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Friday, 16 October 2015 00:00

"You can choose between being a pro surfer or just surfing in your backyard"

Tipi Jabrik - Interview with 'Mr. Surf' in Indonesia.

Tipi Jabrik is one the Indonesian surfers that made a full career on surfing. A Pro Surfer, a free surfer, a surf team leader, the Indonesian Surf coach, lately working with the A.S.C. and all the development of competitive surfing in Indonesia and Asia.

We completely understand your passion and commitment, tell us, surfing is finally getting into the Indonesian society? If yes, which are the parameters you based on to say so? 

Indonesian surf is at a really high level right now but it’s also with a big help from local surfers and company’s support, it's not just one or two persons. We’re growing outside Indonesia going to new places like India, Taiwan, Philippines, Maldives. Hopefully growing surf outside Bali. 


What are the ASC goals? Are there new events planned?

The biggest ASC goal are to promote surf in Asia and Indonesia, and also to bring more quality surf events to these regions, to improve the level of the surfers, and to do that it takes a lot of effort from everyone. The goal is to take more Indonesian surfers to the WSL. By bringing more WSL surf events to Indonesia and Asia, that will bring up the level of surfers. Getting more surfers to make more QS events and hopefully having surfers in the World Tour - that's the main goal.


How’s the ocean/surf culture in Indonesia?

Ocean culture is pretty strong in Indonesia, with have Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean, but surfing is new, we only started at the early 70’s. We have a lot of big surf companies based here so that’s also important to help people learn about surf and ocean culture, and to be more respectful about the ocean and the environment. So that more people go to the beach and appreciate the waves and the nature.


It's not easy for Indonesian surfers to compete abroad, is it? Do you think it is important for the recognition of surfing in Indonesia to have a Indo Surfer on the WC Tour?

It’s not easy for Indonesian surfers to travel and compete for the QS, the Visa is hard. The indonesian Rupia is not competitive compared to the dollar or other currencies, so it’s expensive. And to surf cold water is also hard for us, other countries have two seasons (hot and cold water), so it’s easier for them do adapt, we always surf warm water. Also, Indonesians are always homesick, because we have big families and are used to be around them. But we have surfers like Oney Anwar that lives in Australia, and he can show to other surfers that we can do it outside Indonesia, you can choose a career as pro surfer, or just be happy surfing in your backyard…

Is there someone with that potential now?

There are some surfers with potential, like Oney Anwar who’s competing in the QS and already in the top 100 and made a couple of finals this year. The potential is there, but being in the CT is not easy, it may take 5 or 10 years, but who knows.


Any new events for 2016?

Yeah, hopefully we’re going back to Mentawai to HTS (Lances Right) and propose to the WSL to make a QS and then a WCT there. We’ve been talking to the WSL, but it’s never easy for the indonesian government to organize a CT. The interest has always come from outside brands like Oakley or Rip Curl. They have more interest in Indonesia’s waves than Indonesia itself. It’s a bit sad, but maybe one day…

Any message you want to leave us?

Surf in Indonesia is getting stronger, and hopefully one day we’ll have one Indonesian surfer on the CT. All we need is keep a positive message, just like surfing is a positive life style. With the support of the government and media, and then we will have more interest of the Indonesian people, and international media, like Surftotal, and make the sport even bigger than it already is.

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