Photos: Padang Cup – Super Expression Session

Last Thursday the forecast pointed to a South swell due to arrive on the Balinese Coast. While the conditions did not appear to be the best for Padang, the Rip Curl Cup organization, unwilling to miss even a chance of an epic day at Padang, made the call and at 6:00 am we were there to check what was happening.

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Photos: Iuri Borba/Liquid Eye

4-6 foot waves were breaking on the most coveted spot of Bali, albeit inconsistently. Nonetheless some intrepid surfers had braved the paddle out in the dark, and were already on the outside waiting for the first light to get some tubes before the start of the event. With the tide going out the sets were taking a long time but gradually rolling in more frequently.

With this scenario the event organizers decided not to run the contest but that advantage would be taken of the swell with an Expression Session. At 8am the event began with four heats of only six surfers sharing the line-up for 1 hour and 15 minutes without worrying about scores, next rounds, but just enjoying perfect waves without a crowd.

The undisputed highlight of the day was female professional surfer Bethany Hamilton catching the biggest sets of the day, getting sick barrels and giving the boys a run for their money.

On the beach it was hard to focus on just surfing; the natural beauty of the Padang-Padang beach and the bounteous feminine presence caused a fair few of the spectators and surfers to suffer neck pains by the end of the day.

Stay tuned for the forecast: it looks like there are another 2 swells on the way that could potentially see the contest running. We’ll keep you up to date.

In the meantime, if you missed out on the Expression Session, or want to enjoy the day again, feast your eyes on these shots.


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