Some call him “Balo,” but most who know him call him Lee. Part Australian and part Indonesia, Lee was born in Jakarta, but spent his school days in Oz. When he graduates, his plan is to move back to Indo full-time. He’s a friendly figure, always with an ear-to-ear smile. His body is decorated with tattoos which commemorate many of the most important moments in his life, including a neck tattoo with his daughter’s name – which was done the day after the baby screamed her first cry.
A joker at times, but serious when required, he can turn the switch in an instant. From a ferocious athlete in the lineup to a loving father, from a utter-focus during a take-off in the Mentawais to a coloring session with his daughter, Ava. He’s found and mastered the balance necessary to make his life one worth living.
Surfing and art are like bacon and eggs on his plate – practically inseparable. “Progressive” in the water; a “Neo-Expressionist” in his art. Oh, yeah – Lee digs poetry as well. When you cut him, he bleeds lyrics.
Q & A
When did you start surfing?
I started when I was 7. Nearly 20 years of surfing.
When did you turn pro?
I started getting paid when I was like 15.
Favorite surf trip?
My trip to Apocalypse early this year. We had amazing waves.
Sources of inspiration?
Andy Irons, Lil Tunechi, Jean-Michel Basquiat
Favorite type of music?
Other special talents beyond surfing?
I like to paint and cook.
Finish this statement: "To me, Oakley is ___________"
...the bridge to my dream.
The Beatles, U2, The Police, Fleetwood Mac, Bob Marley and the Wailers
The Godfather, Step Brothers, Basquiat
Siddhartha, Shantaram, how to make your brain get happy.
Favorite TV shows?
Sopranos, Eastbound & Down, Spongebob Squarepants
What move / trick are you working on?
Been trying to get my stalefish grab. Haven’t figured that one out yet. I’ve been told, “it's all in your head.”
Five things you can't live without?
Boards, Money, iPhone, Book, Laptop
Best after-session food?
Ahi Poke and rice