PHOTOS BY YDWER WORDS BY JALOU LANGEREE, CATHARINA EDIN AND OLIVIA JENKINS
THOUGHTS BEFORE THE TRIP
“The competition season was good but a little frustrating as we barely had any good waves at the stops. All my hopes for good waves were with the KSWT in Mauritius but sadly it was cancelled. This opened up a window to travel to a place of my choosing. I had the urge to ride bigger and heavier waves. I considered different options. These included Madagascar, Mauritius, Fiji and some other unexplored spots. I then contacted Catharina Edin. Cat was wildly stoked to join the trip even though she did not know where we were going. She gave me her trust. I heard stories from friends about Indonesia being very windy and wavey during the end of summer season. I booked my flights and was anxious to start the trip!”– Jalou Langeree
“Many friends from my hometown had been to Indonesia and had raved about their first barrels kiting there. Barrels!? My mind started spinning and I could not get that word out of my head. Was I going to be able to get barrelled? Would I be ready? I became very excited.”–Catharina Edin
“It was the peak of summer and we had not had good wind and waves in Maui for a long time. I was scrolling the Surfline swell map and saw a big purple blob in the Indian Ocean. It looked like a great window for Indonesia. A couple of days later I was on Instagram and saw Jalou posted a story that she was in Indonesia and Catharina was on her way. I messaged Jalou instantly asking how the conditions were. I looked back at the Surfline map and in order to make it for the peak of the swell, I had to leave the following morning. I messaged Cat and she gave me every last detail about what flight to take and where to stay. I did not have any kites but luckily Sky Solbach was kind enough to lend me his. After spending the entire day trying to find the cheapest flight, I booked one at 6:30 p.m. I left the following morning at 7:00 a.m. 30 hours later, I made it to my destination a day before the swell hit.”–Olivia Jenkins
“When Jalou approached me to join her with a couple of other people in Indonesia it wasn’t hard for me to say yes. A cool crew and some good conditions could end up in loads of sick content. After shooting the Air Games in Germany I didn’t even have time to unpack as I flew straight to Indo to meet up with the girls. They were there a couple of days earlier to get used to the conditions and dial in the wave.”–YDWER
“It felt so good being back in Indonesia and knowing that waves were guaranteed. It was my fourth time visiting this unique spot. Life is simple and slow. It felt refreshing after hectic Europe. It was nice to have a moment to focus only on kiting day-in and day-out. The place has not changed much. The kite crowd has increased over the years (which I guess is hard to counteract). On the other hand, this gives you a reason to keep searching for new spots. It’s a spot that doesn’t hold many people so no need to visit.”–Jalou
“The day after I arrived was when the swell peaked. I was pleasantly surprised; it was much larger than expected. The barreling wave that we had traveled to this location for was closing out in the channel. We hopped on our mopeds and drove five minutes down the coast to another spot. There were many surfers out paddling. Huge sets were rolling in and the wind was picking up. We drove back to our hostel and loaded up our large kites and boards onto the mopeds. Once we got back to the spot all the surfers were out of the water and it was time to pump up. It was a little light for the ten, but throughout the day the wind picked up a little. There were so many waves coming in that by the end of the session we were feeling more comfortable with the conditions. I was stoked to get some large set waves that got my adrenaline pumping. I was also so excited to see Cat and Jalou on large waves. I would always scream and cheer for them from the channel.”–Olivia
“Early in the trip I kited some of my biggest waves of my life. There were so many people in the lineup but I was able to figure out the wave and get some good ones. Olivia told me to lineup with the orange water tower. The whole session I was looking for this item in the water but was frustrated that I couldn’t find it. After the session, I told her this and she told me it was on the land. We all cracked up laughing for so long.”–Catharina
“One of the spots is a notorious wave to get barreled with a kite. The guys in the photos and videos make it look so easy. It was not as easy at it looks. There were so many things to think about in congruence that made it difficult.
