With one of our comrades living half the year down in Bali, we thought it time to catch up with Costa Mesa native, Jared Mell, to see where his everyday journeys in and out of the Indonesian waters have been taking him.
BANKS: First off, how’s Bali life been? Does being down there just make you miss Costa Mesa way more or what?
JARED: Of course I will always miss Costa Mesa it's my home and my family and friends I grew up with are there. It is a little hard though to miss it sometimes when you have a maid in your Bali mansion who makes you fresh orange juice before your masseuse comes over after surfing perfect barrels to yourself all morning...wink wink know what I mean??? Seriously though Bali has a sense of crazy freedom, riding around on bikes, no rules, open plan houses, amazing opportunities to do anything you want and so many new islands to discover. My wife and I have a dream life and as long as we get a fix of Costa Mesa a few times a year we are happy....
You just sent us some snaps of the Slidetober contest a few weeks ago, what’s up with that contest?
Slidetober Fest is a ton of fun. It is a 3-day event with motorcycles, surfing and a bunch of mates who hang out non stop for 3 days and nights having a riot! All which takes place in my front yard at Echo...
How’s it competing against absolute locals in a contest like that?
It's always a challenge when you are surfing with the locals. They all know the wave so well. All the locals are awesome out here, I have been able to get to know a couple and they are all funny, cool crew who rip.
Favorite board you chose during Slidetober?
I rode one board all the way through the competition which was a Neal Purchase Jnr. Duo. He made me one last year and I really dig it.....If you have the means I highly recommend picking one up. I promised myself that if I made the finals I would ride every board they had down there!!! I made the final, started off with a log and got a good one just before the horn blew (not stoked, it was my wave of the day, cheers Monty!). The whole 25 minutes I caught a wave on a board, raced up the beach then swapped it for another and another and another.....I think I rode about 8 different boards.
How’s the local surf scene in Bali now, thrusters abound or a bit more retro?
The local scene has everything, obviously there are thrusters everywhere. That is what the majority of the surfing world rides and Bali has all types of surfing and surfers. The scene is just getting bigger and bigger with the flood of people coming through. Gerry and those guys really brought Bali to the forefront and today it's a surfing mecca more than ever.....
Any new projects in the works?
I'm in Bali for a few more days and then off to Nicaragua to film for Tin Ojeda's new movie ‘Dirty Movies’.
Advice for anyone traveling down there soon?
My advice for anyone coming here....don't forget travel insurance and get ready for a little piece of paradise….