“Don’t ride too far”, Made said.

Ketut, “not too far, OK?”

What the hell do they mean?

I had spent the night sleeping on the concrete floor of Mama’s warung, where Ketut and Made live. I arrived during the previous night.


The scooter I rode in on is a bit worse for wear, I took out a fence while avoiding a lorry full of road workers, finished pounding limestone rocks in blinding heat.

The walk through the paddock and down the cliff face had been slow. I had groped my way past cows, and walked through their shit. It was still between my toes. The steps carved into the cliff were slippery and uneven. I fell more than once. My board lost some more fibreglass. It’d been a long Indo campaign. I really should use a board cover, at least one of those stretchy material striped versions.

When I got to Mama’s, she had asked me where I had been. Mama had been waiting for me to arrive, as per the word I had sent via her son. Mama gets a bit scared at night alone in the warung at the bottom of the cliff. Something about monkeys and some local gangsters hanging around.

The next morning the swell had arrived like anticipated. It was a full moon swell. I don’t remember it being too bright the previous evening, though.

I passed Made and Ketut that morning, and paddled out full of bravado. I had just got back from maxing Scar Reef, West Sumbawa. My arse stuck out of my only pair of shorts. There’s a huge tear in them from the reef. I have been landing on my arse time and again, as I attempt to “starfish” to avoid hitting the bottom. It wasn’t working, but I am a slow learner.

It was early in the morning, so the lineup wasn’t busy. People were still curled up nursing hangovers born in Kuta. I snagged one of the sets.

I slid down the face, twisted my front foot to line up with the stringer, and was slotted. I exited, clean. The green wall stood up further down the reef, so I raced ahead.

“Oh, damn, look at this section”

I lined up the lip, deciding in my hungover wisdom to attempt one of those air thingamjigs I have seen in the magazines. I will call mine the “frog hop”, although that would be a generous title considering my style.

I hit the lip, and launch.

“Oh shit, no water”

No water!




I walked back up to Mama’s. Ketut and Made were in fits of laughter, between drags on their cigarettes.

“We call that section, Greedy’s”, Made blurted out.

Next step, lemon rubbed into my arse, by Mama.

Welcome to Bingin.