The other day Betet came in to borrow a wetsuit to go surf in front of the shop. Who is Betet? Betet Merta is a really nice guy from Bali who just happens to be one of the select crew of Indonesian rippers- The Bali Boyz. Betet is super fast, smooth, and determined to pull above the lip gymnastic maneuvers- check the clip below from Surfline. We all end up going to surf the amazing waves in Indonesia, but it makes me really stoked when instead- you have an pro from Indonesia amped to surf our unpredictable, beloved Ocean Beach.
Ocean Beach can go from super crappy, to super epic- punchy, hollow surf, back to crappola in two hours. Have you had enough time out here to see Ocean Beach turn on and get good?
"Yes, I surfed a couple of days out in Ocean Beach, the first day was kinda crappy but the second day I got good waves. But too much duck dive for me, I am freezing! Haha!�
What brings you to the Bay Area? How long are you around for?
�I came to California for one month, I surfed in LA, Malibu, San Diego, and Santa Cruz. I came to San Francisco to visit my girlfriend she is from Petaluma, and hopefully to score some waves. I am heading home in less than a week but it has been super fun to be up here but it is different than Bali, such a fast life.�
How are Northern California surfers different that the surfers from the rest of the world you meet?
�Well I met some locals here when I came to Ocean Beach the first day that were really cool, Charlie, Sam, Ben and Jake, all great local surfers. they were laid back like me, and took me to Mexican Food after we got out of water. We hung out for a couple of days and surfed good waves, and they let me stay with them and hang out. I heard the locals here can be territorial, but so far they have been hospitable.�
photo Steve Robertson
Back home in Bali, you are known as quite a host. Showing everyone your beautiful home and epic waves. Here in SF I love taking visiting friends around to show em why this city is so unique and amazing- but after about four days of playing tour guide, I�m over it and just want to hide out at home. Do you get tired of showing people around your home, and the constant migration of western surfers? Balinese are known for the constant generosity and friendliness, but I�m sure you need to hide out once in awhile. What do you to get away and re-energize?
�I don't really ever get tired of showing people good waves in Bali and parties, everywhere in Kuta where I am from is so close. If I get tired of crazy Bali, I just take off to Sumbawa and go surf where it's quiet and relaxing. �
The Bali Boys are doing some of the most futuristic airs I have ever seen, and I think it was Rob Machado who said- �There now is two kinds of surfing- above the lip and below the lip. Do you find you are focusing on aerials- or mixing it up?
�Right now I am definitely mixing it up, now surfing is getting crazy, many surfers can do airs. But airs are still my favorite.�
I have a lot of friends from the US that now live in Bali- many of them you know and work with. Are the Ex-Pats and the local Balinese becoming one big family of diverse friends? Or are there divisions and frustration?
�A lot of pros and ex-Pats that come to Bali have respect for the locals; they know how to act around locals and treat everyone with kindness. Like Rob Machado, Bruce, Andy, and Taylor Steele, and Benji, they have been coming for a long time and we treat them like family. Not many divisions in the surf community, they know how to respect each other and the Balinese.�
Anything else you would like to mention?
�Thanks for the respect from the locals, and I have had a great time in SF and Cali. I hope I see you soon in Bali!�
Thanks and good luck Betet!