New Zealand Surfing - - Rising / Grom -

"While I was never born into an era of Indo pioneer­ing, my first ever trip to Bali was in 1992. I had heard all these tales from the old guys and was shit scared upon land­ing. But as soon as I stepped out of the air­port into these fields of co­conut trees and be­gan hus­tling for a cheap morn­ing price ride into Kuta, a mag­i­cal spell came over me and for the next 20 + years Indo be­came my home away from home. While Bali had ob­vi­ously de­vel­oped a lot since the 70's my first trips were still a jour­ney of ad­ven­ture, the mass devel­op­ment was years away and Kuta was still partly fields and co­conut trees. There were no signs of where to go, some­times no roads! Get­ting to Cangu was a maze of nar­row path­ways through vil­lages and rice pad­dies and the ac­cess into Padang and Bin­gin were noth­ing more than an off-road dirt track, heck I couldn't even find a place to buy toi­let pa­per in my first week. There was no such thing as cell phones, in­ter­net and if you ac­tu­ally HAD to call home, you had to go to the air­port and call col­lect. There were no tide charts avail­able and even maps were ba­si­cally hand drawn and you set off and worked it out your­self. Sure, in that first trip we were ini­ti­ated in the art of the Kuta scam, and were short changed and ripped off sev­eral times, but that first trip also kin­dled some re­la­tion­ships with lo­cals which grew into great friend­ships and till this day I'd con­sider some of those like fam­ily. Back then surf camps and boat trips were in their in­fancy, but my­self and the guys I trav­elled with were never cashed up, so we did things the hard way, and made our way up and down the ar­chi­pel­ago of is­lands, at times liv­ing off the land and camp­ing out, and hir­ing lo­cal fish­ing boats to ac­cess breaks, we were known as fer­als! Ba­si­cally a term for those that did things them­selves and weren't guided or stay­ing in fancy ho­tels back then. Through this feral net­work of like­minded surfers, whis­pers were passed down once your trust was gained of po­ten­tial new dis­cov­er­ies up and down the is­land chain, so we'd head off on the pub­lic bus sys­tem, some­times spend­ing a week trav­el­ing be­fore we even­tu­ally found what we were look­ing for, then sit back and wait for them to turn on. These times were hard, and we faced some life chal­leng­ing sit­u­a­tions, but those times are now also my most mem­o­rable. We earnt our waves, and we were ex­pe­ri­enc­ing places oth­ers hadn't yet ar­rived en­masse upon, we also had some of the best times and laughs you could ever imag­ine. Ev­ery year, some­times twice a year, I would spend 45-60 days in Indo, and while it was no se­cret that we trav­elled there for the best waves on the planet, it be­came more than just a des­ti­na­tion to score pump­ing waves for me. Re­turn­ing to vil­lages I'd spent a lot of time in, upon re­turn the last thing I'd do was un­pack my board bag and go surf, the first thing I did was go and visit all my friends and the lo­cal kids, share gifts and catch up on the year that had passed since I was last there. Even while I sit here and rem­i­nisce dur­ing a cold NZ win­ters day, I can smell the trop­i­cal air, taste the fresh mar­lin steak I'd prob­a­bly have for lunch and see the smiles on my Indo brothers and sis­ters faces, and for me far be­yond the waves, that is my Indo Con­nec­tion.” - Cory Scott - Ed­i­tor/ Indo ad­dict.

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