Better facilities required for Keramas Beach

by Nur Aminah on 2013-06-07

International and local surfing communities are urging better facilities be provided for the untapped surfing potential at Gianyar regency’s Keramas Beach, which has hosted international surfing competitions in the last couple of years.

Out of dozens of beaches island-wide, Keramas Beach in Keramas village, Blahbatuh district, has been acknowledged for the great surfing potential it possesses. Its waters have displayed consistent waves as high as 2 meters and more, depending on the tide and wind speed.

This year, the black sandy beach has been selected to host the Oakley Pro Bali, which has now been included in the Association for Surfing Professionals (ASP)’s 2013 World Championship Tour schedule. The Oakley Pro Bali, being held from June 18 to 29, is the fifth of 10 events in the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour and the first elite tour event in Indonesia since the Rip Curl Pro Search in 2008. World Tour events are hosted on Australia’s Gold Coast and Bells Beach, in Brazil, Fiji, Bali, French Polynesia, the US, France, Portugal and Hawaii.

“The beach poses very good potential. However, facility improvements and promotional activities are required,” said Oakley Pro Bali’s head of organizing committee Brad Cunningham.

Keramas Beach can be quite hard to find. From the direction of Jl. Bypass Ida Bagus Mantra, the road sign for Keramas village in Blahbatuh does not indicate a beach. Only one sign stating Komune Beach could be seen. In fact, Komune Beach is the only hotel, having opened just at the start of this year, and is directly across from Keramas Beach.

There are no parking lots and the roads are uneven, covered only by sand and gravel.

“I am urging the local administration to coordinate with the organizers to prepare [the beach] to be able to excellently host the event. This event can serve as momentum to introduce [the beach] as a new tourist destination,” president of Indonesian Surfing (INSA) Jro Made Supatra Karang said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Keramas village head I Gusti Agung Bagus Artha Wijaya said on Wednesday that no public facility improvements had been made so far as the Komune Beach hotel would provide them.

“Our village is preparing pecalang [traditional security guards] for security in the village. The surfing contest participants will use facilities at the Komune Beach hotel,” he said, adding that the village had also provided a letter of recommendation for the event organizers to process their crowd license and obtain security assistance from the Gianyar Police and Bali Police.

The world’s top 34 professional surfers, and two wildcard holders, from around 30 countries will compete in the Oakley Pro Bali event.

Current ASP World Championship Tour surfer Jordy Smith praised Keramas Beach’s potential as a surfing haven. “Keramas, to me, is the most high-performance wave on the planet,” she said, as quoted on the ASP official website www.aspworldtour.com.

“Oakley have had their world junior event there for a few years. To have the top 34 there, it’s going to be a huge challenge for the judges as the performances are going to be next level. This is really exciting,” she said.

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