Secret Garden: Sustainable surfing in Papua New Guinea

Stu Nettle
Surfpolitik

White Horses magazine has staunchly stayed away from the digital space until now, with a clip sketching out PNG's much lauded Surf Management Plan. We caught up with Horsies' editor Gra Murdoch.

Swellnet: How does Papua New Guinea’s Surf Management Plan work?
Gra Murdoch: A few areas of PNG have had the bejesus mined and logged out of ’em. Apart from the obvious damage of those practices, there’s diminishing returns when the resource runs out. 

Some smart cookies in PNG recognized the parallels with their resource of adventure tourism – If you let the destination degrade or be over-exploited, it’ll devalue. The reason for visiting vanishes. 

So without going into too much detail, PNG’s Surf Management Plan is built on a premise of respect and integrity. Basically, it keeps tally and control of visitor numbers, feeds positive and accountable benefits back into the local areas, and the local communities kinda call the shots. It’s set up in a way that everyone benefits if everyone does the right thing. There’s minimal negative impact on the nature, or the human nature, of the place.

Andrew Mooney – one of the surfers on this trip – was here a decade ago and reckoned the place was exactly the same. No rubbish, the reefs were just as alive and vibrant. That’s a win right there I reckon.  


How does it benefit locals?
There’s a well thought out structure where the visitors’ levies go towards community development programs, education, water etc. But in an equally important way the local communities are given their due respect as the custodians of the area. There’s a sense that you’re actually a guest in someone else’s backyard. This goes a long way to preserving the status quo. It can be argued that in some surf zones around the world, local cultures haven’t really done well when exposed to our western sense of entitlement. 

Who were the architects of it?
The Surf Management Plan was conceived back in 1989 by Andy Abel. Look up ‘foresight’ in the dictionary and you’ll see a pic of Andy I reckon.

Surfers have been going to PNG for 20+ years, is there evidence of their influence on local customs/culture?
Undoubtedly there is influence and effect. I guess that’s why it’s so important to manage it and make it as positive as possible. That said, PNG has a pretty solid sense of identity. 

Are many locals surfing?
Yes. That’s one of the core values of the Surf Management Plan. Surfing is absolutely encouraged. It’s recognized as the healthy, inclusive and positive pastime it is. With the help of guys like Andy Abel supplying boards, and guys like Tom Wegener doing timber boardmaking workshops, there’s a very strong local boardriders scene.  

How many different waves did the White Horses crew surf? And which region did you visit?
The crew surfed about nine different breaks, and we cruised up north somewhere!

Tell us about making this clip.
Horsies has been looking to jump into the digital sphere for ages but we’ve not wanted to add to the noise out there just for the sake of it. 

Putting something together on PNG’s Surf Management Plan gave us a chance to move our storytelling values and aesthetic off the page and onto the screen. We were motivated by the idea that the rest of the surfing world could learn something pretty important from this small island nation.

We kept an eye on the North Pacific storms and headed to PNG late November last year when the seasons’ first swell showed. My House Pictures DOP Shane Peel, Drone filmer Glen Glaydon, Surfers Flick Palmateer, Andy Mooney and friends jumped on board Andrew “Undies” Rigby’s PNG EXPLORER and – as the boat’s name implies – did some exploring.

We’ve really only sketched out PNG’s Surf Management Plan with this pilot clip. It’s been a bit of a litmus test, to see how we’d go applying our values to the medium of film. We’ve learnt a shitload from doing this clip, and are stinging to crack on to a larger scale film production!

It’s definitely best watched in HD if you’ve got half decent interwebs, and using headphones if you can, as the song (by Rebecca Barnard) is great.

We’ve got another clip coming down the line in a week or so by the way – PNG through the eyes of 12-year-old Jye Parkinson – it’s pretty cool.


All photos by Chris Peel

Comments

staitey's picture
staitey's picture
staitey commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 1:06pm

What a place and they are right, its amazing how responsible surf travel up there seems to be. It is hands down the best place / trip I've ever been surfing. Andrew Rigby runs a great ship and does a great job minimising our western impact on this magical place. Yeeew

maddogmorley's picture
maddogmorley's picture
maddogmorley commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 1:37pm

Andrew's finished now hasn't he or is he back?
http://www.swellnet.com/news/talking-heads/2014/12/08/leaving-bridge-cap...

Agree with staitey - some of the best trips i've ever done as well. The water is a bit too warm for my liking tho. No relief!

staitey's picture
staitey's picture
staitey commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 1:39pm

I thought he was selling but maybe not now? Darty isn't the guide anymore.

donweather's picture
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donweather commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 1:46pm

Man could not have engineered a better setup than that natural A frame ledging reef setup in the middle of the bay. Unbelievable.

And while I 100% support the management plan, I presonally think it would be good if it was known just how much of the surf management fees are going back to the locals and not just into the pockets of some individuals.

maddogmorley's picture
maddogmorley's picture
maddogmorley commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 2:03pm

Is the left off that A frame surfable? Only ever saw the right makeable

staitey's picture
staitey's picture
staitey commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 2:06pm

maddogmorley wrote: Is the left off that A frame surfable? Only ever saw the right makeable

Yeah it is but just a bit shorter (if that's possible, right isn't that long either)

maddogmorley's picture
maddogmorley's picture
maddogmorley commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 2:31pm

Hahaha yes the right is very short.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 2:32pm

Yeah right is very short, and doesn't even offer a section after the barrel. Wouldn't fly there for that, would imagine it would get boring after a day.

maddogmorley's picture
maddogmorley's picture
maddogmorley commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 2:39pm

Spot on Craig....the left wrapping down Ungalik is pretty sweet tho - long ride but not too many barrel opportunities. There is another right just down from the A frame but kind of a B grade wave unless the swell angle just right.

staitey's picture
staitey's picture
staitey commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 3:09pm

Craig wrote:

Yeah right is very short, and doesn't even offer a section after the barrel. Wouldn't fly there for that, would imagine it would get boring after a day.

It's good people think yourself, keeps special places uncrowded

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 2:03pm

It was interesting that they said the Surf Management Plan was something all surfers could learn from.

How?
In what way could it be applied to existing surf zones?

gra's picture
gra's picture
gra commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 2:53pm

freeride76 wrote: It was interesting that they said the Surf Management Plan was something all surfers could learn from.

How?
In what way could it be applied to existing surf zones?

