Watch: Padang Padang with a bit of west in it

Stu Nettle
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It ain't quite as empty as this time last year when the Bukit lockdown was in full effect, but it's still wonderful to see that PP overview with lines arriving out of the glare of the late afternoon sun.

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Ash's picture
Ash's picture
Ash Thursday, 3 Jun 2021 at 10:30am

Borderline chaos at times

vbaaccess's picture
vbaaccess's picture
vbaaccess Thursday, 3 Jun 2021 at 10:41am

Crowds bring out the worse behaviour with some surfers. Dog eat dog mentally. Shame such a great wave.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf Thursday, 3 Jun 2021 at 11:00am

Would have to be the best wave on Bali in my opinion - not far to paddle, a channel to get out, doable take off for normal humans, and great barrel. Two problems: it isn't a right hander and that crowd is nuts.

the-u-turn's picture
the-u-turn's picture
the-u-turn Thursday, 3 Jun 2021 at 11:34am

...and that's how I see it, too, memlasurf.

sy Llama's picture
sy Llama's picture
sy Llama Thursday, 3 Jun 2021 at 11:42am

Lost interest the moment dickfcuk dropped in eh

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster Thursday, 3 Jun 2021 at 11:55am

Human soup.

Pretty depressing.

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Thursday, 3 Jun 2021 at 2:08pm

Totally. Too many humans on the planet. If you've chosen to have more than 1 child you can STFU about crowds too. Also photographers need to fuck off. Seeing those pricks instantly makes you self-aware and takes you out of the moment. The opposite of surfing.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno Thursday, 3 Jun 2021 at 2:32pm

What if your children were, er, not your choice lol

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Friday, 4 Jun 2021 at 9:13am

Hahaha, oh dear.

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups Friday, 4 Jun 2021 at 5:14am

Two children is still below replacement level though aye.

pittsy's picture
pittsy's picture
pittsy Thursday, 3 Jun 2021 at 1:04pm

Anyone here surfed it? Too gnarly in terms of crowd skill level for me, always wondered just how shallow the reef is? Incredible wave to watch in person, but would much rather fight the crowds at the other reefs with much bigger playing fields

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster Thursday, 3 Jun 2021 at 1:45pm

I had my first surf out there in 89', Pittsy. Me and a friend rode our motorbikes out there in the dark from Kuta and got there at first light. It was 5 - 6 foot and not another person in sight...even on the beach/warung. It was a pretty heavy wave even at that size (back then at least) and I felt less comfortable out there than I did on bigger days I'd surfed out at Ulu on previous occasions.

The 2 of us surfed solo for about an hour or so then 2 guys from California came out. Crowd ended up peaking at 6. One of those surfing days you don't forget.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf Thursday, 3 Jun 2021 at 1:45pm

Now I am really jealous. Every time I have been there since the early 2000's there has been 60 guys on it and the locals know it inside out. I would have just been making up the numbers trying the get the leftovers and getting clobbered on the inside - and that is not a good thing here as it keeps sucking you back into the break rather than flush you out. 6 guys out would have been all time.

Yippee's picture
Yippee's picture
Yippee Friday, 4 Jun 2021 at 10:50am

Surfed it thru the 80s, usually empty when we walked in from Ulus and empty when we left.
Never bothered with Impossibles until much later, remember being amazed when I first saw blokes riding it.
A small version a bit further down (Bingin) was also empty for a few years. I remember the first time another bloke paddled out, we had had it to ourselves for a couple of seasons by then. Word quickly spread.
Figured we would bush bash a bit further down,
but our luck ran out, Dreamlands and Burlungan are surfable, but not the stuff of surf dreams.
So for my mates it was off to the other islands in the 90s sketchy boat rides up north etc, and for me some very fruitful searching around Tahiti, although probably not as much pure Stoke as early Indo, less magic and because the heaviness ratcheted up at least a couple of notches over there. And lonely.

pittsy's picture
pittsy's picture
pittsy Thursday, 3 Jun 2021 at 1:55pm

God damn I can imagine that one'd stick in the memory for a while. I remember the comp a few years ago ran through dead low tide, looked like about 1ft water over the end section absolutely crazy seeing them still charge it, especially considering the hospital care on offer should you fuck yourself

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster Thursday, 3 Jun 2021 at 2:05pm

Yeah....totally different mentality now. Back then it was only considered surfable at mid to high tide!

and Memla.......bang on about getting dragged inside. During that session I got lip launched on one particular take off and got beaten to a pulp by a never ending set. Almost shat myself thinking I was gunna get washed into a cave.

