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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Muklis Anwar dropped by the Surftime offices recently. His usual cheerful, smiling self. A naturally positive surfer. As if he was born with a happy gene. But in reality we discovered it is more than that. Here is a North Bali Island surfer, born into the Islamic enclave of village Medewi, who from very humble beginnings, made his own path to happiness through belief, commitment and maybe just a little luck. The following are some of the truths we learned about Muklis Anwar:

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Jungle Love – Stephanie Gilmore surfs better than you

“You’ve come a long way, baby”. So read the ad slogan for Virginia Slims, a “Feminist” cigarette brand, released in 1968. This in response to the sexual revolution and a radical transition from suffragette to what was then called Women’s Liberation. Nowadays it’s just called basic human rights. And we have female warriors like Stephanie Gilmore to thank for that.

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The 14th Annual Surftime Awards: A Night to (try and) Remember

As exclusive as The Lawn in Canggu may look from the outside, it still manages a very organic, tribal vibe on the inside. And the 14th Annual Surftime awards, held there on September 22nd was just that. More of a family gathering than an awards night, this assembly of the best and brightest of our surfing community was at once a joyous, raucous and very, very loud affair.

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Canggu is all on it’s own. Once an outpost, now a surfing colony, it’s been cut off. The natural disaster known as tourism and development, combined with a total lack of subsequent infrastructure, has resulted in a geographical isolation due to snarled traffic. From Kuta to Canggu, a bad best of an hour of breathing near pure carbon monoxide, this traffic is a result of a massive exodus of adventurers, scoundrels, criminals and vegans who have forged Canggu into the most outlandish surfing community in the world.

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Although just the mention of the word Java has been enough to send imaginations soaring throughout history, to the modern surfer it holds even more mystery than most imaginations are capable of. With a deadly, rough coast, ship eating waters, volcanic events that alter the very tectonic plates beneath us and over 1000 kilometers of exposed coastline, this 13th largest island in the world remains one of our last unexplored surf zones.

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