Stab Magazine | Which CTers Just Hopped On A Sneaky Boat Trip To The Ments?

Which CTers Just Hopped On A Sneaky Boat Trip To The Ments?

Empty. Pumping. Uncrowded like it’s 1975.

Words by Taylor Paul

In early July the Indonesian government announced a three-step reopening plan that culminated with Bali welcoming foreigners on September 11. The timing wasn’t a nod to USA’s most deadly terror attack, but rather a priest-approved day on the Hindu calendar.

But when COVID didn’t magically disappear, they postponed the September 11 opening, and surfers around the world wept quietly into their domestic pillows. Then, on August 25 Indonesia released a confusing press release that seemed to reinforce the original September 11 plan. Surfers cheered. Blogs rushed to share the good news. But anyone that read all the way to the bottom saw this line:

“However, regarding the third stage of New Life Order protocol, Bali still has not been able to open up to foreign tourists as previously planned on September 11. Following the central government / RI, Indonesia will still extend the travel ban until at least the end of 2020.”

And the surfers wept once more. 

Screen Shot 2020 09 01 at 12.32.12 PM

Indo won’t officially open for business until at least 2021, and when it does, it won’t look like this. Photo: @siboncharters

Well, except for a handful of tenacious Southern Californians who refused to wait for their invitation, and started probing for a way to get into surfing’s greatest pleasure playground.

Because while Indonesia is closed to “all travelers who are not Indonesian nationals” according to Kayak’s travel restrictions pageit goes on to list a bunch of exceptions, including, “Temporary Stay Permit (ITAS) and Permanent Stay Permit (ITAP) holders, travelers with a visa issued after March 31, 2020, airline crew, diplomats, humanitarian aid workers, and foreigners working on strategic national projects.”

And there, in the 50 shades of gray area, is where one can find an opening.

The San Clemente crew — Kolohe Andino, Griffin Colapinto, Luke Davis, Ian Crane and Crosby Colapinto — is reportedly looking to invest in a surf camp in the Mentawais and entered with a business visa. @lost_indo’s Instagram shared a photo of the crew with the caption “Strictly Business… Essential AF”

From the looks of it, they’ll be conducting business from the Sibon Baru, a 62-foot catamaran with six cabins that operates out of Padang.

The forecast looks insane, with multiple 6-10 foot swells lined up through September 13, so they’ll presumably be able to surf a bit between meetings. 

Strider Wasilewski is another American in Indo at the moment, enjoying Bali without crowds. Maybe he’s doing business, too?

According to Travel Document Systems, a visa expediting service out of L.A., the requirements for a business visa include a letter from your business, a letter of invitation from a business in Indonesia, among other things. Maybe it’s time you finally open that Mexican food spot you claim Bali so desperately needs? (“But like, real Mexican.”)

Strider’s hashtags were #likebaliinthe70s and #findaway. Remember when I talked about Pandemic PioneersThe people that would do what it took — bust through red tape or wiggle through loopholes — to get to these places and experience this momentary regression to a simpler, less crowded time? This is what I was talking about. Good for you, Strider. Good for you, San Clemente crew. I can’t wait to visit your surf camp, and try your Mexican food.


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

What Did We Learn From The Olympics?

The biggest takeaways from a writer who watched every single heat.

Jul 28, 2021

Covert Jr. Editor Virtually Slips Through The Heavily Guarded Gates Of Olympic Surfing

Better watch now, this won't stay up for very long.

Jul 28, 2021

Neal Purchase Jnr Shapes The Feeling He’s Searching For

Great artists hide themselves in their work.

Jul 28, 2021

You Could Fit Your Neighbor’s Sprinter Van Inside Of These Puerto Escondido Tunnels

Mexican Pipeline continues to churn out the goods.

Jul 27, 2021

Where Are We At With Sustainable Surfboards?

Hello, elephant in the room! Let's hear from some industry innovators.

Jul 27, 2021

Italo Ferreira and Carissa Moore Are Surfing’s First-Ever Olympic Gold Medalists

Here's how they won.

Jul 27, 2021

Everything You Never Knew About Italo Ferreira

A window into the gold medalist's meteoric rise.

Jul 27, 2021

John Florence Listed As Questionable For The Remainder Of The CT Season

“I’ll most likely make the decision in the next two days or so.”

Jul 26, 2021

The Flamboyantly-Dressed Man Who Got Surfing Into The Olympics Details His Experience

ISA President Fernando Aguerre opens up to Stab the day before the gold medal match.

Jul 26, 2021

Steph Falls Off Her Horse, Andino Triumphs Over John, Gabs Potentially Spells End To Jules’ Career Outside Contest Area

Big-ish waves, sharp surfing and no shortage of drama on day 2 of the Olympic…

Jul 26, 2021

Do You Talk In The Lineup?

The Misc: Half-spoken rules

Jul 26, 2021

Shizunami’s Provocative Chlorine Ramp Continues To Tempt Us

The Volcom Japan team dips its toes in the world’s most desirable wave pool.

Jul 26, 2021

Is This The Best Air Ever Done By A Female Surfer?

Erin Brooks does the honors.

Jul 26, 2021

Mason Ho Does The Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive and Dodge In Sandy Mexican Drainpipes

That's a bold move, Cotton.

Jul 25, 2021

ISA President Explains Why Olympic Organizers Wouldn’t Put The Event On Hold For Carlos Muñoz

Basically, it comes down to waves.

Jul 25, 2021

It’s Official: Italo Ferreira And Gabriel Medina Could Go Head-To-Head For Surfing’s First-Ever Olympic Gold Medal

And, with the new heat draw locked, a massive decision looms—change the schedule or not?

Jul 25, 2021

STOP THE OLYMPICS, #LetCarlosSurf Goes Bezerk On Opening Day Of Competition

Olympic surfing makes its debut at Tsurigasaki Beach, Chiba!

Jul 25, 2021

What A Tragic Waste, Or Those Were The Fucken Days?

Review: Biarritz Surf Gang is a wonderful film.

Jul 25, 2021