Imagine for a second that you are a professional surfer, you’ve travelled over 30 hours and half way round the world. You have 25 or 30 minutes to make it through your heat, lose and you may not even make enough money to break even on your accommodation. Welcome to the world of a professional female surfer.
The World Surf League’s qualifying series is called the World Qualifying series or the WQS as it’s known takes surfers all around the world chasing enough points to qualify for the World Championship Tour, the WCT or for the WCT surfers to requalify if they drop out of the Top 10. Some years it can mean only to or three surfers will graduate from the WQS to the WCT.
Prizemoney on the WQS is good if you’re winning but takeout all the expenses such as flights, accommodation and food, then you need to be winning but what if you’re lower on the rankings and can not get into a WQS 6000 event then you may have to work your way up through the WQS 1000 events.
A good idea is to team up with other surfers and share the load as sponsorship dollars only go so far, they are more likely to recieve boards and equipment.
A great example of this is Dominic Barona, Melanie Guinta, Silvana Lima and Luchy Cosoleto. These girls travel together and not only share expenses but give support for each other. Having this support is vital and they all want each other to win. If one of the girls bow out of the event, they turn up and support the ones still surfing. It’s a sytem that I have witnessed firsthand.
It’s no doubt the girls are colourful, loud and passionate. Could the Australian girls learn from the South American girls and is this is what makes the South American girls such a force in professional surfing.
I think this support of each other helps celebrate the wins and makes loses easier to bear.
Two new videos of Nusa Lemongen, one is a bit of a tour and the second is some average surfing.
Nusa Lembongan is one of a series of three islands off the coast of mainland Bali, which is made up from Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Pendina.
Lembongan is truly a great place and is probably still one of the hidden gems in the area. It has natural beauty, is fairly small and you always feel safe.
The decision to go to Lembongan was made due to hearing about the island through a friend at work.
The easiest way to begin the trip to Nusa Lembongan is to land in Bali, then make your way to Sanur. The reason for this is that most of the boats that travel to Lembongan depart from there. We stayed at the Inna Grand in Sanur, which was a short walk to the office of our boat, Sri Rejeki Fast Boat. This was a good choice as they do hotel pick up in Bali then Hotel drop off in Lambongan.
Getting on the boat is the start of the adventure, put your footwear (shoes, thongs or fliplops) into a crate and watch your bags get stacked onto the top deck of the boat. Getting on and off the boat means your going to get wet, at least to the bottom of your shorts. Entry is via the back of the boats and it’s done on the beach. It’s all pretty smooth and easy, just keep phones and ipods in your backpack.
The trip takes about 25 to 30 minutes depending on the seas and weather but it’s a good run. Getting off the boat is pretty much a reverse procedure, again it’s pretty easy. As previously mentioned your boat ride includes the transfer to your accommodation.
We stayed at the Mahagiri Resort in Lembongan, which is one of the newer hotels on the island. First thing you should do when you get there is hire a scooter. It’s again very easy to do as nearly every place hires scooters. For surfers I recommend getting one with a surfboard rack, it makes life easy. It also gives you the chance to have a look around for food places. Scooters or as we called ours, the mighty hog cost around 700,000 Rupiah a day or $7 AUD. You pay and take the scooter, no forms, no licence but some basic instruction….don’t crash as most Travel Insurance don’t cover Scooters. At first the roads seem chaotic but you quickly learn there is a system and a lack of agro, very pleasent indeed.
There are many food options on the island and I have to say they are all good and cater to everyone, even the gluten free, dairy free and vegans. You will quickly find your favourite. We found The Sampan, Bali Eco Deli (great coffee), Mickey’s Sports Bar, Nyomans Warung (great fish in banana leaf), The Deck Cafe & Bar, Tiki Cafe & Bar and the Thai Pantry which has a VW Kombi as a bar on the deck overlooking Lembongan Harbour.
As a surfer I was keen to hit the water. The water is clean, clear and warm. During September it is around 27 degrees each day. The best surfing is on the mid to high tide. I thought it might be ok on the low tide but this was a really bad idea. During this session the reef boots I purchased, paid for themselves six times over.
The main breaks are Playgrounds, Lacerations, Shipwrecks and Ceningan Lefts.
