7 September 2012, Grajagan-East Java: At the 2nd annual Put Up or Shut Up/Source to the Sea One-Day Surf Tournament presented by Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championships and SurfTime magazine yesterday in massive 8-12 foot waves, Australia’s Tai Graham put on a committed and exemplary performance to receive the honor of being declared the best surfer of the day.
Winner Tai Graham pulls into one of his many fantastic barrel rides during the Put Up or Shut Up tournament. Photo by Tim Hain.
In a unique four-hour free surfing tournament, the only one of its kind in the world, Graham was truly the personification of a great free surfer, embracing the tournaments format of showing utter commitment to finding the best waves, riding each wave with utter commitment until the very end, and always taking his turn in the lineup. He was also the very last surfer to exit the water, leading to the end of the tournament.
Graham hails from the Gold Coast of Australia but resides in Bali, and is well known in the surfing world for his stylish and solid surfing ability in both large and small waves.
At the awards ceremony in Bobby’s Surf Camp that evening, Graham was both surprised and elated at being named the best surfer of the day, saying, “I really can’t believe I was chosen as the winner, it’s such an honor and it was just such a fun day, out there surfing with the boys in big pumping waves. I’ve had a hectic couple of days before coming here, so this morning I was a bit low on energy when we were getting ready, so was thinking I just wanted to get one good wave.”
And what kept him out there for four hours of non-stop surfing? “Well you know, whenever I get out of Bali to surf I like to make the most of it, as its hard to do that in Bali because I’m kinda busy so I only get to surf an hour or two here and there. So to get the chance to come here and surf pumping Speedys, I just felt like I couldn’t come in yet…I kept seeing all these great waves and you know…just had to catch another one!”
In addition to the receiving the honor of being named the best surfer of the day, Graham was presented with an authentic Balinese wayang puppet trophy, 10 million Rupiah, and a commemorative surfboard from Bobby’s Surf Camp.
Tai Graham with his prizes, a Balinese wayang trophy, cash, and a surfboard.
Narrowly edged out was Chris Ward from America, who recently won the Rip Curl Cup at Padang-Padang in Bali, and is known as one of the best backside barrel riders in the world. Ward was fresh off a multi-island surfing marathon, where lack of sleep and an infected tooth might have slowed him down a fraction, but regardless he was the second to the last surfer to exit the water today behind Graham. He was given the Iron Man Award for his dedication and commitment to both his craft and to this tournament.
American Chris Ward displaying his backside barrel-riding prowess.
Also receiving awards were Dave Thomas from Hawaii for the best barrel ride, which is considered the ultimate prize in surfing, and Mustofa Jeksen for having the best wipeout, the result of his constant compulsion to take off on the biggest waves and pull into the biggest and deepest barrels regardless of the consequence.
Dave Thomas from Hawaii cruising in the Best Barrel of the Day.
The 2nd annual Put Up or Shut Up/Source to the Sea One-Day Surf Tournament presented by Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championship and SurfTime magazine took place in East Java at Grajagan Bay at a surf break known as G-Land, miles away from any form of civilization, which has a coral reef headland that gives birth to one of the very best and most consistent left hand waves in the world. It is a two plus hour boat ride from Bali or an 8-hour drive that includes a ferry crossing over the Java Strait to the island of Java.
The G-Land Express was the base camp for the tournament.
In this unique surfing tournament there was only one rule: Surfers must perform at their absolute. It is a winner-take-all event tournament format where the surfers put their own money up and bet on themselves to be the best surfer on the day…that’s it…no points, no wave limits, no time limits and no structure. They just go out and surf to see how well they can perform in the conditions at hand…and the conditions today were in a word, epic!
The wave at Launching Pads was pulsing at between 3 and 4 meters all day, dwarfing Mustofa Jeksen seen here taking off.
The brainchild of the event, Surftime Editor-in-Chief Matt George put it like this when explaining how the best surfer was decided; “Today Tai Graham did everything that was required and more, embracing the free format spirit of this Put Up or Shut Up tournament. In the end he was the champion of freedom, in fantastic waves, with a great crew of surfers, and displaying the true spirit of free surfing with no restrictions and no limits He was truly the embodiment of a free surfer.”
Also included in the event was the creation of a Source to the Sea environmental manifesto, where all of the surfers that participated in the tournament put their thumbprint on a blank manuscript together with their signature as their commitment to to the Source to the Sea program, serving as their personal vow to participate in a very special river cleanup project where they will all roll up their sleeves to pitch in and help clean up an Indonesian waterway in need, helping to raise awareness of the importance of clean Indonesian waterways and a cleaner ocean.
The Put Up or Shut Up/Source to the Sea One-Day Surf Tournament was presented by the Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championships and Surftime Magazine with accommodations and transportation furnished by Bobby’s G-Land Surf Camp and refreshments by Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia.
About the Coca-Coca Indonesian Surfing Championships
The Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championships is the sanctioning body for professional surfing in Indonesia. The ISC was established in 2004 to provide surfing athletes with a consistent, legitimate, and respected forum where they can compete and measure themselves against their peers, a stepping-stone towards their ultimate goal of becoming a professional surfer at the international level
With the support of Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia, through organized surfing competitions, the Coca-Cola ISC seeks to grow the awareness of the sport of surfing in Indonesia and throughout the Asian region for the benefit of the surfers, their community, their environment, their nation and the surfing industry. Find out more at www.isctour.com
About Surftime Magazine
Surftime Magazine, South East Asia’s leading surfing and beach culture magazine, has been committed to bringing the exotic images and exciting stories from the surfing and beach lifestyle to the international marketplace for over 12 years.
For more information, see www.surftimemagz.com.