"Especially popular among surfers…"
With locals already pining away for the pandemic days of yore when Keramas was empty and local kids could become really good surfers in under two years, the prestigious Travel + Leisure Magazine just had to go and list it as one of the world’s finest black sand beaches for tourism.
Now that the borders are open the last line-up count on a good day at Keramas came in at fifty-five. And, this is a one-man, or one-gal, wave.
Still, you can fantasize that you are Rizal Tandjung, who is still out-surfing the 18 year olds at age 47. He is our Indonesian Kelly Slater. Such is his level of local respect that he gets the pick of the litter on any set that he damn well pleases.
Due to the combo of local crowds and new visitors these days, the common salute to any overseas visitor headed over to surf Keramas is “Good luck, mate”.
Along with such secret spots such as as Iceland’s Jökulsárlón Beach, Italy’s Spiaggia di Ficogrande beneath Stromboli and Japan’s Miho no Matsubara in Shizuoka, Travel + Leisure has described Keramas Beach as “stunning” and “especially popular among surfers, so it’s a great place to hit the waves or at least watch as the surfers ride in over the black sand.”
Anyone who has bounced off the reef at Keramas can sneer at the wisdom of that.
But isn’t it comforting that squares will never understand the sport of kings?
The magazine feature also fails to mention that the word Keramas translates to “Washing Hair”. The rivermouth that has honed the reef to perfection having once been the perfect place for Balinese women to bathe.
The Travel + Leisure feature also notes that Keramas Beach is “perhaps the only surfing beach in Bali offering nighttime illuminated surfing”.
It’s the only one. Thank the Gods.
And other than the deadly virus of wavepools sweeping the globe, any surfer in the world would be hard pressed to name any others.
Yet, it is true.
You can actually pay the Komune resort to flip the switch on their stadium lights and surf by an “illumination” that expat John Anderson describes as “about as good as surfing by the lights of a Ute parked on Seven Mile Beach”.
Also, surfing at night is strictly forbidden by the deeper Balinese culture.
The ocean at night here is the realm of child stealing spirits and must be respected.
And so it goes. Open borders and prestigious awards.
After all, Bali loves the smell of tourists in the morning…it smells like…victory.