Category Archives: Surf

Back to Bali, This Time For Work!

A week after returning from the Gold Coast marketing trip I took another work trip, this time back to Indo.  Our destination was Bali for a product meeting, line range call, and a final sample review.

Its amazing getting to go to a one of the best vacation destinations in the world for work.  Even though each day was busy from 9-5, we still managed to get up early and get a surf in most days.  We each had a scooter, and tore around the island going to and from dinners, surf sessions and market shopping.

I got surf in at a few new to me spots like, Uluwatu, Kuta Reefs, specifically airports rights where we got the wave to ourselves for 45 min early in the morning, but also had to contend with sea lice.  It was like swimming through needles.  I got several more days in at Canguu and a day in on the reef out in Nusa Dua. We also checked out Dreamland but I did not surf on that occasion.

With my second trip to Bali under my belt, I am officially in love with the place!

Sydney and Gold Coast Market Trip

A month into the job I went to Jakarta for 2 weeks on my first factory development trip.  I have never been to Jakarta so it was a first time experience.  I was excited to see our factories and the capabilities they had.  I like to relate a factory trip to the clips from Mr. Rogers when they used to show how things get made, except I get to see it in real time, and smell.

Unfortunately the 2 weeks for the development trip were by far the most difficult I have ever experienced.  I ended up doing hours upon hours of administrative work that is a waste of time and money when on at factory trip.  We should have been focusing on improving processes, learning how the factory set things up and made sandals, not filling out paper work.  This was a learning lesson for me as I am surprised that long established companies would do work this way.

A month after the Jakarta trip the footwear team (consisting of me and the girls footwear designer) along with the wetsuit designers went on a domestic (Aussie) market trip.  We where to go to Sydney and the northern beaches, then hop up to the gold coast and visit Byron Bay.  I can say that I have never had a more packed travel schedule than this job is ending up having.

Manly

Manly, Sydney, Australia

After a full day of kicking around the city of Sydney we drove over to Manly.  This is one of the main beach for city dwellers and is a famous surf spot.  The beach is simply beautiful.

Manly

Manly

One night in Sydney after dinner one of my co-worker’s friends took us out to a cool little hidden bar.  It was Monday, and the place was mellow but busy.  The wall background was perfect for black and white photos. If your ever in Sydney, check out the Grasshopper Bar if you can find it down the alleyway, its rad.

Night Out In Sydney With The Work Crew

Night Out In Sydney With The Work Crew

After a tour of Sydney and Manly we flew up to the gold coast.  This is the Aussie vacation destination.  The entire coastline is developed with resorts and there are several world class surf spots.  Snapper Rocks and Duranbah beach are 2 of the most famous waves on he planet, and some of the most surfed. The crowds can get heavy.

Duranbah

Duranbah

Duranbah

Duranbah

Lucky for me, the footwear Product Manager is a obsessed surfer.  He met us up here for 3 days, and each morning we would head over to D-bah for a dawn surf.

I got one of my best barrels ever which I can describe as the ocean giving me a hug….its imprinted into my brain forever.

Snapper Rocks, Superbank

Snapper Rocks, Superbank

Superbank

Superbank

Snapper Rocks and Superbank where pretty flat the entire time. This is the second time I have been here and I have never gotten it with swell.  I would love to see it when is pumping.  Maybe next time.

Ridiculous Night Doing The Belt Buckle

Ridiculous Night Doing The Belt Buckle

Our last night on the Goldie we ended up dragging each other out to some of the clubs in Surfers Paradise.  Think of 18 year old’s getting smashed and terrible club music in a velvet draped room.  It was a big joke being there as all of us on the trip are well past this point in our lives, but there is something to be said for stepping back and visiting he insanity once is a great while.

Here I am doing the belt buckle, it is my little piece of Americana I can bring and a nod to Jeff Prescott my old university roommate who dazzled me with this move so many years ago.  Thanks Jeff!

Living In Torquay….The Aussie Surf Capital

House in Jan Juc

House in Jan Juc

Torquay is a smallish town of about 10,000 permanent residence.  In the summer the population can swell to 30,000 as many city dwellers from Melbourne have holiday or rental property here.  This works to my advantage because in the winter there are many new houses that are empty and in need of renters.  I linked up with another new arrival, Sam who was hired to manage the flagship store in Torquay and moved from Sydney.  He is Scottish but has lived in OZ for 5 years.  He rented this house and had a few rooms open.

