Surfing World - - Introduction - Story by Chris Binns Pho­tog­ra­phy by An­drew Shield

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: mahimahire­

"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!"

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