There’s catching a wave in paradise, and then there’s this, trying to ride a wave while avoiding plastic bags, noodle wrappers and empty beer cans.
After travelling for more than 24 hours by plane, bus and boat to catch one of Java’s best waves, American surf photographer Zak Noyle was shocked to discover a vast slick of rubbish.
But that didn’t stop Indo surf champ Dede Suryana taking on the debris – as these incredible photographs shows.
Noyle, a staff snapper for Surfer magazine based in Honolulu, Hawaii, had gone to shoot Suryana – acclaimed as the best surfer in Indonesia.
“We travelled to a remote place in south Java, a 15 hour car drive from Jakarta, then a five hour boat ride. It was such a remote, apparently pristine location, I never imagined I’d find this scene.”
“The trash included soccer balls, hundreds of Nasi Goreng noodle packets and green debris.”
“We saw floating logs the size of cars: they could kill you if you hit them while surfing.”
“Occasionally when you’re surfing you see the odd bit of trash, so this was exceptional. Our boat was surrounded by debris, sitting right on top of the wave we had come to surf.”
“The surfers were paddling through rubbish on the line-up. There was at least a miles worth.”
“Lots of trash had washed on shore, which was sad for wildlife, though the monkeys on the beach didn’t seem to mind too much.”
Overwhelmed by what he witnessed, Noyle was also frustrated by his inability to do anything.
“The ocean is the thing I love, so to find something like that was so sad. You wish you could do more, but we only had one or two bags to take rubbish away, we weren’t prepared.”
Surprisingly, the locals on the chartered boat didn’t seem to understand why Noyle was upset.
“It just come down to ignorance, they’re not educated about the damage of trash like we are in the Western world: it’s up to us to give a good example.”
Read article at Perth Now