Hey mate. I guess with that statement I was trying to say that the SMP is based in many ways on respect and thoughtfulness etc. I reckon those values can potentially make a big difference in lineups everywhere. Of course there's other learnings from PNG's SMP that can apply to exotic destinations etc. One of 'em is you can't do these things half-arsed. If we go ahead with a larger Horsies film project it'll be necessary to examine many of the sweeping and lofty generalizations I wrote in this clip. cheers

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 3:08pm

hahaha, no worries Gra, I thought you might have had something specific in mind, considering the Gold Coast seems to be on that track.

gra's picture
gra's picture
gra commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 3:11pm

freeride76 wrote: hahaha, no worries Gra, I thought you might have had something specific in mind, considering the Gold Coast seems to be on that track.

haha mate, surfed the superbank a while ago and got out with Billy Bragg's “I hate the arsehole I become, every time I'm with you.” on constant rotation in my head...

staitey's picture
staitey's picture
staitey commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 2:05pm

Those guys do a lot more than just sling a few dollars here and there. They give them fuel, fish, help with building, building supplies, etc…..the list goes on. They are also the only boat that is really in that region.

As for that wave………..its a fairly heavy (mainly right) but almost anyone can get the best barrel there. Best thing too is if you get flogged you do get rolled over the reef into deeper water :)

slashbash's picture
slashbash's picture
slashbash commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 2:17pm

Had the pleasure of surfing Tupira about 6 years ago. Amazing place Ulingan bay and all its surroundings and of the locals. Found it to be clean , well organised and little floating debris other than coconuts of course at low tide. Was particularly lucky to surf with Andy A at Tupira had some awesome waves and his input into the surf culture and the kids was amazing. A really good job there. Of course Vanimo was his home spot that was getting some real interest and $ input. So the drive for ANDY there was great. Keep up the good work ANDY and all associated crew who keep this paradise like it is. My next trip is very soon in late Jan / 16, with PNG EXP'. Looking forward to surfing with Capt Rigby and his crew, 4/5 other guys will be joining us, know Not whoo?
Stay wet, stay covered, stay true and keep PNG WELL AWAY FROM BALI MADNESS.

Dellboy

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 2:41pm

It's all beautiful and groovy and no denying that but am I the only one who gets a little skeptical when I hear the words 'preserve for future generations'?

Sure PNG Explorer is the only boat for now, trailblazers you might say, but when government can see that there's money to be made by 'regulating' an area, how long until the next boat? Just one more then that's it and so on. Then one small surf resort and that's it, no more....

Billabong, Corona, World Surfaris? I don't think they're in it for the love.

I hope and pray that I'm wrong.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

maddogmorley's picture
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maddogmorley commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 2:34pm

The Tiki Tu was the trailblazer....Adam and Dani. The PNG explorer came later. The Tiki Tu is finished now tho and Clem's place is only 30mins away.

dandandan's picture
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dandandan commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 2:42pm

I only get skeptical when that is coming from the corporates or when it is very clearly a simple platitude with no research or substance behind it.

I don't know anything of the PNG government, but if local authorities are immune to the rampant corruption of other areas then perhaps it can be managed to a similar standard of Australian national parks. I'm not sure of the area either, but if there are mines or other large industry in the same government jurisdiction it is likely that the chump change of a few surfing dollars is unlikely to take up too much attention of local officials.

I hope you're wrong too Zen! Because good grief those waves look fun.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 2:45pm

For sure Danx3, after that clip I'm ready to book:)

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

benski's picture
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benski commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 2:45pm

I'm with you zen.

fitzroy-21's picture
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fitzroy-21 commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 3:18pm

zenagain wrote:

Sure PNG Explorer is the only boat for now.

I thought I read a while ago that ex commercial fishing boat "Exocetus" was doing surf charters there? Or is that now the "PNG Explorer"?

PNG has been on my bucket list for a long time now, the more they are discovering, the more temping it is.

I truely hope it keeps a cap on visitor numbers and doesn't go down the Indo path with mass landcamps and charter boats.

slashbash's picture
slashbash's picture
slashbash commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 2:27pm

Yeah sorry guys. The fees have always been questionable and ANDY A has had some horrific outcomes with tribal chiefs and tourism boards and lands councils etc. I agree though what are the outcomes of these fees back to the locals,Chiefs ,tourism and the up keep of these floating paradises.
One particular up keep should be the road from Madang to Ulingan bay, it was absolutely a death trap and in the rainy season it's a oil sump cracker.
What of specific mooring buoys for which boats are up that way.
By example:
The Maldivian reef is not only sinking but is being constantly destroyed by these ripping anchors from all the charters they have over there. I am sure the minimum amount of boats up n PNG is somewhat smaller but . It doesn't take long to destroy anything if left to the normal operation.
Any insight from anyone !

Dellboy

maddogmorley's picture
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maddogmorley commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 2:57pm

Note it is no longer Visa on arrival in PNG if you are thinking of booking your own flight. Allow at least 2-3 weeks for your Visa application to be processed. Kinda makes it a bit hard for strike missions. :(

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 3:12pm

I wonder why they changed that .. ?the visa is still free, pain in the arse.

maddogmorley's picture
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maddogmorley commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 3:20pm

It is my understanding it was in reply to Australia doing the same to them. ie no VOA for PNG people into Australia. I could be wrong tho...

benski's picture
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benski commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 3:10pm

I'm skeptical of this video. I also don't buy the line that White Horses is all about being sensitive to new and sensitive locations. I stopped reading the mag when they blew the lid on a quiet spot I have been going to and surfing alone for a long time.

As for PNG, I had a trip with a mate there years ago and it was under the management plan. I wasn't with any of the boats or resorts but we were under the plan. Chatting to the locals I got an impression that not everyone was super psyched on the idea but generally understood it could be a good idea. Politics, everyone kept talking about the politics of the situation as though something wasn't quite right.

I've never told anyone who surfs about the trip in terms of where we went and how we got there for lots of reasons, one of which was that a local surfer asked me not to. I asked him if he wanted us to tell people and encourage surf tourism (in as much as two nobodies could do) and he said no. He liked the quiet life and surfing without crowds.

I'm always conflicted by this stuff though because as far as I could gather the surf management area was set up by a few people and applied to a broad region. What if some unrepresented locals wanted to expand the industry at their local break? They aren't allowed to accept more visitors because the plan restricts the numbers. I'm not advocating a free for all necessarily (like in Indo) but it seems equally tricky to decide how many people can surf and where, thereby restricting the income locals can make from their natural resource. It seems to me that it benefits the travelling surfers more than the locals by ensuring uncrowded waves (like Cloudbreak used to).

I don't know, it's tough eh. There's no easy answer but I'm definitely skeptical of a flashy video complete with corporate sponsors (from where you'd rather be), extolling the virtues of a management plan that is allegedly beneficial for locals. Like Zen said, I don't think they're doing it for the love.

gra's picture
gra's picture
gra commented Friday, 8 Jan 2016 at 6:42am

G'day Benski. Hey if ya get a chance, email me ([email protected]) and let us know privately about the spot WH exposed? cheers mate

benski's picture
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benski commented Friday, 8 Jan 2016 at 7:59am

Yep no worries at all. Once I've emailed I'm happy to continue the discussion here too if you want to, since it's where I made the initial comment and you can refute as you want to. Either way.

And I'll say up front my choice of words yesterday was probably a bit over the top, blew the lid might be better replaced with provided helpful and encouraging details about the place. Anyway I'll email you.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 4:38pm

I don't know to much about the plan, but if the charter boats are foreign owned as i am guessing they are and locals are unable to start their own accommodation business then that sucks.

Giving some kick backs to the locals is good but all it really is is a bribe to allow control of the waves, no different to Claude in Sumba and his Sumba foundation.

Sure these things can seem to be done under the name of the government, but in corrupt countries like Indonesia and PNG business or people with money can influence government decisions it seems more like business protection and a monopoly to me.

ha ha "Western sense of entitlement" Yes western sense of entitlement for uncrowded waves and exclusive business rights.

Please Stunet just give me that ignore button for Crypto (Herc, uplift or whatever other names he has used)

floyd's picture
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floyd commented Thursday, 7 Jan 2016 at 5:17pm

Gee, I loved that video ...

I have surfed that way (land based) and my limited knowledge of the SMP is that it may be connected to traditional land ownership e.g. so this community have traditionally lived on these islands and they control the surfer numbers for that area today. Where I stayed it was 20 surfers maximum at anyone time and that was for a massive stretch of coastline and islands. Large numbers of locals were employed including surf guides and they were super stoked and could surf really well. So I think locals do benefit in a positive way while (and this is important) maintaining their traditional way of life - the island was a massive garden with fruits and vegetables and the sea of course is full of fish. There is some concern about the future and whether the SMP glue will hold but from what I saw there are good intentions among the surfing community up there.

Some other things about PNG, its an ordeal to get there (several flights involved), personal security could be an issue depending on where you go, the surf season is short and fickle (you can score big time or just miss out totally), its very hot/humid day and night and the sea water temperature is also very warm and any reef cuts must be immediately treated and closely monitored thereafter coz they will turn to puss so quickly (more so than Indo etc).

Lanky Dean's picture
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Lanky Dean commented Friday, 8 Jan 2016 at 9:16am

Are there any crocs up that way?

floyd's picture
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floyd commented Friday, 8 Jan 2016 at 9:21am

yes, but not where i was, down the coast, but others may have better information on where they live / dangers etc

Lanky Dean's picture
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Lanky Dean commented Friday, 8 Jan 2016 at 9:22am

Box jelly fish?

maddogmorley's picture
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maddogmorley commented Friday, 8 Jan 2016 at 9:38am

Your biggest enemy up that way is the live coral over shallow reef.

lost's picture
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lost commented Friday, 8 Jan 2016 at 10:36am

Been interested in PNG for some time but have been skeptical of wave quality and consistency. Is the reason only boat is operating in the area because the wave consistency is just not there to sell a reliable package ?

As a result I end up going back to the Ments again and again. I've never not been able to surf pretty much every day. PNG looks fun but I worry you could easily get skunked. I don't dive, have to book leave well in advance and selfishly when I get my two weeks away want the best possible chance of surfing my nut off all day everyday.

Would love to hear from people who have and haven't scored in PNG

knB

maddogmorley's picture
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maddogmorley commented Friday, 8 Jan 2016 at 6:20pm

Wave quality is good but you can definately get skunked in the size department.

I've been there 4 times - twice up north and twice at Kavieng. First 3 trips I scored big time (for PNG) - waves everyday and a couple of 5ft+ days with good winds the whole time. The last trip I was there for 12 days and got good 2 swells the first week but then it went flat with shit winds for the last 5 days. I always go in Jan or Feb. Feb seemed cleaner with better winds and Jan bigger but winds probably not as good (can get a few onshore days). Not always good tho - at least 2 other groups of lads I know went for 7 days and didn't get anything over 3ft.

Up north seems more consistent possibly as closer to the swell source but not as many options. I think the SMP is still 15 up there. One wave is long and rippable, the other 2 are pretty short. Fair drive to the next spot.

Kavieng has a lot of good waves all really close together but probably doesn't get as big as up north. There are a couple of good small wave spots at Kavieng (Nusa Left + Ral) but when the swell is up everywhere is firing and it's pretty magic. Nusa Left, Picas and Nago left + right are all good waves.

There are waves on the east coast of Kavieng you can get to by road. A slab next to the school as well as various waves further down the coast. Don't expect a lot of quality tho - guess they could be good on their day??

I reckon they only get 2 significant swells a month (> 4ft) between Dec and Mar but get a fair few little pulses in between to keep the punters happy. Guess it will vary from year to year with El Nino and all that.

If you like 4-6ft waves then PNG is probably not for you. If you like 2-4ft+ with the chance for something bigger then PNG is a good option as winds are usually favourable, it's cheap and crowds are good due to SMP. Think its 20 at Kavieng. The waves seem to work at all parts of the tide and don't need a lot of size to get going.

Probably worth a trip at least once in your lifetime - it's a pretty special place and things to do when no surf. Don't bother taking a step-up tho - take ya standard shorty and a small wave board and give yourself a good 10 days to try and catch one of those significant swells. Shaun runs a great ship at Nusa Island Retreat in Kavieng if you don't want to go on the PNG explorer or Clem's place up north.

Sheepdog's picture
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Sheepdog commented Friday, 8 Jan 2016 at 11:40am

And the "surf development" continues.... I rest my case.....

Sheepdog

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Friday, 8 Jan 2016 at 11:58am

'Preserve for future generations' by commodifying and promoting??
Hmm...

saurusv1's picture
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saurusv1 commented Friday, 8 Jan 2016 at 5:23pm

I've been to PNG a couple of times, first time fishing/surfing and staying with a friend who lives there. Before I left I rang Andy A and checked out what we had to do to fulfil our obligations to the SMP - gave me a number to ring the nearest surf camp, register and pay. It was easy as. Second time went and stayed at a surf camp, registration is automatic with your booking, daily surf plans were discussed the night before and to my knowledge everyone had a fair slice of the action (we had good surf). All is good when you have surfers who have manners and respect for their fellow surfers. There appears to be too much "frothing" these days when the surf is pumping manners and respect goes out the window. The gate has shut at places like the Gold Coast it's too far gone to salvage now, lived there for 8 years in the 70's and just shake my head at the scene there these days. Can't understand why the pro's up there like to dominate the break all the time, these are guys who surf some of the best waves in the world surely they can sit back a few times and let the everyday guy get a wave or two.

floyd's picture
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floyd commented Friday, 8 Jan 2016 at 5:31pm

@maddog & lost, agreed

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Friday, 8 Jan 2016 at 8:07pm

Is it cheap Maddog?
Looks like the flights are pricey.

tbh the surf looks a bit weak and playful to me but if the fishing was good I probably wouldn't care. Are there any significant rivers in the area that would hold Papuan black bass?

shane-peel's picture
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shane-peel commented Friday, 8 Jan 2016 at 8:39pm

freeride76 wrote: Is it cheap Maddog?
Looks like the flights are pricey.

tbh the surf looks a bit weak and playful to me but if the fishing was good I probably wouldn't care. Are there any significant rivers in the area that would hold Papuan black bass?

Hehehehe. That peak would eat you for breakfast old fella.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Friday, 8 Jan 2016 at 9:05pm

Seen Flick surfing a bit. Pretty sure if she could work it out I could too.
It doesn't look like the kind of wave to build a career on: a three second tube ride. But whatever floats ya boat.
Every photo, every video I've seen -with the possible exception of that peak, although that looks pretty mechanical and easy to work out- makes PNG look like an intermediates destination, or one for cruising and doing a bit of fishing and a bit of surfing. I haven't seen anything that makes it look like you might get the wave of your life there, or even something that seriously challenges your tube-riding skills. Thats what Im after if I'm shelling out the hard earned for an OS trip.
Just like snowboarding, I'd rather go somewhere where the powder is insane and the terrain good rather than Aus or somewhere mediocre.

Any dogtooth on those reef edges?

shane-peel's picture
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shane-peel commented Friday, 8 Jan 2016 at 9:06pm

freeride76 wrote: Seen Flick surfing a bit. Pretty sure if she could work it out I could too.
It doesn't look like the kind of wave to build a career on: a three second tube ride. But whatever floats ya boat.
Any dogtooth on those reef edges?

Hahaha I've seen ya surf mate and unless the years have been kind to you and you only that thing would violate you in so many ways it would not be funny. Flick switches gears when the chips are down so it's probably a bit deceiving mate. Andrew Mooney who is no stranger to a heavy drop reckons the wave is A+ The left would be ya bag I reckon … elevator to a backdoor 1 in 5 that ends in deep water. The fishing would probably stop ya surfing though. Whole resource is pristine, giant clams, full gamut of reef fish … the whole grouper famlies etc etc sail fish jumping on most tender rides, dolphins in the harbour mouths and reef passes, muddies thick in the esturine systems, doggies, yellow-fin, jobfish, wahoo, spanish common as grass. It's the best example of management I have seen on the planet and a much bigger story than a 7 minute clip lets you tell.
freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Friday, 8 Jan 2016 at 9:13pm

You still got an interest in one of those surf camps up in PNG Peely?

Spent a couple of weeks at Cloudbreak in Sep, pretty sure I can handle a head high peak mate.

shane-peel's picture
shane-peel's picture
shane-peel commented Friday, 8 Jan 2016 at 9:14pm

freeride76 wrote: You still got an interest in one of those surf camps up in PNG Peely?

hahahahha I fricken wish I did mate. You still got your interest in the inside bank at Lennox?
shane-peel's picture
shane-peel's picture
shane-peel commented Friday, 8 Jan 2016 at 9:18pm

freeride76 wrote: You still got an interest in one of those surf camps up in PNG Peely?

Spent a couple of weeks at Cloudbreak in Sep, pretty sure I can handle a head high peak mate.

Come on Sheeba your 40 plus brother and two weeks at cloudy in side shore 4-6 footers with a roll-in take-off does not enable you to ride a tech-difficult right. The left and the fishing is all you though 100%, fishing is really next level.

blindboy's picture
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blindboy commented Friday, 8 Jan 2016 at 8:11pm

Hmmm headed in that direction on Sunday. I'll report on it one way or the other when I get back.

scottishsponger's picture
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scottishsponger commented Thursday, 8 Nov 2018 at 9:19am

Hey blindboy, how was your trip to PNG? Where about did you go? Did you score? Planning to head to Tupira next month, so interested to hear any info about the place.

tim foilat's picture
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tim foilat commented Saturday, 9 Jan 2016 at 11:36am

Oooh look another resource to exploit....benefits the locals, preserves the environment, let's throw in sustainable and that should be enough to get the punters rolling in. I wonder how Aussies would feel if an Indonesian visitor set up a few organisations to regulate the use of the australian coast? Probably be all for it as long as it was sustainable.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Saturday, 9 Jan 2016 at 12:24pm

tim foilat wrote: Oooh look another resource to exploit....benefits the locals, preserves the environment, let's throw in sustainable and that should be enough to get the punters rolling in. I wonder how Aussies would feel if an Indonesian visitor set up a few organisations to regulate the use of the australian coast? Probably be all for it as long as it was sustainable.

A better and more realistic way to look at it would be if a group of rich Japanese or Chinese made a deal with the Australian government to limit tourist numbers to a remote area in the top end with Aboriginal communities and then they start up resorts owned by Chinese and Japanese market for well off Chinese and Japanese Korean's etc charge top dollar with the majority of profits going back to China and Japan and to keep everyone happy and ensure excessive rights and control of the market, give a few sweeteners to the locals and government.

Please Stunet just give me that ignore button for Crypto (Herc, uplift or whatever other names he has used)

sypkan's picture
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sypkan commented Saturday, 9 Jan 2016 at 2:43pm

love your work mr. d

even if an 'indigenous' australian set it up, Australians would be outraged!

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Saturday, 9 Jan 2016 at 1:18pm

Eh? Not sure how this is relevant at all. Andy Abel, who set up the surf plan in Papua New Guinea, is from Papua New Guinea.

Sheepdog's picture
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Sheepdog commented Saturday, 9 Jan 2016 at 1:47pm

When you say "is from" PNG, You mean he's an ex Aussie that moved there? An expat? In the late 80s, right? just like a lot of expats in indo..

Sheepdog

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Saturday, 9 Jan 2016 at 2:03pm

Not sure. Looks like he's of PNG descent.

Where did you read he's Australian?

Sheepdog's picture
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Sheepdog commented Saturday, 9 Jan 2016 at 2:09pm

Just googled "andy abel surf".. 2nd or 3rd link..

Sheepdog

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stunet commented Saturday, 9 Jan 2016 at 2:10pm

Or maybe read this:

"Andy was born into an influential family with a strong track record of bringing about social change; his grandfather, the Reverend Charles Abel, was a missionary who arrived in Papua New Guinea in 1891 and founded the Kwato Church having been expelled from the London Missionary Society for his radical ideas about educating indigenous people without damaging their culture, and his father, Sir Cecil Abel, KBE, OBE, was a pioneering statesman who guided Papua New Guinea towards independence and was one of the chief architects of the nation’s constitution. Andy clearly had some significant shoes to fill, and has done so using his passion for surfing as a guiding influence. As a teenager Andy broke his leg in a motocross race and was eventually sent to Brisbane, Australia, for treatment after the Doctor who set his leg in a cast in PNG misaligned it and left his broken leg 1cm shorter than it should have been. Andy convalesced on the Sunshine Coast for the following three months, which was where he first came across surfing. Determined to learn to surf when his leg was healed, he managed to convince his father to let him stay in Australia to finish senior high school before returning home to Papua New Guinea."

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Sheepdog commented Saturday, 9 Jan 2016 at 2:14pm

"When Australian Andy Abel came to Vanimo in 1988, he couldn’t believe how resourceful the surfers here were. "...........

No big deal, stu..... Everyone here recently seems to be big on "clarifications?, dotting I's and crossing T's.... Thought I'd join the madding crowd.... i'm just bored and being my usual prick of a self lol..

https://mpora.com/articles/papua-new-guinea-the-surfers-paradise-with-a-...

Sheepdog

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uplift commented Saturday, 9 Jan 2016 at 2:55pm

Sounds like 'the kid' (that isn't the kid) is back on the rocks. 'Insider'(sic), 'local savvy'(sic) stuff. Googs' 'll get(sic) vem lywke vat. Best to actually know the truth. Being there, having actually done it sorta helps.

Here's what 'Andy' has to say... could be a lyin #### though!!! Lets not crucify him for actually being there and tellin' the truth!!!

'It all began with a local boy, nineteen years old and shipped across the sea to Australia, in need of hospital care during four-month injury rehabilitation. Young Andy Abel was one of the boys in Papua New Guinea that learned to take advantage of everything that nature provided, the sea and the land. He spent his days riding horseback and motorcycles, surfing and fishing. Born into a family of privilege, son of Sir Cecil Abel, naissance father of PNG political foundations, he was never hindered by desolation and monetary dilemmas. So when he was injured during a motocross race, his family had the ability to send him to the shores of westernization, where he would be under high-quality hospital care. It was there that the beginning of change was sparked; the moment that defined the future of a nation.

“I broke my leg racing motocross when I was 14,” says Andy, “On my back for three months in the hospital in Brisbane, and my convalescent period was on the Sunshine Coast. Sitting up there on the Alexandra Headlands on the bluff, a young boy watching the surfers and the young pretty girls walking past I thought, well this is pretty cool. I want to come here and finish my senior high. So that’s what I did. I convinced my dad that wanted to broaden my horizons and I came down and took up surfing.'

http://www.surfinglife.com.au/tv/surfing/random/14685-meet-the-secret-ga...

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udo commented Saturday, 9 Jan 2016 at 2:55pm

Splinters trailer is on vimeo.

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uplift commented Saturday, 9 Jan 2016 at 3:20pm

Seems like all is in good hands... 'now'... there's 'Hope' and a lot of... answers... here 2)!!! I'm out of 'ear... again...' oddly enough!! See yas... maybe next year!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLeP_cScV2w

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Sheepdog commented Saturday, 9 Jan 2016 at 4:01pm

In the long run, doesn't really matter if he's from Vancouver.... You've seen the video... you've bought the soundtrack... Now buy the game... Batteries not included....

Surfing brings development.. Good and bad...

Sheepdog

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floyd commented Saturday, 9 Jan 2016 at 5:00pm

Blimey.

Don't know about Andy but I've been told first hand that some of people running surf charters and camps in the Maldives and Indo would like to see some sort of SMP in their patch.

I've been to PNG and saw first hand how a surf camp can work with the local community by: training and employing large numbers of local men and women; using resort boats to transport children to and from school every day and to otherwise ferry community members about in pursuit of their daily business; and respectfully care for the land on which they sit (the resort was spotlessly clean). The island where the camp sits is a stunningly beautiful garden with fruits and vegetables grown by the community.

To get to this surf camp we needed to exit from the same harbour Darty sails from. That harbour town is clean and full of locals employed and actively engaged in normal daily affairs. Pretty chilled place really, the local supermarket is outrageous in the things it sells.

I would love to sail on Darty's boat and there are lots and lots of youtube videos of his trips where his local and expat crew and guests engage in a positive way with local communities where they travel. Darty has been at it for 10 plus years so he must be going it right otherwise locals would stop it. Same goes for the surf camp I stayed in.

Drive out of town you pass school after school and happy kids singing, it really seems as if education is highly valued there.

The surf isn't reliable so it really is hit and miss, we surfed 2-3 per day but nothing over 4 feet. The live coral reefs are shallow and sharp and cuts turn to puss if not treated and carefully monitored.

If you want to question motives in PNG, look at what is happening to the rainforest up there. Saw a ship in port loaded to overflowing with massive rainforest logs. Where they once grew there will be a new palm oil plantation now along with displaced locals.

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sypkan commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2016 at 1:34pm

floyd I'm sure the motives are well intentioned for the SMP in PNG, and they do seem to be sharing it around more than some of the hardmen elswhere. however one would be a little naive to say the perticipants don't have vested interests, as is the case for people seeking the same in the maldives and indo, of course they want an SMP, because their business model is almost broken, and a few lean seasons like the last one in ments conbined with a still bottoming out world economy could see many operators disappear . which wouldn't be a bad thing in my book as it would open more opportunities for modest local operators .

I think indo d raises some excellent points regarding who gets to develop their village and who doesn't. even within the village I'm sure there are entrepreneurial types that would like to it themselves. hopefully these decisions are made reasonably democratically as is often the case in village life. the question of which government officials are getting paid and how much is not unreasonable either, as we all know, this is highly likely the case. I saw a uni presentation about corruption in PNG where the PHD guy said a lot of good money is lost on big scale aid projects because the scale is big, so is the opportunity to siphon of funds in the process. he seemed to think aid would be better spent at a grass roots level. I think you can easily draw parallels with surf development.

your story is a nice one floyd and maybe all is rosy. I'm sure macaronis could write a similar story, they may be stretching the truth a bit, thanks to indo d's insights, but happy singing schoolkids are all across Indonesia as is the valuing of education, without sponsorship, geez even the abortion that is ht's has a veggie garden and various other projects thanks to surfers. the hardcoreness of doing business in indo seems to breed a bit of a hardman attitude but there's still people doing good stuff. you would hope the ridiculously up end places like lattitude zero and telo lodge are sharing it around more than other places, but maybe not, I'm sure they all could do more.

indo d's oz example isn't a stretch too far either. we really wouldn't stand for it in oz so it's a little hypocritical to impose these things on other communities. having recently been surrounded by japanese surfers getting pushed onto waves, having locals intimidate bules, and doing the old angourie take of too deep allowing the shoulder hopping associate the wave trick, I think we need to be very careful about what we encourage. money talks we all know that, while exclusive rights might wash with american culture, I would hope the once egalitarian australian culture would pervail in such situations, after all aren't students, poorer people, and the like entitled to a holiday and a wave as well?