Front Door

Front Door

Back Porch

Back Porch

The place is only 2 years old, and set up like a vacation house.  Its in the town next to Torquay called Jan Juc.  There is a development on top of the hill and lots have been carved up and built on.  We are at the back of the development and have a great view of the surrounding farm land.  I think this is going to be a great place for the summer!

On The Porch

On The Porch

Back Yard

Back Yard

Kitchen and Living Room

Kitchen and Living Room

Living Room

Living Room

Entrance way into main room

Entrance way into main room

Kitchen Island

Kitchen Island

We have deemed it the international house as the 3rd roommate is a young French kid who is over in Australia for 6 months to do an internship.  Its been a good set up so far, we will see if some Aussies get into the mix at some point.

Surfcoast Surf

Bells Beach

Bells Beach

I arrived in Torquay a few days before I started work.  This stretch of coast is famous because 2 of the biggest surf companies in the world started here.  Bells host the longest running surf contest in the world and this year it will celebrate its 40th anniversary.

Early Morning Bells

Early Morning Bells

I surfed one morning with good swell and got some great shots of Bells and Winki Pop which is the next point down.  The Bells and Winki areas are the first surf reserves in the world.  The land and coast line is protected at dedicated as a reserve for recreation and sealife.  A natural protected playground!

Bells Point

Bells Point

Bells End Section

Bells End Section

Just Down from Bells, Winki Pop

Just Down from Bells, Winki Pop

Winki

Winki

I drove about 2 hours west along the great ocean road.  There will be more on this in upcoming posts.  Here is a beautiful bay along the road.

Somewhere on the Great Ocean Road

Somewhere on the Great Ocean Road

Somewhere on the Great Ocean Road

Somewhere on the Great Ocean Road

World Class Surf Spots and Last Days In Canguu

 

Happy Phil

Happy Phil

 

After the all the festivities from the wedding, and the parting in Kuda at the Hard Rock, the 4 of us that surf decided to take a few days and explore the world class surf spots that have made Bali famous.

First stop on almost any surfers list to hit in Indo would be Uluwatu.  This surf playground boasts some of the most consistent and best shaped waves on the planet.  Its the spot that put Indo on the surfing map and its not hard to see why from the moment you walk out to the cliff edge.

 

Uluwatu

Uluwatu

 

 

Uluwatu

Uluwatu

 

 

Uluwatu

Uluwatu

 

 

Uluwatu

Uluwatu

 

Ulu’s is really a series of spots along the outer reef edge.  The 200ft white cliffs frame the scene and protect the water surface from wind.  Adding to the magical location is the access point which is a cave and small pebble sandy beach.

Unfortunately the cliff face along the goat path to the cave entrance is riddled with hastily built restaurants, shops and surf shops. If you can focus through this mess and look straight ahead, it is not hard to imagine what the first surfers to discover this place saw…simple surf perfection.

 

Uluwatu

Uluwatu

 

 

Path to Padang Padang

Path to Padang Padang

 

The next stop on our tour was Padang Padang.  Walking down the the beach was an experience just like Uluwatu.  The wave wasn’t breaking this day, but I got a great shot of the “crack” in the rock entrance to the waters edge.

 

Relaxing at the Canggu Shops

Relaxing at the Canggu Shops

 

After our time on the Peninsula, we rallied back through the traffic hell of Kuta, Legion, and Seminyak and burst out onto the country side driving back towards Tanah Lot and the little town of Canggu.

We had made reservations at a modest guess house just outside town but still on the beach.  The place was great, and it was a short walk up the beach to the Canggu shops.  This quickly became my favorite place in Bali

As I have traveled, I have found many spots to emit a certain energy, some good, warm and welcoming, others dark, cold and guarded.  Canggu is on the good side of this energy, and is one of my special spots.

 

Canggu View

Canggu View

 

 

Room at Canggu

Room at Canggu

 

There were 5 of us staying in a little one bedroom place.  Full on surf trip style. Luckily the guys at the guest house had an extra mattress and we threw in on the floor.  The next few days we just woke up, surfed, ate, internet-ed and relaxed. Pretty much the perfect set-up

 

Thumping Waves At Canggu

Thumping Waves At Canggu

 

 

Thumping Waves At Canggu

Thumping Waves At Canggu

 

 

God Rays At Canggu

God Rays At Canggu

 

 

Heavenly Black Sand Surf Beach

Heavenly Black Sand Surf Beach

 

 

Close Out

Close Out

 

 

Bali Sky

Bali Sky

 

 

Bali Sky

Bali Sky

 

