Local Deserts surfer, Usman has been without a sponsor for nearly a year as Rusty had to let go of their riders due to difficult financial times. Kane Faint supplied Usman and Awan with a couple of new boards at the beginning of the season and there was some support from smaller brands and friends but Usman needed a major sponsor.
Words + Photos: Jessica Smart/Smart Photography
Everyone who goes to Desert Point and sees this kid surf knows he has something special ~ talent, confidence and a sick style. He seems to get better every time I see him surf, even if it’s just been a few weeks. He puts on a show, in and out of the water! He is such a character and it wasn’t hard to believe it would be long before big things happened for him.
Now Rip Curl Asia has just announced their new team rider… and it is none other than Usman! He has taken a big step forward in the surfing world and is on his way to great things.
Living all his life at Desert Point he surfed with Sadi and the other little local kids, naked, on half broken boards left behind by visiting surfers. Although his family house is just 100 metres back from the beach, from when he was 14 yrs old he began to sleep at the beach warungs most nights, rather than at home, so he could wake up right on the waterfront. Usually curling up on a mat with a blanket for warmth on the wooden balcony of Hendra’s Warung or Sadi’s.
He says his mother was very disapproving of him surfing so much as he grew up, often not going to school and getting scolded for not going to the mosque to pray ~ opting to surf instead! As for meeting his future wife, his mother would warn him, “Surfing is going to make your skin black and no girl will want to marry you!”
But Usman lived and breathed surfing, for him there is no other future. Just that. With no money to travel and compete in surf competitions, he rarely surfs anywhere but his home break and Senggigi in the off season. A couple of trips to Bali, one G-Land trip last year with his second ‘father’ Kurt, who has been coming to Deserts for 30 years, and the Freak of the Reef comp we went to in July this year. His friend in Senggigi once sold his bicycle so that Usman could travel to Bali for a comp.
I am so proud of him, as is everybody who knows him. Congratulations Usman, “everything you do, you do it big”!
The world will watch his surfing blossom with the support that he’ll get from his sponsorship with Rip Curl, opening up doors for him to travel and gain valuable experience at many different breaks around the world.