It wasn’t the solid swell that was predicted, but building waves gave promise to day two.
It was a boards-free, crash-smash bodysurfing display at the famed Canggu Right, and surfers paddled out at 7am sharp. Storm clouds loomed, but apart from a brief shower, they held off, the sun breaking free around 8:30 to illuminate an increased swell, four or five feet of Canggu perfection welcoming contestants and spectators alike.
The stuff these guys could do with nothing but what they were born with was stellar, and an array of names – known and unknown – dominated. Advancing to the first heat, local womper, Gino paid rich for his second round spot, ripping strips from his torso on the inside reef, but his blood-streaked chest didn’t diminish his smile.
The coffees were flowing from the Deus Bar & Grill, breakfasts and pastries on offer and feeding up the chilled and appreciative crowd, morning munchies after an enthusiastic first night celebration.
Of the surfers, Teiki, Simon Patchett, former winner Harrison Roach and the lone female entrant, Loz Williams shredded, high lines, barrels and an acute wave knowledge setting the bar high.
As well as competing, Jared Mell expended much of his energy on the microphone, non-stop commentary firing across the beach, as comical, hilarious and often surreal as it was enthusiastic, sending good vibes and good laughs across the crowd.
Regular inside banks were tempting, but when the high-scoring four-wave bombs came through, most were caught off-guard with a big paddle ahead. Patience paid off for the few, with Thomas Bexon and the festival’s youngest contestant, Tom Morat scoring big. But late entry and local legend, Tai Buddha cashed in his chips, reading the waves perfectly, setting position and trimming his way through to the sand.
The Deus Womp Comp may have heats, judges and score cards, but it’s a stokefest, and the beers were flowing just like the swell. Loose in every way, the party rolled through the day in and out of the water.
The Toms – Bexon and Morat – mixed things up with a tandem the protégé mounting his master, Bexon piggybacking Morat through a charger.
With waves as good as they get, the legendary Canggu Right turning on all its glory for the event, it’s no surprise that the bodysurfing, too, was next level. As the high tide rose, washing sandals, bean bags and everything that wasn’t strapped down across the sandbar, so too did the waves and the exhibition of womping.
Simon Patchett, Harrison Roach, Dylan Kazmerek and Lewie Dunn were the final four standing, and despite the wind rising, the waves continued to pump. The sublime technicalities of Harrison’s waveriding shone out, but long rides, tricks and maneouvres and a more gung ho, hell-bent approach from the other three made them no less contenders. Simon Patchett threw up spins in the lip, Lewie spent more time in the barrel than any, and Kazmerek clocked a big wave-count, and the judges’ decision was more than anyone could guess…and it would remain a secret until this evening’s presentation.
Stay tuned for much more from the Deus Nine Foot & Single, getting into the longboarding tomorrow at dawn, back on the black sand of Canggu.
For more information on the Deus Nine Foot & Single, visit the website: deuscustoms.com/9ftandsingle