Waves in the “Timor region”

A new Surfline article on Best Bet for August, featuring Indonesia with certain waves captioned as being in the “Timor” region, hasn’t been live for 24 hours yet and already I’ve gotten an email from a friend asking me where the “Timor” righthander is located (I’m not a guru, I’ve just been cruising through those islands for a long time).

Well, the caption editor is using “Timor” to be coy, and is covering a region stretching from Sumbawa all the way to, oh, the Tanimbar Islands. One of those photos is of a wave so well-known and photographed I’m scratching my head why it’s just not named—and it’s not even in the Timor area at all. It gets packed, with surf lodge accommodations in the area happy to find a spare cot and a few dozen Anopheles mosquitoes for you.

As for the righthander, can you picture a couple ferals camping out at the spot in the nearest village, doing it the old-fashioned way of years gone by, and then seeing that photograph on one of the Internet’s most heavily trafficked sites? Yeah, I know, the spot is not named, but when did that ever stop anybody? A shot of an “unknown” place makes a magazine cover, editors keep mum, at least in print—and the place is pretty much guaranteed to be on the map within six months. That’s just the nature of human curiosity and obsession and begging and swearing “I won’t tell a soul.” Those old-school ferals at this village have spent years accumulating information of swell and tides and wind and routes, and in an instant, it seems, they are flooded with package tours. Those dinosaurs, the new school says, what right do they have to be pissing and moaning? I’ve paid good money to be guided here, and the ocean is free anyways, the waves belong to everyone, and dude, I rip better than you, anyhow, and I deserve the next set wave more. Is it my imagination, or is this attitude becoming more and more common?

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