Barrels, Beatings and Building Paradise
On one particularly spontaneous Indo trip, I found myself in West Sumbawa with SaltyLips’ Shannon and an amazing surfing couple Gareth and Cassie. We left the maxed out windy conditions in the east, drove 10 hours through the night and found ourselves faced with almost perfect conditions at one of West Sumbawa’s heaviest waves. Guillotine lips and razor sharp shallow reef, this was a wave I had no intention of surfing and I stuck to the tamer stuff. If I couldn’t surf at the peak of this monster swell, I might as well watch one of the craziest waves turn on.
It was here, in some of the most unfriendly surfing conditions, that I saw Georgia. And she charged! Super friendly and welcoming, Georgia and her partner Joey introduced us to the best places in town to eat; the places you were least likely to get food poisoning and hung out on the beach and shared travel stories. I was blown away by how talented and fearless she was in the water, and her amazing story.
“Four years ago I met a guy on the beach, we chatted. The next day at his little grass roof shack on the hill we drank coffee before a surf. 40,000 coffees later we have a four story, seven bedroom house on the hill at Super Sucks. Merdeka House is a guest house. We want friends and interesting people to come and hang out with us, go surfing, play music, do yoga and be healthy. And drink a few beers here and there.” – Georgia
Georgia is a graphic designer from Princetown, Great Ocean Road, Victoria and worked at Roxy for two years before she set off on adventures around the world, finally making her home here with Joey in West Sumbawa. Currently working in Perth, they are saving for the finishing touches to their incredible home, Merdeka House; a pool, a boat and a big wooden slab kitchen.
Learnt to surf: In cold Victoria with my Dad.
Favourite wave: Super Suck.
Best session: Joey and I had empty Supers one day and didn’t see each other for hours.
Most memorable surf: Surfing three different waves in a day all perfect, all close by, all with no one around.
Favourite surfer: I’ve seen Sandy Ryan get some pretty amazing big waves
Worst injury: Hitting the reef at Supers. I had to go and book an air conditioned room to dry out the cuts and scrapes all over my back and legs.
Scariest moment: When you have hit the reef and you don’t want to look to see how bad it is. Knowing you probably have to get stitched up and pour chinese stinging shit on it and you’re going to have to sleep on your belly for the next week and you can’t surf.
Defining moment: My Mum died. I went travelling with no agenda, not really looking for something but found a lot.
Who inspires you: My boyfriend Joey; I’ve never met someone with so much drive and ambition; especially to build a guest house in the most beautiful and impossible location.
Next on the surf hit list: Mexico
Most hardcore place you’ve visited: Morocco, and parts of Indonesia
Known for: “Calling a spade a spade, working hard, surfing harder, easy smile, contagious laugh, has a finely tuned bullshit radar” – Joey
Guilty pleasure: Coffee, chocolate and red wine
If you could be someone else for a day: Someone who is minted, maybe the Wolf of Wall Street … not the Wall Street part the wolf part !
Magic board: I had a Warner fish that I loved 5’9” x 19 ¾” x 2 7/16” till Joey snapped it.
What surfing means to you: Lifestyle, travel, fitness, expression, contentment. I like most of the people it brings me to meet too.
I love… the feeling of knowing that we found a way to be happy everyday, doing what we love.
I miss… when I’m in Indo I miss my girlfriends, good coffee and second-hand shopping.