More than 20 years ago, SURFER photographer Jason Childs relocated from his native Australia to Bali. “I fell in love on my very first trip and found a way to make this my home,” he says of the island. Since then, Childs has been one of the preeminent surf photographers in the region, capturing its diverse waves and, in many cases, undiscovered spots. With surfers from all over the world making their annual pilgrimages right now, we asked Childs to search through two decades of images and pick out five Bali photos that stand out the most.
“This is an aerial view of the once pristine Bukit Peninsula. As you can tell from the multiple lines rolling in along the reef, it’s firing in all its glory. Today, some of Bali’s most spectacular beaches have been bulldozed by developers. I actually took this in the late afternoon after spending most the day shooting Ross Clarke Jones towing into some of the biggest waves I’ve ever seen in Bali.”
“Rizal Tanjung’s special relationship with Padang Padang dates back to early in his life when Indo surf pioneers Gerry Lopez and Peter McCabe would visit. When Rizal isn’t surfing, he divides his time between running multiple surf shops, being the president of Hurley Indonesia, and taking care of his family. His son, Varun, is one of Indonesia’s best up-and-coming surfers. Whenever Padang Padang is firing, he’s out and always finding the best set waves.”
“Andy Irons loved coming to Bali. Idolized by all the Balinese surfers, he was always welcomed and a brotherhood really existed between him and all the Bali boys. Every time I shot with Andy, it seemed like the magic of the surf and his style would unite to create incredible images.”
“For Dede Suryana, surfing has been a passport to the world. At a very young age, he moved here from Java with the help of a Bali expat that made a promise to his parents to take care of him. Now a surfing ambassador to the world, Dede’s parents and all of Indonesia can be proud.”
“This is Nusa Dua firing for a lucky few. Many of the most important Hindu temples are perched on the cliff tops or beaches at Bali’s best surf spots. This not only allows them to pray at the most beautiful locations, but also creates a spiritual experience when surfing during a ceremony.”
One More For Good Measure
“Narrowing it down to five photos was difficult, so I’ve added one extra one. This is Mega Semadhi praying in the tube at Padang Padang. Mega reckons he’ll be a priest by the time he’s 50, but in the mean time he’s happy being a professional surfer.”