Bryce Young recently got a right hand barrel in Indo that was two-and-half football fields long. Preach! Believe!
here’s no bigger cliché in Aussie surfing than flying north for winter, even if only to dodge the cold for a couple of weeks. Things might be a little played out in Bali, Desert Point might rival Snapper for crowds, and the Mentawai Islands are packed with more boats than Sydney Harbour on New Year’s Day, but there’s a reason Indonesia is still on constant rotation for even the most adventurous of travellers. Our near northern neighbour just keeps on delivering, no matter your poison.
2016 has been a particularly good one in the archipelago, with a steady run of swell and dreamy conditions mixed in amongst a flood of unseasonal downpours. Veteran lensman Andrew Shield, always a sucker for bunched isobars, recently saw a spinning low he liked the look of and with sly access to a rarely documented corner of the country, called upon Mikala Jones, Marti Paradisis and Bryce Young to join him on a salty soujourn.
Mikala you know as the wily travel veteran, a global roamer who grew up on the North Shore, starred in a string of Taylor Steele movies then shipped off to Indonesia to live a quiet life of outrageous waves with his West Australian wife. Marti will be familiar as one of those Tasmanian crash test dummies who loves nothing more than to ollie the step at Shipstern Bluff, but who’s also a sucker for as many tropical tubes as he can poke his two heads into.
Bryce might be a lesser known quantity, but allow us to change that. Sure, he’s the son of legendary 1966 World Champ Nat, but he is well and truly his own man, and quite
the force of nature whether in the water, at the skate park, or even taking to the snow. A mellow cat on land Bryce is a wave magnet in the brine, and slays on everything from longboard to alaia, conventional thruster to twinny, and on his most recent weapon of choice, asymmetrical three-finned whips crafted by close buddy and fellow eccentric Ryan Burch. When not at home in Angourie you’ll find Bryce roaming the North Coast, shredding waves, wine and song with a boho collection of characters in Byron and beyond. A humble human with a refreshing nearallergy to technology, Bryce was none-the-less more than happy to pass along a few thoughts on his Indian Ocean soujourn.
“It’s always exciting to hit Indo, no matter where you go. I’ve gotten up to plenty of escapades at the well known spots around Bali and Sumbawa, and a little bit of Sumba, but the chance to come and explore somewhere totally new and different was something that I couldn’t pass up, and it was amazing.
“I came here without too many expectations. I’d watched a few clips on Youtube but didn’t want to get my hopes up as I really didn’t know the area at all. Maybe a few dreams here and there but tried to keep a lid on it.
“It was a rush to surf with Mikala and Marti, they charge and were inspiring when things got solid. It was unexpected and awesome to share so many waves with just a couple of the boys out, and those guys just plain rip.
“It was amazing to be able surf so many perfect waves with just the three of us out, trading waves with just a couple of guys is always something special.
“I was pretty torn about what to pack in my board bag, but I’m glad I brought a bit of everything because I ended up breaking three boards. It was lucky I had a couple of step-ups because that was pretty much all I rode.
“I wanted to see if an alaia would be able to hold rail in waves like that. I had some pretty bad car-crash wipeouts but it was a good little learning curve. Generally on the wood you want a gentle roll-in, and maybe there was one-in-ten waves that did that, but I found myself going over the hangers a fair bit and ended up breaking it pretty quick! That wipeout wasn’t too bad though, it was an experience!
“A photographer on another boat suggested a wave that we might like, and we motored off to have a look and ended up scoring. The empty wave on that little island was my favourite wave of the trip. It was a perfect setup with a forgiving end section that finished in a channel. We surfed it in everything from a fun and playful to pretty scary dry-reef barrels.
“The vibes on the trip were epic! The take away is definitely that Indonesia still has its moments of secluded sheer beauty. The jungle’s right there, there’s plenty of empty waves, there’s pockets of magic everywhere, you just need to look a little harder. It surf makes you want to keep coming back again and again, that’s for sure.”
Many thanks to Mahi Mahi resort and boat charters. Hit ‘em up now if you’re horny for pits! Here’s their website, no Kardashians anywhere: mahimahiresort.com
"The jungle's right there, there's plenty of empty waves, there's pockets of magic everywhere, you just need to look a little harder!"
Opening: A right so long and hollow it could blow your grey matter to smithereens at the mere idea of it. Previous spread: Mikala’s jungle Tardis is bigger on the inside than it appears on the outside and like Doctor Who he uses it to travel through time. Opposite: Bryce Young is the circle in the spiral.