Under perfect blue skies on arguably the most picturesque beach on Bali's Bukit Peninsula yesterday afternoon, the 16 invitees of the 2022 Rip Curl Cup were introduced to the crowd of hundreds of surfs fans packed on the sand to witness and celebrate the beginning of the month-long waiting period of this unique and exciting international tube riding event.
After a two year pandemic-forced absence, the 2022 Rip Curl Cup is back with an exciting and diverse field of both international and local invitees, some are returning and others making their very first appearance, so the Opening Ceremony brings everyone together to make the introductions, enjoy some food and drinks, and watch the amazing traditional Balinese Kecak Dance as the sun sets over the Indian Ocean.
Setting the record for the youngest ever invitee and making her first appearance is just-turned-15-years-old Erin Brooks, who is also the youngest female to compete in a Rip Curl Cup. Until this year, Koa Smith held that record, having competed in the 2007 Rip Curl Cup, the year that Erin was born.
"I was in the Mentawais with Luke Swanson and we were scoring super fun waves at Kandui when I got the call," said Erin. "I was super stoked coz this event has so much history with so many amazing surfers, so I'm super honoured to be here."
Also a first time invitee, Californian Ian Crane shared his feelings about receiving his invitation, saying, "Being invited to the Rip Curl Cup at Padang is like the biggest honour ever…to be one of the 8 international surfers to go up against the best 8 Indonesian surfers at the best wave in Bali is such an honour.. to be here and to be part of this ceremony and the month long waiting period for the best day of waves, everything about it is so special Indonesia is one of my favourite places in the world and Bali especially, the waves, the people, to be here with all these great surfers and awesome people…I just can't wait to paddle out…it's a full golden ticket!
2019 Rip Curl Cup winner Benji Brand, who now has the distinction of holding the winners title for not just one but 3 years due to the event not being run during the pandemic said explained is feeling very simply, "The best thing about winning this event in 2019, is that I got to come back again this year!"
Receiving a special invitation on the international list is Indonesia's own Rio Waida, who currently sits in the Number 1 Spot on the 2022 WSL Challenger Series, and looks to be the first ever Indonesian to have secured a spot on the 2023 World Championship Tour.
THE 8 INTERNATIONAL SURFERS: Benji Brand (ZAF) Mason Ho (HAW) Erin Brooks (USA) Nathan Florence (HAW) Luke Swanson (HAW) Clay Marzo (HAW) Ian Crane (USA) Rio Waida (INA)
After an all out battle in a newly formatted Rip Curl Cup Trial last Wednesday, July 27th, 8 Indonesian surfers out of 32 earned their spots to compete in the main event.
Winning the Trials was two-time Rip Curl Cup champion Made "Bol" Adi Putra, who at 41 years of age is the event's oldest competitor. "I'm so stoked to be in the Main event, as I'm going to be 42 years old in August, so I hope to be the Rip Curl Cup champion as my birthday present," said Adi Putra.
A Rip Curl Cup event wouldn't seem complete without the presence of Padang-Padang legend and also two-time Rip Curl Cup winner Mega Semadhi, who is looking forward to getting the chance to claim yet another victory. "The past two years have been tough for many people, but the waves have been good, though less crowded, but now to have the event back is so great…I want to win again..to make it number 3!" said Semadhi.
Having to compete in a Trials with much younger surfers coming up is just fine with Padang-Padang specialist Mustofa Jeksen, who said, ""I really liked the new trials format, I think it was really fair for everyone. There were a lot of new faces in the lineup, like Varun and Bronson for example, which is great as gives these young guys a chance."
THE 8 INDONESIAN SURFERS: Made Adi Putra Mega Artana Mega Semadhi Raditya Rondi Mustofa Jeksen Agus Sumertayasa Tommy Sobry Made "Garut" Widiarta
With the 16 invitees now standing by in Bali, all that is left is for Mother Nature to deliver the perfect swell that will provide the competitors with those magical 6-8 foot barrels needed to kick off the one day, one winner, the Ultimate Tube Riding Contest, the Rip Curl Cup Padang-Padang. According to Rip Curl's James Hendy, there is a massive storm deep in the Southern Indian Ocean that could potentially see the Main Event called On later this week, as soon as the 4th-5th of August. The contest directors are monitoring the situation closely so stay tuned to ripcurl.com for the latest event status.
It's On When It's On!
Rip Curl Planet
As part of Rip Curl's Planet Earth environmental program, the Rip Curl Indonesia crew together with Rip Curl International surfers Erin Brooks and Luke Swanson and internet sponsor Biznet, the Uluwatu Management Crew, and Padang-Padang Boardrider representative Wayan Plekut joined up to on Sunday morning to ensure that the Padang-Padang beach area was spotless by cleaning from the cliff and bridge area and parking lot all the way down and including the beach.
A total of 15 rice sacks of rubbish was collected, that were filled with plastic items, bottles, and other trash. 15 rice sacks don't really sound like that much, and that's actually a good thing as it means people are getting the message not to throw their trash everyone and to use rubbish bins. Rip Curl is absolutely committed to setting an example and spreading the message that we need to take care of our beaches, oceans, air, and our land.
The 2022 Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang will be webcast LIVE to the world at ripcurl.com and at worldsurfleague.com or on the free WSL App. Fans can also visit the Rip Curl website to check the official event swell forecast, real-time contest status, and video updates from Bali.