A hypothetical circuit staged in surfing’s Disneyland archipelago
Memory is a strange thing, and as time goes on the human mind tweaks and adjusts your memories to suit your current mindset and make-up. Some memories slowly become more beautiful over time, while others become dank and inconsequential, slowly pushed away until forgotten.
The Country Feeling Dream Sequence in J-Bay is hard to piece together from memory. There were no cell phones or digital cameras in 1991, it was drizzling, with poor light, and many surfers weren’t that into competitive surfing in South Africa at the time, and instead bemoaned the fact the Supers was taken over by a bunch of Aussies for a day.
The event slogan, according to my fairly ponderous memory banks, was ‘Dreams are free; love your dog.’
It was, as I remember, a reminder of the certainties in life. Much like death and taxes, we can be sure that our dreams will always be free, and if you love your dog, it’ll love you back. Bullet-proof positivity that no one could argue with.
The contest format was different and I can’t remember how it worked. Something of a free session, round-robin kind of tourney, with an assessment at the end. There was a home made video of the competition floating around Cape Town for a few years until DVD killed the video star, and the visual memory is of Luke Egan smashing it knock-kneed on his backhand again and again and again.
Grumpy Luke won a piece of land at Supers as the first prize, and it might or might not have kick-started him off as the businessman/property mogul he is today, but either way the format, concept and action of the event was shockingly original in 1991, and still resonates today.
It resonates in the face of the poor conditions faced on the QS tour at so many locations around the world, and it resonates in the face of very poor judging decisions at the CT events (Jordy Smith, Uluwatu Pro)
It also resonates in the face of a very faint and distant tinkling of a rumour of an Indo-based rebel tour that might only be the figment of an online commentator’s imagination, but just think about it...
Indonesia? Yep, it could host a tour for sure. Over the years it has hosted Quiksilver CT events at G-Land, and before that there was the OM Bali Pro at Uluwatu, won by Jim Banks. The recent Uluwatu Pro was a massive success, and the Rip Curl Cup at Padang Padang is also a fave event to many non- qualified free surf phenoms. There was a QS event at HT’s, Lakey Peak has hosted similar events before, and Surfer Mag took a crew out to surf perfect waves off a boat in the Mentawais years ago with Sam George, also with an alternate judging criteria, which was won by Occy. There was even a QS event in Krui, South Sumatra, this year, and let’s please not forget Keramas.
Imagine an alternate tour, with those seven venues as event locations. The correct seasonal windows, and a refreshed and recalibrated contest format. Eight-foot G-Land, HTs cracking through, Rifles or Nokanduis reeling, and the consistent Uluwatus pouring over Outside Corner or Inside Corner for the best surfers in the world.
Imagine a tour that ends at Keramas, the ultimate high-performance wave, where the world’s best choose to go when sourcing clips for their digital resumes.
And if that were to happen, if an Indonesian tour were to miraculously develop, and somehow end up with a final event at Keramas, it’s kinda ironic that the Komune Resort - the only place to stay at when you go to Keramas - is part-owned by Big Luke Egan as well, the first surfer to be rewarded from an unconventional surfing tournament.