As the surfing world prepares to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the Rip Curl Cup Invitational at Padang Padang, contest organizers this week made a very exciting announcement:
For the first time in history, a women’s event will be held in conjunction with the men’s on the best day of waves all season at Padang Padang. The 2023 Rip Curl Cup Women’s Invitational at Padang Padang will feature an elite field of the world’s top female tube riders competing alongside Indonesia’s best and a prize purse equal to the men’s.
The women’s and men’s events will be held concurrently on the same day, when Padang Padang is at its best. Men’s and women’s competition rounds will be staggered, with the women’s championship final scheduled to run immediately before the men’s final on the afternoon low tide, ensuring both groups of athletes have the opportunity to perform in ideal barreling conditions.
Among the top female tube specialists confirmed to compete in the inaugural women’s contest at Padang is 15-year-old surfing phenom Erin Brooks (CAN), who reached the championship final and claimed fourth place competing against the men last year. The Texas-born surfing savant, who grew up in Maui, Hawaii, applauded the decision to run the women’s and men’s competitions concurrently on the same day, when Padang Padang is at its best.
“I was so excited to hear that Rip Curl was launching the first-ever women’s contest at Padang Padang,” Brooks said. “It’s an amazing opportunity for the best female barrel riders to showcase our skills on an incredible wave in one of my favourite places in the world!”
Surf fans around the world are now counting down the days as Rip Curl prepares to bring all the drama and unsurpassed action of the “Ultimate Tuberiding Contest” to a massive global audience for another year of history in the making.
The holding period for the 2023 Rip Curl Cup runs from 1st – 31st of August, a full month during the peak of Indonesia’s prime swell season, providing the event with the best odds of scoring the mythical spitting barrels the Balinese Pipeline is world-famous for.
Among the world’s best barrel riders confirmed to push the limits of tube riding in pursuit of the prestigious men’s title are defending champion Clay Marzo (HAW), Kolohe Andino (USA) and Mason Ho (HAW). The full list of invited surfers, for both the women’s and men’s events, will be revealed at the official opening ceremony, to be held at Padang Beach on Sunday, July 30th.
ith past men’s champions such as Jack Robinson (AUS), Jamie O’Brien (HAW) and Chris Ward (USA) having etched their names on the historic Rip Curl Cup trophy, expect to see a roll call of the best tube riders on Earth gather at Padang in 2023 to challenge for one of the most prestigious titles in competitive surfing.
Meanwhile, the Rip Curl Cup Local Trials holding period is already underway. As of this writing, the trials may be called ON any day between July 1st-31st when a swell of proper magnitude forms in the southern Indian Ocean and Padang Padang roars to life.
As the Top 4 placing local surfers in last year’s main event, Mega Semadhi, Mega Artana, Garut Widiarta and Mustofa Jeksen all earned automatic entries to the 2023 Rip Curl Cup main event. The four remaining Indonesian surfer spots will be determined by the Local Trials.
Former men’s finalist, and current trials surfer, Betet Merta is hoping a big Padang swell shows up soon so he can punch his ticket back into the main event.
“It’s been a strange surf season so far in Bali,” Merta said. “It’s already July and we still haven’t had any really big swells. This week the conditions have been like rainy season in Bali with onshore winds in Uluwatu. But we all know that can change very quick. We’re all praying for that first big Padang swell to come this July – and if we can get it for the Local Trials I’ll already be stoked to surf barreling Padang with just three other surfers out – making it into the main event would be a bonus.”
RIP CURL CUP PADANG PADANG 2023 EVENT SCHEDULE:
Trials Holding Period
July 1st – 31st
Main Event Holding Period
August 1st – 31st
Rip Curl Planet Beach Cleanup
Friday, July 28th at 8 AM, Padang Padang Beach, Bali
Sunday, July 30th at 1 PM, Padang Padang Beach, Bali
1. Media Luncheon
2. Meet the invited athletes
3. Press conference
4. Traditional Balinese Kecak Dance performance
Official Rip Curl Cup Party
Friday, August 25th 5PM – Midnight.
Live performance by special guest at Ulu Cliff House