"This is like the Bali Bombing all over again. But this time it's the Chinese. Are they going to pay us all back for letting this thing escape?"
Wave wise, you don’t have to imagine what Bali was like 100 years ago.
It’s like that right now.
Totally empty Uluwatu, Padang Padang, Impossibles, Keramas, all the bigs.
Although I am still trying to convince authorities that I am only trying to look after my health by going surfing. I have promised to run down the beach and into the water and then run home when I am done.
Which is as normal behavior for me as washing my hands a coupla times a day anyway.
And to say nothing of the cosmic connection of well being.
Imagine the authorities…uh…concern when I describe surfing thus: “Gentlemen, it just may be that through surfing, deep in the elemental magma of our souls, we have tapped into one of those rare acts on earth that allows man a true atavism; an opportunity to return and to touch, if just for a euphoric moment on the face of a rushing wave, the primal relationship man shares with the living mass of his origin.”
Anyway, the authorities ain’t buying it.
Just like the cops in Padang, West Sumatra who have the entire Mentawai charter world in a chokehold.
I also took a spin around the Bukit Peninsula to get a vibe and figured out that the Bingin locals have got it made.
Unlike Uluwatu’s sprawling metropolis, the Bingin locals, who all live cliffside, may be suffering from lack of tourists, but certainly not a lack of waves. Hard enough to find for a tourist already, now that the road blocks are up around Bingin, locals like Betet Merta are surfing in a time warp on the most symmetrically shaped small natural wave in the world spilling over an absolutely flawlessly shaped reef.
Three guys out in that natural wave machine.
Man oh man.
Other than that, to get a take on what our top surfluencers are thinking about all this Covid 19 business, I reached out to them in their quarantines.
Here are a few of their thoughts.
Betet Merta, pro surfer, on individuality:
Why do we have to be like everyone else? We do it our way. Bali people have been though so much forever without this social media. Panic is not good. Why do we have to follow the rest of the world? If the surf pumps, nothing will stop us.
Marek Smith, surfer, bar owner, on philosophy:
Covid 19 is the wake-up morality pill of Morpheus. Transcendent in inept structures now left as paper shields.
Wayan Susiana, cafe owner surfer, on murder:
During the rainy season I am more worried about dengue with my family. At least with dengue you can see and kill the enemy.
Lorca Lueras, archivist, surfer, on breatholds:
The world is going through a two-wave hold-down right now. All we can do is persevere
Marlon Gerber, pro surfer, on conspiracy:
I think it’s a big hoax with a bigger picture behind it.
Sima Rai, pro surfer, on money:
I feel anxious about whether I will be able to protect my family. My money loss. And long-term lifestyle for poor people.
Name withheld, ding repairman, surfer, on blame:
No tourists no money. This is like the Bali Bombing all over again. But this time it’s the Chinese. Are they going to pay us all back for letting this thing escape?
Jannos Amsters, sailor, surfer, on vacation:
I just hope it all blows over before everybody gets whamm-oed. Nice being at sea though, away from it all.
Five different expats, surfers, on fear:
No comment for fear of immigration reprisals
Mick Curley, photographer, surfer, Father of two, on sex:
Nice to see the environment getting a break. Letting her catch her breath. Also nice to see this thing boost family values. Its your choice how your family handles this. I am staying positive, doing positive things. Like right now I am going to massage my wife. You understand that positive actions bring positive outcomes?
Rick Bison, musician, surfer:
Can only say that my one year old is priority number one. Should I send him up in a balloon?
Mustafa Jeksen, pro surfer, on prayer:
It’s pretty simple. Help your country, help your family. And pray for surf.
Pete Jackson, photographer, surfer, on risk:
Watch out for those goddamn street sprayers. What’s in that shit anyway? It’s like to burn the skin off the back of my hands.
Fabian, healer, surfer, on purpose:
Time to slow down and really reflect on what our real purpose her on earth is.
Mark Clift, surfing judge, pro surfer, on the Aussie way:
Fuck this thing.
Marshello, Lifeguard, surfer, on the modern world:
Whatever happens today has happened many times before. The only difference is we have newer technology. But is that a good thing?
Andy Johnson, hotel owner, surfer, on the obvious:
Livelihoods of millions sacrificed to make the one per centers even more powerful and rich. It’s so obvious.
Dede Suryana, pro surfer, surf shop owner, on fishing:
Rasa khawatir dalam setiap kegiatan yang melibatkan orang lain. Takut memberikan virus atau terkena virus corona dari orang lain. Tidak bisa berbuat banyak kecuali diam di rumah dan ini akan berakhir sampai kapan?! Sekarang saya memulai bercocok tanam sebagai bekal.
Raditya Gondi, pro surfer, on self identity:
I am so scared I cannot surf. If I do not surf, who am I?
Eric Lee, boat captain, surfer, on Pangolins:
I don’t think I’m religious but Karma cannot allow the way humans treat the earth and each other. I say this on behalf if the Pangolin community that shares this planet earth with us.
Nick Auklor, Pro surfer, fitness guru, on surf media: