By Mariah Earnst / Balibelly.tv
Timing is everything for the Padang Cup, and having been on hold early in the morning of the 9th the boys made the blessed call sometime around 8am. Timing was also the key for my understanding of the Surf Circus, having just perused the visual feast that was nuclear bikini bulge fallout from the US Open. In my cynical and cavillous mindset, I had so little faith in the human spirit that I actually pre-wrote most of the “Padang Cup Scene” as such:
“Why would any thinking person subject themselves to the meat market horrors of the scene on the beach at the Padang Cup? At 5’6 and 54 kg, I’m too short and fat to interest anyone there so I went incognito in a shirt and jean shorts, hoping to blend in with the background. Besides, I want to blow your mind, not your cock, and intellectually dissect the moral insanity. On the beach that day, the only thing I could think was, what the fuck does a girl have to do to get some respect around here? Surf triple overhead Padang one armed?? Oh yeah, guess so.”
Looking forward to generally crapping on everything, I started off the morning scouring the cliffside above the break. I bumped into local grom shredder Luan and his dad, and we chatted, trying to figure out how on earth Luan didn’t get a wildcard this year. Then I headed further down the cliff to find an idyllic scene right by the break, where plump Scandinavians ladies and South American hunks were hiding from the sun under make-shift sarong umbrellas and silently soaking in the world class surfing on world class six foot Padang only 100 meters away.
Above: Fans came out in droves to see Padang do this. Below: Garut scoping out a set.
The scene on the beach was no less pleasant. A walk around the Padang Cradle of Civilization revealed families evenly dispersed, beauties sunning and bathing in the shorey, splashing friends and generally minding their own business. The contestants and Indonesian illuminati were sprinkled in the shade with all the other friends and family. There was no contestants tent, nor was the tower even off limits (it started to shake precariously towards sunset when everyone crowded on top). There were no so-called “groupies” or “pro hos” introducing people who already knew each other. I only saw one pair of silicone upgraded milks- definitely far below quota. JOB and his filmer Damien were looking fit and dashing this year- James signed autographs for local girlie shredders Taina of Surfer Girl and Cinta Hansel without a whiff of condescension or boredom- this was the opposite of the US Open slaughterhouse. A few heavenly giraffes with 4% body fat and 5% bikini coverage floated around, grabbing coconuts and whafting back to their towels through throngs of stickered up babes without granting even a recognizing glance.
Lewis Samuels recently commented on the surf contest scene on the Stab Radio Show “Ain’t That Swell”, remarking that “girls are willing to go to great lengths to be noticed,” and “the power dynamic is skewed, and it is competitive.” All I saw at the Padang Cup was Bethany Hamilton win her first heat, people of all genders relaxing naturally and chatting with friends. The power dynamic was not to be seen, even by my hyper vigilant and cynically trained eye. As for the sound falling on our ears, God certainly sent Matt George to us, to grant us all the gift of patience, respect and a few giggles. Tai and Chongy also got on the PA system, alternating soothing Buddha baritones and that sweet succulent kiwi lilt.
Above: Jamie O'Brien borrows some sunblock. Below: Wardo & Riz fist bump.
Hurricane Wardo/Wardyclone/The Bali Party Equivalent of Seasonal ‘el Nino’ Chris Ward got down on one knee after his win and proposed to his smoking hot lady, who weirdly enough has a name, Michelle, and a life of her own- a win not only for partiers everywhere but a tear-jerking move that makes monogamy look damn good. If Chris Ward can fall in love forever… well so can the rest of us. That doesn’t mean you can win Padang though.
I made a point not to wear or even bring a bikini and was sweating my tits off by the end of the day- turned out that was unnecessary and ultimately, pointless. I think people were there to see some gnar gnar surfing. I think people were there to chill and party with their friends and loved ones. The Padang Cup scene blew my little mind, t’was a triumph for ladies, a triumph for gentlemen and a triumph of the motherfucking human spirit.