Raditya Rondi is only 22 and already number 3 on the Indonesian tour. One of the few goofy-footers in the top 5, he is able to hold his own on the tour of rights. He took some time out of his busy schedule to catch up with IndoSurfLife.com and gave us a look at who Raditya really is.
Hello Raditya! How are you?
Hi IndoSurfLife. I’m good.
Can you tell us a bit of who Raditya really is?
My name is Made Raditya from Kuta, I am now 22 years old. I often surf at Halfway Kuta Beach.
When did you start surfing and who taught or inspired you that time?
I started surfing when I was 8-9 years old, taught by my Uncle, Ganti Yasa. He has taught me everything about surfing until now. He is also a legendary surfer in Bali.
How many brothers or sisters that you have?
I have an elder sister. But she’s married. So I’m the only child at home now.
Did your Uncle also teach your sister surfing? Is she also a surfer?
No. I learnt with my cousin, Garut Widiarta. We learned together.
Why did you decide to learn surfing? Do you have other hobbies?
Maybe because my house is close to the beach, I often played there, swam in the sea, I always had fun, and finally I started surfing everyday. Eventually I got a sponsor, I got some free clothes, and I felt happy and have been surfing every since. My other hobbies include playing Playstation. Football games like Winning Eleven, and Crash Bandicoot, I like those games mostly.
You mentioned sponsors? Who was your first sponsor?
At first the goodies were given to me by my uncle: Shorts, a board, all from my uncle. And then when I able to surf a bit, a friend of mine invited me to join the Billabong team. So there I was given free shirts and shorts. Eventually I ended up with a contract.
Regular or goofy foot?
Where is your favorite wave?
My favorite waves are at Padang Padang, the left hander waves and barrels are nice there.
When did you first compete?
For the first time when I was approximately 13 years old. It was in Serangan and I was still scared at that time. I was afraid because I was only young, it was my first comp and because it was held at Serangan.
So who pushed you to enter the competition that time?
My Uncle did it. He often found me at home and would take me surfing outside of Kuta, like at Padang Padang, Uluwatu, and other places.
Who’s your favorite surfer?
My favorite surfers in the country may be Bol, he surfs good, he can fly – do big airs – he is also a champion in Indonesia. From the international surfers my favorite would have to be Kelly Slater. He’s 10 times world champion. He’s the man!
The most impressive contest for you personally?
The contest which I liked most was in Scar Reef, Sumbawa, when I won it. It was in 3-5 foot waves and barreling. I was lucky to have won it in a good barrel.
The best surf trip?
The best trip was possibly a few months ago, in the Mentawai Islands for the ISC contest. When we arrived there the waves were 3-6 foot, perfect right-handers. A lot of barrels, and not many people. Only we were there. We all got big barrels. It was great!
How do you prepare yourself before participating in a competition? Do you have any special traditions or rituals before?
Before the contest I always eat healthy foods like vegetables, watching many surfing videos, I avoid going to bed late, and prepare my surfboard. That’s it.
You mentioned surfing videos, what is your list of favorite videos?
“Who is J.O.B?”, “Innersection”, “Castles in the Sky”, and “Fusion”.
What is your favorite music or song recently?
Peterpan, “Ada Apa Denganmu”. (Laughing)
In your opinion, what are the benefits of being a professional surfer?
I can travel abroad, travel outside Bali, and can participate in contests in the Mentawais, Cimaja, Australia, and we only have to surf! And because surfing is our hobby we’re happy to do so.
Do you have future plans to join the WQS?
Maybe I’m not ready for the WQS yet, first I want to surf more often, become a champion in Indonesia, and possibly after that I’ll then join the WQS.
For the Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang tomorrow, whom would you like to face in the finals and who not and why?
I want Jamie O’Brien in the final. Or maybe Garut Widiarta in the final, because he’s my good friend (cousin-ISL) so maybe there will be no hassling in the heat. Who I don’t want to face is Mega Semadhi, because he is a local there and he surfs really good. So it would be easy for him to beat me.
Do you have a message for local surfers?
Yes, be committed and practice surfing now. Because surfing in Indonesia is getting bigger and we’re getting more support.
And a message for those who have never been surfing?
Try to learn surfing. It can relieve the stress, and you could be someone who supports surfing in Indonesia.
Thank you Raditya, good luck in the competition!