The sky is falling. That’s what they tell us. Economies are crumbling. Nuclear conflict is festering in the Middle East. The Earth is nearing its boiling point and we’re being punished for our arrogance with drought, flood, fire and Justin Bieber. When the clock strikes twelve this New Year’s Eve, prepare for the shit to hit the fan. Just you wait, it’s gonna make Sodom and Gomorrah look like a tea party. The Mayans prophesied it. So did Jesus. Nostradamus too. We’re all doomed.
But why see the glass as half-empty? Why not instead drink what’s in the glass and order another round? As far as we’re concerned, it’s been another banner year for good times. Dolphins swimming alongside the boat. Grammy-worthy karaoke. Chlorine barrels at the FlowRider. And that was just last week. If this is the end of the world, then we want it to last forever.
Somebody has to squeeze the nectar out of this life, and our friends featured on these pages have taken it upon themselves to bleed it dry. We made this little zine about them. After so many escapades, there was too much good material piling up, screaming to be released. We had no choice. Consider this a rough guide for a life well lived. Take risks. Break a few rules. Get lost. And if the sudden urge for a Bruce Lee flying kick strikes you, don’t fight it.
So get comfortable, friend. Settle back on the couch. Pour out a glass of something good. Turn the pages and enjoy this sunny prelude to the impending doom and gloom in the forecast. Grand finales are overrated anyway.– Bali Belly
Inside Issue 001...
A Kick In The Pants From Uncle Riz
When Rizal offered to pen some words for the first issue of Bali Belly, we gladly cleared some pages and found him a seat in front of the typewriter. Turns out, Uncle Riz has a lot to say. Listen up, groms!
John vs. Dane
Forget Pacquiao vs. Mayweather, this is the showdown we've been waiting for: John Florence vs. Dane Reynolds, the Rumble in the (Indo) Jungle between the two best surfers in the world. Flip the pages of this heavyweight photo feature, mark your score card, and decide who the winner is (you can't be any worse than the ASP judges this year).
Made “Bol” Adi Putra receives a mysterious phone call one evening. A developer is interested in buying his family's land in the heart of Kuta. Could this be Bol's big pay day? Let's listen in...
Uji “Hahan” Handoko
The trippy space scene on the cover of Bali Belly Issue 001 was custom designed by Hahan, an up-and-coming artist from Yogyakarta. Hahan is a little R. Crumb and a little Andy Warhol. He prefers Jägermeister and intellectual women. His work has exhibited around the world, from Australia to South Korea to Cuba. Here is a sampling.
Damn Good Night
Elvis is alive! And he's singing rockabilly tunes at the Balcony in Kuta, looking more tanned than you remember. He goes by the name of Marshello and his day job is lifeguarding in speedos at Kuta Beach. At night he breaks out his blue suede shoes, hits the stage with his band and makes sure everyone has a damn good night on the dance floor. What does Marshello's perfect night look like? We asked the King.
The Boat Trip
Lee Wilson, Jay Davies and Marlon Gerber boarded a sinking fishing boat and headed out to a deserted island during the biggest swell of the season. They returned to Bali claiming to have scored the best waves of their lives. The boys have been waiting anxiously to see these photos run.
The Russians Are Coming!
Russian surf schools are multiplying in Bali faster than you can say “Vladivostok.” On any given day at Halfway you will find legions of their students slapping the water while their instructors struggle to stay afloat. We captured one of the generals leading Russia's surfing invasion of Bali, a self-proclaimed Russian national longboard champ living in Seminyak. We demanded answers. When he refused, we waterboarded him until we got some.
Big City Problem
Remember at the end of The Hangover 2 when the guys find their camera and go through all the photos from the previous night’s rampage in Bangkok? That’s what our friend Albert “Betet” Judiyanto’s photography reminds us of, except his photos have hung on the walls of fancy art galleries. And, lucky for you, now they're in Bali Belly.
In the surf ghetto of Lakey Peak, opportunity and surfing are inextricably bound. And for the locals in this remote corner of Sumbawa, no one represents opportunity realized more than 19-year-old Oney Anwar.
PLUS: The five biggest moves from the Kustom Air Strike mission to the Ments, Garut Widiarta unfiltered (and several Bintangs down), and the best photos of 2012 from all over Indonesia, featuring: Dane Reynolds, Marlon Gerber, John Florence, Lee Wilson, Ozzie Wright, Mega Semadhi, Craig Anderson, Bol Adi Putra, Chippa Wilson, Betet Merta and more people you want to see surf.