In just a few weeks the surfing world’s attention will turn to the Indonesian island of Bali when the Rip Curl Cup returns to the storied lefthand barrels of Padang Padang. The opening ceremony kicks off the action to surfing’s premier renegade contest on July 9.
With a non-stop barrage of swell lighting up Indonesia’s world-class reefs this May and early June, it appears the Indian Ocean is kicking things into high gear just in time for the year’s most anticipated barrel-riding showdown.
“We’ve had more big swells in the first two months of this season than we had all last year,” local Bali surfer and 2014 Rip Curl Cup Champion Garut Widiarta said. “It feels like Padang has been breaking non-stop. Hopefully this means we’re in for a special swell at Padang for the Rip Curl Cup this year.”
For the second year in a row the Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang will be a WSL sanctioned event, bringing all the drama and unsurpassed action of the “Ultimate Tuberiding Contest” to a massive global audience.
“It’s always an exciting time of year when the Rip Curl Cup holding period opens,” WSL Australia/Oceania Regional Manager Will Hayden-Smith said. “I know a lot of people keep an eye on the Indonesia swell charts waiting for it to be called on. It’s an exciting event that sees Indonesia’s best take on some international tube riding specialists. I can’t wait to see Padang Padang fire up and put on a show. Thanks to the Rip Curl crew in Indonesia for all of their work making this prestigious event happen.”
While the WSL sanctioning is befitting of Indonesia’s most prestigious and historic surf contest, Rip Curl Southeast Asia Marketing Manager James Hendy says the formula for the Rip Curl Cup, regarded as having the highest wave standards in pro surfing, will remain unchanged.
“We are thrilled to once again have the WSL’s support and expertise in showcasing the best tuberiding show of the year to an ever-growing global audience, but the roots of the Rip Curl Cup remain the same,” Hendy said. “Only the most respected tuberiders in the world will receive an invitation to compete for The Cup, and the contest doesn’t run until the barrels at Padang Padang are all-time.”
The holding period for the 2017 Rip Curl Cup runs from July 10 to August 10, a full month during the peak of Indonesia’s prime swell season, providing the event with the best odds of scoring the cavernous jade barrels the Balinese Pipeline is world-famous for.
As a WSL “specialty event,” entry to the Rip Curl Cup is not based on qualification points or current WSL rankings. Ability, reputation, and track record at the heaviest, most hollow waves around the globe are the sole criteria for an invitation.
Over its 14-year run, the Rip Curl Cup has seen some of the finest tube masters of the modern era compete in the spitting barrels of Padang Padang, including John Florence, Bruce Irons, Jamie O’Brien, Chris Ward, Anthony Walsh and Jack Robinson. Meanwhile, Indonesia’s top surfers like Rizal Tandjung, Garut Widiarta, Lee Wilson and two-time and reigning Rip Curl Cup Champion Mega Semadhi have consistently proven they can compete with the best in the world on their home turf.
The complete 2017 Rip Curl Cup surfer lineup will be released to the world on June 26.
“Last year only one of the four surfers in the final was from Indonesia, but he was the Champion,” Widiarta said, referring to fellow Balinese surfer Mega Semadhi. “When I won in 2014, it was me versus my cousin in an all-Indonesian final. As Indonesian surfers, we know we have a special opportunity to compete against some of the best tube masters in the world. We know the whole world will be watching. And we know we can win.”