Interview by Leo Maxam / Balibelly.tv
Another boring day at the office for surf guide Guy Morgan.
Working as a surf guide is one of those dream jobs most of us fantasize about but never have the guts to pursue. It takes a special breed of die-hard surfer who is willing to leave behind friends, family and the comforts of home, and live life in some remote location a thousand miles from the nearest surf shop.
Guy Morgan and Jai Ackland are two such die-hards. Guy, 27, originally from Amanzimtoti, South Africa, is the resident surf guide at Nomad Surfers Resort in West Sumbawa. Jai, 21, from Mullaway, Australia, is the resort's chef. Before starting at the surf camp, Guy sailed around the world as a crew member on the King of Qatar's 124-meter mega yacht. Then one day Guy decided the King wasn't dropping anchor at enough good surfing locations. After a whole lot of emails and hitting up some good contacts, Guy went from organizing supermodel hot tub parties on the King's yacht in Monaco to guiding surf tours in Indo. Jai, meanwhile, worked as a chef in Oz before bailing to Indonesia with a boardbag and a one-way ticket. He was camping out on the beach in Sumbawa when he met Guy, who offered him a job as chef at the resort.
Now Guy and Jai are living the life most of us only fantasize about – surfing perfect, uncrowded waves every day and watching the sunset every evening from their beachfront bar. But it's not all perfect waves and Bintangs. There are a few drawbacks to the gig: the occasional creepy guest; black magic jungle spells; lots of downtime; and plenty of lonely nights where your only company in bed is a crusty old issue of Hustler. So is it worth it? Guy and Jai let Balibelly.tv in on the reality of being surf guides in Indo.
Gentlemen, I want to quit the rat race and find a surf guide position at some far-flung surf camp in front of a world-class wave. What does it take to be a surf guide?
Guy: It's a pretty demanding job, mate. You have to be able to drive a car, bring the guests to the waves, and surf ok.
Jai: And drink loads of piss with the guests on a regular basis, and wake up happy and cheerful the next morning with a pounding headache.
Hmm, that does sound hard. Any other qualifications that might rule me out?
Personality and good looks.
Damn, I knew there was a catch. So what's the best part about being a surf guide?
Guy: Hmmm, let's see. Surfing all day long!
What's the worst part?
Jai: No chicks.
Guy: Repeating yourself week in and week out. And, yeah, no lady friends in the jungle.
What do you do for female companionship? Got a local lady – or ladyboy – in the village?
Jai: What happens in the jungle stays in the jungle!
Let our experienced camp staff take care of everything during your surfing vacation. Trust us, you're in good hands. These men are professionals.
Are your guests typically good surfers?
Guy: We get a mixed bag, some underground shredders and some kooks.
Do you ever have guests who don't surf very well, but insist on paddling out into heavy waves beyond their ability?
Guy: Yeah, we do get guys who talk the talk but can't walk the walk.
Jai: A few photos of big Supers usually shuts their lips.
What do you guys do over there when the waves go flat?
Jai: Get maggot, play golf (there is a nine-hole course nearby), wrestle the bald-headed yoghurt thrower, Posca pen the shit out of our boards, etc.
Do you ever feel like you're losing it?
Guy: Mate, we lost our shit long ago. Visiting Kuta is like heaven.
Video: Pro boys surfing infront of Guy & Jai's camp
In your experience as a surf guide, where do the best surfers come from? Who have been the best tippers, and who have been the wildest?
Guy: Aussies, in general, are all-around decent surfers. They love getting on the piss and have been the only ones who seem to throw dough to the hospitality.
Jai: The Japanese surfers are always keen for a go and love brekkie Bintangs.
Who was your craziest guest this year?
Guy: This guy Tom from Melbourne. He was thirty-something and lost his virginity to a hooker with missing teeth in the town nearby. Then he fell in love with the massage girl at our spa, who has a kid and who's husband is in jail. Things got pretty heavy between Tom and the massage girl, and she even took him home to meet her family. He promised to come back and marry her. Tom's nickname while he was here was “The Serial Killer,” because he just had that creepy look in his eye. Total freak, but an all-around funny bastard.
Jai: Six Aussies from Bondi. They scored sick waves every day they were here. When they weren't surfing, they were running around with ladyboys on their shoulders, jumping off sketchy cliffs, and getting Arak lips.
A professionally-trained chef, Jai always washes his hands after using the restroom... or picking his nose.
How often do you return to civilization, and what happens when you enter the vortex after a long stint in the jungle?
Guy: Is Kuta civilized? Here's our Charlie Sheen “winning” routine: Gora Inn, Bintang, Arak, sunset, Alley Cats, double-doubles, Eikon, random hotel, walk of shame. Repeat until it's time to leave.
What's the heaviest shit you've seen since you've been working there?
Jai: One of our waitresses, Siska, got possessed by a ghost. Some evil spirit got inside of her one night and she had goosebumps, and her eyes turned all black, and she was making all these crazy, violent movements. It definitely was not her in there. Something else was controlling her body, it was some weirdo shit. So we clueless white boys are trying to hold down this psycho beast, like a fucking rhino, so she doesn't tear apart the whole restaurant. The whole thing was so gnarly. We were freaked out for weeks!
Have you guys discovered any new spots in the area?
Guy: Fucking oath! We've got a few secret spots and bazzas (Saffa speak for “barrels”) in the area, but you'll have to stay at the resort and tip us extra good if you want to surf them!
Additional photos of the boys on the job:
Dane Reynolds and Dillon Perillo recently stopped by for a week-long stay, stoking out the guests and the staff.
Keeping the guests entertained / Someone lost a bet
Jai punches the clock. Only ten more barrels to go until his lunch break.
Yet another successful fishing expedition led by the camp's fisherman extraordinaire, Indra (bottom left).
Jai, dreaming of his next trip to the Kuta vortex.