On the cover: James Hendy, Padang
Words Steve England Photo: Nate Lawrence @lawrence_photo

The Rip Curl 2022 Padang Cup is back, so we have to rerun this story of mate who did well in the surf industry, and runs the comp but couldn’t help himself when he saw empty peelers at Padang.

James and I go way back to our grom days of Porthtowan and chasing surf comps around UK and Europe with a not so crack team of ‘athletes’. It was pretty bloody funny. All our young lives we were told POMS couldn’t surf, which may have been true in two-foot slop. But in heavier juice in Indo and beyond, everyone in our crew did their best to disprove this myth. In our minds we were repping ourselves, our crew, Cornwall and the UK.

So now we are way down the track and James has found himself running the Padang Cup in Bali. The last comp in 2020 at Padang was pumping, and with a 20-minute break before the final, James succumbs to his inner grom, tells the crew that he is going out to grab a quick one. I mean, when you’re the boss and it’s your comp, there’s an empty lineup, what else are you going do?

In return the crew lambast him with usual: “POMS can’t surf.” Unbowed, James borrowed Wilko’s spare board and paddled out in front of the packed cliffs… Banter continues from the channel. A bomb is approaching. James paddles in, takes off, get absolutely slotted, flies into the channel and fires off a double-fingered salute.

So the reason for the cover is this. All his life James chased a dream. He fought against sewage pollution with @surfersagasintsewage, got British and Irish groms sponsored and sent them on amazing trips with RipCurleurope. BUT more importantly when he got the opp, he used his position to pull rank and surf Padang solo. And when that bomb came through he went hard, got pitted and stuck it to the doubters. And if that isn’t reason enough for a cover, I don’t know what is.

For Redruth, The Badlands, Cornwall and St Piran! Oi oi!