For example, the best time to kite this wave was at low tide. This was very daunting, as when trying to pull in, we also saw dry reef. It was also difficult dealing with the power of the kite. I found myself flying down the face of the wave with too much speed even after attempting to stall. This would cause me to be too far in front of the barreling wave. Positioning was key; it was very easy to find oneself too deep on this wave, especially with the ease of tacking upwind in one tack. Overall, it was a learning experience.”–Olivia
“The goal of the trip was to kite the barreling wave as much as possible and to get a good cover-up. There was not a perfect barrel every wave throughout the day, so we didn’t get to practice as much as we had thought we would. It was so fun to be learning something new and pushing ourselves. It was all about finding the right spot for the barreling section.”–Jalou
“After the big wave day, my confidence was over the moon while walking down to the beach. I thought, ‘okay, today I am going to get barreled.’ I then stopped and saw large set waves rolling in one after another. Some had large spitting barrels. I began to pump up but remained quiet. I thought about the videos I had been watching and the few tips I had received before going out.
At the start, I stayed on the shoulder and caught a few of the smaller waves. It was all so different from what I had imagined. My nerves started to calm down. I then thought, ‘alright, it’s time. Pull in… now.’ What a bad idea. I managed to pull in deep despite my lack of planning. I already knew that I was not going to make it out since I had closed my eyes in the middle of the ride. I felt the heavy wave on my head. I thought this is how it feels to get eaten alive. I arose to the surface and saw my kite down in the water. Before thinking twice, I released my kite.
Jalou helped me to the shore. She then told me that typically when the kite goes down on this wave, it gets pulled out into the channel. In the channel, it is not in the danger zone, and it is easy to relaunch. At first I felt disappointed and overwhelmed by the challenging conditions. I was also scared that this would be my one and only chance to get barreled and that I had just ruined it.
Luckily, my perspective changed the following days and I learned to accept the fact that this kind of wave was much different from the type of waves I was used to. This mindset helped me to continue trying again and again.”–Olivia
“For me it was a new challenge as well. Although I had been shooting in the waves a lot and One Eye on Mauritius isn’t a particularly easy place to shoot, this was a bit of a different game. I had to find my position in the waves which was challenging as the wave was very inconsistent in size the first days. A slightly longer lens was my best bet as my position is less critical to get the shot. Along the days I got better and better in positioning myself. Also the girls got more confident and were pushing each other to start deeper and deeper to get barreled.”–YDWER
“The waves dropped mid-week but another swell hit near the end of the trip. The waves were pinching off of the small days, making it difficult to get barreled. I still had not had a proper cover-up, but was determined. With the bigger waves, at the right tide there were large hollow barrels.
I launched my kite and tacked a couple of times upwind. For my first wave I went for a set wave and nose dove into the boil (a sort of large “bubble” on the water surface where the wave typically breaks). I flew down face first and went over the falls towards the shallow water. This was my worst wipeout of the trip. I felt like I had just been tumbled in a washing machine. I popped up, saw my kite was still flying, and body dragged into the channel. I saw blood dripping from my leg, but noticed it was only a small reef cut. My fins were completely scraped. A little shook up, I knew I had to try again. Matchu followed beside me on another set wave, and told me where to sit and when to point down the line. I got my first proper barrel and made it out. It was at that point I realized that the days before I had not been in the right spot and had been timing it completely wrong.”–Olivia
“It was so fun to have this experience with other females. We all definitely have our own styles and ways of learning and improving. What really helped us improve was watching the videos and photos at night. It was so easy to see what needed to be adjusted. We would show each other the footage and give each other tips.”–Jalou
“It was cool to see how the girls pushed each other and how they talked about getting barreled. The vibe was different than with the guys. The level between the girls was very different. Jalou, having tons of riding experience, Olivia not thinking about fear and Catharina an amazing drive to get in there. The girls gave each other tips, talked about their fear and their goals.
It’s also not only about action during this trip. Lifestyle is an important part of what they want to show to the rest of the world. Eating delicious Indonesian food and meeting local people. It’s the whole experience that they want to share. In the morning there is no wind, ideal moments for either surf session or a lifestyle shoot. During the lifestyle shoot I realized I’m on a trips with just girls. As soon as they start chatting they wouldn’t stop. They were so caught up in their discussion that they completely forgot I was there waiting with the camera in my hand.”–YDWER
All of us found that by the end of the week we had improved so much. We were starting to figure out all the components needed to ride this wave. It will definitely not be the last time that we will travel together. We are already talking about where we want to go for our next trip. We think that it is important for groups of girls to go on trips like these. We want to show women around the world that it is not just for men!