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Peak Sumbawan

Four island talents converge for an air fest in Indonesia

On a recent trip to Indonesia, four island talents — Dylan Goodale and Alex Smith of Kauai, Arpad Leclere from Bali, and Evan Puma of Barbados — banded together to score a modest swell headed for Lakey Peak, where feathering walls and shallow ramps framed the Sumbawan horizon from sunup to sundown. “They were already there for a week, so I decided I wanted go and get this swell with them,” says photographer Ryan “Chachi” Craig. “I had never been to Lakey Peak, and with the crew on hand, I knew I wanted to give it a whirl.” We called Chachi to tell us about the photographic fingerprints behind the swell.

“Alex Smith. Even though by Indo standards this is considered playful and small, you can still see how perfect the reef is. The wave has a perfectly tapered shoulder, and for guys like Alex, it's like an open canvas to do whatever they want.”

“I'm no Indo expert, but it seems like Indo is hit or miss with winds. Right now, this time of year is supposed to be good winds all day, every day. That is seemingly the case, until it's not [Laughs]. Many days were really windy after about 9:00 AM and until about an hour before sunset. This shot of Alex is well into the sunset, where we worked with as much light for as long as we could.”

“Arpad and Dylan. One of the reasons why Lakey Peak is really cool is that you have to paddle out for about 5-10 minutes, and then all of a sudden, the reef sticks out the water, and you can walk the rest of the way to the lineup. At low tide, the reef sticks out of the water by quite a few feet, and at high tide, water is washing way past the tower. This is a lower tide at sunset.”

“I love taking photos out of the car, even though they're ultra low percentage. Everything is going by quickly, and you don't have much time to compose a shot — let alone find an interesting moment — when you're driving fast. This town was the only main town on the way to Lakey Peak. It's not like when you land in Bali, which is chaos. Kuta is the world's largest traffic jam. But then you get in Sumbawa, and everything seems to move a much slower pace.”

“Dylan Goodale. At the size we were surfing Periscopes, which was shoulder to head-high, it was pretty easy to tell who's comfortable over shallow reef and who's not. You'd see a lot of guys who could surf okay, but they would race down the line and kick out and avoid doing anything on the end section where the wave started to suck up and get shallow. For Dylan, these airs are a dime a dozen.”

“Dylan at sunset. This day, the waves were slow and winds were tricky, and then in the evening, the conditions became playful. This is one of those last light sessions where we went out as the sun was hitting the horizon, and we went in when it was pitch black.”

“When you go to Lakey Peak, there’s this ‘Motorbike Mafia’ that will make you rent motorbikes when you enter the town, whether or not you even want to ride one, or can ride one. They have a road block set up where all of the guys come out and ask you what hotel you're staying at, what's your passport, and what bike you'll rent from them. Thankfully, when I came in, I was with people who had been there before, who were able to guide us through it. This is Dylan, stopped right before our house.”

“This was a night that had some beautiful cotton candy clouds. Dylan and the guys were hucking airs while everyone else was watching the bottom go by, hoping that their fins didn't hit reef.”

“Around sunset time at Lakey Peak. I was amazed at how pretty it is here. There are all sorts of backdrops, and it’s an incredibly photogenic set-up.”

“Evan Puma. Sun is better than clouds, but clouds with texture and color are better than gray skies. It was a moody night after sunset, which allowed for these fun perspectives that gave us the opportunity to play with some angles.”

“Motorbike adventures — the boys driving back up to the house, with Dylan in the foreground and Alex behind him.”

“I had never been to Periscopes, so I have nothing to compare it to, but I can only imagine it at 2-3 times the size of this. This was the biggest day of the swell. I think everyone who was staying on Sumbawa was there, hoping it would be good. It was packed, probably 20 guys out. Our whole group was almost over it. We were thinking that maybe we should just go back to the main peak. But then we saw this set, and everyone ran out there as fast as they could.”

“Arpad Leclere. He's a 16-year-old kid from Belgium. He's got to be one of the most mature young men you'll ever meet. He speaks a host of languages fluently. He was our guide during this trip. When we went out and needed anything, he could speak to the locals for us. On top of all that, he's a nutcase in barrels. He's wired for it. He's brave, and he's definitely going to do some cool shit in the surf world.”

“An unknown surfer, walking over the reef and watching a final set before night's end.”

[Featured Image: Alex Smith, Periscopes]