Adventure to Macaronis

Athlete(s): Bethany Hamilton / Photos: Bethany Hamilton

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So, many of you know I absolutely looove surfing! Some of you may know I’m coming out with a performance piece soon showing me surfing on amazing waves around the world. But a lot of you don’t know what it takes to score those perfect waves. I recently had a “not so ordinary” journey to one of my favorite waves, Macaronis.

My trip started off traveling with my husband, Adam, to the land of Bali, Indonesia. Once there, we met up with the videographer and producer of our surf film, Aaron Lieber. We were all psyching to get some sick content in Bali!

The first round of the Ripcurl Padang Padang cup was scheduled to run, and I was stoked to be invited as a wildcard. It’s always great going to Indo when the swell is pumping to score some barreling left-handers. Unfortunately, the swell didn’t show up as well as predicted and we had some rough conditions to deal with. I got out the first round, but was stoked to be able to charge waves in the Uluwatu area for a few days. However we needed better surfing content. And we knew the perfect strike mish for the coming swell. Macas.

I have been to Macaronis a few times before, but all by a nice boat. It’s pretty sick to get on these big speedboats designated for the soul purpose of finding waves and doing it in comfortable style. This time, we didn’t have the ability to book a nice boat. We went the route of the local ferry. Ewe!

First, the crew and I had to travel the local airlines to Padang. I continue to grow a strong appreciation for well-managed airports, because Indonesian airports are crazy! Almost every landing is sketchy and scary in Indoneasia… In Padang we were picked up by the Macaronis Resort van and weaved in and out of scooter infested traffic. It is an extreme experience riding on tiny roads while the driver creates a third lane in the middle…ah! As we were making our way to the port for the ferry, I was really bummed to the awful state the country was in. Trash lined all the roads, in the fields, and polluted the beaches and ocean nearby. So sad to see such a beautiful country have an issue like that.

We finally made it to the ferry and we were in for a shocker. This was your basic Indonesian ferry, rundown, deteriorated metal seats inside, no food or water service, and it was completely packed to the brim with local families, children running about claiming sleeping spaces for the night on the grimy metal floor, mothers feeding babies, and every single man (and even boy) were up on the deck smoking. Amongst the smell of cigarettes was the smell of the fruit Duryian, which smells like the bottom of a trash can after you take the bag out.

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Adam and I managed to get a few hours of sleep during the 14 hour ferry ride to the Mentawai islands. Just a few cockroaches crawling on our faces at night and 5 a.m. muslim prayer wake up call to get the day started right! Haha. I’m glad I had Adam with me to endure. It was all worth it though because were basically ready to surf Macaronis.

We reached the Macaronis camp and the swell was already beginning to show! I was super excited to jump in the water, catch a few, and wash off the filth of the ferry! Sure enough the next day a 4-6 ft. swell was pulsing all day long. I was frothing.

I surfed Macas for 8 ½ hours in one day! I couldn’t be pulled away. It was so rippable and I kept getting fun barreling and rippable sections. The following day turned out even better.

I definitely had a challenge of dealing with a crowd from 8 boats. There were a lot of frothing Brazilians as well! But this day most of the boats were gone and the winds were almost ideal. I surfed my brains out the 3 days we were at Macas! So stoked on the content Aaron and the team captured and the incredible momentum we are building on this project! Can’t wait for everyone to see it all come together.

The journey back home was just as gnarly. In fact, I’m in the middle of our 70 hour travel journey back home while writing this. I love home so much. But nothing will keep me from chasing down and surfing the next swell!


*Head to to join Bethany’s Kickstarter campaign and help fund the surf film she was working on while at Macaronis!

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