2014 winner Garut Widiarta looks ready to defend his birthright. Photo: Hammonds
The waves are real good in Bali, like, all the time.
Winter trades grace the Bukit Peninsula with an offshore flow eight months a year. When combined with world class reefs and an always-brewing Indian Ocean, it’s easy to understand why Bali is the Southern Hemisphere’s most consistently pumping region.
But while most breaks never drop below chest high (Ulus, Keramas, etc.), there’s one Balinese reef that needs a special type of swell. A big, long-period southwesterly, one which wraps into the western regions of the Bukit and unloads across a Gillette-sharp ledge in front of a cliff. This wave is called Padang Padang.
Padang Padang, in Bahasa, means large field. This makes sense, as it refers to the grand expanse of land that sits directly above the wave. However it doesn’t make sense in reference to Ripcurl’s Padang Padang Cup, because this contest will have a very small field — 16 surfers to be exact.
But while quantity lacks, the quality of invitees will make you melt. The surfers are chosen based on the categories of Indos (8) and Internationals (8), and the list is as follows:
Tom Curren (USA)
Mason Ho (HAW)
Damien Hobgood (USA)
Bruce Irons (HAW)
Jamie O'Brien (HAW)
Bruno Santos (BRA)
Chris Ward (USA)
Clay Marzo (HAW)
Bol Adi Putra
TBD (winner of local trials)
Pretty feisty, right?
The event has had both international and Indonesian winners, but the last year it ran (2014) went to local boy Garut Widiarta. Here’s what he had to say on this year’s affair: "The Rip Curl Cup is a unique contest. The invitational format means there are no 'easy heats' for anyone. If you look at last year's bracket, every matchup in the first round could have been a final. It's a challenge that myself and every other Indo surfer is excited to meet. I'm ready to defend my title against anyone."
The contest waiting period spans the entire month of August, thus giving ample time for a solid swell to formulate and provide stellar conditions for a full day of competition. With any luck, we will see the contest commence sometime soon.
So this leaves only one question: