Watch: Von Froth // Bali

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

Episode 11 of Von Froth, Nic von Rupp's web series, and once more he's had to dive into the archives.

This time it's early season Bali from a few years back. He's wondering if it's the best right in Bali and inviting you to answer the question

Comments

Justin Howes's picture
Justin Howes's picture
Justin Howes commented Wednesday, 19 Aug 2020 at 12:29pm

Def the best right if you are keen to get tonked on the reef.. historical advice was pull off before the inside at this spot... Van Froth making it look easy

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Wednesday, 19 Aug 2020 at 12:38pm

I have far more important questions:

Why do so many surfers now wear T shirts instead of rash vests in the surf when they offer limited sun protection, slip and slide around and get you tangled up in wipeouts?

Could it possibly be that they are just far more super groovy, casual, hipped out and woke than me?

Frogg

Billyw's picture
Billyw's picture
Billyw commented Sunday, 23 Aug 2020 at 2:54am

as a T Short wearer its cos it feels cool, try it, it just does, and you then feel like you look cool, even if you don't, and so you are sitting there thinking fark yeh I'm cool and I'm ripping, even if you aren't, and then you probably have a better surf and thats fun. simple. we are not more hipped out or woke, we're just surfers who like surfing in t-shirts in warm water. no sinister motives.

B Dub

tylerdurden's picture
tylerdurden's picture
tylerdurden commented Wednesday, 19 Aug 2020 at 12:45pm

Some say the best right in the world.
Is this the same footage from the RedBull video from a few years ago? The one that was taken off the net after a couple of days?

andy-mac's picture
andy-mac's picture
andy-mac commented Wednesday, 19 Aug 2020 at 12:49pm

Don't bother, its a hoax!!
Breaks like that for about 2 hours a year, rest of the year 1 foot and onshore.
If breaking the locals will send you in!!!!

Botak

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Wednesday, 19 Aug 2020 at 1:36pm

Bali's got rights?

Sunnysideup's picture
Sunnysideup's picture
Sunnysideup commented Wednesday, 19 Aug 2020 at 2:21pm

Von Froth - reminds me of a cocky reincarnation of a sound of music kid.

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Wednesday, 19 Aug 2020 at 5:18pm

hahahahahahahahaha!!!!
Hilarious, Sunnysideup

Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake commented Wednesday, 19 Aug 2020 at 6:13pm

Great to watch if you do 2 things;

1. Mute

2. FF to 2:50 and play until 5:50. Then @ 6:50 play until 8:00 (ok that's 3 things)

But you gotta admit those right-handers were bloody good.

_Bodhi_'s picture
_Bodhi_'s picture
_Bodhi_ commented Wednesday, 19 Aug 2020 at 7:42pm

thanks for the heads-up, very enjoyable doing the 3 things... yep loving those rights!!!!

wally's picture
wally's picture
wally commented Wednesday, 19 Aug 2020 at 6:17pm

If I could surf like him, I’d be frothing too.

Thegrowingtrend.com's picture
Thegrowingtrend.com's picture
Thegrowingtrend.com commented Wednesday, 19 Aug 2020 at 6:29pm

pitted all day every day. Legend

Nicko

mredhill's picture
mredhill's picture
mredhill commented Wednesday, 19 Aug 2020 at 6:55pm

Seriously, this guy has the best job in the world. Whenever and where ever it's pumping, he seems to be there.

Redrum

Yendor's picture
Yendor's picture
Yendor commented Wednesday, 19 Aug 2020 at 7:23pm

This was the first reef I surfed in Bali, stumbled upon it at about 4-5ft and super user friendly. It wasn't unleashing through the inside like on this vid however.

I couldn't believe my luck there were only about 6 guys out and lots of waves.

I soon found out about about the unfriendly locals. After picking some off on the shoulder and bideing my time I found myself in position for a nice set wave. I took off and a wee bit down the line one of the local guys dropped in, he admittedly surfed it pretty well as I hung in the back. As we pulled off he proceeded to abuse me, I pointed out that he was one who had dropped in on me but that I wasn't looking for trouble, after making a token effort to kick out one of my fins he paddled off still grumbling.

I might add that him and his buddies had been hitting the weights, not your usual sleek Balinese. Afterwards I sat off on the shoulder and picked off some scraps, then his mate who was really big paddled over and beckoned me back into the lineup to get some more waves. It was a really weird intro to Bali and I was kind of surprised how mellow the rest of my trip was after that. Still some of the best waves I got on that trip though.

sneakerset's picture
sneakerset's picture
sneakerset commented Wednesday, 19 Aug 2020 at 9:12pm

Who wouldn't be frothing turning up to a spot like that for the first time and seeing that!
Unbelievable right hander looked a bit like a natural version of the KS wave pool but 2-3x the size. The fast peeling left at the end of the video looked amazing too, though tricky negotiating on your backhand I reckon. He made it look a bit too easy!

groovie's picture
groovie's picture
groovie commented Thursday, 20 Aug 2020 at 6:24am

Yes it is a GR8 wave, usually off season & very very shallow on the inside section. Didn't have any Balo's in the line-up when I surfed it (early 80's) however I bet they are a bit more welcoming when(if) foreign surfers return after being locked down with no tourist $$$ flowing their way. You don't know what you've got until it's gone!

Gowest's picture
Gowest's picture
Gowest commented Thursday, 20 Aug 2020 at 9:27am

Is it possible to love Von Froth more than he loves himself........mmmmm

The 'music' was next level........annoying

anyways good barrels in boardies along way from a locked down Vicco in a 4/3

harrycoopr's picture
harrycoopr's picture
harrycoopr commented Thursday, 20 Aug 2020 at 9:32am

Is this at the place where all the x-houses are?

mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207 commented Thursday, 20 Aug 2020 at 11:15am

Some more great surfing but total narcissist wanker and why does a Portuguese surfer talk in a southern Californian valley girl accent? as for "boated over to Chopes like left and surfed totally alone all arvo" - except for all the other surfers paddling around in the clip, no point letting the truth get in the way of a good story, Von Flog

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster commented Thursday, 20 Aug 2020 at 11:47am

Geeeez Mike. Seems like you hate to see other people having a good time.

mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207 commented Thursday, 20 Aug 2020 at 12:26pm

I,m watching for the surfing (which was very good) not to listen to surfers talk about incessantly about great they think they are (and Nic is pretty full on with that - Koa Smith another shocker, I just dont get it? that just takes away from the surfing and makes the guy come across like a fuckwit. Jack Mc Coy set the standard I reckon, good music and surfing , short of a sentence or catchphrase dont let the shorts models talk whatever else happens

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 20 Aug 2020 at 12:42pm

The YouTube equation goes like this: more talking means a longer video, a longer video means more ads, more ads means more cash.

For better or worse, Jack ran a whole different biz model than Koa, JOB, Eli, Nathan et al.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Thursday, 20 Aug 2020 at 1:27pm

Hawaiians love it eh

Billyw's picture
Billyw's picture
Billyw commented Sunday, 23 Aug 2020 at 3:03am

apples and oranges I reckon. surf movies versus social media clips. but yeh for the clips, apparently somewhere around the 15 minute mark is where the best value for them is so we get endless little clips/movie things where you need to go straight to the comments to find out where the surfing starts. its horrible. thats why that West Oz kids short movie recently was so good, and the next level surfing of course.

B Dub

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Thursday, 20 Aug 2020 at 12:49pm

I didn't realise Nusa Dua got that good!!! ;)

Justin Howes's picture
Justin Howes's picture
Justin Howes commented Thursday, 20 Aug 2020 at 1:05pm

He failed to mention the arm killing sweep...

andy-mac's picture
andy-mac's picture
andy-mac commented Thursday, 20 Aug 2020 at 2:22pm

They filmed this before they built the rock wall at Nikko.
Pity it was a good wave..... :)

Botak

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Thursday, 20 Aug 2020 at 3:03pm

Great surfing
Not Nikko and its not Dua.

Ray Shirlaw's picture
Ray Shirlaw's picture
Ray Shirlaw commented Thursday, 20 Aug 2020 at 3:09pm

Do we ALL really have to know where it is? Fuck no!!

joesydney's picture
joesydney's picture
joesydney commented Saturday, 22 Aug 2020 at 12:01pm

Where is easier than when....

joesydney's picture
joesydney's picture
joesydney commented Saturday, 22 Aug 2020 at 11:17am
pittsy's picture
pittsy's picture
pittsy commented Saturday, 22 Aug 2020 at 12:06pm

east side bali cranks, always loved this clip

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aa63SwkLVZo

joesydney's picture
joesydney's picture
joesydney commented Saturday, 22 Aug 2020 at 12:29pm

Checked that spot a few times..... never looked close to that.....

lindo's picture
lindo's picture
lindo commented Sunday, 23 Aug 2020 at 8:38am

With more than a few others, I was obsessed with that wave, starting from 1975, and planned subsequent trips to try to coincide with opportunities to surf it. For the record, best I ever had it was March 1978, as per the following tall tale and true.

Darrell ‘Rooster’ Dell had set up a surfboard factory in an old hall on the Noosa River at Noosaville, with Bruce ‘Stringbean’ Vincent doing the glassing. An excellent shaper, Rooster had surfed in Hawaii and had accumulated a superb collection of templates, including by the Hawaiian master craftsman Dick Brewer. ‘Bean’ was also a fine craftsman, and their ‘Balance’ designs quickly became the ‘go-to’ boards locally. So prior to returning to Bali in 1976, I ordered a 6’11” swallowtail flyer, V bottom with a wooden single fin. That board worked well, and I surfed it for several years.

Back in Bali again in March 1978, a large swell was lighting up the offshore bommies off Kuta Beach, but it was Nyepi, a day when everyone remained indoors, a day of quiet reflection and respect, a day devoted to the Balinese spirits. At dawn the following day, Wayan Suwenda, Bruce McKean and I hightailed across the island on our bikes, grabbed a kopi and our boards, safely stored at the local restaurant, and organized a jukung to take us out there. Leaving shore, we watched solid freight-train rights charging down the reef, looking almost too fast to surf.

That jukung dropped us further south than we’d bargained on, in a deep hole in the reef, during a long lull between sets. Initially we didn’t realize where we were, until we saw the jukung sailing off, with a large set of waves looming further offshore, well to the north of us. The jukung was making slow progress, heading straight towards those looming outside peaks. Still in the safety of the deep hole in the reef, south of the boat, we watching as it rose slowly up and over the first wave, only to be confronted by bigger waves further out. It also rose up and over the second wave comfortably enough, but the third was much larger, and already starting to peak further offshore on that shallow outside piece of reef. That jukung was some 6-7 m long, yet it was dwarfed by the approaching wave face.
At that moment the Balinese sailor looked straight at us, his eyes wide in fear – ‘the size of teacups’ (with credit to Hans Christian Andersen), presumably trying to decide whether to jump overboard or hang on. I had no idea whether he could swim. In the event, he stayed on-board as the jukung rode up the wave face. It hovered there on the rising crest, held firm by the thick bamboo outrigger, caught in the pitching lip. I expected the boat to get launched by the wave, but as luck, fate or the Balinese Hindu gods would have it, a strong gust of offshore wind blew at the critical moment, filled the sail, and the jukung lurched heavily over the back of the wave, its outrigger breaking free.
The waves that followed were smaller, and the jukung ultimately returned safely to the shelter of the lagoon. So although our eyes weren’t quite ‘teacup size’, Wayan, Bruce and I realized we were in some really sizeable reef surf that morning, and under-gunned on our chosen boards. Later, a Californian on a more sensible 8’6” pintail turned up. No one else showed and the conditions were perfect – light offshore breeze grooming long period groundswell on a near-perfect reef. Being fit and focused, we all got some incredible waves in the 12-15 foot (face-height) range over the next couple of hours, as no more rogue sets appeared.

