24/7 Is Not Enough
Yannick de Jager and Kaspar Hamminga in Indonesia
Photography by Sophie Mylou
Story by 6Surf Magazine/Kaspar Hamminga
I step out of the water over slippery rocks in Pedra Branca, a reefbreak in Ericeira, Portugal. It was crazy. I am totally wrecked and completely satisfied after my three hour session. While getting dressed Krijn, my teammanger at Protest Sporstwear, rings me up.
“Yo Kas, all good?"
“For sure, just got out of the water. Got a lot of hours in. How’re you?"
“Yeah, good, busy. Quick question: watcha doing next week?"
“Next week? Uhmmmm, school. What’s up?"
“Do you think might wanna kick it for a few days in Indonesia with Yannick, shoot some photos and videos and whatnot?"
“Sure I want to, but, time and stuff…you know. I don’t know what I can do. I’ll get back to you."
The outlook was bleak. I was still rounding of my third year of school and had decent amount of deadlines. It all seemed like too much. Then again, no guts, no glory. I finagled some deals with different teacher and project groups and scored ten short days allocated for adventure. No, ten days doesn’t sound like much, but we’re talking about Indonesia, a place I consider one of the most beautiful in the world; I’ll take whatever I can get. After working it all out I call up Yannick and confirm the trip. They book the tickets and I get five days total. Five days to fly back to Holland, make two exams, grab the necessary meds for the trip, and pack up all my shit.
After a layover in Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, I arrive late evening at Denpasar, Bali. Yannick is waiting for me and we ride to where we’re crashing our first few nights: the Brekele Berawa Beach House, a fine place to acclimatise. My first long distance trip ever was to Indonesia; it’s now my third time here. I almost feel like a regular. Along the way to Brekele I stare out of the window searching for the bars and haunts I used to hang. Is it like it once was? Does that little grandma still work there? Looks like that over the past four years a lot has remained, but there is just more of it. What is most noticeable are the newly sprouted hipster bars. They’re geared not just towards the surfers, but also the Australian kids with their shorn hip hairdos who like the Bintang lifestyle in combo with the cool surfy atmosphere. Once we’re at the beach house I jump into the covers.
The alarm goes off early, really early, but thanks to my jetlag I’ve caught a good rhythm. Yesterday we caught a wave at a spot dubbed Carpacks. Yannick and I, amazingly enough, had the place to ourselves. Unfortunately I just couldn’t find my groove. You know the feeling right? You’re stuck in a rut and just can’t shake it. Today was different. the sky opened up and rain poured out along with thunder and lightning. We ran through the storm and towards our driver Base, so called due to the large boom box he’s got in his van. We then head towards, an unknown to me, spot on the east coast, just after a quick pit stop at the local supermarket for a Pop-mie breakfast.
Once we arrive there’s a shoulder-high right-hander wave with a fantastic wall and occasional barrel. After a few more days I find my groove. Back-to-back we catch wave after wave in between the locals and Japanese tourists.
We’ve had a few days of pretty good surfing, but we’re making a lot of effort to get waves just for us. It’s nice to have those in general, but we have to get those quality snaps, which is after all the whole point of the trip.
After a fun morning session on Canggu we recover in our air-conditioned room. The surf was fun, but not perfect. It’s not what we are looking for. I look up on my laptop how the surfs gonna be for the next few days. Not so bad, they say, should be better over the next few. Sure, that’s what they predicted for today as well.
Thanks to a previous trip I know a spot in West Sumbawa that picks up a great swell. Above all it’s a beautiful, and hipster free, area. I try to convince Yannick that we should go there. With little effort he’s on-board and preforming the necessary research. It’s going to be hell of journey but we’re stoked. We need a taxi ride to the airport, a flight from Bali to Lombok, another cab to bring us to the boat, which takes us to Sumbawa, and then a final taxi to the hostel.
We arrive at our destination late yesterday evening. It’s dark and we can’t see the waves. We follow our regular routine, go to bed and rise early, and drive to our special spot. We cruise through the jungle, see little monkeys swing through the trees, and drive across rickety mini bridges. When we reach our destination we can’t believe our eyes: it’s a long right hander point with clean sets of about one-and-a-half to two meters.
It’s such an amazing feeling when reality meets your expectations, a true weight off your shoulders.
“Didn’t I tell you Yan! I knew we had to go here!"
We run right into the water. After a few hours the tide falls and the waves roll even better. Time for another session, especially when the local mineworkers leave for lunch.
Our last day in Paradise in Sumbawa has reached the end. The swell is also retreated, but I have to admit it gives me a kick knowing that Bali is now almost completely flat. Our surf spot however has gotten really crowded. Charter boats are dropping surfers off one by one.
After a few days we spot in the corner of the bay a surf wedging against a super big cliff, creating a fantastic ramp. Due to the crowds we decide to walk across the white beach full of coconuts and crabs. Nobody is in the water and we’ve get a great shoulder-high wave, perfect for a fat hack or high-flyer. My legs feel heavy and I am almost surfed out, but we gotta enjoy the moment and get some more sick shots. In the morning we leave early back to Bali and the fun is almost at an end.
That’s that. This evening I leave to the Netherlands and then hand in some assignments for school before I leave for France during the summer season.
This morning Yannick and I squeeze in some last sessions on Canggu, topped off with brunch at my favourite spot. I order a delicious Nasi Campu with fresh pressed juice. While eating we mull over the last few days. We’ve done so much in such a short time. We both have a sense of great accomplishment. If it were up to me, I would go on more of these short last minute trips. I notice I secretly kinda love it, a little stress does me well and keeps me sharp. Onto the next unplanned adventure!