Made Raditya Rondi
My recent trip to Taiwan was mind blowing and unforgettable, mainly because I was crowned the Asian Surfing Champion again for the third consecutive year.
Team Billabong, consisting of Rahtu Suargita, Sima Rai Tanabe, Bonne Gea, Didaqt Mussadiq and I, flew to Taiwan together to compete at the Taiwan Open of Surfing 2013. It was a quiet night after we landed as we headed to the hotel to catch up on sleep and re-energize for the competition ahead.
A day before the competition, we had free surf sessions so we got to practice our moves and get into the momentum of things.
On the first official competition day, the waves were great- about 2 to 3 feet. I qualified for Round 3 but lost my heat the next day against Dede Suryana. I was pretty disappointed but during the next round, I saw Putya Hermawan lose his heat! Secretly I was overjoyed because if he won, he would have taken the lead to win the ASC title this year!! But he didn’t and I qualified for the title instead!
I was simply ecstatic about winning, especially in Taiwan. I love this place - the people, the food, and the weather! It was undoubtedly one of my most exciting trips because I was with Team Billabong and we always have so much fun when we are together.
It was my first time visiting Taiwan and you bet I loved it! It was a great learning experience for me and gave me better exposure on many different aspects of surfing.
As we were living in the middle of the city, we rented bikes to go around the place exploring all the great food places and what not! To be honest, I was not a big fan of the food, as it didn’t appeal to my taste buds much. But I know Raditya loved it for sure.
Before the competition heat begun, we attended a welcome dinner gathering where I met all my friends from Japan. This definitely enhanced my trip to Taiwan.
On the first day of the competition, I performed extremely well thanks to the good waves but unfortunately, I did not go too far in the contest due to tough competition from other athletes; also the waves got low and super windy the next day!
So while the rest of the competition was going on, I enjoyed the city of Taiwan with the Team Billbong and celebrated Made Raditya Rondi’s win as he was deemed this year’s ASC Champion!
This event was a joint merger between Asian Surfing Championship and The Association of Surfing Professionals, making it one of the biggest surfing competitions in Asia this year. I am honoured to be one of the selected few who got a chance to participate in this thanks to Billabong.