. A new super rivalry also seems to be forming between Ventura’s Sage Erickson and Santa Barbara’s Courtney Conologue. The two faced each other in the finals of just concluded Oceanside Pro with Conologue taking the win. Sage bashed her to the losers round at Huntington, though, and I like this rivalry because I would like to see Ventura and Santa Barbara go to war.
Lakey Peterson knew how close she was to the Huntington Beach Pier and hoped to make her way through the concrete pier pilings after giving a big hack on a wave.
But the strong waves and current pushed her into the barnacle-covered piling, and her leash wrapped around it. The delicate dance surfers have been doing with the pier the past few days went the wrong way for Peterson, who found herself held underwater by the ocean’s strength.
“Within two seconds, my back hit the piling, my leash wrapped around it,” the Santa Barbara surfer said. “I couldn’t get to the surface, (because) right around the pylons there’s a lot of water pushing around.”
Peterson was able to untangle her leash and was unharmed, but the moment added drama Tuesday as the women’s heats began at the U.S. Open of Surfing, a World Tour stop for the top 17 women battling for a world title in 4- to 5-foot surf. She wasn’t the only one who had to see medics after a pier encounter. Brazil’s Bino Lopes exited the water with blood on his face and arm and the nose of his board smashed during the middle of his heat after hitting a pylon.
It is a wonder this, too, doesn’t happen more often. Not in professional surfing events, of course, very few are held near piers, but just in general. I marvel when surfers shoot the pier. I’ve attempted a few times and made once but so scary while it is happening. So many variables for which to account. Like, wave speed, piling distance, piling spacing, Laird Hamilton, Laird Hamilton’s paddle.
Do you remember when he rode a bomb through the Malibu pier on a SUP? The Malibu pier is much less intimidating than the Huntington Beach pier partially because there are far fewer pilings and partially because they are wood.
But have you ever smashed a pier piling or are you adept at shooting?
Did you arrive at surfing late? Do you eat up ridicule?
How did I miss this film? Did you see it when it first appeared eight years ago?
Oh it cuts the meat right off the bone.
The Surfer was made by Dominic Coleman, funded by the British government, and was inspired by “a chance conversation I had with a really funny guy at a beach in South Devon in UK. He was a SUPer,” DC told Liquid Salt magazine.
The story is good.
“He and his wife were carrying his massive paddle board across the car park to his brand new VW T5 van with all the flash wheels, tinted windows, and body kit. I asked him if he’d had a good surf and he launched into a monologue about how his surf had been. His wife and daughter then attempted to carry his board to the van whilst he stood chatting to me. He also told his daughter who was about eight to mind that she didn’t damage the board which I thought was hilarious… He struck me as being one of the new breed of surfers in the UK where suddenly you get someone not traditionally associated with the activity really getting into it, spending thousands of pounds on it and becoming an expert on it. We’re all like it to an extent.”
DC adds, “I am painfully aware that the irony of this film is its really close to me. I live in London, I’m a middle-aged, middle-class bloke who’s got into surfing really late.”
As an aside, what does middle-class have to do with a man’s ability in the water? If you are poor, or very rich, can your idiocies be excused?
Do you think, if he was interviewed now, DC would’ve added the helpful epithets “white” and “straight”?
And, tell me, do you recognise anyone you know in The Surfer?
Do you have surfboards with holes but don't know how to fix? I know the feeling!
Five weeks ago, ish, a New Yorker turned Dana Point transplant, Brad Pierson, entered my mailbox with a proposal.
He asked, would I accept advertising from his little company Board Bandages? I examined his website and I discovered the company makes colourful band-aids for surfboards. This appealed to me very much.
Periodically, I’ll try to repair a hole in my surfboard, buy all the ingredients, pursue with gusto and so forth, only to ruin my pretty sleds with waterfalls of resin, destroy a patch of grass and be thirty bucks down.
As it happens, a photographer pal of minehad wanted to produce a BeachGrit-branded metallic ding tape, sourced from Japan where he had worked as a professional model. I thought it a fine idea and I don’t know why we didn’t pursue it.
Brad Pierson, who is thirty five years old “but my joints say sixty seven”, and who stands at a paltry five-foot-seven-inches, told me he liked BeachGrit very much (flattery always succeeds) and I asked if he could send his product to me for testing.
The board bandages come in a sheet, which you peel off and apply to your surfboard.
It’s so easy I only marginally screwed it up fixing a busted tail.
I like it. Yes! We take your money. I’ll even throw in an advertorial interview!
Which is here.
BeachGrit: Tell me everything!
Brad: I started developing Board Bandages almost a year ago but, only brought them to market two months ago. The idea came from using random stickers as ding repair and a pure hatred for Solarez. I kept replacing stickers on the same ding over and over again after they’d peel off, crack, etc. When I gave that up and went to use some Solarez I had bought a month or so prior, I found it exploded in my trunk all over a brand new set of Futures. My now business partner and life-long friend had told me of an amazing adhesive he had developed for some stickers and we just kind of started kicking around the idea. We then developed the textured top sheet for the bandages and voila! (For the Millennials in the room that means the idea was “lit” and we were “ ‘bout that lyf”)
Talk me through the specifics of ‘em. What are they made of, how big a hole can you fix?
When you pick them up you’d notice similar qualities to a thick sticker. What sets them apart is our proprietary textured top sheet and incredible adhesive. The top sheet’s texture allows for the Board Bandages to be waxed almost better than your actual board. However, it is also extremely hydrophobic so water beads right off, making it perfect for any ding, anywhere! Our adhesive goes on and stays on! (Do I sounds like Billy Mays yet? Well, before he died.) The original test bandage has literally been on one of my boards for a year. Hasn’t faded. Hasn’t peeled. Still cute (Derek’s words not mine). Plus, when you’re ready to take your board to your shaper they’ll come off without leaving a mess or residue.
But wait! There’s more!
We also offer the ability to brand Board Bandages however you’d like. So, if a shop wanted their logo on it, we could do it. If Chas wanted the Stab logo so he could channel anger before every wave, we could do it. If Derek wanted a photo of Chas being angry at Stab to channel joy before every wave, we could do it. Just use our little template and send it over. As far as size goes, we make them in two packs right now: Shortboard and Longboard. The Shortboard pack contains four unique shapes to accommodate dings on almost any part of your board while the Longboard pack contains the four Shortboard shapes as well as two much larger, longer shapes. We’re currently developing a SUP pack as well. Ya know, just in case some period blood gets on Laird while he’s shredding and a shark takes a nibble. We got you and your scientifically sound logic homie! On top of that we’re currently producing a custom Board Bandage to protect the entire hull of a ten-foot boat.
What was the process of turning your idea into an actual biz?
Once we had finalized the material, shapes and first round of packaging, we put together a few demo packs and started handing them out to friends and local shops for feedback. Once we felt set we basically did all the boring crap people do to set up businesses. Come to think of it, I’ve never gotten any completed forms back. So, who knows, maybe I’m not an actual business.
Is it all yours? Did you have to kick in much money? Is it a full-time gig?
It’s just me and my business partner and we both have other gigs for now. The goal is to make this my only gig, employ all my friends, buy 42 Album Surfboards and go on a twenty-three year bender.