Passion Comes in Waves



I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” – Susan Sontag

There is much to the theory as to why Balinese surfers in particular don’t really travel much. And have never made a splash on the international scene. Excepting, of course, Rizal Tandjung’s Pipeline miracle. But then that was 24 years ago. Sure there are the visa hassles, but alot of people have those. No, it’s more about comfort. Balinese surfers live in the best surf in the world. They also own it. They are also close to family and wealth and friends and culture and the food they love.

Why leave paradise? Let’s face it, there’s a reason 6 million tourists come here. Still, the wonder of travel is there for anyone who gets restless. And that is what this issue is all about. Inspiration to get out there and see all of it. It’s always better to see something once than hear about it a thousand times. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.

So in this issue, we bring you daring adventures from three corners of our world. Alan Van Gysen reports in from Equatorial Guinea, a place hard to find on any map. But then…it always feels good to be lost in the right direction. We also have Pete Frieden reporting in from the roughhousing of the North Shore season.

And in a place that might never exist, a transitory place, International award winning fine arts photographer Ben Thouard brings us to a place that can never be found on any map. Of course, true places never are. The world is a book and those who do not travel read only the same page over and over. We say get out there. If you think adventures are dangerous, try routine. It’s lethal. Live your life by a compass, not a clock. All you need to travel this great blue world is to know that it’s possible.

And remember, if you travel far enough, you’re gonna get a chance to meet yourself.

– Editor –  

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Must a living thing have a eyes to have a soul?

Does a wave, however transitory, have a soul? Considering that a wave is a powerful band of energy moving through a living medium, it could be so. Our souls are mere thoughts moving across the living medium of our minds. So it could be so. Perhaps that is what we feel when we surf that perfect session. Or that secret session. Or that big session.

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So this is what retirement looks like these days.

Not long ago retirement for a surfer meant the Pipe dream of a desert island, a few coconut trees, an island wife and a perfect wave out in front of a grass shack. But then…even when the G-land discoverers had it in the palm of their hands, they still managed to screw it all up. No, the new alpha Pro males have a whole new take on it. A whole new world.

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Oh Holy Night. In a year where we have seen a red moon and the sun itself come closest to the earth in hundreds of years, it is no surprise that our eyes turned to the heavens more than ever before. This year’s Nyepi day, the day of silence, was observed under an extraordinary night. This Nyepi night, with all lights out and during the only International airport closure for a spiritual event in the world, the atmospheric conditions were perfect. Revealing what really lies above us. Not a breath a wind, not a cloud in the sky. No haze, no smog. Perfect stillness. Not even the bark of a single dog. And a domed blanket of stars so rich and so clear that you could even make out the colours of the Universe. Countless visitors simply lay back in their hotel pools and felt the enormity of the sky and the soft pressure of absolute silence. A tear inducing reminder of what we are on earth and an idea of where we fit in.

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A milestone has been reached not only for us but for the sport of surfing in Indonesia. You hold in your hands the 100th published issue of Surftime magazine. Proof that, just like surfing itself, we are here to stay. 100 has always been a milestone number. It defines era’s, epochs and ages. But most of all, to all who read this magazine, it defines a time of revolution.

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Our current state of affairs on Bali. The scraping down of our sacred ground. Only to build our temples of greed upon her bare bones. Forcing a fabricated idea of paradise upon a land that was already a perfect one. Wouldn’t it be remarkable if the sport of surfing actually had a president? Not just for the WSL, but for our entire surfing world?

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