A Different Dream Tour Begins

Dede's last-minute air in the final. Photo: Tim Hain

Dede's last-minute air in the final. Photo: Tim Hain

By Nathan Myers
Photos by Tim Hain

Dede Suryana is just glad to be home. The former Indonesian champ is up on the podium of the opening event of the ISC tour pouring sweet second place Coca-Cola onto the head of first place winner Made Awar, and he couldn't be happier about losing a heat.

Good waves. Good surfing. Good friends. Compared to the WQS, the ISC is a dream.

The final at the Oakley Pro Canggu was awesome. Head-high waves. Light onshores. Dede had Made combo'd from the start, then Made came back with two amazing combo-filled rides. Now Dede needed a nine to win it. With just one minute left, he threw a huge air reverse (easily a 9-point starter pack), stomps it, then bogs the follow-up turn to lose the score. So close, so far away.

I'm no contest geek, but the Indonesian tour is actually fun to watch. Wave for wave, the events make the "Dream Tour" look like the WQS (Lakeys, Ulus, Keramas, Canggu…there's not a Bakio or Fernando on there). And they ALWAYS get swell. You'll see airs pulled on most waves. Stand-up barrels. Fins-free turns. All standard issue first round stuff. (In the freesurf beachbreak beside the contest I saw a 360 shove-it air and a kerrupt pulled on back to back waves.) Lee Wilson, Garut Widiarta and Dede Suryana are three of the most progressive surfers I've ever seen, and on any day they could go be beaten by guys like Marlon Gerber, Raditya Rondi or Made Awar.

Dede Suryana douses winner Made Awar with victory Coke.

Dede Suryana douses winner Made Awar with victory Coke.

So why aren't these guys all over the WQS? Why hasn't there ever been an Indonesian surfer on the WCT?

Some things make sense. Some things don't.

The ISC tour illustrates both the solution and the problem. Indonesians have a hard time traveling — it's not only too expensive, it's virtually illegal for them to leave their country. Even if they wanted to…which most don't.

The few that do travel soon discover another shocking reality of the outside world: bad waves. They've never seen them before. They don't know how to surf them. Chuck in a wetsuit and non-rice diet, and every Indonesian surfer goes running back home as soon as possible.

Dede is definitely one of Indo's more well-traveled surfers (not saying much), and this year he's been out there giving the WQS a crack.

It's not going well. In three events, he's barely made a heat. The surf has been universally pathetic. He's traveling alone. Doesn't speak the language or like the food. I'm surprised he's even planning to continue.

"So, you're off to Scotland next?" I ask him after the contest.

Dede looks down. "No, I think maybe I'm going to stay around here a bit. Train up for Brazil."

His "training" program includes trying to find "bad surf" around Indo. He's got a gymnast's build, with pro-basketball legs. Huge hops. Dede would probably be very good at any sport he tried. He's the only individual athlete in the world sponsored by Coca-Cola, and I've never been able to get him to admit he doesn't drink the stuff.

"You're not losing your fire to qualify, are you?" I ask.

"No, just maybe do some filming and maybe a photo trip?"

"Photo trip? Where to?"

Dede looks momentarily confused, does a bit of travel math in his head, then laughs. "Um, I think Scotland."

Some things make sense. Some things don't.

[Get the full story from the Oakley Pro Junior and more photos here: http://www.oakleyindonesia.com/oakleypro10/news.php]