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indo-dreaming commented Saturday, 9 Jan 2016 at 5:46pm

BTW. Did anyone watch River monsters on ABC the other day the one on PNG it was really interesting episode, apparently fishing in some large river area was close to being fished out so they (i guess the government) introduced a close relative of the piranha and now it's taken over and there has been instances of people being attacked mostly in the groin area.

Please Stunet just give me that ignore button for Crypto (Herc, uplift or whatever other names he has used)

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indo-dreaming commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2016 at 2:28pm

Funny that it seems most people support such a scheme but most also are against limiting charter boats at macaronis and i don't think I've ever met a person that supported a similar scheme that the Mentawai government proposed about 15 years ago that also had a westerner behind it remember the name Rick Cameron.

Please Stunet just give me that ignore button for Crypto (Herc, uplift or whatever other names he has used)

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stunet commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2016 at 2:37pm

sypkan wrote: ...it's a little hypocritical to impose these things on other communities.

indo-dreaming wrote: ....a similar scheme that the Mentawai government proposed about 15 years ago that also had a westerner behind it remember the name Rick Cameron.

Just to reiterate, Andy Abel is NOT an Australian as Tim Foilat and Sheepdog said above. He's not a 'Westerner' but a PNG local.

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Sheepdog commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2016 at 4:16pm

There were "question marks" in my post... That would indicate I wasn't "saying", but "questioning", yeah? I posted a link where it stated he was Australian.... I didn't write the link, Stu..

Sheepdog

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indo-dreaming commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2016 at 5:31pm

He does actually look like he might have PNG heritage, wonder if he and the other board members have business interest in PNG surf tourism?

Please Stunet just give me that ignore button for Crypto (Herc, uplift or whatever other names he has used)

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zenagain commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2016 at 3:10pm

I was at a function about 15 or so years ago and was introduced to the grandson of Sir Michael Somare, for the life of me I can't remember his name though. Really nice guy and we had a bit of a chat. Australian schooled and went to Uni in Sydney, no doubt he would know Andy Abel.

We talked about how he was trying to kickstart tourism in PNG and in particular they were looking towards the diving, fishing and trekking market. I told him I was a keen fisherman and my plans to get up there one day and catch a thumping spot tail bass which I heard was arguably, pound for pound the meanest fighting fish on the planet. Anyway, we got around to talking about surfing and I told him I'd heard whispers of great surf around Wewak and Kavieng. He asked me did I think there was a market for surfing in PNG? I more or less told him that anywhere in the world where there's quality waves in warm water, surfers will come and ended on that.

The point is, I'm wondering if this chap had anything to do with opening up PNG surfing or a hand in the SMP? He wasn't a surfer but he seemed pretty chuffed that I would consider PNG as surfing/fishing destination.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

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floyd commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2016 at 4:52pm

hey spykan, my point about the island being clean and a garden is that the locals where I stayed in PNG did the gardening seemingly as part of their traditional life, they may live very modest lives in self-made (dirt floors/palm frond roof houses) but everything is tidy and clean. They don't throw rubbish around and, as a keen veggie grower myself, I was awestruck at their amazing veggie and fruit gardens. The land and the sea provide it all.

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indo-dreaming commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2016 at 5:42pm

Wonder what happens if a guy does turn up with a surf board doing it on the cheap, do they stop him from surfing or paddling out?

Or private boats passing through with surfers aboard?

Please Stunet just give me that ignore button for Crypto (Herc, uplift or whatever other names he has used)

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dimdim commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2016 at 7:58pm

Indo-dreaming
You gotta get with the plan or move on man.

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indo-dreaming commented Monday, 11 Jan 2016 at 1:21pm

dimdim wrote: Indo-dreaming
You gotta get with the plan or move on man.

Im asking questions because I'm curious of how the plan works, or more to the point doesn't work in the long term scheme of how tourism develops.

Plus my wife does have a PNG friend who's family live in Vanimo area its not far from West Papua so id like to go stay there one day.

Please Stunet just give me that ignore button for Crypto (Herc, uplift or whatever other names he has used)

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dimdim commented Tuesday, 12 Jan 2016 at 12:00pm

If you want to surf while in the Vanimo area why not ler the PNG Surfing Association know and they will probably request that you pay an access fee for the days you are surfing.. This money will not be going towards some Bondi groovers lifestyle upkeep.
The PNG Explorer (Andrew) have a very responsible attitude towards looking after local villagers and their own national staff.
Apart from the surfing guests on the boat are introduced to local culture through dance performance etc. Some guests regard meeting and interacting with locals as a trip highlight. We westerners have a lot to learn from these people.
It is obvious when you are up there that there is mutual respect between the Explorer and local villagers.
To my knowledge Darty is not involved in any surf business in PNG at the moment.
People should drop there suspcious attitude towards current operators in PNG and also regard a relationship with the Surfing Association of PNG as being a positive thing.
PNG is more of a total experience destination than some sausage fest boat ride in the ,"Yeah I know", more consistent ,more powerfull Indonesian archipelego.
I love the place but it,s not everybodies dream trip.

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dimdim commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2016 at 8:05pm

If people are so interested in Andy Abel why don,t they ring him up and talk to him.

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dimdim commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2016 at 8:16pm

Pasta Point Maldives.No stay no surf. Isn,t that right Spongy? Works well.

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staitey commented Monday, 11 Jan 2016 at 9:59am

Is Darty running surf trips himself now? For those who have commented how soft, short etc the waves look, each to their own.

I'd say you'd have some people (myself included) who've surfed that slab and other waves up there who would suggest otherwise. That's all missing the point though………
………..The point is it is such a magical place as it is UNCROWDED, the environment is pristine, the locals are lovely, extra stuff to do is amazing, fishing is spectacular………..for me that is a surf trip, not jockeying with 40 other blokes on a peak at a 'name' wave in indo for that extra few seconds of tube time.

