The ASP World Tour is one big traveling prison and the world’s most dangerous surfers are incarcerated. Unlike most detention centers, once a surfer is convicted, they try to stay imprisoned for as long as possible. Some, like Willian Cardoso, have petty thieved their ticket into this prison. Others, like Sebastian Zietz, have been booked for a felony fusion of arson and violence. An inmate like Taj Burrow stays for decades, whereas a guy like Glenn Hall might only do 12 months. And Kelly Slater, well, he is doing life without parole.
Despite their differences, the prisoners travel together. They eat in the same mess halls, sleep under the same concrete and play in the same rec yard. Like nomadic convicts, they roam from event to event and hunker down in these perfect penitentiaries until the bells of freedom toll. The journey is rarely easy. At the Oakley Pro, surfers battled 10-point rides, judging discrepancies and massive alley-oops to secure their stay in prison. We know. The ASP’s new warden, Paul Speaker, gave us an all access tour. Here’s our exclusive look at Bali behind bars. —SURFING
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