The wave there gets faster and hollower as it runs down the shallowing reef, and consequently long tube rides are pretty much an inevitability of successfully surfing it.
On one wave, late into the surf, the initial top-turn revealed massive waves looming out the back, similar in size to that early rogue set that almost claimed the jukung. Flicking out of the wave, I started paddling hard for the horizon. Fortunately the reef there drops off into deep water very quickly, and I was soon out of the danger zone. The Californian was further out than me, and in position to catch one of those waves. He made a half-hearted attempt, but pulled back at the last moment, which gave me a sense of scale, thanks to his 8’6”. The wave rose like a cobra before pitching, and could have easily accommodated several of his boards end to end up its face. The ensuing barrel was, as the saying goes, big enough to drive a bus through. To this day that is the most spectacular wave I have ever seen in real life. It reminds me, now, looking back, of a right-handed version of those two freakish behemoth lefts that broke at Cloudbreak in Fiji in July of 2012, although in truth it would have been little more than half their mammoth size.

We returned that afternoon to surf it again. The swell had dropped slightly in size, with the tide, but still offered long rifling rights. A few more surfers had turned up, and I vividly recall watching one guy drop in, only to lose his balance slightly, which caused him to lose momentum out of his bottom turn. That slow turn brought him under the lip and into a gaping tube, but without the speed needed to navigate it, the wave’s violent spit blew him clean off his board. For a brief moment he appeared weightless. ‘Floating’ there briefly, he looked like a spaceman, before the violently folding lump of ocean swallowed and spat him out, board broken. No question, it is a dangerous wave, requiring caution and luck, along with some degree of skill, or youthful enthusiasm, to enjoy.
It has claimed some notable 'scalps', including Pipeline specialist Rory Russell, whose abdomen was punctured badly by sharp coral, having wiped out there on his backhand in 1974. Luckily, the resident German doctor was able to stitch him up. Another early casualty of the reef, back in 1973, was the incredible Wayne Lynch, his back scraped from neck to thigh. In a recent interview, Wayne recounted that the waves that day – 10 feet in his estimate (which would equate to 15’+ faces) were among the best he’s ever seen. Another famous Aussie surfer Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew also rated it as one of the best waves on Earth, after successfully navigating an incredibly long barrel draining off near-bare reef, a little later on one of the days we’d surfed it in 1975.

I surfed there many times in subsequent years, finally snapping that trusty 6’11’’ there on a too late drop, but never again as good as that day in March of 1978. Whispers were starting to circulate in Bali of a very good wave on Nias. That was all I knew at the time, but it was enough to get me focused on trying to get there. Well before surf tourism, I had a long trip ahead.

Lindo

tylerdurden's picture
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tylerdurden commented Sunday, 23 Aug 2020 at 8:50am

Great story lindo.
Had a mate who surfed it in 1988 on a big day in wet season. Gets better as it gets bigger like Cloudbreak.
He’s surfed Jeffrey’s a lot and well travelled...over 6 ft he reckons its better than all of them. 8ft + maybe the best wave in the world, only happens once every 5yrs, maybe a decade though

goofyfoot's picture
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goofyfoot commented Sunday, 23 Aug 2020 at 9:11am

Epic tale lindo.
Do you mean Bruce Fewings though? His nickname is Bean, and shapes in Victoria now. Under the Balin label. Originally from Noosa

lindo's picture
lindo's picture
lindo commented Sunday, 23 Aug 2020 at 9:23am

Sounds right goofyfoot, Balin rings a bell, but I always knew him by the other moniker for some reason.

