Who is Darmaputra Tonjo?
A local Indonesian surfer has set the island of Bali abuzz with his stellar performance at the Oakley World Pro Junior.
A virtual unknown who won his wildcard placement into the contest during the local trials, Darmaputra Tonjo has rocketed himself and Indonesian surfing onto the center stage of world junior surfing first defeating number two seed Nat Young (USA) in Round 2 only to advance and defeat defending Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Junior Champion Jack Freestone (AUS).
But who is Darmaputura Tonjo?
Oakley’s Indonesian Sport and Alternative Marketing Manager, Gino Andrias, caught up with Darmaputura after his Round 3 win to find out.
How long have you been surfing? How did you get started?
I have been surfing for six years.
My dad used to surf. Ironically, when I tried to learn, my dad didn’t support me because I skipped school, but after I graduated, then he started to support me.
Where are your favorite spots to surf in Bali?
May favorite Bali surf spots are Ketewel, Padma and Bingin.
Where is one spot in the world you would love to surf?
I just got back from a surf trip to the Mentawai Islands with the Rip Curl team. I would love to go back there again.
What are your favorite maneuvers?
My favorite maneuvers are a snap and air reverse.
Who is your favorite surfer?
My favorite surfer is local legend Pepen Hendrix.
What do you do when you’re not surfing?
I surf everyday, sometimes twice a day. When I’m not surfing though, I play soccer at the beach, but usually after that I go back to surfing again!
How long have you been competing?
I’ve been competing for about four years.
Do you have any pre-heat rituals that you do before you surf?
I just do stretching and I pray.
Your surfing improved significantly from Round 1 into Round 2 and 3, what accounted for the difference?
I knew I had to make a change and step up my game. I have a mission to defeat my competitors.
How does it feel to have taken out the number 1 and 2 seeds in this contest?
I’m so happy! This is a blessing from God so that I can win.
Now that you’ve shown what you’re capable of, do you plan to do more competing in the future?
Yes, I will go for more surf competitions, but this year will be my last year in Pro Juniors. Maybe in the future I’ll go for the Open category.
You’re quickly becoming a local hero what has it been like to have that kind of support and media exposure?
I’m so happy with the support and exposure. Thank you to all my friends who have helped me make it this far.
Are you going to win this whole thing?
I have to!
What will you do after this contest is over, win or lose?
Win or lose I will have a small party with close friends.
What will you do with the prize money?
Again a bit of partying and the rest goes to my savings.