Just as at home here we all surf for different reasons, each surfer has their idea of perfection be it 3 foot peaks or 8 foot freight trains. I'd say for most surfers though PNG would satisfy.

..this topic has certainly raised interested on here….

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Bob's 2 Bob's commented Monday, 11 Jan 2016 at 12:31pm

Mr Peel -- I agree with Freerider, Looks playful especially seeing a girl on it. Free rides Cloudbreak...I ride Sunset Beach -- we can handle PNG too easy, we want waves of consequence when we travel and surf!

Freeload69

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shane-peel commented Tuesday, 12 Jan 2016 at 6:02am

Bob's 2 Bob's wrote: Mr Peel -- I agree with Freerider, Looks playful especially seeing a girl on it. Free rides Cloudbreak...I ride Sunset Beach -- we can handle PNG too easy, we want waves of consequence when we travel and surf!

Goodness B2B I guess you shredders may need to head over to Mavericks then … hear they are having quite the season .

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wellymon commented Tuesday, 12 Jan 2016 at 12:51pm

Haha Shane, fair call.

Is Chris Peel the surf guide/photographer your brother!

How's the snow going your way?

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

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shane-peel commented Tuesday, 12 Jan 2016 at 12:55pm

wellymon wrote: Haha Shane, fair call.

Is Chris Peel the surf guide/photographer your brother!

How's the snow going your way?

Not my brother my son, snows starting to stack up late winter though:)

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sypkan commented Monday, 11 Jan 2016 at 3:00pm

stunet I wasn't actually questioning andy's localness, though clearly from comments here it is of concern, was he born there, moved in 88, schooled in the local system, the offspring of a wealthy expat? all these things mould one's perspective and opportunities, as I said he seems to be doing alright. I was just thinking along the lines indo d regarding advocates on here

indo d "Funny that it seems most people support such a scheme but most also are against limiting charter boats at macaronis and i don't think I've ever met a person that supported a similar scheme that the Mentawai government proposed about 15 years ago that also had a westerner behind it remember the name Rick Cameron."

the same advocates that seemed to celebrate the opening up of places like cloudbreak. is it that cloudbreak locals are independent, educated and wordly enough (not to mention warrior enough) to look after their own space,, whereas PNG locals are seen as vulnerable? or is it that we are just being selfish and wanting uncrowded waves? using the other stuff as an excuse, yeh it can be a win win, but commenrs like staitley above (no offence staitley, we all want that, if we're honest!!) and others show the main game is uncrowded perfection.

dimdim, indo d has genuine concerns about the bigger picture, as do I, it's too easy to say get with the plan, as the plan has bigger implications. especially when surf media like white horses, kind of alternative, lefty of centre, soulman media, and maybe swellnet seem to be advocating this as the model to be followed for future ventures and destinations just seems to me it's the old middle classes advocating a very middle class, and ultimately selfish, non self reflective view of environmental problems, development, and access to what really is the driver. noble intentions possibly, but contrived and calculated nonetheless whilst ignoring surrounding issues, like the village with no waves. and equality of access.

someone will do it either way, and it's good someone like andy is involved, but as I said before, we need to be careful what we encourage, because it seems once precedents are set change comes real slow.

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nimbot commented Monday, 11 Jan 2016 at 7:18pm

don't overthink it. Undies is a humanitarian first, white capitalist second maybe third. after family and guests. (wave hog though)

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Bob's 2 Bob's commented Tuesday, 12 Jan 2016 at 7:41am

That's a little too extreme for me Peel - We're talking more serious waves tho -- not playful ones -- I rode Sunset once and a local Hawaiian (Tony) told me it was 2 to 3 -- I thought he meant metres but later said nah, 2 to 3 feet -- BUT, thats HAWAIIAN SIZE if you get what I mean and I saw a double overhead wave easy but the kid riding it was 7 -
I swallowed water when hit by a west peak as well. Cloudbreak is probably even more rad!

Freeload69

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staitey commented Tuesday, 12 Jan 2016 at 8:21am

^^^^^^^ Is that serious? I think he may be having a lend Shane. Anyone who's been up there knows what the waves are like and I guess don't have to talk them up too much

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wellymon commented Tuesday, 12 Jan 2016 at 12:59pm

IMO this is great step forward for PNG and a serious leap for surfing generations.
Loved the video, great footage and waves, a destination which I would love to go and experience the culture with waves as well.

PS the chick (lady) rips B2B!

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

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Tallboy commented Tuesday, 12 Jan 2016 at 1:43pm

Iv been on 4 surf trips to png before the smp was introduced to the areas I went to.
The most western surfers I ever surfed with was 3 or 4. And mostly french guys funnily enough.
The only accommodation was in the villages and it was always easy enough to negotiate with a friendly family and have a place to stay.
The smp seems only needed when western surf camps are built. In my opinion the wave quality isnt good enough for over crowding to become an issue. It's also a lot more expensive to travel there than indo. I used to go for 2 months trips to give myself a chance of decent swells. If you go for 1 or 2 weeks you would be lucky to get it pumping.

Iv met Andy Abel. He's a nice bloke who seems to work very hard at getting png recognised as surfing destination. Think he's also a part owner in vanimo surf camp.

The fishing in some parts is insane. Plenty gts, Spanish macs, sails, marlin. Other places are definitely fished out. Dynamite fishing used to be fairly common.
Great place if you like adventure.

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indo-dreaming commented Wednesday, 13 Jan 2016 at 10:38am

Tallboy wrote: Iv been on 4 surf trips to png before the smp was introduced to the areas I went to.
The most western surfers I ever surfed with was 3 or 4. And mostly french guys funnily enough.
The only accommodation was in the villages and it was always easy enough to negotiate with a friendly family and have a place to stay.
The smp seems only needed when western surf camps are built. In my opinion the wave quality isnt good enough for over crowding to become an issue. It's also a lot more expensive to travel there than indo. I used to go for 2 months trips to give myself a chance of decent swells. If you go for 1 or 2 weeks you would be lucky to get it pumping.

Iv met Andy Abel. He's a nice bloke who seems to work very hard at getting png recognised as surfing destination. Think he's also a part owner in vanimo surf camp.

The fishing in some parts is insane. Plenty gts, Spanish macs, sails, marlin. Other places are definitely fished out. Dynamite fishing used to be fairly common.
Great place if you like adventure.

That pretty cool, I'm certain you can still do it that way id say this plan is more about controlling bigger business.

Realistically PNG is huge and how on earth are they going to stop you staying with local families or at a local style accommodation option?…the majority of authorities would have no idea of any so called surf management plan.

