Me, Myself and Surfing: Oney Anwar

Words by Mat Arney, images by Hamish Humphreys, Rip Curl, Oney Anwar & film by Rip Curl

Indonesia is the dream destination for many surfers around the world, so what’s it like growing up and learning to surf there?  Oney Anwar was born and raised in Lakai on the island of Sumbawa, and grew up surfing the incredible wave at Lakey Peak surrounded and encouraged by visiting surfers.  A talented surfer and successful competitor, in 2007 Oney took the opportunity to relocate to Australia’s Gold Coast as part of Rip Curl‘s international grommet development programme to finish his education and develop his competitive surfing career.  He competes on the WSL Qualifying Series and is hoping to become the first Indonesian surfer to qualify for the elite Championship Tour.  Surf Simply caught up with Oney to learn more about him and his relationship with surfing.

Name: Oney Anwar

Current Age: 21

Location: Gold Coast/ Lakey Peak

Occupation: Surfer

Indonesian surfer oney anwar
  • My earliest memory of surfing…  Spending about a month surfing on my knees at lakey peak when I was learning, should have been a professional kneeboarder.
  • Surfing to me is…  Heaven on earth haha!
  • Home is…  Will always be Lakey Peak, but I now live on the Gold Coast in Australia so I guess I have two homes?
  • My first overseas surf trip was to…  I travelled to Hawaii when I was 12 by myself. I missed my flight in Bangkok and nobody spoke english. Seriously thought I was going to die.
  • I still want to travel to…  Dubai, that wave pool looks epic.
oney anwar surfing indonesia
  • I wish that I could…  Fly, how easy would rodeos be then, right?
  • I’d love to share a few waves with…  Manny Pacquiao, I can teach him to surf, he can teach me to box.
  • My magic board/piece of equipment is/was a…  Nick Blair Joistik Bombay Blues or Protag, they are my magic sticks.
  • Wetsuits are…  Lifesavers. I am a warm blooded Indo, I hate the cold.
  • Localism is…  Too much politics, sharing is caring.
Oney Anwar with a quiver of Nick Blair Joistik surfboards
  • Before I get in the sea I always…  Pray to Allah.
  • My most memorable session was…  Surfing the Seven Ghosts, that wave is insane. It breaks for miles in a giant crocodile infested river in the middle of nowhere.
  • The last time I scared myself surfing…  Haliewa in Hawaii last year. It was the closest I have ever come to drowning.
  • My favorite surf movie is…  Anything Taylor Steele is involved in is always sick.
  • My guilty pleasure is…  Tim tams and cold rock icecream, once I start I can’t stop.
Oney Anwar surfing seven ghosts tidal bore wave in Indonesia .
  • If I didn’t surf then I’d probably…  Enter pie eating competitions, that is my secret talent.
  • My greatest fear is…  Snakes or anything that remotely resembles a reptile.
  • I’m happiest when…  I’m in the ocean.
  • I check the surf forecast…  It helps when I live near the beach, I just ride my bike down the front and go from there.
  • I dream about…  Making the world tour and holding that trophy.
oney anwar boosting an air at sunset
  • If I could travel back in time I’d set the dial to…  When you could surf from snapper to kirra with only a few other guys out.
  • In the future…  I see myself on the tour and rest will come.
  • When I get barreled …  The whole world goes green and slows down, it has to be one of the best feelings ever that only a surfer will understand.
  • Surf culture…  Is always evolving. It’s great to see the way professional surfers now see themselves as athletes, eating healthy and training hard. I think that is the reason we are seeing the performance level increase so quickly.
  • The ocean is…  My lifeline and my therapist.



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