OH, WHAT A NIGHT! The 16th Annual Surftime Awards at Single Fin Uluwatu!
Under a beautiful Bali night time sky, The Surftime Awards found a new home at Single Fin Uluwatu. Welcomed by a mix of Wednesday night diehard bukit party people and an eclectic mix of industry insiders, the affair, in its 16th annual form, was a welcome change to its past incarnations and a harbinger of times to come. That the Surftime Awards have always belonged at Single Fin is certainly no secret and the proof was in the pudding as the finest among us gathered to hail this year’s winners to the soundtrack of crashing waves, reggae fusion and roaring applause.
Even in its current form, which is under construction, The VIP deck at Single Fin was host to a throng of enthusiastic fans, alluring all-female tables, top performers and CEO’s liberally fueled with sponsors Finsbury Gin and Bir Bintang. The bellowing crowd lining the multi-tiered venue carried on as the night mowed through the announcements. Once again the trophies were a smash hit. Unique in all the world, these authentic Wayang shadow puppets, custom crafted by the masters of Gianyar, added a soulful touch to the proceedings. Just behind the Rip Curl Cup trophy in prestige, this years trophies were the pride of the winners. Depicting Semar, the punokawan, the divine and very wise dhanyang of Java, these trophies were designed to reflect not only the fun of the night, but the honor of receiving one as well.
Highlights of the evening included having the Johnson sisters present these trophies, and of course Rahtu Suargita’s free flow rap performance. And the moment when, in a nod to the modernization of surfing in Bali, the announcement for the female surfer of the year was saved for last instead of the male surfer of the year. And it was Rio Waida’s and Kai Johnson’s humble acceptance of the top honors that capped off the boisterous celebration.
Keoni “Cheesburger” Nozaki, our very own Semar, was on hand to kick off the late night shenanigans, stoking the party with his buzzing energy as the VIP tables literally rocked with howls of laughter late into the night. The Surftime Awards have found a new, fitting home in Single Fin Uluwatu, and after 20 years of publication it really felt right. Said Lost’s Pete Matthews, recipient of the “Best Boards” Award, “The choice is obvious. Surftime Awards and Single fin? A perfect match!”. Man, you got that right.