Our journey so far in Indonesia has been a whirlwind of unique experiences, from the bustling streets of Uluwatu to the tranquil beaches of Sumbawa read on about Indonesian sights, sounds and slappings


We started at Uluwatu, probably the most famous wave in Bali. It was awesome but crowded, with over 100 people in the water most days. It’s not too serious, usually, with plenty of room to move in the massive lineup.

Things went a bit pear, however, when a local Indonesian surfer, a surf coach about 35 years old, decided to vent his frustration from the crowds on my 15-year-old son by slapping him around the head and holding him underwater for some vague indiscretion in amongst a throng of surfers. When the bully was confronted on the beach afterwards by a furious father (me), he denied everything in front of a crowd of locals and ran away to hide.

I approached the people I know in Bali about how to approach this situation and was told that if I lay a charge against a local, nothing would happen; lay a finger on a local, and you would possibly go to jail.


So, live and let live, we decided to leave Bali and head to Sumbawa.

Our plane was delayed for two hours, which is fine, except it meant that we would be landing in Bima, Sumbawa, in the dark, which is also fine, except the airport doesn’t operate at night (no landing lights.)

We landed in the dark. My nerves were shot.

Of the 28-odd surfboards booked onto the plane, mine never arrived, so we headed off for the two-hour taxi ride to our destination without my boards. I had to pay a special taxi fair to get them delivered the next day after it cost R3k to put the surfboards on the plane in the first place, which never happened.

Business Class Surfboard

Arriving at Huu Beach, Dompu Regency, we noticed that our regular homestay accommodation had a new and massive ‘wall of China’ surrounding it, blocking our access to the beach. Due to family jealousy, some family disputes had seen the landowners build a gigantic wall to prevent access to the beach. On top of this, I developed a cough that soon became a fever that might or might not have been COVID-19 – there were many sick people on the plane, spluttering and coughing, with the sounds of phlegm messing up our meal pleasure.

Long story short, the boards arrived, we moved to a less restrictive accommodation, the flu thing seems to have moved on, the waves are great, and the people are so friendly, having seen their village decimated during the Covid years – they had no food deliveries coming in and it was a kind of subsistence survival situation for over a year – they now welcome tourists with open arms as opposed to the wariness of years gone by.

The sun is out, the mood at the beach is pleasantly languid, the Indonesian coffee is next level, and some great surf is on the way.

Stay tuned for more.


see also: Jordy Smith and Matt McGillivray Make The Cut, Kelly Slater Bows Out at Western Australia Margaret River Pro