The world’s greatest tuberiders are ready to charge Bali’s legendary Padang Padang for the 13th-year anniversary of the Rip Curl Cup. The contest will only be held when the barrels are all-time.
Note: Only 8 international surfers will receive a spot in the event; entry granted on first-come, best-dressed basis.
Three-time world champion. Style icon. Father of The Search. What accolades remain for Tom Curren to add to his once-in-a-generation resume? A Padang Cup title, of course. Lucky for the surfing world, Tom has chosen to make a rare return to competition at Padang Padang. Adding to the excitement this year, rumor has it that Tom, also a celebrated musician, is planning a live concert on the cliffs above Uluwatu during the waiting period. Stay tuned!
He’s been called surfing’s Ambassador of Fun. And now the merry regularfoot from the North Shore is your host for the 2016 Rip Curl Cup. Mason will host weekly webisodes, giving you the latest contest news and inside access to what the athletes are up to during the waiting period. Of course, he’ll also be competing in the event, and a serious threat to take the crown. Last year Mason finished equal third at the Pipe Masters and runner-up at the Volcom Pipe Pro. So while he may be the ambassador of fun, his skills in heavy barrels are no laughing matter.
Pat is a third generation waterman, named after his grandfather Pat, who's already demonstrating a few traits similar to those of his dad, Tom. Another who has put in plenty of time on the Search, it will be exciting to watch Pat put his travel-gleaned skills to practice at pumping Padang.
Damien Hobgood and hollow lefts go together like Steph Curry and 3-pointers. The WCT veteran is a two-time Fiji Pro winner (he beat Andy Irons in the 2004 final). Last year was Damien’s first invite to the Rip Curl Cup, and while the waves never materialized for the main event, Damien won the unofficial “Crispy Award” for most freesurfing hours logged. A true wave-starved Florida grom at heart, Damien was in the water from sunup to sundown. When Padang rumbles to life in 2016, you can bet Damien will be once again be chomping at the bit, and woe to whoever winds up in his heat.
Bruce Irons returns to compete at the site of his lone WCT event victory. Even before he won the 2008 Rip Curl Search event in Bali, Bruce always had a special relationship with the Island of the Gods. He is beloved like a brother by the local Bali surfers like Betet Merta and his photo maintains a place of honor on the wall at Rizal Tandjung’s restaurant in Kuta. Now Bruce is back in 2016 with a new sponsor, riding new boards, fueled by renewed fire for competing in world-class waves. With Bruce’s track record, it should come as no surprise if Bali’s Bukit Peninsula once again smiles upon Bruce in 2016.
Former world tour competitor Paulo Moura is small in stature but massive in minerals, the guy absolutely charges. Although not the biggets name in the draw, the veteran Brazilian competitor loves nothing more than packing left barrels, so don't be shocked to see him surprise a few people. A long time fan of Indonesia, Moura shines at the various island lefts, and would love nothing more than to see his name on the Rip Curl Cup come finals time.
Outside of his native Brazil, few people knew of Bruno Santos when he entered the trials of the 2008 Billabong Pro Tahiti. Bruno quickly changed that by marching his way from the trials all the way to winning the main event in thundering Teahupoo against the WCT’s best. These days, if you don’t know Bruno, you better ask somebody. From Skeleton Bay to Desert Point, Bruno’s paranormal vanishing acts into the barrel led Kelly Slater to proclaim him a perennial favorite to win in heaving left barrels. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
A Clay Marzo invitation to the Rip Curl Cup has been a long time coming. It was just a matter of luring Clay from his adoptive West Oz home, where he’s been producing jaw-dropping web edits of crazy slab surfing that have set the internet afire of late. The electrifying Hawaiian goofyfoot is tailor made for a man vs. man competition at the Balinese Pipeline. Now the surfing savant is ready to blow up on those same Indian Ocean swells with those same unique lines and patented “Clay-back” snaps – only now he’ll get to do it in some much warmer Indo water.
The fearless regular footer from West Oz has already established himself as one of the best in the world on his backhand in the truly hollow stuff. Young Jack has already graced surf mag covers across the globe, standing tall in angry pits from West Oz slabs to thundering Tahiti. In addition to several wildcard berths in WCT events already under his belt, Jack will be appearing in his third Rip Curl Cup at Padang Padang. Now that his competition experience is catching up to his fearlessness, expect Jack to do big things at Padang in 2016.
Outside of his native Western Australia, not many people knew who Jacob Willcox was when competition began at the 2013 Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang Invitational – but since then the surfing world has been put on notice! At just 16 years old, Willcox put on a blistering performance, finishing runner-up to Mega Semadhi and expertly threading countless incredible tube rides on the day. He went on to use his momentum from Padang Cup to defeat Kelly Slater at the Rip Curl Cup Portugal a few months later, helping to bolster his Rip Curl teammate Mick Fanning's 2013 ASP World Title run. Safe to say, nobody will underestimate the smooth goofyfooter from West Oz, known to his mates as “Chippo.”
