Paulo Moura (BRA)
Paulo Moura is one of the first generation of Brazilian surfers to charge heavy barrels around the world. He paved the way for guys like Medina and the Brazilian Storm in Hawaii. Moura competed on the WCT for 6 years, was a Pipe Masters semifinalist in 2004 and took 4th place in the Triple Crown finisher that same year, the highest placing Brazilian surfer in Triple Crown until Brazilian Storm generation. He’s been a Semi Finalist at 10-foot Teahupoo in 2005, defeating Mick Fanning in Rd. 4 with a perfect 10 and 9.6. Currently, Moura can be found on The Search full time, hunting huge tubes from G-Land to Jaws.
Bruce Irons (HAW)
People in Bali are still talking about Bruce Irons’ perfect 10 during last year’s Rip Curl Cup. The fact that it wasn’t enough to propel him out of the first round is a testament to the barrage of high scores going down. Still, it was widely regarded as the most impressive and technical barrel ride on a day that was brimming with them. Even before he won the 2008 Rip Curl Search event in Bali (his lone WCT event victory), Bruce always had a special relationship with the Island of the Gods. With Bruce’s track record, don’t be surprised if he finds another jaw-dropping 10 – or two – the next time around at Padang.
Dillon Perillo (USA)
A true Searcher, Dillon Perillo has made an impressive career out of seeking out the dreamiest, most exotic waves on the planet and drawing his own exquisite lines. When he’s not getting drained at tropical reefbreaks, Dillon can be found blowing up around his Malibu, CA home. A favorite of filmmaker Kai Neville, Dillon’s hi-fi act has been featured in such recent blockbusters as Dear Suburbia and Cluster. If Dillon can make it back from his next far-flung Search location to Padang in time for the swell, expect him to bring down the house.
Bruno Santos (BRA)
Outside of his native Brazil, few people knew of Bruno Santos when he entered the trials of the 2008 Billabong Pro Tahiti. Bruno quickly changed that by marching his way from the trials all the way to winning the main event in thundering Teahupo’o against the WCT’s best. These days, if you don’t know Bruno, you better ask somebody. From Skeleton Bay to Desert Point, Bruno’s paranormal vanishing acts into the barrel led Kelly Slater to proclaim him a perennial favorite to win in heaving left barrels. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
Clay Marzo (HAW)
It was only a matter of time before Clay Marzo found his way into the Rip Curl Cup. The electrifying Hawaiian goofyfoot is tailor made for a man vs. man competition at the Balinese Pipeline, and proved it last year as the standout of the early rounds, putting on a Houdini disappearing act all morning. No hassling for priority, just some of the best performances we’ve seen in or out of a heat all year. Clay topped his finals performance off with a huge plate of tacos at the local cantina and the grin of a very satisfied man. Will his hunger be enough to take the win in 2017? Order up!
Anthony Walsh (AUS)
Anthony Walsh’s main job is to put himself deep in the guts of the most hollow waves on earth and document it with a GoPro. At first it might sound like a dream job, until you realize it means paddling into maxing Teahupo’o. Walshy rarely does contests, but jumped at the chance to surf perfect Padang Padang in a heat. He’s a former finalist at the Rip Curl Cup, finishing in third place in 2011. Don’t be surprised to see Walshy storm his way to the finals and document the whole thing with a GoPro in his mouth.
Jay Davies (AUS)
Native American Indian in decent, Western Australian born and raised, the mountain man is widely regarded as one of the most exciting and dynamic free surfers in the world. Honing his skill on a rugged coastline know for its large powerful surf, jay is a master of slabbing waves of consequence. Late drops into the tube and huge hulking hacks mixed with unbelievably light-footed above the lip antics make him one damn exciting surfer to watch.
Luke Hynd (AUS)
At a 21 years old, Luke Hynd has already traveled to some of the most exotic locations in the world, surfing remote breaks and getting inundated with culture lessons from faraway places. Hailing From Tallebudgera, QLD, Luke is the nephew of famed surf journo Derek Hynd. The goofyfoot, who’s been said to be a blend of Mitch Coleborn and Craig Anderson, is a proficient skater and an excellent aerialist. Hungry to keep pushing himself and the sport, surfers and fans look forward to see what’s next for this stylishly gifted surfer.
