How Much Would You Pay For A Session Like This? - Stab Mag

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How Much Would You Pay For A Session Like This?

A cost-per-vision breakdown of Kian Martin and Tai Buddha’s latest strike mission.

cinema // Oct 2, 2022
Words by Holden Trnka
Reading Time: 2 minutes

At first glance, this clip probably seems no different from the endless stream of Mentawai barrel-binges we’ve featured on the site for the past few months. And, on the surface, it isn’t. We have a couple gladiators — Kian Martin and Tai “Buddha” Graham in this case — stuffing themselves as deep as possible inside a few North Sumatran reef maulers. In other words, nothing you haven’t seen before.

A closer look into the story behind the clip, however, shows a more unique picture. These fellas didn’t spend two weeks on a luxury surf trip to get this footage. Rather, the conical visions featured here were attained through a classic all-or-nothing strike mission. In fact, this entire clip was filmed in only two days. The fellas stayed at a land camp and, even though they came from Bali, the mission cost them a pretty penny (especially when you consider cost-per-wave.)

How much exactly? 

Well, roughly itemized and converted to USD/AUD:

5 nights stay (mates rates) $1,500 USD / $2,340 AUD

Flights $465 USD / $730 AUD

Drinks/Snacks: $66 USD / $103 AUD

WiFi: $33 USD / $50 AUD

One night in Padang: $50 USD / $78 AUD

Total: $2,114 USD / $ 3,300 AUD

Essentially, a shit ton of coin for two days of surfing.

A big night on the town, or one of these? Your choice.

Not that we’re counting, but in the clip, Kian gets roughly 8 mind-bending-tubes, and Tai gets 6.

For Kian, that means each stint behind the sparkling curtain cost just around $265 USD / $412 AUD. For Tai, each tube-o-vision was roughly worth $352 USD / $550 AUD.

Of course, this is only assuming the money spent was strictly for the purpose of getting kegged, which is an obvious oversimplification. Anyone who’s done a last minute strike mission can attest to the priceless value of memories made in the thick of adventure.

Also worth noting, this is probably cheaper than any mere mortal could manage, considering Tai and Kian are two of the most well-connected individuals in Indonesia’s surf colony. Tai owns Single Fin, and is consistently at the most firing locales each and every swell. Kian, on the other hand, speaks Bahasa, and has more than a handful of industry connects.

Still, this analysis does beg the question…how much would you spend for a wave like that?


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