Yesterday evening, August 4, the best riders of the 2014 Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang, Bali had the opportunity to to ride the contest spot without the pressure of the contest.
The pictures turned out to be pretty much aawweeessomme. Amongst the riders had been Matt Wilkinson, Owen Wright, Bethany Hamilton and the great Rizal Tandjung. Enjoy the eye-candy.
Mini-Malibu, Egg, Longboard, Fish, Step-up, Semi-gun, Shortboard? So many different shapes of surfboards, but which one is the right pick for you and what is the best board for Bali?
It's not the board that decides wheather you will be a surfer one day, or just one more kook, playing in the whitewater. Your individual ambition and what you know from skateboarding, will not make you a better surfer. And neither will a board, that does not have enough flotation and stability to send you off to the first couple of good rides in your surferlife. Competitive swimmers might have a learning advantage, but due to their experience, they are usually very reasonable in terms of the appropriate board size. Taking a board too short, is a waste of time. As long as you haven't trained your stability on a bigger board, it's useless to try catching waves with a shortboard. If the board is too big, it will be harder to do maneuvers, without having advanced skills. The boards that you should consider to become the first allround piece in your quiver will mot likely be a funshape/mini malibu board in the 7'ft. range.
The most simple way to calculate the length of a beginner surfboard is: Body-height + 17 ‘Inch
Widely used for surf classes and amongst beginners in general are mini malibu boards and softtops between 7″2′ and 7” 10′. These middle sized beginner boards are built very solid, which makes them a little heavier, but at the same time gives them more stability in the water, but is still able to get some good turns done. If you are not convinced, ask your surf guide to take a wave on a beginner board and you will see, that beginner boards can be fun, too.
If you have around average body measurements, start with a board like that. They are inexpensive and can be sold at a good value. They are the best option, too learn your take off quickly. It's a common mistake, to buy too short. If you skip that stage, you probably safe at least three weeks of surfing time.
Longboards might not be suitable for the average beginner, but if you have the BMI of a NFL linebacker, a sumo wrestler or a professional basketball player, a board above 8 foot can be a good advice. Nevertheless, the smooth style of longboard riding is up to date again and if you really want to lay hands on one, it is probably the best, to contact your local shaper. A longboard can be a real fun machine – if it has the right dimensions. Egg shapes can make sense, if the surfing student is still growing, or rather one of the small and dainty people. The same features apply to fish boards. Just to be clear, hybrid boards and step-ups can have a fishtail, but real fish, depending on the definition, has a maximum length of 6” 3 ‘and that’s no size for a beginner board at all.
Even experienced surfers tend to take longer boards when they travel Bali. Especially in high season, the waves can easily extend your comfort zone on a 5"9' freestyle chopper. Better look out for a barrel gun, or just surf another beach that day, cause every day there is a perfect wave for you somewhere on the island.
If you are not completely sure about the size and type of your future board, try to rent different boards and whenever possible, test each plank you can get under your feet.
If in doubt, go to your local shaper, take his/her advice and order a custom-made board. A perfect board will never be too big or too slow. It will keep up the fun for the rest of your life. Although this might be a major investment, it will be only about a third more expensive than a board from the factory. In addition, you will probably never be unconfident with your quiver. Better buy one good board only once instead of buying cheap. In the end you will pay double if you buy a less matching board in the first place. If you are searching for new surfboard, he will ask you the right questions.
Here is you're checklist, what you should have accomplished on your beginner surfboard, before you look out for a smaller size..
Ps: Stay close to the curl. Front hand points, where your nose goes next. Backhand supports the rotation and up and down flow of your upper body. If you want to test our quiver, with over 25 different boards, then book your stay at the Stormrider Surf Camp Bali now.
Even though, Bali is known as the most consistent surf travel destination in the world, from time to time the swell gets too big or the wind blows our home beaches. But Bali would not be Bali, if there wouldn’t be an option! While the east coast of Bali can be a good option during rain season and for expert surfers, the west coast can be in dry season. Especially the famous lefthand pointbreak Medewi is always worth a visit, when the breaks around Canggu and Kuta can no longer hold the swell (10- 12 ft. and bigger).
An outstanding lefthand pointbreak - Medewi
Medewi beach is located in the left corner of a bay and the swell does not hit the spot as hard as in the south and south-west. Speaking in numbers, the waves at the Medewi spot usually are 2-3 ft. smaller, compared to Canggu. In addition, this spot is an interesting training ground for intermediate to advanced surfers. On a good day, even step up beginners can have a look. Although Medewi is breaking over rounded rocks, the wave is much smoother than many other pointbreaks and not as dangerous as if it would be breaking over sharp coral reef. Usually it is also not as crowded as many other breaks along the coastline, especially compared with those spots closer to the Bukit peninsula.
Medewi, a village between past and future
Contrary to many villages in East Bali, Medewi has a large muslim population. Like anywhere else in Bali, they get along with the surrounding Hindu culture very well. But that’s not the only contrast found over there. The little village is just about to improve to the next step. Shortly after the first tourist resorts have been built in the nineties, Medewi experienced a serious drawback after the terrorist bombings in Kuta in the early 2000’s. Now that the situation is obviously stable again, the village has recovered and as a first sign, you can see a constant effort to improve the infrastructure. The road to the beach gets repaired, some new houses are built close to the shore, more and more little shops open at the main road. In only 5 -10 years, Medewi will probably have changed a lot and the local people are really looking forward to that.
The Medewi Boardriders Club
Soon after your arrival, you will notice some of the local beach bums. Most of them are members of the Medewi Boardriders Club and their main business model is selling their t-shirts to tourists. With the money from the t-shirt sale, the club helps local kids with equipment and organizing an annual surfing competition. The shirts are quite pricey compared to a typical sweatshop in Bali, but if you are not short on money, maybe consider to buy a shirt or make a little donation to the club. You won’t regret it. The locals know how to appreciate a friendly gesture and will always help you with information about the village, the spot, the conditions and everything else.