Keramas has been reduced to a shadow of its former self, in terms of quality and consistency, due to coastal development according to locals.
Last year it was announced the world famous spot in Bali would be making its return to the dream tour in 2018 for the first ever ‘Corona Bali Pro’. The last time the spot featured on tour, back in 2013, the entertainment value was super high, with barrels and air sections providing a canvas for the world’s best to cut loose. However, recent comments by Betet Merta have cast doubt on whether the event will enjoy the same world class conditions.
“It’s still a good wave,” said Betet in an interview with Surfline. “Still a fun wave, still pumping for maybe one or two hours — but not pumping all day like before. It looks shorter, and sometimes the wave goes left and right… It’s two peaks now, where before it was only one peak from deeper, from the rock.”
The locals attribute the deterioration in wave quality to coastal development in the area, however Steve Cannon, the co-owner of The Komune Resort, which sits on the point, has refuted claims the construction of his building is to blame. Instead he points the finger at a neighbouring development, which he claims has interfered with the river which feeds the beach with sediment.
According to Cannon the landowners have twice attempted to construct a sea wall, with the first attempt culminating in a mass of rubble that needed excavating and the second leaving a partly collapsed sea wall which is now diverting the river. The local villagers, along with the Indonesian Surfing Championship (recently renamed the Asian Surfing Co.) have begun legal action in order to protect the wave. When questioned on the decrease in quality ASC president Tipi Jarbrik had the following to say:
“Yes, there is some change in the wave’s shape, but it will not affect the quality. What I personally think about the wave in Keramas is that there are lots of factors that can affect wave quality. I’m not sure if we can point any fingers to any one person or one thing, but of course the easiest way is to blame someone or something.”
Whatever the truth on Keramas’ current conditions, come May 27th the entire surfing world will know for sure.
Cover photo: ASP/ Kirstin