Lindo

pittsy's picture
pittsy's picture
pittsy commented Sunday, 23 Aug 2020 at 9:27am

Is this the wave of Rabbit's? first one in the clip?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTZ-yC3pDfw&t=385s

lindo's picture
lindo's picture
lindo commented Sunday, 23 Aug 2020 at 9:33am

Hey Tyler, I'd agree with your mate re the J Bay comparison, having spent a winter there, also back in the 70s - another story that started with boards flying off the roof of the hitch-hiked car at 100 km / hr just as we crested the final hill to see lines of swell pouring down the point, arriving to the place being near empty after the cops had arrested most local surfers, including Ant van der Heuval (spelling?), on suspicion of drugs (held for 2 weeks in jail without charge). Not wanting to detract from J Bay, but the angles the waves run along the reef / point are very different, as is the hollowness of the barrel.

Lindo

lindo's picture
lindo's picture
lindo commented Sunday, 23 Aug 2020 at 9:44am

Pittsy, looks like it, but my vague memory from the time was of a much longer barrel. Again from memory, I think Rabbit was surfing with Tom Parish and Jeff Hackman that day (could be wrong about that). They arrived not long after I'd come in, my legrope (rubber tube around rope) broke on a bad wipeout, having pushed a bottom turn too hard and popping the fin - bad feeling as it all seemed to happen in slow-mo. I had to swim out to sea, diving under the rest of the set before scrambling across the reef and into the lagoon.

Lindo

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster commented Sunday, 23 Aug 2020 at 9:49am

Great story telling Lindo! Almost felt like I was there with ya.

zenagain's picture
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zenagain commented Sunday, 23 Aug 2020 at 10:02am

Great surf tale Lindo.

1173

lindo's picture
lindo's picture
lindo commented Sunday, 23 Aug 2020 at 10:38am

Thanks ringmaster and zenagain - certainly felt good to relive a few old memories. Wayan Suwenda is gone now, sadly, and I've lost track of Bruce McKean as well - hope he's ok. Great to read that Bean is still making boards under the Balin label, and hopefully Rooster is also, maybe on Gold Coast?

Lindo

lindo's picture
lindo's picture
lindo commented Sunday, 23 Aug 2020 at 10:45am

Along with Wayan Suwenda and his cousin Wayan Suwera (spelling?) other early Balinese stalwarts there were Froggy (1st one, also long-passed), Gede', 'King Kong', Leon and Bobby, and apologies to others whose names now escape me.

Lindo

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Sunday, 23 Aug 2020 at 11:23am

Lindo ..Sushinecoast daily has a story re Bruce and a lost board with a poss contact number..

tylerdurden's picture
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tylerdurden commented Sunday, 23 Aug 2020 at 1:06pm

Yep Lindo, this wave and J bay are chalk and cheese in terms of set up but my mate who’s surfed them both as good as they get reckons this wave is better. Just an interesting comparison. I guess J bays consistency rates it higher than this wave in a lot of people’s eyes

lindo's picture
lindo's picture
lindo commented Sunday, 23 Aug 2020 at 4:31pm

Fair enough Tyler, and thanks Udo. Part of the reason I lost track with Bruce was my bailing from Noosa suburbia more than a decade ago now for greener pastures, literally, in Taranaki, trading wave quality for less crowded conditions, although that too has changed. 'May as well try and catch the wind' as Donovan noted.

Lindo

tylerdurden's picture
tylerdurden's picture
tylerdurden commented Sunday, 23 Aug 2020 at 8:37pm

No sweat Lindo, certainly wouldn’t turn either of them down. BTW, found myself in Noosa Feb last year perfectly timed for the Oma swell. Boiling Pot absolutely pumping for 4 days, might give both of them a run for their money as best right in the world