Under The Radar: Nine surfers taking the road less traveled.

Surf magazines are full of self-promoters. Half of being a pro surfer is to surf really well; the other half is about photo shoots, magazine interviews, video premieres, trade-show autograph signings, getting skunked at bad surf contests, and meetings with sponsors. This world appeals to some, and others want nothing to do with it. This article is an attempt to introduce you to some surfers you don’t see regularly in the glossy mags or in Taylor Steele’s latest film. These are guys who haven’t made it yet, or who simply don’t want to make it. They are still new somehow. Less jaded. When someone asks them if they want to go on a surf trip, they don’t have to think about it. There are no managers or personal assistants to call, no autograph signings to reschedule.—Joel Patterson

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Dede Suryana

Bali’s newest star is on the rise.

Following a dream, at sixteen Dede Suryana relocated from the poor, remote fishing village in West Java where he grew up surfing the reef breaks in walking distance from his house to Bali—Indonesia’s surf capital, and the home of some of the world’s best left-hand point breaks. In the past year, he’s started to catch the eye of traveling American and Australian photographers as well as the world surf media. When he arrives in Hawai’i this November, it will be the first time anyone from his village has been to America. The packs of action-hungry North Shore photographers are in for a surprise.—A.C.

Did you ever think you could one day become a professional surfer?

I move to Bali because I wish I could surf better. Because Bali, so many people are professional surfers, so I can learn how to surf like guys really surfing good—like Rasta (Dave Rastovich), Keith Malloy—professional surfers. So, it’s good, you know? It’s good for me. I know Dustin (Humphrey), so it better for me. He taking photo, so I can keep in touch with him and surfing actually after school, in summer.

What do you think about Hawai’i so far?

Usually I watch one video, like Waimea, Pipeline, I see guys surfing really good, riding big waves. I can go to Hawai’i—that going to help me. After soon as I come here I stoked, like “Ohhh, I can’t believe,” I can see Rocky Point, Sunset Beach, Pipeline. The waves still small, still wait for swell coming—I wish I can ride big wave. A few days ago I see guys I know from magazine like C.J. Hobgood, Damien Hobgood, and Bobby Martinez. A couple few days ago, I met them, “Oh my god, professional in front of my face.” I can’t believe it, you know, it’s like a dream. I just quiet, I look at them like, “Oh my God, right here professional superstar.”

Do you use Rizal (Tanjung, Balinese surf legend) and his success as an example for you and your future?

He’s number-one Indo superstar, so everyone want to be like him. Me too, yeah, I want to try to be like him—maybe I want to be better than him.

When you were a little kid sitting in the village in West Java, did you ever think someday you’d see all the pros, getting photographed?

When I was a kid still in Java, I didn’t think like that. I thinking about move to Bali and become to focusing on surfer because I don’t really know about Hawai’i. I didn’t know I could go to Hawai’i because before my sponsors were small company there and not really supporting me, so I was pessimist. But after I get my sponsor—a big company, America’s Hurley—I become optimist. I was thinking I could change my life from surfing.

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Dustin Barca

Blacklisted Kauai Boy?

TransWorld Surf: Can you tell me what a career killer is?

Dustin Barca: Doing the wrong thing, at the wrong place, to the wrong person. That pretty much sums up a career killer.

Who hasn’t had a career killer? From the waitress who got wasted during work, to t pizza dude who got popped slangin’ weed out of his delivery truck—we’ve all suffered from a career-threatening maneuver. Twenty-year-old Hanalei resident Dustin Barca is no exception. Barca’s brush with unemployment involved slapping around a former team manager after the guy told him he was dropped from the team. After a few more self-admitted bad decisions, Dustin got his shit together and attitude in check. With his cat-like surfing, sponsor support, and solid backing from his close friends—who happen to be the best surfers in the world—don’t expect Barca to be underground for much longer.

Are you below the radar because of an “altercation” with a former team manager?

I’m probably below the radar because of a few altercations, a few bad decisions. But the last couple of years I’ve been doing some adjusting to my attitude. Now I’m kind of where I need to be, trying to step up to where I should be.

Do you feel that you were black-balled because of some past actions?