A true Searcher, Dillon Perillo has made an impressive career out of seeking out the dreamiest, most exotic waves on the planet and drawing his own exquisite lines. When he’s not getting drained at tropical reefbreaks, Dillon can be found blowing up around his Malibu, CA home. A favorite of filmmaker Kai Neville, Dillon’s hi-fi act has been featured in such recent blockbusters as Dear Suburbia and Cluster. If Dillon can make it back from his next far-flung Search location to Padang in time for the swell, expect him to bring down the house.
Originally hailing from the surf-rich island of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean, Tim is quickly making a name for himself on the global stage. Having relocated to the hollow beachbreaks of Hossegor in France, the 19-year-old goofyfooter should be plenty comfortable weaving through the spinning Padang barrel, as well as punting high above Canggu during the lay days. Don’t be surprised to see Tim play the darkhorse in this year’s event.
Made 'Bol' Adi Putra
It could be said that what Gerry Lopez is to Pipeline, Bol is to Padang. No other surfer has put in more time and is more synonymous with the wave. That’s why on the best days, when the set of the day steamrolls toward the reef, it’s reserved for Bol. He remains the only back-to-back champion of the Rip Curl Cup, a feat so improbable it probably will never be repeated. It’s been over a decade since Bol last hoisted the Cup (although he made the final in 2009 and narrowly got clipped by Jamie O’Brien), but to become the first three-time winner in event history would make it worth the wait.
Raditya Rondi is always in the mix at Padang, having reached the final of the past two Padang Cups, but falling just short of a title on both occasions. The multiple-time Asian Surfing Champion is a highly respected contest tactician and recognized by his peers as one of the most intense competitors on the tour. Having narrowly lost out to his cousin Garut in the final last time, look for “Cabul the Bull” to make a stampede to get over the hump of second place in 2016.
In 2012, Padang local boy Mega Semadhi came tantalizingly close to victory at the Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang, but a lapse in judgement in the waning seconds of the final left the door open for Chris Ward to claim a buzzer-beating win. In 2013, Mega found redemption at Padang during the 10-year anniversary of the Rip Curl Cup. Mega locked into a classic late afternoon Padang barrel with 1:40 remaining in the Final to leapfrog from third place into the lead and claim Indo's most prestigious surfing title. It was the first time a local surfer from Bali’s Bukit Peninsula claimed the title, but knowing Mega’s charmed relationship with Padang, it likely won’t be the last.
The man who put Indonesian surfing on the map. Rizal Tandjung remains the most globally recognized surfer ever to come out of Indo. He’s shredded his way all over the world as a WQS warrior, made a name for himself in Hawaii by scoring American cover shots on Pipeline bombs, and earned his spot in Taylor Steele’s seminal Momentum Generation films alongside guys like Kelly Slater and Rob Machado. But despite being arguably the greatest Padang surfer of all-time, Riz has yet to win the Rip Curl Cup (he made the finals in 2005, but lost out in an epic battle with Bol). Will the godfather of Bali surfing take down a Padang trophy before he sets down his spear? It would seem to be only a matter of time.
In one season, Usman Trioko spends more time inside the barrel than most of us will log in our lifetimes. Hailing from one of the world's most legendary lefthand reef breaks, Usman is one of Indo's top freesurfers and arguably one of the best barrel riders in the world. His performances at his home break are truly the stuff of legend and nearly all of the international invitees to this year’s contest have witnessed Usman pull into 20-second barrels at his home break. Ask guys like JOB and Wardo and they will tell you without hesitation: Usman has earned his invitation to the Rip Curl Cup.
The reigning Rip Curl Cup champion is ready to defend his crown. Hands-down the fastest surfer on the island, Garut Widiarta’s lightining-fast surfing makes him the odds-on favorite at Bali’s best lefthand reefbreak, and his endless bag of tricks will surely be on display during the waiting period freesurfs. Some felt Garut’s lackluster performances at the Padang Cup early in his career were partly the result of the heavy expectations saddled on him as the heir apparent to the throne at Padang. Now that the Padang monkey (figurative, not literal) is off his back, expect Garut to continue his forte of making the impossible look effortless.
After taking a hiatus from professional surfing last year and moving to New Zealand to focus on his art and family, Lee Wilson is back. He’s got a new sponsor supporting his unpredictable brand of hi-fi surfing and his sights are now set on pushing the performance level of Indonesian surfing to new heights. Lee is a two-time Rip Curl Cup champion as well as a two-time Indonesian national champion. A third crown at Padang could cement his legacy as Indonesia’s best.
Agus “Blacky” Setiawan
23-year-old Uluwatu local Agus “Blacky” Setiawan was officially granted the final surfer spot in the main event after the local trials were cancelled due to a lack of contestable conditions at Padang. Setiawan won the local trials held at Uluwatu last year but never got his shot to compete against the world’s best on his home turf because the waves at Padang never reached the high standards of the Rip Curl Cup in 2015. The son of Ulus legend I Made Lapur (who himself once finished runner up at Padang Cup in 2007!), Blacky will look to carry on the family tradition of representing the Uluwatu boys at in the Rip Curl Cup at Padang.