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups Friday, 4 Jun 2021 at 5:22am

Surfed it once in 94. About 12 guys out. Seemed too crowded even back then. Everyone kept paddling inside me and I wasn't experienced or bold enough to play the game. Consequently I only got two waves. We were staying down at Bingin and I was mostly surfing down there. Only a handful of people out at dawn and dusk. During the day we'd surf Impossibles with maybe ten people. At the time I thought I'd missed the party in Bali, but considering how crowded it is now I look upon those memories With fondness. Last time I was there was in 98. Don't think I'll ever go back.

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango Friday, 11 Jun 2021 at 8:30pm

We were the first crew to stay in the cafe on top of the cliff in '93. Surfed Padang every morning for 2 weeks pretty much on our own before the Kuta escapees arrived around 10 or 11. Then it was Impossibles after lunch with a handful out and the Bingin crowd only paddling up for the end section. We had from the elbow to the bottom to ourselves and 3-5ft and pumping.
Ray and I slept in the lookout hut about 10 feet from the edge of the cliff, and I've got a photo of it with perfect empty peeling Padang in the background.
I've also still got photos of one WCT surfer at 13 years old out at 2ft Padang on his own, and distinctly remember lifting the little bugger up by the boardies to get over the whitewater on the reef to paddle out at 3ft Impossibles. Funny to think only a few years later he was on the tour and charging everything.
The other thing to stand out was that for perhaps 2 or 3 mornings both Margo and NPJ came and surfed Padang with us and put on quite a show, but young Ferg comprehensively out-surfed the both of them with his backhand tuberiding. I was young and hadn't yet had a few pieces of the surfing puzzle fall into place, but it was one of those trips you'll never forget.

burzum's picture
burzum's picture
burzum Thursday, 3 Jun 2021 at 1:09pm

Barrels are pretty soft by todays standards. Lots of barrels dodged and lips not hit in this clip. Too many people.
At least at Kirra you can head down the line and find a gap in the crowd. Not an option here. Bali is fucked.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba Thursday, 3 Jun 2021 at 1:45pm

so much for not many surfers in bali.....

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming Thursday, 3 Jun 2021 at 3:57pm

A friends in Maldives at the moment says it's still crowded there too.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno Thursday, 3 Jun 2021 at 1:45pm

The wave looks mechanical and like silvery heaven, but the crowd and drop ins take that appeal and reduce it substantially. The ocean noise soundtrack was great though.

At the start, there is what looks like a fast left before the takeoff that no one is surfing. Is that makeable?

amb's picture
amb's picture
amb Thursday, 3 Jun 2021 at 3:56pm

@VJ have seen guys surf the left up towards Thomas's, its a bit hit and miss, agree with below Impossibles better option. To this day Px2 is the best barrels ive ever had, but seen alot get fark-up on the reef especially when its not quite big enough to surf ie,4'.

Weatherman's picture
Weatherman's picture
Weatherman Thursday, 3 Jun 2021 at 3:31pm

I think I would be happier over at Impossibles with that sort of crowd. A lot less people and spread out. Not as good obviously, but some amazing rides when you get the right one, although plenty you don't make. A much more relaxed vibe than some Bali waves.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming Thursday, 3 Jun 2021 at 3:55pm

Crazy how crowded it is even without borders open to tourist..

Meanwhile plenty of uncrowded waves going unridden across Indo.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local Thursday, 3 Jun 2021 at 4:31pm

Wow, and you can chuck two dozen or so Brazzos and 20 odd blokes from Snapper Rocks into that mix when travel restrictions ease.
What a circus, only a matter of time until the floodlights and tickets come out.

Troppo's picture
Troppo's picture
Troppo Thursday, 3 Jun 2021 at 6:29pm

Saw the opening shot, and didn't even bother watching the clip.
Depressing!
Can only imagine crowd levels when the borders open.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Friday, 4 Jun 2021 at 7:55am

Deserts a few days before was same deal lots people people considering closed boarders !

dandandan's picture
dandandan's picture
dandandan Thursday, 3 Jun 2021 at 10:37pm

The crowds all over Indo will be a nightmare, and I reckon plenty of those with accommdation setups that have been heavily promoting their empty waves all Covid will be regetting they ever did haha. That said, I was chatting to the person who runs the place I usually stay at Ulus when I'm visiting about crowds and he told me not to worry because his whole banjar is sick of the Americans and Europeans there and will kick them all out when Australians are allowed back in haha.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf Friday, 4 Jun 2021 at 11:12am

From my observations from 1987 - 2019 is that it was still doable through the 2000's with Aussies, Yanks and Zillas, the Euros really were the straw that broke Bali's back. As a group they have zero understanding of the basic surfing etiquette (you dropped in on me - no I got to my feet first you are in the wrong???!!?), most can't surf and shouldn't be out there, and they go out in packs and there is a heap of packs. As a group they are the lowest skilled and ignorant of all the crowds.

dastasha's picture
dastasha's picture
dastasha Friday, 4 Jun 2021 at 7:53am

Clowns out too far who fake paddle at the wave then pull back. And then call you on after you've hesitated.