That’s probably true. But I didn’t really care about my job—I didn’t care about anything. Now I’m getting older and smarter, and I’m turning it around.

Why does being from Kaua’i make it difficult to blow up in the surf media?

The waves are so good (on Kaua’i), you don’t want to leave. It’s hard to leave a place so beautiful, where there are always good waves somewhere. Everybody is so tight, it’s like, “Why leave?” But if you want to make a career, you gotta get the hell outta there.

Is your ultimate goal to join Andy and Bruce on the WCT?

Yeah, pretty much. We all grew up together so …

You might as well work together.

Yeah, they’re up there—I want to be up there, too. I’ve been traveling with Bruce since I first started the WQS. Now that he ain’t gonna be there, I have to get to where he is—the WCT.

So you’re going to be hitting the WQS pretty hard next year?

Yeah, I’ll be surfing all of the big ones, trying to step it up.

Do you do any specific training?

Kaiborg wakes me up every morning and we run, do sit-ups, push-ups, hit the mitts—it feels good.

What’s in store for you in the future?

I want to do my job better, be more serious about my career, and take my surfing and body to another level. I want to make the ‘CT and make my mark.—J.C.

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Geoff Brack

Skull tattoos and a bad attitude … that’s getting better.

Geoff Brack is not your average, clean-cut surfer kid from the NSSA. He’s more than likely the kid from that bumper sticker that says “my kid beat up your student of the month.” But besides the attitude, tattoos, run-ins with the law, and badass aura surrounding him, there’s one thing that shines through it all—he f—king rips. He’s destined to be a figure in the surf world for a long time, whether it’s in infamy or in glory.—C.C.

In your opinion, are you underexposed?

Yeah, kind of.

Why?

Cause I’ll f—king take Dane Reynolds out, and he gets plenty more shots than I do.

Do you think people are afraid of you because of the tattoos and the stories about you being a badass?

I don’t think that affects my coverage. I just don’t shoot as much.

How does your surfing compare to say, Dane Reynolds?

I’m more progressive. I try to do more tricks. I have a lot of new tricks on video that no one has ever done. It’s gonna come out in some new videos soon—Snapt 2 and Nobody’s Heroes.

What do you like better—filming or shooting photos?

Filming for sure, because it really shows your style. Anyone can get a good flyaway shot. Video shows good style and how you really surf.

How was school for you?

It was hard to concentrate because I was thinking about surfing the whole time. I quit in eighth grade, so I don’t really know much about that.

Do you get in a lot of fights?

Not anymore. My attitude has gotten a lot better.

What were you, just an angry person?

Not really. Where I was brought up in Ventura was pretty heavy—the people I hung out with. I’m from the same street as Dane, but we just hung out with different people.

You just fell in with the wrong crowd?

Yeah, I guess.

What do you think about surf magazines?

I love them. I look at every one. I think TransWorld is the best one. You guys run people my age.

Who do you surf with?

Josh Sleigh’s little brother, Christian Holman—he’s been killing it lately. He’s only sixteen, and he’s getting really good at airs. I surf with (Joe) Crimo a lot. He’s been trying a lot of fingerflips, but wasting a lot of sections. He hasn’t stuck one yet.

How’s riding for Lost?

It’s me Wardo, and Gorkin as, like, the main three guys. It’s fun to travel with Wardo and Gorkin.

How’s your family life?

My parents were separated, so a lot of traveling back and forth on the train.

Where do you see yourself fitting in the world of surfing?

Just being an air guy, a charger. Pull in.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

On tour. I did most of the ‘QS last year, and next year I’m doing all of them. This year I’m gonna do a lot better.

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Josh Mulcoy

Santa Cruz mysto-man loves the tube.

When I think I of Josh Mulcoy, I see barrels in wetsuits. He’s been around for a long time, but as an outsider in the hierarchy of Santa Cruz surfers. I really don’t know anything about him, other than he surfs alone a lot. Josh is a lucky member of our sport’s paid professional club that doesn’t really have to do anything, just surf—and that’s fine with him.—C.C.

So are you like, mysterious?

Yeah that’s me (laughs). I’ve always just done my own thing. I end up at the same spots a lot, but I guess I also disappear.

