Bali, or the island of the gods, is a very magical place and if you have not visited before, I would very much suggest. There are many places to stay, sights to see, waves to surf though, it must be noted, raggedy hordes of hopped up tourists have become a serious problem.
These menaces, often dressed in Bali-branded merchandise, zig and zag on scooters, vomit into the gutters after drinking mushroom milkshakes and attempt to fulfill misguided childhood dreams of “learning to surf.”
The “learning to surf” bit has become such an issue that even the South China Morning Post has taken notice.
Founded in Hong Kong in 1903, the broadsheet was the official mouthpiece of British colonial rule, then the Rupert Murdoch empire until being sold to the Alibaba Group. While these days it suffers some criticism for promoting China’s soft power abroad, its journalist Dave Smith spared no disdain for Bali’s scourge of beginner kook scum.
Describing one incident, Smith wrote:
I get a very clear picture of what they are talking about when I paddle out to Medewi’s popular “point break” at high tide. The waves break slowly and consistently and are at times more than 100 metres in length – perfect for beginners. And therein lies the problem.
A few minutes after I get into the water, I see a beginner try to stand up on her surfboard before being wiped out.
Unfortunately, she didn’t properly attach her surfboard’s leg rope to her ankle and it comes undone – a crime in the surf world because it turns any surfboard into a dangerous waterborne projectile. And sure as death and taxes, it hits someone in the head – and that someone happens to be a local.
He doesn’t hold back from voicing his discontent.
While no punches were thrown, there is a heavy suggestion that there should be as various Austrian locals are interviewed, declaring, “When conditions are right, you can ride waves for up to one-and-a-half minutes here. (Before the pandemic) there would be maybe 20 surfers out on the waves – mostly locals and a couple of blow-ins from Kuta. But today there can be up to 100 surfers on any given day. And they’re all hungry for waves. They forget the rules.”
What should be done to help them remember those rules?
You tell me and the Austrian local.