goofyfoot's picture
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goofyfoot Friday, 4 Jun 2021 at 8:39am

Is there anything more frustrating!

dastasha's picture
dastasha's picture
dastasha Friday, 4 Jun 2021 at 9:01am

Maybe the same clowns who sit too deep, call it and manage to get in to one, only to have it run away on them

Bungan33's picture
Bungan33's picture
Bungan33 Friday, 4 Jun 2021 at 9:10am

Its so relative hey...I remember first surfing Bali in 92 and avoiding PP because of the crowds. Even the crazy motorbike trip down the dirt track to Ulus kept the numbers down little. I thought I had missed the Bali glory days back then. Like Spudups I used to avoid the place completely and preferred to surf empty Impossibles rather than scrap for a wave. It was so depressing travelling through there a few years ago. Theres just too many humans on the planet now i reckon!

Hiccups's picture
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Hiccups Friday, 4 Jun 2021 at 9:14am
harrycoopr's picture
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harrycoopr Friday, 4 Jun 2021 at 9:45am

I was there when the fishing boat ran aground on PP reef.... that was interesting. People running around the place with big tuna and mackeral on their shoulders... still have a can of pork I souvenired from the boat's kitchen. Supposedly the captain got tossed overboard?

jezza64's picture
jezza64's picture
jezza64 Friday, 4 Jun 2021 at 9:45am

Best surfing I have ever seen live was here in 2012, Bethany Hamilton at the Rip Curl Cup. By far the best surfer in the water, amazing skills.

Ash's picture
Ash's picture
Ash Friday, 4 Jun 2021 at 12:23pm

Just watched another clip of a lefty an island east of Bali, not as crowded as Padang but still very busy. Gotta say while it's good to be able to watch what's happening, it's also brings on some anxiety and frustration watching. Even though Bali is crowded these days I still miss the place.

lindo's picture
lindo's picture
lindo Friday, 4 Jun 2021 at 2:41pm

Surfed it episodically from '76 for quite a few years. Back then I used to walk in and back out from Ulus, which itself was a long walk from the road in those days - a solid workout on a bike from Kuta, but usually there'd be no one around. It is a beautiful wave, but my vote for Bali's best, being a natural footer, is on the opposite side of Bukit. No prizes for guessing. Crowds are nuts these days though - I guess a lot are Balinese and a few expats, and can't imagine what it'll be like if/when the floodgates open.

epictard's picture
epictard's picture
epictard Friday, 4 Jun 2021 at 2:46pm

That place that you are referring to on the other side; I went there a few times in the late 80s and early 90s. Hardly anyone around back then. Rocked up one time in '93 or '94 and it was 6ft and perfect. Just one Kiwi hanging on the beach waiting for someone else to turn up so they would not be out there by themselves ... absolute magic!

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot Friday, 4 Jun 2021 at 3:16pm

Probably be best leave Indo alone for a year once it all opens up again as its going to be nuts eh.
Maybe the following year might have died down a bit.

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster Friday, 4 Jun 2021 at 4:18pm

I doubt it........

goofyfoot's picture
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goofyfoot Friday, 4 Jun 2021 at 5:57pm

Wishful thinking?

seaslug's picture
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seaslug Friday, 4 Jun 2021 at 6:17pm

Surfing is never going back to pre covid IMO GF

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot Friday, 4 Jun 2021 at 6:28pm

Probably correct slug

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Friday, 4 Jun 2021 at 4:59pm

That place on the other side is a wild joint..at 10-15 ft or more its at least twice longer than that 2018 Ulu ride
im surprised the Tow teams aren't onto it -although the winds can be a problem
Guarantee wont be long and Mr Ruski and team are on it..

sean killen's picture
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sean killen Friday, 4 Jun 2021 at 9:33pm

Had 4 trips to Bali.. over 15 years.. great waves but the crowds were getting beyond ridiculous .. happy surfing my local with a few out these days .. less frustrating too ..

_Bodhi_'s picture
_Bodhi_'s picture
_Bodhi_ Saturday, 5 Jun 2021 at 6:42am

Surfed Padang with a similar crowd, frustrating & a lot of scrambling, although after 4hrs of catching nothing, I got perhaps one of my best backhand barrels, went in & never returned. The beginning & end of my padang story.

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Saturday, 5 Jun 2021 at 12:02pm

I think an hour waiting is my limit before I'd just burn someone, hence I don't paddle out at busy spots to begin with.

TobiasK's picture
TobiasK's picture
TobiasK Saturday, 5 Jun 2021 at 1:07pm

Love how Covid has really thinned out the crowd.

batfink's picture
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batfink Friday, 11 Jun 2021 at 10:30pm

Really looking forward to being able to travel thousands of kms to surf a wave as crowded as Maroubra.