ghetto blasters

New Zealand Surfing - - Ghetto Blasters -

“But the hard cored mon­grels re­mained loyal to the orig­i­nal vil­lage of Kuta which had now be­come known as the 'Ghetto'.” Words and im­ages by Cory

Cometh the hour cometh the man, and Sean Peggs was the man! The MVP, ace, call him what you like, he was a de­mon in the pit. He was also the per­fect trav­el­ling com­pan­ion cause he didn't fall asleep for the whole days drive like the groms did.

Back when the waves of Bali were first dis­cov­ered in the 1970's the no­madic surfers of the day cen­tralised them­selves in a small quiet fish­ing vil­lage nes­tled in amongst the co­conut trees known as Kuta. Within a few years and with the whole pop­u­la­tion of surfers from through­out the world all want­ing a piece, the vil­lage grew be­yond what could ever have been thought imag­in­able by those pioneers to be­come the epi­cen­tre of par­ty­ing, cheap shop­ping and lo­cal eat­ing. What­ever you wanted you could get in Kuta and I mean any­thing. With ba­sic ac­com­mo­da­tion at bar­gain prices this was ex­actly what surfers of the time wanted, af­ter all they were here for a long time not an ex­pen­sive time, and needed only two things apart from waves, cheap food and a roof over their heads. The vil­lage be­came a town and then be­came a bustling city in a way, shop­ping malls popped up in place of home-stays and mar­kets, and what many had known changed. In this time surfers changed to, no longer was it a sport as­so­ci­ated with the cheap and nasty. Those with money vis­it­ing for only a short time turned their nose up at a the sight of a rock hard stained mattress with a fan sus­pended on the roof about to fall off as it wob­bled from side to side. They wanted, air-con, pools, sa­lons to get their af­ter surf fa­cials at, and a nice quiet cock­tail bar so that they could sit and re­lax. Shar­ing a heav­ing dance floor full of sweat­ing Ozzies don­ning Bin­tang sin­glet's while sip­ping on a lethal dose of chem­i­cal in­fused orange juice wasn't their idea of a good night out, they can't of been hard­core surfers. With this change of at­ti­tude the whole surfer move­ment ex­panded out to other ar­eas that be­came known as up­per class in a way, places such as Seminyak, Canggu, Nusa Dua, all be­gan to cater for those with a bit more

“Nek minute they had an all-nighter and were drib­bling on about some su­per model love of their lives they had met. Ah­h­hhh you’re only a grom once.”

coin, who pre­ferred or­ganic food cafes, sip­ping on latte's and Ital­ian restau­rants. But the hard cored mon­grels re­mained loyal to the orig­i­nal vil­lage of Kuta which had now be­come known as the 'Ghetto'. This is where you'll find those core surfers who spend plenty of time in Indo, the best surf shops, the best food, the kind that doesn't make you sit up all night shit­ting ya pants, and the iconic fig­ures and char­ac­ters of the is­land. They are all here in the Ghetto and that's also where you'll find us! We had lounged back into the ghetto in be­tween trips for a bit of R&R af­ter spend­ing 12 hours a day at the beach and in the surf for a week, a lit­tle worn out you may say. How­ever, the groms, El­liot Paer­ata-Reid and Dune Ken­nings were quick into ac­tion, and af­ter pre­tend­ing they were sooooo tired and sooooo hun­gry, reck­oned they were just go­ing to get a feed and hit the bed bug in­fested sack. Nek minute they had an all-nighter and were drib­bling on about some su­per model love of their lives they had met. Ah­h­hhh you're only a grom once so who was I to stand over them like the Sergeant of fun po­lice, af­ter all I was far too busy with my main man Chong down at the lo­cal gym pump­ing iron and

