Submitted by Blowin on Tue, 11/07/2017 - 18:19
Are Indonesian surfers currently the best in the world ?
Or is that still a few months away ?
Recent discourse on the historic dominance of Australian surfers on the world stage due to the surf saturated learning curve that was the Dole Years ( 82- 98 ? ) is relevant to the present day.
The surfers of Indonesia , particularly Bali , are on a similar arc.
Constant water time in good waves amongst booming domestic and imported international talent has seen the base talent level amongst locals skyrocket.
Incredible reaction speed , positioning and grace only compromised by a lack of true power that will eventuate through high level competitive exposure which will coldly reveal any weakness and introduce cultural change in the Indonesian style.
The relocation of the WSL end game to Indonesia will provide the exposure of the sport as a potential pathway to success for Indonesian surfers and will provide the impetus required for them to leave their comfortable homeland for the trial of the WQS.
Indonesians will OWN surfing as Hawaiians did till very recently.
As a travelling surfer it's great to watch .
As long as we can still get a couple of waves !
Keep your eye on Indonesia.
As a nation full stop.
We will become locked in a complimentary struggle with them not too dissimilar to that of the USA and China.
I Heart Indo.
Sound argument. Makes sense.
Yet Argentina has more surfers in the Top 100 than Indonesia.
Chilly, inconsistent, politically-unstable Argentina.
Nah...surfing at that level is pretty much a mental game these days...I find the Indo's way lacking in killer instinct and strength outside of surfing in big numbers at their home break.
I'm not cheap,
But I'm free.
As you mentioned not very powerful, and a few have pretty wide poo-man stances especially in the tube.
Still got a way to go yet me thinks
Lots of great surfers in Indo in particular Bali or places like Lakeys, but i think there is a few problems in general for Indonesia surfers ever being like a brazilian storm kind of deal.
1. Just a numbers game, the more surfers a country has the more chance of that one freak talent, Indo has lots of great surfers, but really it would only be in maybe the few thousand all up.
2. Lets remember Indonesia is a developing country, you are a lucky grommet if you live in a family that has a disposable income for a board, and just lucky in general if surfers give or leave you a board, and then keep on getting decent boards as they grow in size and progress, even just getting around Indonesia for comps is something most Indonesians couldn't afford unless on the higher end of middle class or have sponsors to pay for travel expenses.
2. Life commitments, many get given a board when young, get into it surfing, get fairly good, but then just have to get on with life, either continue school away from beach or get a job elsewhere, if they are lucky enough to have more than just a beaten up board they got given and come from a family with a disposable income, they will normally go on to Uni in a city somewhere and then often get a decent job away from their home town.
Ive seen another phenomena in remote villages, sometimes they get given boards they start surfing and them progress very fast, then a year or two or three latter, the same kids aren't there anymore?
So i ask locals why? where are these kids, and i learn those kids are now older and had to go to next level of school (middle school, before high school) in the bigger towns where they live with relatives or friends, generally no waves near these bigger towns, i expect to see them back surfing on weekends but never have?..
Yeah sure it doesn't happen everywhere, but it's something I've noticed, as when i see a few grommets surfing and getting better I always expect to come back and see a flood of groms and the original kids ripping, but although it can happen, it's not always the case.
3. Waves are too perfect, I've seen some just get too fussy and only surf when it's totally pumping, lots of Nias surfers like this, some great Nias surfers like Raff who has won big Nias comps i think he even came to Aussie for a comp has even just given up surfing, i did talk to him about this and ask why, no real answer i think they just get to a point where as groms they are frothing surf everyday, then as older get picky only surf when good, then only go out when good and just get a few, and then just get over it all and caught up in life, family, business etc
4. IMHO having crap waves can actually be an advantage for developing good surfers especially places with shorter period swells, constant good waves can be good for becoming a good tube rider but not an overall good surfer.
I think Bali surfers have a little edge here, having good reefs but also so so beaches like Kuta, legian and also have crowds to create a more competitive surfer.
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They can't leave home without a supply of Shabu.Western meth don't cut it.
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