Made "Bol" Adi Putra (IND)
DOB: August 5, 1980
It could be said that what Gerry Lopez is to Pipeline, Bol is to Padang. No other surfer has put in more time and is more synonymous with the wave. That’s why on the best days, when the set of the day steamrolls toward the reef, it’s reserved for Bol. He remains the only back-to-back champion of the Rip Curl Cup, a feat so improbable it probably will never be repeated (though defending champ Mega Semadhi certainly hopes to prove us wrong in 2017). It’s been over a decade since Bol last hoisted the Cup (although he made the final in 2009 and 2011), but to become the first three-time winner in event history would make it worth the wait.
Raditya Rondi (IND)
DOB: January 29, 1989
Raditya Rondi is always in the mix at Padang, having reached the Rip Curl Cup finals two years in a row (2013-14), but falling just short of a title on both occasions. The multiple-time Asian Surfing Champion is a highly respected contest tactician and recognized by his peers as one of the most intense competitors on the tour. Having narrowly lost out to his cousin Garut in the final in 2014, look for “Cabul the Bull” to make a stampede to get over the hump of second place in 2017.
Mega Semadhi (IND)
DOB: July 14, 1989
The reigning Rip Curl Cup Champion is the ultimate Padang local. He lives closer to the wave than any surfer in the contest and is on it any time Padang turns on. Mega is a three-time finalist at the Rip Curl Cup and a two-time champion. He’s attempting to become only the second person to win back-to-back titles at Padang (Bol was the only other surfer to accomplish the feat in 2004-05, before international surfers were invited to compete). Last year Mega was the only local surfer to make the final, but he outsurfed Damien Hobgood, Mason Ho and Clay Marzo for the W. He’ll have the support of the hometown crowd behind him as always, along with the sharpest local wave knowledge of anyone in the event.
Rizal Tandjung (IND)
DOB: November 23, 1975
The man who put Indonesian surfing on the map. Rizal Tandjung remains the most globally recognized surfer ever to come out of Indo. He’s shredded his way all over the world as a WQS warrior, made a name for himself in Hawaii by scoring American cover shots on Pipeline bombs, and earned his spot in Taylor Steele’s seminal Momentum Generation films alongside guys like Kelly Slater and Rob Machado. But despite being arguably the greatest Padang surfer of all-time, Riz has yet to win the Rip Curl Cup (he made the finals in 2005, but lost out in an epic battle with Bol). Will the godfather of Bali surfing take down a Padang trophy before he sets down his spear? It would seem to be only a matter of time.
Garut Widiarta (IND)
DOB: March 9, 1988
Hands-down the fastest surfer on the island, Garut Widiarta’s lightining-fast surfing makes him one of the odds-on favorites at Bali’s best lefthand reefbreak, and his endless bag of tricks will surely be on display during the waiting period freesurfs. Some felt Garut’s lackluster performances at the Padang Cup early in his career were partly the result of the heavy expectations saddled on him as the heir apparent to the throne at Padang. After claiming The Cup in 2014 – an achievement some pundits felt was only a matter of time – the Padang monkey (figurative, not literal) is finally off his back, and Garut should continue his forte of making the impossible look effortless.
Lee Wilson (IND)
DOB: August, 10 1985
After taking a hiatus from professional surfing last year and moving to New Zealand to focus on his art and family, Lee Wilson is back. He’s got a new sponsor supporting his unpredictable brand of hi-fi surfing and his sights are now set on pushing the performance level of Indonesian surfing to new heights. Lee is a two-time Rip Curl Cup champion as well as a two-time Indonesian national champion. A third crown at Padang could cement his legacy as Indonesia’s best.
Pepen Hendrik (IND)
DOB: 15th May 1976
Pepen is the longest standing team rider on the Rip Curl Indonesia squad. Widely regarded for his serious power surfing blowing minds with his clinical rail game and air technique, but also his tube riding skills.
The most respected of all Indonesian Surfers, Pepen is gracious and ever smiling on land, and a demon in the line-up. His backside approach at the Balinese Pipe is well practised, he has been ass-dragging through tubes across the inside bowl for over 15 years and has claimed the best tubes of the 2017 to date on the past 2 swells of the season.
Rio Waida (IND)
DOB: Jan 25, 2000
Rip Curl has announced that the local wildcard entry into the Rip Curl Cup main event will be granted to Rio Waida, Indonesia’s highest-ranking junior surfer. Waida has been on a tear in 2017, winning the first stop of the REnextop Asian Surfing Tour at Canggu and taking second place at the recent WSL Komune Bali Pro at Keramas. At just 17 years old, he is currently ranked second among all pro surfers in Asia. Now Waida will look to replicate his success on the biggest stage of his young career, the Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang.