A Portrait of Deni Firdaus

The Indonesian longboarder talks about his life in West Java

Indonesia is known for being one of the most wave-abundant nations on the planet, drawing hordes of surfers to its various islands since the early ’70s. Many of those surfers, in addition to the local shredders, like to paddle out at top-to-bottom, (barely) reef-covered breaks with high-performance shred sticks under their arms. But Deni Firdaus follows a different beat. The 21-year-old lives in a small Javanese fishing village and has made a name for himself for riding boards with one fin instead of three, those in the 9-foot-plus range instead of six, and for mastering stylish trims instead of above-the-lip tricks.

Firdaus regularly surfs a sand-bottomed point near his home and has acquired a timeless, refined style of wave-riding on par with Harrison Roach and Tyler Warren. In the 10-minute edit above, the crew behind Deus Ex Machina follows Firdaus around his hometown and talks to the logger about his upbringing, what he does in his downtime, and what draws him to the art of longboarding.