It happens overnight. One minute the lineup is full of Russian Surf School students. The next minute, there’s 600mms posted up and down the beach. Fish-eyes in the lineups. Air-reverses on every other wave. Team houses. Marketingbecues. Logos. Tight jeans. All that shit.
Like a light switch going on, the Bali surf season kicks into full swing. The “other North Shore.” Same same but different. Longer. More sprawling and drawn out. All Third World disaster and happy ending sin. Dark Kuta clubs and bright-idea scooter accidents. Mushies and slushies. Bintangs and Padang food. Super pros on break from tour. Photo pros on break from, uh, whatever it is they do. Video guys baking in the sun. Marketing guys picking up the bill. Hangers on looking like last year’s ad campaign. Everyone’s here. Everyone’s on the beach. Everyone’s in the line-up. And tonight, everyone is at Un’s.
It’s an annual event now. Un’s Acoustic Nights. A little show that says, yes, everyone’s here now — go ahead and start the wave machine. MC Peter King jibs the crowd from the mic up front. Hurley boss-man and Bali’s longtime host-with-the-most Rizal Tanjung shakes hands in the back. Timmy Curran is broadcasting everything live on his website as he breaks out cool new songs from his upcoming album. Wildness Crew’s Canadian hip-hop dude Brett Mjanes hypes the crowd with his hit single “Push.” Virgin artist Tristin Prettyman confesses its her first time in Bali…and she’s never going home…and she’s not a Virgin, she just records with them. And then, of course, the Balinese Elvis, Marcelo, brings down the house with Bali-rock classics like Jalan Jalan and La Bamba.
Wow, I just had a dj vu. Did I say La Bamba?
Un’s serves famous arak margaritas. And everyone drank way too many, even though 25 people just died from a bad batch of the local palm moonshine. People forget stuff like that quickly. Especially when they’re drinking arak. But luckily, no one died last night. And in the morning, well, for the first time in months, the surf wasn’t very good.
So, for an hour or two, Russian Surf School was killing it. But that won’t last. Bali is on. And no one has any idea how to turn it back off.
Timmy and SURFING’s Nathan Myers discuss the days earlier session