2018 Corona Bali Protected Preview
For years the waves out at the Bukit Peninsula in Bali have taken center stage on the island. Not any more. Keramas is a right hand jewel in the land of lefts. All the way on the East Coast, this ultra fun reef/sand bottom wave offers everything a surfer could ask for - tubes, ramps and crazy carve sections. A CT event only once before in 2013, the Keramas Pro has been a 1-star WQS ever since. Still, it has attracted big names along to the event because of how good it is to surf the place. Taj Burrow has won twice, Parko has made the trip a few times, as have other world champs like Adriano De Souza.
The forecast is looking amazing too. Get set for one of the most spectacular shows of hi-fi surfing you’re likely to see anywhere on the planet. Here’s a preview on how the Billabong guys are likely to go when things kick off next week...
Parko won the event here back in 2013 with wild surfing that saw him clock up a perfect heat in round 5. Two 10s in 30 minutes. That doesn’t happen very often. Pause and think about how good Parko surfs here to be able to do it. It’s almost like Keramas was custom built for him, with a backdoor tube section out the back that shoots you out into a carve-ready wall. His buttery style, relaxed approach and long-term experience will have him coming into this event as one of the favorites. After a break during Brazil, and Bali being just a short flight from home, he’ll be feeling fresher than a post-surf beer straight from the cooler.
Italo's full-rotation punts could break his competitors’ spirits out at Keramas. His backhand air attack is lethal in waves like this, not to mention his stabs in the pocket that send spray shooting into the stratosphere. Throw in a few butt-drag barrels and you could see Italo making the final series without a bead of sweat forming on his forehead. This wave does suit natural footers a little more, however. The only goofy to make the semis last time was Nat Young. Something Nat and Italo do have in common is they just don’t fall off. Hello, sure-footed mountain goats ruling the day.
Airs skills? Tick. Tube-riding skills? Tick. Ridiculous shred skills? Triple-Crown tick. Griff has to be a red-hot contender to blow minds and fins at Keramas. His fun-loving nature suits the general vibe of Bali, he’ll be feeling loose in boardshorts and will be fired up after his narrow loss against friend Kanoa Igarashi in Brazil. Nothing stings like losing to your mates. He has drawn Kelly Slater in round 1, so will need to have his game face on right from the word go. If Griff has a smile on his face as he walks down for that first heat, you can be sure you’re about to see fireworks. The best thing, when does Griff NOT have a smile on his face? Smile face = Game face.
The Portuguese have a long love affair with Indonesia. Starting with the spice trade way back in the 16th century, they were the first to chart the seas in this area. In short, Freddie has Indian Ocean salt in his blood. Throw in the fact that good friend Tiago Peres has a villa over at Canggu (a right very similar to Keramas) and you have all the hallmarks of someone who is as relaxed in these waters as he is in a magnesium bath at home. He has a power-packed heat in round 1 against Wade Carmichael and Willian Cardoso too, so get ready for a blow-for-blow match of rail surfing that will have purists frothing harder than a podium-finish champagne bottle.
Photos via World Surf League (@WSL)