Playgrounds is a nice fun wave for beginners to immediate surfers, which breaks left and right. The left seemed to break better for me and it was fun when I hired a mini mal from the guys at Long Sambung Beach (Coconut Bay). They will also help you out with a lift to the breaks but it’s really not required for Playgrounds. A board will cost you around 500,000 to 700,000 rupiah a day. Again this is only $5 to $7 AUD for the day.
The next break is Lacerations and I’m glad it never lived up to it’s name. Again good for beginner to intermediate, this wave is a great little right hander and really fun. Between Lacerations and the next break, Shipwrecks is No Mans Land, take note and stay away.
The third break, Shipwrecks is definitely Intermediate to Advanced and although you can paddle out, grab a boat on the way out and paddle in. Shipwrecks really pumps! All the waves have plenty of power in the and the crowds are great during the time I was there anyway.
Crossing the Yellow Bridge takes you to the other surf break, Ceningan Lefts, a ripper of a left hander. The Yellow Bridge is the only way to get there and is only wide enough for two scooters or one scooter and a few pedestrians with luggage.
There is a small wave at Tamarind Beach on Lembongan and it looked alright for a beginner on a mal.
One of the big drawcards of Lembongan is the amazing sunsets. Grab a Happy Hour drink and sit back and enjoy.
You can do as much or as little as you want on Lembongan. Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, Paddle Boarding or every other watersport like parasailing, even banana boat rides.
Every eatery has Wi-Fi, you can keep in contact with the outside world and make your friends envious with your Instagram and Facebook posts while having a cool Bintang.
Speaking of Bintang, the local small shops and the Adi Mart do largies for 350,000 rupiah ($3.50 AUD). Wine is quite expensive as are spirits however if you are going to have a mojito then this is the place to do it, especially at sunset.
Nusa lembongan is an amazing paradise, it’s Bali but not Bali if that makes sense. We had a 10 day stay on Lembongan and many people we met along the way, wished they stayed longer. It’s relaxing and great for everyone from backpackers to 5 Star, singles to families. Just try to stay away from the last two weeks of September, nothing bad will happen then, I just want it all to myself.
Surfing locally is great, you know the breaks and you know the people yet you keep seeing
some amazing waves in surf magazines, wishing you could surf waves like that.
Well you can, there are a range of surf trips out there to some exotic locations around the
world but how do you figure out where and when to go?
You can ask other people where they have been to but there is much more to it than word
of mouth and as most people know, local knowledge is a handy thing to have.
“A good surf travel company can select the right trip for you, right down to the airfares
and transfers” states Ben Horvath, Marketing Manager from The Perfect Wave who
specialise in Surf Travel.
“We try to build the trip around you and your needs. Our consultants are all specialists
in the surf and snow travel industry and we want you to have the best experience
The Perfect Wave are a one stop shop for surf travel but be prepared for questions
from the consultants.
“We generally want to find out where you think you’d like to go, what time of year
you’re looking at and whether the location is suited to your ability”.
The options for travel include land or boat based and they know the right places
to take your family or significant other.
A quick look at the menu shows a trip that would be many surfers dream trip.
The “Surfing with A Legend” package see’s the surfers head on a surfing trip with
the likes of Occy, Barton Lynch, Bob McTavish,and Pam Burridge..
One thing The Perfect Waves specialize in is surf trips designed for women. The trip
called, “She Surfs” is an all girl surf trip.
There are two tours for women, with one designed for beginner to immediate, which has two qualified surf coaches and a surf guide that are focused on finding the right wave in the right conditions.
The other trip for women stays at the Atoli Resort in Mentawai, has a range of world class breaks not far from the front door. This trip includes land based accommodation and a surf photographer to document your epic waves.
The men aren’t left out by any means.
It doesn’t matter if your dreams are to charge the long walls of the Mentawai or learning to surf at Swimming Pools, Fiji then there is a trip for you.
For the men, everything is on the table and the menu is spectacular. Why not tey something different and sample the delights of lesser known spots like Sri Lanka?
The large range of trips cover most of the planet, if there’s surf then there’s a trip.
A quick glance at the website will show surf trips for Longboards, Bodyboards and even Stand Up Paddleboards.
Even thinking of traveling with your significant other?
There are packages for couples that surf yet The Perfect Waves have you covered if they don’t.
Next month we take a look at individual trips. First stop on the journey is Mentawai.