The boards on the beach sport plenty of pro logos, even if most of the riders aren’t actually sponsored. The event organizer was WCT-certified Jake “Snake” Patterson, even if the event doesn’t even register a blip on any contest circuit radars. And the whole set-up — from banners and t-shirts to judging towers and sound system — was entirely professional, even if it was all the first-time effort of one local grommet. From hand-me-down pro boards to world-class visitors, this is a surf community founded on some of the world’s top surfers “just passing through.” And judging by what we saw at the Canggu Surf Communities’ first annual surf contest, that sort of inspiration can go a long way.
Komang Widarma is a Balinese surfer who often accompanies me on local trips to help film. But when I’m away, he has plenty of time to hone his own surf skills. He also pours a lot of effort into his local surf community — and as president of the Canggu Surf Community, this is his biggest effort yet. Considering his young age, the professionalism behind this first time local event is pretty amazing. Over the last couple weeks, Komang and his surf club buddies rounded up sponsorships, prizes, equipment and heaps of stoke from the local surfers. He even recruited myself and Jake Patterson into judging the event for him, so that no local favoritism could sway the votes. How could we refuse?
After watching him pour so much love into this community event, it was nice to see them score some swell (maybe a bit too much, forcing them to move the event site down the beach a bit). The 14 and Unders were charging the inside reforms, with great performances by Jeran, who not only won his Division, but also made the finals of the 14-18 Juniors Division. Look out for this grom in the years to come. Sodok won the Juniors’ division, sticking a nice little frontside air in the final to seal the deal. Finally, Komang won the Open Division (of his own contest!) and was presented with a new epoxy Channel Islands from guest star Rob Machado, who showed up with the surprise board just in time. I was filming Komang for the final — not judging — so I can honestly say he won it fair and square with some really nice turns.
No matter how far we go with our surfing, I think we all remember our first local contests with the most. Back when we were just sandy groms competing against our buddies for stickers and t-shirts, it might just have been better than prize money. And even though I spent my whole day trapped in the judges tower, just reliving my own grommet memories made this a pretty sweet day of surfing for me.
Huge congratulations to Komang for pulling this whole event together, and to the whole Canggu Surf Community for keeping the aloha alive throughout a friendly day of competition. Bali has come a long way in its relatively short surf history — and these are the types seeds that grow into much bigger trees. Today, those seeds were planted — and thoroughly watered — with much love. I’m sure we’ll see some big things from some of these kids in the future.
Indo’s adopted ‘fro, Rob Machado showed up to award a board.
While everyone was a winner today, the groms would kill me if I failed to include the final results. It still was a contest after all. So here’s the final results:
13 AND UNDER DIVISION
14 TO 18 DIVISION
And thanks to sponsors…
-The Beach Store
Komang Widarma organized this entire event…it’s all about the love.