Words by Andrew Lewis
Photos by Nate Lawrence
Every few days the office phone rings. You pick up. It's a foreign ringtone – a single-note beeeeeeeep-pause-beeeeeeeep. If you're lucky, sometimes there's some sort of Indonesian karaoke jingle to help pass the seconds. That's fun. And then someone on the boat picks up:
"Hello?" The voice is digitized because you're communicating via satellites in outer space.
"What?" The voice crackles, then pitches and starts to fade. "Helloooo!"
"Hey…wait. No. No. Noooo!" That's how most of the interviews go for Tip 2 Tip, which is good. It means things are going just as they should be.
You see, Dillon Perillo, Dean Brady, Bruno Santos and whatever other lucky Rip Curl pro might be on board this week don't really care that you just called. In fact, they've already forgotten. Forgive them; they've been on the boat for far too long.
As you wait patiently on the other line – perhaps sipping the morning coffee – these boys were, oh I don't know, snacking on some fresh fruit. Or cracking chilly Bintangs. Or talking story worth sharing later on. Or trading the binoculars to glimpse a far-off picture-perfect reef pass. Or listening to co-captain Albert Taylor radio in from the Tin Boat, reporting that he's just found another wave that — as far as his extensive knowledge goes — has never been surfed before. Any one of these whimsical scenarios is happening —literally — right now. I assure you. That's the beauty of this thing.
This "thing" is Rip Curl's Tip 2 Tip mission, a six-month boat trip from one end of Indonesia to the other. While Bali officially became the surf industry's new North Shore this spring and summer, with team houses popping up like Japanese tourists at Dreamland, Rip Curl decided to bolt from it all. They hired a rather luxurious cruiser named Quest 1, painted and logoed it up and set sail in late April. It's been in the water ever since, picking up and dropping off surfers in ports across Indo, from Davey Cathels to Garut Widiarta to Timmy Turner to Alana, Owen, Steph, Mick, and on and on through the entire Rip Curl team. They've all logged time on the boat for the big cinematic climax next year.
And then there's Dillon, Brady and Bruno. The Stars. No need to fib here; they've taken breaks from the boat — but really, not much. They've been "forced" to stay on board until October. Word is they're starting to change. They've taken up fishing with their bare hands. Casually surfing eight-foot tubes over eight inches of water. Not showering. Chewing betel nut. Smoking Gudang Garams. Rabidly chasing suspect women whilst on land. Even listening to Indo karaoke. It's getting weird.
But on the rare occasion that the sat phone connection is running smoothly, the reports are unbelievable; the photos and video that come in every few weeks are even more so. If you think the best waves in Indo have been discovered, know now that you're flat-out wrong. Not only are there others out there, they are nothing like you've come to expect. The new reality will be revealed online in video installments bit by bit, tip to tip. You'll see.