The last time a real surf contest set up camp in the Javanese jungle surrounding Grajagan was 1998, when Quiksilver was able to hold a World Tour event at the famed lefthand reef. The event only lasted three years before being axed due to difficulties associated with holding an event in a very secluded and tiger-filled Indonesian jungle. While the jerseys, judges, and heats no longer occupy the lineup, a very different kind of event has been running at G-land for two years in a row: the “Put up or Shut up Free Surfing Tournament.” The idea behind this contest format was taken from the ancient Polynesians, who would start tournaments of sport with each competitor putting up something of value, in essence betting on himself to win the contest. There were no rules other than the best performer on the day won all the goods.
On Sept. 5, a massive swell headed for G-land, and a handful of surfers began trickling in from all corners of the archipelago, each with 10 million rupiah (about $800) in their pockets, ready to take on Grajagan’s famous tubes. In the end it was Australian Tai “Buddha” Graham hoisting the wad of rupiah, after being deemed the best surfer of the day in the freight-train barrels.
Balibelly has photos of the contest here.