Escaping Bali to surf during Nyepi
While witnessing the Balinese celebration for Bali’s annual day of silence, we took the road to Lombok greeted by Ogo-Ogos – colourful statues built for Nyepi’s parade. Swell forecasts looked promising and brought us to a spontaneous surf-trip to the neighboring island of Lombok.
Lombok, 5 years later…
Our last visit in Lombok was about 5-years ago, and we’ve been surprised to see how touristy some parts of the island have become. When surfing inside Gerupuk, it was rare to have more than 20 people in the line-up which already seemed like a lot. On the day of our arrival, we were told by a surfer that he counted over 80 surfers at the main spot of Gerupuk. So, we looked for other spots.
Still possible to find empty line-ups !
Luckily, we still came to the right place, staying in Kuta Lombok, surf capital of the island. We had the chance to meet Resman, a local surfer who owns a surf-cottage in town and also organises surf-trips to his “secret points”. Everyone knows him in town and when asked where we’re heading for surfing, he never reveals the name of the spot, even to other locals.
We will of course keep the names of those places unrevealed but gladly and genuinely will share more about “iSurfLombok” – Resman’s surfing guide services, that gave us the privilege to surf Lombok as we would never have expected. Many of the spots are still hard to access and the help of a local is a must to reach those spots.
Amongst the few spots we visited, we enjoyed an unforgettable session on a 6-9 foot swell where just 5 of us where sharing epic waves, long rippable walls and barrels on an epic right-hander. Unfortunately, for future reference, this spot is about to become widely known as a grommet search contest will be happening this year.
Inspiring encounters with the locals …
On that same surf break, we met Resman’s friend, known as Dandy. Originally from Bandung in Java, a city far from the beach, Dandy moved to Bali 7 years ago when he started surfing.
His heart has been touched in Lombok by the children’s “unconditional smile”, something he could not find anymore in Bali line-ups. He says Lombok’s grommets are not as spoiled as the ones in Bali, where surf tourism has benefited to them.
Dandy’s passion for surfing and his country, Indonesia, provoked in him the desire to help children who want to surf, making surfing a tool for a brighter future.
Dandy’s passion for surfing and his country, Indonesia, provoked in him the desire to help children who want to surf, making surfing a tool for a brighter future. Children in Lombok seem to be the most happy in the world but that may change as they grow up, seeing how hard it can be to make a living in a developing country. Dandy wants to give a chance to those disadvantaged kids to make a carreer out of surf and tourism, briging to them material support and good values.
Willing to educate kids through surfing
With that, Dandy and Resman founded an association to help kids with the desire to surf. First, they spot children with good surf discipline who have the right attitude in the line-up, then selected ones are offered second-hand surfboards collected by the association. Supported by the community of surfers in Bali, broken surfboards are collected on the tourist island and brought back to Lombok by Dandy himself. A local shaper from Bali, known as Elevation surfboards, also helps in the making of those second hand surfboards and supports the cause by shaping free brand new boards for the most deserving kids. Dandy’s plan is to also attract international brands searching to sponsor local grommets.
Surf-trip for a cause. Next stop, Sumba.
Dandy’s plan is not limited to Lombok. He wishes to bring education through surfing to all Indonesian kids living in the more remote islands of Indonesia and is even planning to bring surfboards to children in Papua.
To inaugurate the project, IndoSurfCrew will team up on a surf-trip to Sumba, one of most remote islands Indonesia, where local kids are deeply in need. By bringing second-hand surfboards to select children and water filters to local families, we hope to raise awareness for Dandy’s association in his search for grommets.
More stories coming soon, stay tuned!