You always seem to be in the barrel.

That’s sort of my thing, I guess. That’s all I want to do. My dad raised me surfing at hollow waves. He’s a weirdo. When I was growing up, we’d go surf up the coast from Santa Cruz in barreling waves—secret spots and stuff.

Do you surf alone a lot? Like, a lone wolf hunting for barrels to eat?

Yeah, actually I do end up alone a lot.

The Santa Cruz area seems like a sketchy place to surf by yourself—dark water, lots of seals, kelp, and large psychotic sharks. Do you have any scary stories?

The worst thing that ever happened to me when I was surfing by myself was when I tore my knee up. I was surfing this place about a fifteen-minute walk from the car. During the session, I ripped my knee ligaments up. I was in so much pain. I literally had to crawl for two hours to my car—it was a nightmare. I kind of second-guessed surfing alone at that point—but I still do it a lot.

Do you travel much?

I’m super stoked on going to the weirdo places like Alaska and Canada. I just got back from surfing in British Columbia. It’s not like going to the Mentawais, where you get there and it’s already crowded when you get off the plane. I like it when people are like, “Whoa, you’re going surfing out there?”

So obviously cold doesn’t bother you?

No, I actually like it.

Where do you see yourself fitting in the surf world?

I don’t know. I guess in the barrel.

Do your friends give you shit for kiteboarding? It kind of seems like getting caught with an ugly girl.

A little bit. But once they see the footage of these huge airs and how fast you can go, they want to try it. A lot of people don’t understand it.

What about Santa Cruz Harbor? You seem to have a spiritual connectigrade, so I don’t really know much about that.

Do you get in a lot of fights?

Not anymore. My attitude has gotten a lot better.

What were you, just an angry person?

Not really. Where I was brought up in Ventura was pretty heavy—the people I hung out with. I’m from the same street as Dane, but we just hung out with different people.

You just fell in with the wrong crowd?

Yeah, I guess.

What do you think about surf magazines?

I love them. I look at every one. I think TransWorld is the best one. You guys run people my age.

Who do you surf with?

Josh Sleigh’s little brother, Christian Holman—he’s been killing it lately. He’s only sixteen, and he’s getting really good at airs. I surf with (Joe) Crimo a lot. He’s been trying a lot of fingerflips, but wasting a lot of sections. He hasn’t stuck one yet.

How’s riding for Lost?

It’s me Wardo, and Gorkin as, like, the main three guys. It’s fun to travel with Wardo and Gorkin.

How’s your family life?

My parents were separated, so a lot of traveling back and forth on the train.

Where do you see yourself fitting in the world of surfing?

Just being an air guy, a charger. Pull in.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

On tour. I did most of the ‘QS last year, and next year I’m doing all of them. This year I’m gonna do a lot better.

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Josh Mulcoy

Santa Cruz mysto-man loves the tube.

When I think I of Josh Mulcoy, I see barrels in wetsuits. He’s been around for a long time, but as an outsider in the hierarchy of Santa Cruz surfers. I really don’t know anything about him, other than he surfs alone a lot. Josh is a lucky member of our sport’s paid professional club that doesn’t really have to do anything, just surf—and that’s fine with him.—C.C.

So are you like, mysterious?

Yeah that’s me (laughs). I’ve always just done my own thing. I end up at the same spots a lot, but I guess I also disappear.

You always seem to be in the barrel.

That’s sort of my thing, I guess. That’s all I want to do. My dad raised me surfing at hollow waves. He’s a weirdo. When I was growing up, we’d go surf up the coast from Santa Cruz in barreling waves—secret spots and stuff.

Do you surf alone a lot? Like, a lone wolf hunting for barrels to eat?

Yeah, actually I do end up alone a lot.

The Santa Cruz area seems like a sketchy place to surf by yourself—dark water, lots of seals, kelp, and large psychotic sharks. Do you have any scary stories?

The worst thing that ever happened to me when I was surfing by myself was when I tore my knee up. I was surfing this place about a fifteen-minute walk from the car. During the session, I ripped my knee ligaments up. I was in so much pain. I literally had to crawl for two hours to my car—it was a nightmare. I kind of second-guessed surfing alone at that point—but I still do it a lot.

