Photos and words by Nathan Lawrence
The swell has already hit West Oz. It’s huge. Freezing. Windy. All the right components to turn on this almost impotent wave. A wave that hasn’t shown its true colors this year. But as I type this the wheels are already in motion. Rubber boats are being put in the water. Jet Skis are on standby. Photographers are cleaning their lenses and video dudes are charging their batteries. The words on the contest T-shirts read, “IT’S ON WHEN IT’S ON.” And boy do I hope it’s on. I dug up these photos to remind me what this wave can do. How good it can be surfed. It’s been a while so I kinda forgot. I almost wanted to skip town and head to another island to score a long left with 100 other people out. But after looking at these images I’m a believer again. It’s the final hours of the countdown. Only six hours until daylight here in Bali and we will know for sure whether IT’S ON…
This is Ganti. Bol and Garut's uncle. He's one of the original surfers to surf Padang. This shot was from the 2007 contest. Flawless conditions.
Mustafa Jekson exiting a barrel in the 2007 contest. This kid has been getting shots at Padang since he was 3 feet tall. He's as dangerous out there as anyone. Probably even more this year because his life long sponsor, Quiksilver, just dropped him this year. Prediction: Mustofa wins the event and Rip Curl picks him up.
You usually have to dodge and weave around the water photogs on any given day at Padang. But not at the Rip Curl Cup. No water photogs are allowed during the event. So leave your water housing at home fellas.
Too bad this angle is now off limits. Construction never stops in Bali. A bunch of workers are sleeping in this little hut and using the surrounding area for their toilet. But don't worry, next year you can sip soy lattes from this viewpoint.
I don't know why all these photos of Bol keep showing up. I guess he's gotten the best waves out there over the years. My prediction my have to change to Bol winning the comp. But Mustafa will still get sponsored by Rip Curl.