Reminiscing On Indonesia

This year will be our 20th year going back to Indonesia. Here is a tiny snippet into the hearts of some of our team members that have gone previously..

Tom Bauer: Founder and President of Surfing The Nations and has been to Indonesia 19 times with STN!

What inspired you to made a 20-year commitment to go back to Indonesia annually?

My opinion has always been that if you could go to only one place in your lifetime, Indonesia should be that place! It is the second largest surf destination in the world. It has incredible culture, food, shopping, surfing – it has everything. It’s a magical place.

Charis Ifland: Executive Leadership for STN and was a member of the very first trip to Indonesia back in 1997!

What’s your favourite memory from Indonesia?

My favorite memory is from 3 little islands off of Lombok called Gili. The first time I went was when I was 12 years old. There was a girl named Eka, and due to our similarity in age, we became friends. Little did I know, she was the daughter of the islands imam (the elder of the local mosque). We became incredibly close, and because Eka was the imam’s daughter, we were able to get real favor with him and the rest of the island. We became a part of their family and were welcomed into their home and village. Gili Air will always have a special place in my heart because of that relationship.

Ryley Snyder: Division Head for our Surf department and has been to Indonesia 2 times.

What’s your favorite surfing experience from Indonesia?

There are so many crazy surfing experiences in Indo. One of my favorites was at Desert Point, Lombok. It was supposed to be our last day; we had all woken up super early and had all of our bags packed. The plan was to get on a boat and head out on our next new adventure, but I got word that the boat wasn’t coming that day. The rest of my team decided to go surfing at another spot, and I stayed back to catch up with some of my local friends. The ocean was flat that day so we decided to grab lunch and recharge, since I was pretty tired from leading the team for the last couple weeks. In Indo, the waves change very quickly with the tide. It can go from a lake to perfect waves in less than an hour. To our surprise, the waves started picking up and we grabbed our boards and headed out. It just kept getting better and better! I ended up sharing all these waves with the local guys. There were only 5 of us out there, and we kept trading off waves. The waves continued to get heavier and heavier. One of the guys called me into his wave, saying “Go! Go!” Technically it was his wave, but he gave it to me and honored me at his home spot. So, I went for it – it was the gnarliest barrel of my life. The reason Desert Point is the 3rd best wave in the world because it’s such a perfect left. I think I was able to earn their respect that day.

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