Do you travel much?

I’m super stoked on going to the weirdo places like Alaska and Canada. I just got back from surfing in British Columbia. It’s not like going to the Mentawais, where you get there and it’s already crowded when you get off the plane. I like it when people are like, “Whoa, you’re going surfing out there?”

So obviously cold doesn’t bother you?

No, I actually like it.

Where do you see yourself fitting in the surf world?

I don’t know. I guess in the barrel.

Do your friends give you shit for kiteboarding? It kind of seems like getting caught with an ugly girl.

A little bit. But once they see the footage of these huge airs and how fast you can go, they want to try it. A lot of people don’t understand it.

What about Santa Cruz Harbor? You seem to have a spiritual connection with that wave.

Yeah, that’s pretty much my world. It’s where I grew up. It doesn’t break too often. That’s a really important part of my life. A lot of crazy stuff in my life has been because of that place.

Does getting barreled pay the bills?

Yeah, I’m doing all right. I guess that’s why I’m such a happy person.

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Mark Mathews

I fought the law …

Hailing from the mean streets of Maroubra—a gritty, tough-as-nails suburb of Sydney, Australia—Mark Mathews is no stranger to trouble. As a matter of fact, trouble tends to find you if you’re from Maroubra. So when Mathews and 150 of his closest “‘Bra Boys” held a twenty-first birthday bash at the same time and venue as a policeman’s ball, the ensuing disaster should not have been a surprise.

“At the end of the night they shut down the club and kicked us all out at the same time,” Mathews remembers. “All the cops came down from upstairs, and they were pissed (drunk); we were comin’ out from our hall, and it just erupted—it was bullshit. I walked out and there were a hundred people stacked up on top of each other—just a full-on brawl. Heaps of cops got hurt and the media just blew it out, all over the news. By the time we got outside there were like 50 cop cars, riot squads with shields and batons, and two helicopters flying overhead with spotlights. They were givin’ just as good as they got—heaps of my mates got bashed. They were dragging people around the corner, into houses, and just kickin’ the f—k out of ’em. Tough, all those cops.”

Although he may have received a lot of press from the cop fight, Mark was known before as one of the first guys to surf Shipstern Bluff in Tasmania. A mutant triple-up that breaks in front of massive boulders in ice-cold water, Shipstern is one of the heaviest waves in the world and somewhere Mathews has taken a liking to.

“I go down there at least three times a year,” says Mark, “it’s like a giant Backdoor type of wave. We had it sick at the start of the year, the best waves I’ve ever seen or surfed. Just crazy big barrels—like twelve to fifteen foot and perfect.”

As for Mark’s future plans? “I just want to get the biggest barrel ever.” If he can manage to stay away from fighting cops and running amuck in Maroubra, the biggest barrel ever could be his.

Did that fight affect your surfing career at all?

F—k, any publicity is good publicity (laughs). The cops were pretty cool to me. The cops that showed up knew that and I didn’t get into too much trouble.

What’s it like being from Maroubra?

As a surfer, it’s been good. I get to surf with Koby (Abberton) and his brothers—they push my surfing heaps, especially in big waves. I never thought I’d surf big waves until I started surfing with Koby. He’ll make you walk home if you don’t take off and shit. As a person, it’s been good but tough. You get in heaps more trouble than you would normally, and it takes a bit of time out of your surfing, but it’s pretty good. It teaches you a lot of respect.

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Mikey Picon

The great French hope.

Although the European surf market is giant, in the past, French surfers have been relatively anonymous in the U.S. and Australian surf worlds, because, well, they’re French. Today that’s changing. In 2003 Eric Rebiere became the first French surfer to qualify for the WCT, and guys like Patrick Bevan and Jeremy Flores look poised to make a charge as well. But of all Europe’s surfers, Mikey Picon is probably the best known. At 24, Mikey is generally considered the smoothest European on the WQS, and if he can parlay the buzz he’s created in the past year, he may just put France on the map as a surfing superpower.—A.C.

Do you get less respect because you’re French?

If a French guy wins a WQS or a big contest, you’re gonna be surprised. Bu