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Surfers

#RipCurlCup Updates: Benji Brand Wins 2019 Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang

2019 Surfer Invitation List

Meet the 16 invited surfers vying to claim the 2019 Rip Curl Cup – including the 4 tube slayers selected by 3x world champ Mick Fanning:

International Surfers

Benji Brand (AUS) MICK’S PICK

When we first asked Mick Fanning who he wanted to see perform in The Ultimate Tuberiding Contest, one of the first names he said was, “Benji Brand.” Benji first blew up on our radar when he bagged some of the longest, craziest barrels ever recorded at Skeleton Bay (for which he won the GoPro of the World III in 2016). Since then, he’s been spending a lot of time in Hawaii and putting the North Shore on notice with Wave of The Winter Overall Performance and Heaviest Drop Awards this year for a successful psychotic Pipe freefall. Safe to say, Benji’s ready for Padang.

Nathan Florence (HAW)

Nathan can be found competing around the world at the various stops on WSL Big Wave Tour. What Nate’s accomplished in heavy surf over the past few years speaks for itself. Specifically, in 2015 when he rode what’s considered the greatest paddled wave in Teahupo’o history. Most recently, Nathan pulled his first-ever contest win at the 2019 Red Bull Cape Fear big wave contest in Sydney, Australia.

Mason Ho (HAW)

After missing out on the swell of the year hit Padang for last year’s Rip Curl Cup, the barrel hardened regularfooter from the North Shore is looking to claim the crown – and making sure he won’t miss any good swells to hit Indo this season. Surfing’s Ambassador of Fun finished third in his first Rip Curl Cup appearance in 2016. But competitors beware: While he may be the ambassador of fun, Mason’s skills in heavy barrels are no laughing matter.

Keito Matsuoka (JPN)

Keito Matsuoka won the O’Neill Wave of the Winter with his psychotic 2nd reef bomb at Pipeline during the Backdoor Shootout this year. The judging apanel included Shane Dorian, Gerry Lopez and Shawn Briley, and everyone agreed, Keito’s wave was nuts! Matsuoka, 29, started coming to the North Shore when he was 12 and has stayed with Cheeseburger for the last ten years. The Japanese regularfoot trained with North Shore legend Kahea Hart as a teenager, learning the various lineups, boxing, doing yoga, etc — and hanging with Burger and Mason Ho. (A learning curve in and of itself, to be sure.)

Clay Marzo (HAW)

Clay Marzo, 30, is back for his second Rip Curl Cup. His first time at Padang in 2016 he scored five 9+ point barrels on the day and made the final. The electrifying Hawaiian goofyfoot is tailor made for a man vs. man competition at the Balinese Pipeline, and proved it last year as the standout of the early rounds, putting on a Houdini disappearing act all morning. No hassling for priority, just some of the best performances we’ve seen in or out of a heat all year. Clay topped his finals performance off with a huge plate of tacos at the local cantina and the grin of a very satisfied man. Will his hunger be enough to take the win in 2019? Order up!

Sheldon Paishon (HAW)

A few years ago Sheldon was just another kid surfing on the West Side of Oahu. Mason Ho noticed his obvious raw talent and started bringing him on surf trips. Next thing you know, Rip Curl sponsored him and Sheldon is on The Search, going to Bells, surfing with his heroes. And now he’s ready to scalp some of those same heroes in the Rip Curl Cup during his first ever trip to Indo. Every new opportunity, Sheldon humbly meets the challenge. Padang rewards the hard workers.

Lee Wilson (AUS)

Lee Wilson is surfing under his native Australian flag for Padang Cup this year. Lee, 34, is a two-time Rip Curl Cup champion as well as a two-time Indonesian national champion. A third crown at Padang could cement his legacy as Indonesia’s best. Also a talented artist, Wilson designed this year’s Rip Curl Cup event artwork. Will Lee be victorious on the very podium he helped design? That would be a first in surf contest history!

Matt Wilkinson (AUS)

“I’ve been watching it the past couple years and wishing I could surf in it,” Wilkinson said of the Rip Curl Cup invitational. “I’m a big fan of the way they have such a long time frame for the comp to wait for a perfect swell and get the wave at its very best.” Well, Wilko, your wish has been granted. The technically sound goofyfooter sports an impressive trophy case that includes titles from Snapper, Bells and Fiji. Will he be able to add the coveted Cup to that shelf? Stay tuned!

