Carve Magazine Issue 189
New issue is in stores this week and available on the app now for you iPad folk. For next time how about letting the postie take the strain and subscribe?!
We make this mag by going out and doing stuff. There’s not a lot of surfing insight to be gained sitting behind a desk.
Working for a mag is about getting out in the world, hanging with the surfers, suffering the same travel slings and arrows they do. The painful hours lost to airport layovers. The suspect food which may or may not be viande de blaireau*. The long sea crossings where everyone looks like they’re about to spew. The 36-hour bus rides when your guts are tying themselves in knots and the toilet is strictly pee-pee only. The early hours near boat sinkings that leave you sat on deck, with swim fins on, with a waterproof camera case in one hand and a beer in the other. These things we endure to bring you the good gravy. Sometimes it gets a bit close to the knuckle…
One thing that never changes in Indo, no matter which island you’re on, and that is being in a taxi is flipping terrifying. The drivers get a kick out of intentionally trying to make their passengers shite themselves. The horn is used to defy molecular physics it seems.
Our wannabe F1 driver, who had the easy gig of taking Jem, Markie and I from Sibolga to the dinky little airport, seemed to read every nervous laugh as us willing him to go faster. To overtake on even blinder bends, to squeeze in to even narrower gaps between approaching lorries. To make our white knuckles grip even tighter.
We made it to within sight of the airfield control tower without actually soiling ourselves, even though sphincters were definitely puckering, and let out a sigh of relief. As it was literally a long straight with a T-junction at the end to go. We were nearly there … less than a mile to endure.
So, of course, he jabbed the Bowel Loosening Turbo Bastard 3000 button and his little Toyota was hitting about a 100mph down this narrow straight. He of course had forgotten about the big old tree root growing out under the road halfway down…
It was one of those bullet time moments where everything slows down. We hit the ramp. Launched into the air, I remember looking at the driver, he looked at Jem wide-eyed in the passenger seat and managed to do a 90 degree spin of the steering wheel and back again as we flew. Seemingly confused that the tyres weren't touching the tarmac. I looked at Markie, his eyes couldn’t have been wider. This wasn’t intentional. It was very much like the bit in Inception where a second lasts for a minute as the van plunges from the bridge.
I just thought a few times mid-flight: I don’t want to die.
Gravity took charge, we came down with a bump, time sped up painfully, the wheels were a bit squint and he just managed to correct the looming two wheel action. If his fast twitch reflex hadn’t corrected we’d have either beaten the car rolling record set by the stunt team on Casino Royale (seven rolls) or exploded spectacularly into a million very pissed off pieces on a tree.
Suffice to say we were glad to be alive. Even though we all felt like crying. The driver at least actually scared himself. As we got out at the airport, shaking with adrenal overload, the high five he gave us each was his way of saying: ‘Sorry for making your lives flash in front of your eyes guys! I am not liable for any underwear laundry bills.’
Being British we, of course, still gave him a tip.