Off course the people behind tho scheme don't want to paint that picture they want to paint a picture that you have one choice but to book with one of their business or tay in a resort…its much like the Mentawai's 15 years ago when charter boats liked to paint a picture that the only way you could visit was by boat and that on land it was malaria riddled jungle and i even remember reading that crap like the police and ary would not let you visit.

You would also expect that while places like PNG do have control of their reefs and waters under traditional law, the local people/villages are the ones who control them, they are the ones that would have a say if you can go surfing or not.

End of the day these kind of things make no sense at all, why would the PNG government want to restrict surfing tourism? Or any kind of tourism.

The thing that people forget is crowds only matter to surfers no one else and if its crowded there is many tourist which is good for the local economy, tourism brings people which equals money which equals improvement in living standards, it makes no sense whatsoever and goes against common sense and logic.

The whole thing is obviously just a hoax to protect or market business, nothing more nothing less.

Please Stunet just give me that ignore button for Crypto (Herc, uplift or whatever other names he has used)

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dandandan commented Wednesday, 13 Jan 2016 at 10:56am

So very true ID . I've often been caught up in my own ideas of crowds=bad when thinking about surf tourism. I used to argue that if a place becomes too popular it will won't be popular for long, or that somehow the experience would be 'worth less'. Which is utter nonsense and logically makes zero sense.

It was pointed out to me so clearly when I whinging to a local warung owner in Indo late last year.."Yeah Pak, it's crowded now.. It's kind of ruined, nobody will want to come anymore".. He looked at me confused for a second "But mas, there are 30 people in the water when there used to be just two and my warung runs out of food every day whereas I used to put it in the fridge for tomorrow.. It seems to me that people want to come more than ever." Once i turned off the surf blinkers I realised I was completely and totally wrong and just sad that I had to fight it out with everybody else to get a wave.

That said, there are plenty of local criticisms of tourism and surf tourism from people who exist outside the surfing economy. But the crowds of people fighting over waves doesn't have much to do with it.

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dandandan commented Wednesday, 13 Jan 2016 at 10:46am

Tallboy wrote:
The smp seems only needed when western surf camps are built. In my opinion the wave quality isnt good enough for over crowding to become an issue..

Yeah I used to think that about certain places too. But gosh, if you could see the crowd at this very average pollued rivermouth in Java with a strong local crew already in place, you might change your mind haha.

Glad to hear you're out there doing it independently though. PNG seems to be a magical place. Hopefully get to check it out one day.

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sypkan commented Wednesday, 13 Jan 2016 at 12:01pm

really that rivermouth is crowded? had that decent for 3 days with just 2 mates, locals only came out when the swell dropoed. two of us got real sick from the pollution, I remember thinking that'll never get crowded due to ewe-iness of the river, not to mention the inconsistency...but no surfers and surfing has gone nuts.

you may not want to travel alone indo d, not all of PNG is the garden of Eden before eve bit the apple, some places she's cut down the fucking tree!

remember these?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/papuane...

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/australian-tourist-murdered-...

http://m.smh.com.au/world/australian-surfer-raped-in-png-carjacking-poli...

it seemed plenty of crew were going there about 8 years ago, but described it as above, bit expensive, bit inco etc.

and seems it can be a bit more hardcore to travel than indo, though apparently an American guy got his hand cut off with a machete in lombok the other week, not the first time, you do hear these stories quite often...but it was an American...

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dandandan commented Wednesday, 13 Jan 2016 at 12:53pm

Can be. Last time I passed through town there was about 35-40 tourists flinging longboards and undersized Al Merrick's all over the show, with the regular 15-20 locals dancing around them. Would be funny if it wasn't so sad. But you do still sometimes turn up with nobody around and can have a good time.

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sypkan commented Wednesday, 13 Jan 2016 at 1:10pm

iI did think it was longboard paradise, despite the poo slick, not for the faint hearted longboarders the first two days though, a fussy accomplished surfer mate was calling it solid, it was about as big as the swell gets though ie. 12 ft + ulus

so sad re. merricks and tourists, a bit much taking ignorant hordes there though, it really is a poo slick. I bet most were euros, they've got their own quiet little scene going on throughout indo

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udo commented Wednesday, 13 Jan 2016 at 5:19pm

Dangerous place , Pack rape on the Kokoda trail : ABC news

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indo-dreaming commented Wednesday, 13 Jan 2016 at 6:16pm

Bit scary when you look at the homicide rate per 100,000 people in PNG its more than 17 times higher than Indo, but still nothing compared to some places in Africa or South America., also seen Port Moresby pop up in a few most dangerous cites of the world list. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_...

Please Stunet just give me that ignore button for Crypto (Herc, uplift or whatever other names he has used)

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indo-dreaming commented Wednesday, 13 Jan 2016 at 1:39pm

Its been over ten years since I've been there but I saw there is a losmen at that river mouth now, first time i went I surfed it perfect for hours by myself even the odd chocolate barrel, i went back two more times but both times it was never very good and one time it had no bank at all, i never saw another western surfer though just a few local kids on some old boards on the beach break.

At the time i also thought that coast would never ever get crowded or become on the radar, i guess its the wave up the road that has blown it up though.

Yeah I think sometimes places are talked up about the dangers, but I think the risk in PNG is realistic as even my wife's PNG friend is a bit fearful or at least very careful when goes home as has apparently her sister has been raped and one of her brother beaten to death in some kind of dispute, i guess that can happen anywhere but the people do seem very strong minded and don't take no kinda shit.

I know tourism can bring negatives but thats no different to most things in life there generally negatives and positives aspect to most things, personally i don't think the answer is controlling waves or surfer numbers to me the answer should be more about management of the environment to protect and preserve the land beach reef and water quality or local communities just simple restrictions on where you can build for example a certain distance back from the high tide line and distance from other buildings commercial or residential and restrictions on business that naturally don't benefit local communities like charter boats.

To me this just seems like Claude and Nihiwatu on a bigger scale….if i do some good for your people will you give me the right to exclusivity?

There is no reason why business like these in PNG or Nihihiwatu can't do positive things for the local community without needing exclusive rights to waves or guarantee on crowd numbers, if they did it would obviously be because they care and want to help which means 1000 times more than helping for an ulterior motive.

Please Stunet just give me that ignore button for Crypto (Herc, uplift or whatever other names he has used)

floyd's picture
floyd's picture
floyd commented Wednesday, 13 Jan 2016 at 5:52pm

Personal safety is an issue in PNG depending on where you are, the cultural retribution thing is big everywhere and Moresby is full on, security guards patrol the airport carpark with baseball bat like clubs. The SMP works best because the surf season is so small and the waves even during the season can be very inconsistent. Others above have already put forward good reasons for and against going there. If you only want waves all and everyday on your surf trip maybe go somewhere else.

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