Even over there, it isn’t perfect all of the time. We battled the early onset of the rainy season by taking long drives at 4am to parts of the island that face different directions so the wind was more favorable.
When we asked Rob Schanz what drew him to Indo this Fall, he gave us a surprising response: “I have what I guess people these days call FOMO,” or Fear Of Missing Out. Despite living fifteen minutes from San Francisco’s legendary Ocean Beach, a fall staple for NorCal surf, Rob finally gave in to pushing everything aside for a long overdue trip to Indo- flying from SF to Tokyo to Jakarta to Sumatra for the potentially fickle Indonesian offseason. And so, amid the relative oceanic dormancy of a South Pacific fall, the trip was on.
We always go into such endeavors with a certain set of expectations. The Indonesian islands have been hailed by the surf community as otherworldly, inflated in our imaginations to the point where the ideal is all we know. In the minds of countless foreigners aching to pack up shop and move to paradise, there’s no onshore wind, no seasonal lull, just glassy and consistently overhead left hand barrels year-round, a buffet of empty, hollow caves, of untouched oceanic energy waiting to be harvested by the right rider. “How many times can I see these perfect waves in magazines and films and not go check them out for myself?” Rob asked.
We know, of course, that Indonesia is a real place in the physical world. We just choose to forget that in our bouts of feverous late-night mind-surfing, projecting onto the insides of closed eyelids the filtered ideals of oversaturated surf mag dreams. But then some decide to wake up and make these dreams into realities, buying offseason tickets in hopes of avoiding airlines’ peak season prices and hordes of hungry surf tourists drunk off Bintangs in the lineup.