Wavesurfing at Abasi beach Manokwari
Last month, I guided two Dutch tourists Victor and Anne. Victor is an avid wavesurfer. When I offered him to go to Abasi beach for watching Papuan children wavesurfing, he immediately said yes. Off we went on the afternoon. He brought his surfing board. Before he and the children went to the sea, I took some pictures of them. Anne also took some pictures of them. Victor was happy to wave surf with them. Not far from Abasi beach, there is another beach whose waves are bigger called Amban. Victor and Anne went there too. Anne took some nice photographs of Victor wavesurfing in Amban beach and posted them in the Facebook. Victor has even planned to come back to Manokwari with his friends. If you are interested in wave surfing in West Papua particularly the Abasi beach of Manokwari city, you can contact me via email firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be happy to help you arrange your trip in this town. Don't forget to bring your own surfboard, when coming to this town. There is no shop that sells the surfboard here. There is no surfing school either. So, if you are a professional wave surfer who are interested in opening such school for tourists, it is a big opportunity for you.
Watching Children Wave Surfing at Abasi Beach
Several days before guiding the Dutch tourists, I went mountain biking to Cape Bakaro. There, I watched some Papuan children wave surfing at Abasi beach. It is a tropical beach located near Cape Bakaro of Manokwari city in West Papua province of Indonesia. Actually I didn't have any plan to meet these little wave surfers. I was mountain biking on the afternoon to Cape Bakaro that was not far from Abasi beach when I saw some children around three hundred meters from the beach with their surf boards. Without thinking too much, I immediately turned right and headed to the beach. The children did not know I was watching them. They were swimming towards big waves. When a wave crest was right behind them, they would try to push their bodies out of the water and stand on the their wooden surf boards. Those who were able to stay on the boards surfing to the beach looked very happy. They were riding their boards as if they were professional wave surfers.
Wavesurfing using very simple wooden
I immediately put my hand into my pocket to take my digital camera out of it. But unfortunately I couldn't find it. I forgot to bring it with me. I only had my cell phone instead. Then I activated its camera feature to shoot them. Because the digital camera function of my cell phone is not supported with optical zoom device, I could not magnify the beautiful scenes with it. I was quite sad but kept on taking pictures of them surfing on the big waves. These Papuan children do not use standard surfboards that have fins underneath. Besides they are not sold in this city, the price of such surfboards, perhaps, will be expensive for them. So, the surfboards that they used were made of wood. These wooden surfboards were various in sizes but they were useful tools for them to improve their skills in "riding" the waves.
Coming again with better camera
Because I didn't bring my camera, I decided to return to the beach the next day with my digital still camera Sony Cybershot DSC W310. When I was leaving the beach, the Papuan children called me saying , "Mister,besok lagi" meaning "mister, tomorrow again." I replied to them, "Yes, I will come back again tomorrow!"
So, today I rode my mountain bike to the Abasi beach with my digital camera. It as around 6 p.m. and the sun was nearly set in the west. I saw fewer children. The light from the sun was not bright enough for me to take photos of the surfer in the middle of the big waves. I came closer to the beach where the waves break. I had to walked back several times to avoid from being washed by the sea waves. I turned on my camera and began taking pictures of them. One child tried his best to impress me with his surfing skill. I took some pictures of him on his surfing boards wave surfing towards me.
They need standard surfboards
The Papuan children whom I watched wave surfing at Abasi beach near Manokwari city did not use standard surfboards. Yet they were quite skillful in "conquering" the big waves that pushed them and their boards from behind. Wave surfing is a dangerous water sports. It is not for everybody. Only the braves who can face the big waves. If they are properly supplied by the government or anybody who is interested in helping them with better surfboards, I believe that one day - these children can become world class wave surfers. In my opinion, what they need is better equipment and guidance. For the surfing skills, I think they will be able to master them by themselves. For them wave surfing is one of their daily hobbies and the raging sea of Abasi beach is also one of the playgrounds beside the tropical rainforest.
If Properly Supported by the Indonesian National Sports Committee, They Could Become World Class Wave Surfers
These Papuan children have never attended any wave surfing schools yet their skills in swimming, and riding their surfboards on the wave slopes are extra ordinary. They wave surf nearly everyday and they don't feel it as a kind of intensive training for facing a game or championship. For them the sea is their playground. They love the sea and their simple wooden surfboards. They have all the potential to become world class wave surfers someday in the future.