story by Nathan Myers
portrait by Nate Lawrence
event photos by Seewah
Show’s over. Everyone’s dancing. Laughing. Celebrating the night. I cruise to the outside bar at Tipi Jabrik’s RAW store with Balinese surfer Garut Widiarta and hand him an envelope containing TEN MILLION rupiah. A huge wad of cash.
Garut gives me a hug. Then he takes out the cash and peels off a few million rups for his editor, Norwegian grom Nikko Solkkeil (who recently helped Flynn Novak qualify in the Wild Card round). Next Garut hands the bartender a wad and orders up rounds of shots for everyone nearby.
It’s pouring rain. We smash the oversized check and knock back our tequila soaking wet. Garut orders more. Damn, these Indonesian have learned a lot from visiting surfers. A generation ago, most Balinese couldn’t even swim. Garut is a first generation Indo surfer. Learned on a broken board at Uluwatu. Grew up in the Balinese invasion years, and now here he stands, buying rounds for the media.
Oakley’s Indosections is a bonus feature round of Taylor Steele’s Innersection project. Out of a dozen local entries, Garut won unanimously with the online judges and the live screening panel of Rizal Tanjung, Brad Gerlach, Tim Russo, Jason Childs and Mikala Jones. The section included raw Balinese gamelon music, scenes from a Hindu teeth filing ceremony and clips arranged categorically: rights, lefts, barrels, turns, rodeo flips, etc. It’s strange, beautiful and undeniably mental.
“What’s up with filing down your teeth?” I ask.
“It is a Balinese tradition,” says Garut. “The pointy teeths…”
“Yes, these teeths make you greedy. So we cut.”
“Does it hurt?”
“Little bit. Takes long time. Big ceremony. I miss many waves.”
“But now you’re not greedy anymore?”
“Maybe just for waves.”
The night also included a premier of some of the favored sections from Steele’s upcoming Innersection film: Mike Losness, Mikala Jones, Ozzy Wrong and Peter Devries. Since all these sections are being completely re-made for the DVD, tonight was the old version’s last night out. Steele is finishing editing this very week.
“This could be one of my best films yet,” says Taylor. “But I can’t even take credit. We’ve got 23 directors who each poured so much work into their 3-minute parts.”
What’s the film gonna be like?
“It’s all big collage of styles, locations and types of surfers,” he says. “It’s as much Castles or Sipping as it is Stranger or Campaign, which is something we didn’t really expect. I’m really happy how it’s coming together.”
So who’s looking like the big winner? Slater? Craig Anderson? Josh Kerr? Clay Marzo?
“That’s up to the viewers to decide,” says Steele, happy to avoid this responsibility. “And we’re giving a $100,000 dollars to whoever they pick.”
Here in Bali, Garut -- with his 10-million rupiah -- is buying more shots. Suddenly I realize how dangerous it might be to hand over $100k cash in a bar-room environment. Alcohol poisoning. Blackout adventures. Strange bedfellows. Oh-my.
Maybe we should give the prize money out at a Mac Store. Or maybe at the Channel Islands factory. No, wait, let’s do it in Vegas! Yeah, Vegas baby.
Ah, anyway. I digress. It’s the shots talking. I shouldn’t take anymore, or at least I shouldn’t write anymore. Just watch Garut’s section. As Rizal would say: so good yeah.
OAKLEY INDOSECTIONS QUALIFIERS
1. Garut Widiarta
2. Lee Wilson
3. Mustofa Jeksen
4. Dede Suryana
5. Betet Merta
[Big thanks to Oakley for making this happen for the local crew, and to RAW store for hosting the event, and all the judges and Innersection members who suported Indonesian surfing.]
Taylor Steele’s Innersection film (complete with Indosections bonus 5) will premier November 26th around the world.