No Contest: The Triple Crown Of Partying And The Most High-Performance Wave On Tour
“I’ve been to Bali 30 times...I’ve had Bali Belly 30 times!”
Bali ain’t just Bintangs, black sand and upset tummies...it’s home to a permanent CT stopover at Keramas, has a thriving surf culture and is “the biggest party stop on tour.”
It’s been five years since the tour’s been to Keramas and ten years since Uluwatu. So, we had a bit of catching up to do.
Everyone knows Bali has its issues, but we’re not here to rehash the same old song, instead, we covered highlights of what’s inarguably the most high-performance surfing and partying stopover on the CT thus far.
Every Aussie who owns a surfboard has been to Bali at least once, but we weren’t going to get some Aus import to tour us around Kuta’s main strip. Instead, we enlisted the Bali-born Lee Wilson as our guide.
Lee’s a top five surfer in Bali and knows the waves and streets – well other than the one-way roads – better than anyone. Lee ran us to the Chili store and showed us where to grab a vegan feed, before putting on a proper clinic at Keramas.
We also caught up with Tai ‘Buddha’ Graham, the founder of the "bucket list" clifftop restaurant and bar, Single Fin. According to Griff Colapinto, “Bali’s starting to look like the biggest party stop on tour: Single Fin, The Lawn and we’re one away from having a Triple Crown”.
Lee might’ve scored his "No Contest" section under the glow of day, but for a lot of the CT, the only time they could tuck into Keramas out of a jersey was under the shine of the Kommune lights. Italo’s allegedly out there garnering “400” waves before sunrise, while the likes of Matty Wilko are comparatively late risers after sleeping in till 5:30 am.
“Don’t look at the lights though, you’ll go blind,” said filmmaker Jacob Woodrow who paddled out under moon and floodlight to give us a taste of Balinese nightsurfing.
While there’s more to Bali than its nominal sickness, it turns out that most of the tour still succumb to the boisterous Bali Belly each time they visit.
“I’ve been to Indo 30 times...I’ve had Bali Belly 30 times” rang true for more than just Ace Buchan.
In addition, we sussed out the usual local economies, the distance between Keramas, Kuta and Uluwatu – Bali ain’t as small as you’d expect – and a snippet of who you should be betting on over the weekend.