Took a gamble on a swell and hopped a flight over to Lombok from Bali. So stoked to be the first guy in the water at dawn every morning to score absolutely perfect waves for three days.
I am not a morning person. I like to sleep in and surf after coffee, but when the waves are absolutely perfect and there is no coffee around, I will crack it. Good thing I did, because some of my best barrels were in the dark of morning.
The trip over there was classic. Had a piece of scratch paper and a small tip for an airport boarding pass, flew a sketchy propeller plane that would drop our stomachs every couple minutes, and almost went off the road a few times during the two-hour high-speed taxi ride through the jungle into the desert.
Once we got to the wave, after around six hours of travel, we dropped our gear in our humble accommodations and went surfing. The surf was small but perfect. It was really shallow and there were only three other guys out, who happened to be local kids. I took off on my first wave, timed the barrel wrong, and ran up onto the reef, breaking my board.
He told me he was sponsored by Rusty, and he was so stoked I was riding a Rusty so his product would stay consistent. I ended up giving him my sunglasses and a bunch of other stuff, and told him he was now sponsored by all the teams I ride for. He was stoked. Lots of the pros who go to this wave stoke out the kids, which is really cool because without visiting surfers, there would be absolutely nobody visiting there and the kids wouldn’t have any surfboards to ride.
Sari surfs really good for a kid who lives out in the middle of nowhere at the most fickle wave on the planet. Sari told me his goal was to dig a well (wells are the only source of fresh water out there) and build a handful of bamboo shacks for the traveling surfers to stay in. He said he needed 10 grand and all of his dreams would come true. If I had 10 grand to give him, I would—in exchange for all the best set waves that come through every time I visit.
Sari’s father is the hardest-working old man I have ever seen. From sunup to sundown he was working away, cutting bamboo, picking shrubs, cleaning up the dirt, and herding cows, goats, chickens, and dogs. His wife was in charge of cooking all the meals out of the bare-bones kitchen.
I ended up getting really sick from dengue fever out there in the desert, but scored some absolutely perfect waves. I would like to go back there sometime next season, give Sari another board and pair of sunglasses, and get some barrels.
I really like how simple the desert was. It is amazing that with some great waves and only having a simple water well, bamboo hut, surfboard, and some food to eat, I can be as happy as I have ever been. I think that’s pretty awesome. Thank you, Lombok.