work­ing on my guns to worry about spoil­ing the great­est night of two groms lives. At the gym? I hear you say, weren't you re­lax­ing? Yep well to some of us on this planet press­ing a cool 200-ki­los on the bench is quite re­lax­ing. The groms par­ents had asked that they didn't get caught up in the Kuta vor­tex as it has be­come known, and they hadn't. Af­ter all there was only two empty bot­tles of Ab­so­lute Vodka be­side their beds, so it was ob­vi­ously a very mel­low night, and they even put on a brave per­for­mance and were up ready to hit the waves at 5am only later ad­mit­ting they just got home ten min­utes be­fore I ar­rived, to which they seemed quite sur­prised when I said, "Yeah I know." Come on groms, give me some credit, you're not the only two on the planet that were young once. Dur­ing this down time in Kuta I al­ways like to get a damn good mas­sage, the kind you pay $100 or more for at home that only costs $5 here. I like the un­happy end­ing type, not the im­me­di­ate happy end­ing ones that are so widely sought af­ter on this is­land. You see when a grown man sinks his el­bows into your back, then sus­pends him­self from the roof pre­tend­ing you are a cock­roach and just when you can’t breathe any­more he sticks bull horns full of flames onto your back and then sends you on your way bruised and bat­tered, yet three days later when you can fi­nally move prop­erly you feel like a new man and that's the happy end­ing in a way. With sev­eral days of near flat con­di­tions our stay in the ghetto was per­fectly timed, yet with a new swell show­ing on the charts it was time to make plans and blast on out of here. Sean Peggs was another lad who cruised on into the ghetto af­ter spend­ing most of his trip based up at the Bukit Penin­sula ready­ing him­self for the Padang con­test, and he was im­me­di­ately keen to go on a mis­sion of dis­cov­ery. Chong, who many may know, just like the pop mu­si­cian Prince is the man for­merly known as In­dian, lives in Bali now and is a man pos­sessed when it comes to the surf fore­cast charts. His claim to fame is that he has never, and he says never, been wrong when it comes to be­ing in the right place at the right time. Laugh we all may, and yes we did, but dur­ing the trip when he was get­ting calls at all hours of the night from heads of in­dus­try and some of the world’s best surfers all want­ing to know where and when to go, well there must be some­thing in that. Chong laid our op­tions for this next swell down to the groms, and the rea­sons we shouldn't go here or there, with tides, winds, and size all be­ing fac­tors. And then talked it up how much fun it would be to drive 32 hours and sleep all night on the lux­u­ri­ous fer­ries on the is­land cross­ings. So when only sev­eral hours into the trip we hit a snag not hav­ing the orig­i­nal reg­is­tra­tion pa­pers and we had been im­pounded by the po­lice, you could see the look on the groms faces and knew they were think­ing, "we could be hav­ing the sec­ond great­est night of our lives". In in­tense ne­go­ti­a­tions that could have swung ei­ther way the po­lice filled their pock­ets with our bribes and with a wry smile and a cool stroke of the mous­tache showed us the way to the front of the queue and onto the lux­u­ri­ous ferry with bunk beds await­ing. Well you should have seen the look on the groms faces when we learned that this was the worst ferry in the world with no seats, coaches, or beds for hire, not even a dirty old pvc mattress to spend the night on. Swift ne­go­ti­a­tions be­gan to take place be­tween the groms and staff of the ferry who reck­oned they could get a "very very big card­board" to sleep on in­stead of bunking down on the diesel stained vomit soaked steel floors. Well when they came back with one unfolded card­board box, which they wanted $20 to rent for the night, I was out of there. A true 'Only in Indo' mo­ment, es­pe­cially when it was ex­plained to him that the box wasn't even big enough to put one per­son on let alone three, and his come­back was, “you can all lie on dif­fer­ent an­gles with your head on a cor­ner each,” gold! I found a life raft to snug­gle into up on the top deck and al­though I was sprayed ev­ery time the ferry smashed into an on­com­ing wave in the dark­ness of the night feel­ing like it was about to roll at least I didn't have to con­tend with the stench of spew and man­aged a few

hours of shut eye. Ar­riv­ing in the port of Lem­bar in Lom­bok, home of all the big­gest beat offs in the world, I found the groms all curled up in­side a piece of car­pet like a hu­man tor­tilla, ne­go­ti­a­tions must have come up a level from the card­board box. It was 4am so un­for­tu­nately we didn't get to meet all our good mates that love to hang out at this port and pull knives on in­ter­na­tional guests, I re­ally missed that and if we didn't have waves to go and score we would have loved to stick around. Through­out Indo all the surf­ing be­comes fo­cussed on the per­fect reefs that the is­lands are renowned for, and af­ter all most peo­ple surf beaches back at home all year round so the reefs are what they come here for, but if you check out a map of the coast­line you will see that Indo is around 90% beaches and yet not many of th­ese ever get surfed. While most are on the wind­ward coasts fac­ing the trade winds if you get up early enough they are in fact off­shore and due to the smaller swell that we had at the start of our jour­ney this is where we ended up, at a ran­dom beach with no name, scor­ing the best bar­rels of our trip so far be­fore the trades kicked in and blew it out. For two days we hit this beach with no oth­ers in sight and it be­came our new fave, who knows if it gets like that all the time and who cares, it was for our stay and that's all that mat­ters. The new swell had be­gun to build and it was off to the next ferry Sum­bawa bound and to an old favourite Lakey Peak, the older boys hadn't been here for a few years and Dune had never been and was al­ready de­scrib­ing each air that Ju­lian Wil­son had per­formed here in the lat­est video. When it comes to trav­el­ling for surf in Indo it al­ways pays to be as flex­i­ble as pos­si­ble if you can, ini­tially when we booked our tick­ets back in NZ we had ab­so­lutely no in­ten­tion of end­ing up in Sum­bawa but that's just the way it worked out. The tides were too low for G-land, the swell too south for Desert Point, Bali was a zoo and would prob­a­bly get too big dur­ing this swell, Cen­tral Java would wash out and we couldn't af­ford to go to the Mentawai's so Lakey's it was! Af­ter all the lo­cals down there are like fam­ily to a few of us, even the grom El­liot who spent a few months here when he was just a lit­tle tacker, and it’s al­ways good to catch up with brothers from another mother and those

ABOVE: As the new day dawns the lo­cal work­ers are up and at em, har­vest­ing rice so we can eat fresh Nasi Goreng, good on ya’s. BE­LOW: Lom­bok’s vol­canic range fea­tur­ing Mount Rin­jani.

ABOVE: A place with­out a post­card and a beach with no name. Lets call it ‘EPICS’

ABOVE: Mo­tor­cy­cle may­hem got the best of the groms. / BE­LOW: Chong and El­liot squeeze ev­ery ounce of light out of their surf­ing day.

ABOVE: Dune pedal to the metal and about to drive on through another loop­ing sec­tion down the line. / RIGHT TOP: Peg­gsy cool calm and col­lec­tive. / RIGHT BOT­TOM: A pos­sum in the head­lights, Dune lights up the Peak.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.