Indonesian Surfers

Made "Bol" Adi Putra (IND)

It could be said that what Gerry Lopez is to Pipeline, Bol is to Padang. No other surfer has put in more time and is more synonymous with the wave. That’s why on the best days, when the set of the day steamrolls toward the reef, it’s reserved for Bol. He remains the only back-to-back champion of the Rip Curl Cup, a feat so improbable it probably will never be repeated (though defending champ Mega Semadhi certainly hopes to prove us wrong in 2018). It’s been over a decade since Bol last hoisted the Cup (although he made the final in 2009 and 2011), but to become the first three-time winner in event history would make it worth the wait.

Mega Semadhi (IND)

The 2x Rip Curl Cup Champion is the ultimate Padang local. He lives closer to the wave than any surfer in the contest and is on it any time Padang turns on. Mega is a 4x finalist at the Rip Curl Cup and a 2x champion. The last time he won it, Mega was the only local surfer to make the final, but he outsurfed Damien Hobgood, Mason Ho and Clay Marzo for the W. He’ll have the support of the hometown crowd behind him as always and the arguably the sharpest local wave knowledge of anyone in the event.

Garut Widiarta (IND)

Hands-down the fastest surfer on the island, Garut Widiarta’s lightining-fast surfing makes him one of the odds-on favorites at Bali’s best lefthand reefbreak, and his endless bag of tricks will surely be on display during the waiting period freesurfs. Some felt Garut’s lackluster performances at the Padang Cup early in his career were partly the result of the heavy expectations saddled on him as the heir apparent to the throne at Padang. After claiming The Cup in 2014 – an achievement some pundits felt was only a matter of time – the Padang monkey (figurative, not literal) is finally off his back, and Garut should continue his forte of making the impossible look effortless.

Agus "Blacky" Setiawan (IND)

As the son of legendary Uluwatu surfer and former Rip Curl Cup finalist Made Lapur, Blacky has some large shoes to fill. Fortunately Blacky has some big feet – and big balls when it comes to charging heavy reefbreak barrels. Blacky validated his wildcard spot last year by finishing runner – and nearly overtaking – Jack Robinson in the championship final. He posted one of the only perfect 10s of the event and one of the highest heat scores. Blacky is no longer a wildcard at Padang, he’s a favorite.

Local Wildcards

Raditya Rondi (IND)

Raditya is always in the mix at Padang, having reached the Rip Curl Cup finals two years in a row (2013-14), but falling just short of a title on both occasions. The multiple-time Asian Surfing Champion is a highly respected contest tactician and recognized by his peers as one of the most intense competitors on the tour. He narrowly lost out to his cousin Garut in the final in 2014. After missing out on the main event when he was shockingly eliminated from the Trials last year, Raditya earned redemption by winning the Trials and his rightful spot in the main event in 2019. Look for “Cabul the Bull” to make a stampede to get over the hump of second place in 2019.

Agus “Dag Dag” Sumertayasa (IND)

Agus is the top local these days at Bingin, Padang’s little sister tube just up the coast. After trying for the past several years to qualify through the Trials for the main event, Agus finally cracked the big leagues by finishing runner up in the 2019 Trials. This kid is hungry and fearless, and knows the reef at Padang intimately – always a dangerous combination at the Rip Curl Cup.

Koki Hendrawan (IND)

Koki surfs Padang literally any time there is a wave. From the smallest possible days with the rare set wave to as big as it gets, Koki is out there waiting for a good one (Koki used to surf the place on a twin fin and wearing a traditional Balinese sarong and head dress). All the time he’s put in at Padang has paid off this year, qualifying for the Rip Curl Cup main event through the Trials. In 2014 Koki earned a spot in the main event and nearly scalped local favorite Garut Widiarta – who went on to win the whole thing. Watch out for Koki!

Mustofa Jeksen (IND)

Did you know that Spiderman is a local at Padang? And his true identity isn’t Peter Parker – it’s Mustofa Jeksen. Yes, that man crawling deep inside the barrel at Padang in a Spiderman suit is Mustofa. The 30-year-old showman has been performing his act in scary hollow lefts since he was a pint-sized grommet. Mustofa is a two-time finalist at the Rip Curl Cup, most recently finishing equal 3rd in 2014. Although he had to qualify through the Trials in 2019 to receive his invite, rest assured his Spidey sense will be in full effect.

Event Status
FINISHED!

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