 

Bali Clouds

Bali Clouds

 

 

Bali Clouds

Bali Clouds

 

 

Canggu Sunset

Canggu Sunset

 

 

********

********

 

 

My Happy Place

My Happy Place

 

 

My Happy Place

My Happy Place

 

 

Ahh Canggu

Ahh Canggu

 

 

Canguu Shops

Canguu Shops

 

All the guys left a few days before I had booked my flight out.  I spent three more days relaxing on the beach, surfing, eating, catching up on the blog and setting myself up to go back to Peru.  I said in the past that Peru ended up being a special place for me, and looking back now it really did change my perspective and ultimately the direction my life is headed in. I had to go back to do something…something crazy.  I took these last days in Canggu to prepare myself for one of the biggest leaps I have ever made.

Hurry Up And Wait In Kuta

Kuta Beach Break

Kuta Beach Break

Getting through customs at the Denpasar Airport, Bali is by far the slowest process I have encountered at any airport anywhere in the world.  I lined up to get a tourist visa upon my arrival, which went quickly.  I then stood in line for 2 hours waiting to get my passport stamped.  While waiting I struck up a conversation with two English girls, and we ended up splitting a cab into Kuta.

Before arriving in Bali, I had been in contact with my friend Ramon from my San Diego.  He had spent several months in Indo and referred me to his friend that has helped an Indonesian man start a cab company in Bali.  I contacted Marty(Australian) that helped Roni (Balinese) buy a van, to use as a cab to support his family. We set it up so that Roni would meet me at the airport and take me to a hotel that Marty has stayed at in the past.

Roni specializes in day trips for surfers.  Since he has a van and can fit boards, he is often hired out to drive surfers to spots and hang out while they surf.  He watches the gear, and knows all the good spots to hit up pre and post surf.

Kuta is the main tourist area of Bali.  It is a gross chaos of bungalow motels, hotels, high end resorts, slummy, mid-range, and high end restaurants, shops, hawkers, and lots and lots of stark white tourists.  Most white people are from Australia as this is their close third world destination.  The best way to describe this place is its Australian’s Cancun, Mexico.

I spent 4 days in Kuta waiting to meet up with Dustin and the POW Glove guys in Semarang over on the main island of Java (more on this later).  I tried to get a little surfing in at Kuta Beach.  This is a beach break that is not great, usually its too big and closed out. The beach is also crowded and very polluted.  I would compare this beach to Pacific Beach in San Diego.

I had to do some work for a freelance project, so I ended up staying in each night and cranking out sketches and technical drawings.  Not the most fun I have had while traveling.  I walked around Kuta, and explored a little.  I got lost on the streets that are narrow and built with no particular order.  Some ally ways just end, and other streets twist and turn in a confusing quagmire.

The 4th day I was scheduled to fly over to Java to the city of Semarang to meet up with the Pow Glove crew.  For over a year I have been talking with them to set up a consulting contract to help manage production at their factory in Indonesia.  I was finally going to meet with Dustin, the owner and the rest of the design/development team and some of their sales and marketing team.

Oh, and I was to go to Dustin’s wedding………

The Swell Arrives In Mancora!

Mancora Surf

Mancora Surf

On the third day in Mancora, the swell showed up with some force.  Double overhead waves rolled through the shallow sand point and ripped into the beach.

I awoke at day break for high tide and paddled out.  There were only 4 of us out, and I got wave after wave of big backside brilliance. After about 2 hours, my arms were spent plus 20 more guys had paddled out by then.

I spent the rest of the day in happy exhaustion, sitting by the pool, drinking tropical boozy drinks, and watching bomb sets roll in.  All in all a day to remember.

Mid-day photo shoot on the second story of the Blue Parrot bungalow.

Mid-day photo shoot on the second story of the Blue Parrot bungalow.

Mid-day photo shoot on the second story of the Blue Parrot bungalow.

Mid-day photo shoot on the second story of the Blue Parrot bungalow.

Mid-day photo shoot on the second story of the Blue Parrot bungalow.

Mid-day photo shoot on the second story of the Blue Parrot bungalow.

Mid-day photo shoot on the second story of the Blue Parrot bungalow.

Mid-day photo shoot on the second story of the Blue Parrot bungalow.

Great Surf Sunset

Great Surf Sunset

Great Surf Sunset

Great Surf Sunset

Mancora Great Surf Sunset

Mancora Great Surf Sunset

Mancora Great Surf Sunset

Mancora Great Surf Sunset