The Sumbawa sessions from ASL’s 250’th
The Sumbawa Sessions
The ASL 250 Supertrip from the latest issue. Head for www.surfinglife.com.au/extras
If the noughties are all about a big ocean slamming into shallow reef slabs and the nineties was luxury in the Mentawais, surf travel in the eighties meant roughing it in the dirt and grime, with mozzies and malaria and bags of rice. In 1988, a motley crew of surfing luminaries, including ASL’s head honcho Peter Morrison, shaper to the stars Darren Handley, photographic doyen Ted Grambeau and travel guru Peter King travelled to an out of the way Indo spot named Lakei, hunting the mythical Periscopes right (a wave, it’s worth noting, that was named after an out-the-back poo that refused to sink). When it was flat, the team stumbled around the next bay and found a more consistent and picturesque wave: Lakey Peak. The trip made the cover of ASL issue 19, and a surfing mecca was born. Twenty-odd years, a few hotels and a thriving local surf community later, ASL’s back, with three world champs, one contender, and one of Australia’s most creative free spirits, to complete the circle and celebrate all things good and great in Australia’s Surfing Life.
As you’d imagine, Mark Occhilupo was the key. When we threw around ideas for our dream team, the 1999 world champ was top of the list. Not only for his power packed surfing and comic genius, but as an inspiration for the other surfers. The first questions asked by an invitee before a surf mag trip are usually “Where are we going? How long for? And who’s coming?” The response: “Lakey Peak, a week, and Occy,” was a good one, and our crew came together as easy as you like once the great man signed on.
With an extended break between World Tour events we had the window, and fellow world champs Mick Fanning and Stephanie Gilmore met us at Brisbane airport, pumped about swell on the horizon. Title threat Bede Durbidge joined them, and when travelling minstrel/surfer/bon vivant Ozzie Wright flew in to Denpasar from Sydney, we nearly had the full compliment. Except for that Occy guy. In between his son’s birthday and an invitation to compete in the Margaret River WQS, Occy’s walk up start was looking a little uncertain coming out of the blocks. Then, with the rest of the crew safely on Sumbawa, we heard he’d made it to Bali, but couldn’t get a flight to the island. But what would a trip be without a bit of drama?
Read the rest of the feature in ASL 250, or at www.surfinglife.com.au/extras
ASL 250: Dear God, it’s the magazine with everything!
To celebrate 24 years of magazine making, we’ve gone above and beyond to bring you what’s going down in Australian surfing right now.
We loaded up a dodgy Indonesian plane and island hop to Sumbawa with Mick Fanning, Mark Occhilupo, Stephanie Gilmore, Bede Durbidge and Ozzie Wright, recording every angle with film, stills and ink. We lined up a studio to capture portraits of an important cross section of Australian surfers, filled a room with the world’s best and announced the results of our annual Peer Poll, got Nick Carroll to school us in the importance of remembering our roots, and sat down for a chat on the state of the game with the champ himself, Kelly Slater.
We uncovered a mountain of debauchery in the ASL vaults, and topped it off with the amazing ASL 250 movie, documenting the Sumbawan Sessions and the awesome Aussie autumn just gone.
There simply won’t be a better mag on the shelves. We’re shattered now it’s dusted, but god it feels good. We hope you get as much out of it as we put in.
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So here is an interview with the man.
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