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Mid-morning shred sessions. Post lunch massage marathons. Early afternoon barbecues. Oddly enough, they call this "getting work done" around here. Yadin Nicol, Kalani Robb, Evan Geiselman and other Team Hurley are set up in a gorgeous open-air villa, spending their days indulging in the bountiful mysteries of Indonesia's most decadent island. Work? Well, the photo sessions turn into ad shots. The video clips turn into movies. And, sure, there's even an element of "team building" and "travel experience" involved. Just enough "work" to write it all off on the expense reports. Hey, this ain't Wall Street.
Welcome to Hurley's Bali House: summertime's new North Shore lookalike, where entire surf team's can post up in comfort to keep themselves "training" and "working" on some of the world's premier waves. The people are friendly. The food is great. The water is warm. Local legend Rizal Tanjung drops by most afternoons to set up big, five star barbecues and make sure the boys find their way into appropriate levels of late night debaucheries…it's all just too good. Debauchery? you ask. Well, it's not as bad as you might think — in fact, it's even culturally educational at times. Take last night, for instance. After resident chef Gede laid out his sweet spread of local delights, the Hurley surfers and visiting staffers found themselves invited to a local "teeth cutting" ceremony, where a young Hindu has their canines ground down to "remove greed from their life" (and to avoid having to eat bamboo in the afterlife). An orchestra of drums and xylophones banged out a joyous ceremonial jam-session while elaborately gowned dancers interpreted the ritual's central themes — inviting members of the audience to join in, as well. All this, right up the street from their villa.
And who's that dancing in the midst of things. We'd recognize that afro anywhere. Rob Machado has been over in Bali for months now, drifting from house to house, wave to wave, meal to meal. He'll turn up unexpectedly just as a table is being set (oh, just in time for a second breakfast) and disappear just as the dishes are being stacked. Footage and photos of the iconic goofyfooter are quickly setting a new style standard (they've been saying he's surfing better than ever lately). And he's embracing the local culture in a big way — with no intention of leaving anytime soon. Driving an old motorcycle around the island, riding everything from wooden alaia's to modern Bisquits, Machado's discovered a whole new flow for himself over in Indo. Let's hope someone's capturing all this on film.
In the meantime, the Hurley crew got invited back to the ceremony's host's house, to meet the guest of honor and check out the ritual shrine. After hanging out at the family compound for a spell, they walk on home before it gets too late. There's more waves in the morning (seems like more waves EVERY morning) and there's much "work" to be done.
Rough life, aye? Somebody's gotta do it.