Tuesday, March 22nd (Bali Day 5)

  • Our objective for the day was to rent surfboards in our target size range, 6’8″-10″ fun-boards, which are transition boards that are slightly wider and thicker than performance boards.
  • This was to test our riding ability before committing to a ~$350 USD board purchase later that afternoon.
  • We took an easy morning with pool-side breakfast and coffee then hit the beach.
  • It took some time to find boards that were even roughly in the right size range.  In retrospect we should have gone directly to a surf shop for the rental.  However, eventually we got frustrated and rented two boards that were in the 7′-7’4″ range.
  • The next two hours were fun but a lot of our time was spent watching the horizon and waiting for rideable waves.
  • Regardless, it was nice to get some exercise and we both caught some great waves in between chats with other surfers: a girl from Canada and a guy from Australia who gave us advice on boards and places to stay.
  • Two hours later we returned to the beach, returned the boards, and made a partial payment for the rental, promising to return after we had visited the ATM to complete the payment.
  • We made a quick stop at our hotel to freshen up, then made a visit to the ATM, finally returning to the beach to complete our rental payment on our way to lunch.
  • This was when things took a turn for the worse:
  • After we handed over the remaining 25K IDR, a different local that we hadn’t spoken to yet pointed out a ding on the surfboard that Cory had been using and insisted that we pay for the repair.
  • I realized that we had made the rookie mistake of not pointing out the existing damage to the owner before taking the board out on the water.
  • However, we were also certain it wasn’t us.  For one, Cory hadn’t collided with anything that could have caused the ding.  Second, the majority of our time was spent waiting for rideable waves.  Most importantly, I had noticed the ding the moment we got into the water but hadn’t thought anything of it as both boards had clearly seen better days.
  • As we tried to explain this in a “let’s keep this civil” tone, a crowd of locals began to form and a small, fiesty guy got in my face, calling us liars and fronting several times like he was going to throw a punch.
  • At this point we realized we weren’t going to get out of the situation without paying some amount.
  • We also weren’t inclined to start any kind of “local vs. foreigner” situation after we had seen a mob of locals beat an Australian man unconscious on the main drag a few nights prior.
  • I offered to pay 50K IDR ($3.78) for what was likely a 200K IDR ($15) repair, which we felt was more than fair for the ride we were being taken on.
  • Unfortunately the negotiation ended at a 50/50 split.
  • We all agreed, then the local board owner, Cory, and I set off to the nearest surf shop for a repair.  
  • After verifying the price at a second shop the local tried to renege on his side of the bargain and have us pay the full amount.  
  • However, we stuck to our guns and eventually handed over 100K IDR per the original agreement and walked away.
  • Feeling extremely frustrated and burned out from being taken advantage of at every turn over the past 6 months, we continued on to our consolation lunch.
  • Next we visited Matahari Market to buy some watermelon and avacado.
  • We returned to the hotel and split the watermelon then decided to pull the trigger on a surfboard so we wouldn’t have to deal with any more rental BS.
  • On our way to Papaya Surf Shop we came across a new place, Sixth Sense Surf Shop, and entered on a whim, which resulted in the purchase of two boards: a 6’10” white fun board and a 6’8″ white fun board with red trim.  Total cost for the full package, including leash, fins, wax, and travel bag: 3.5M IDR ($265) per package.
  • This washed away our frustrations from earlier and we were all smiles as we walked back to our hotel.
  • Per our routine, we spent the rest of the night either cooling off in the pool or reading and relaxing in our room.      

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