Affectionately known as "Da Guy" amongst his Balinesian contemporaries, Betet Merta, has as much charisma on a surfboard as he does as the life of the party. His nickname precedes him like spoils from a far country; every bit of it earned in fantastic airs and dizzying speed on Bali's choice breaks. He's one of Indonesia's most successful surfers and the man to know when searching for sets on The Emerald of the Equator.
Betet was born in Kuta, Bali, to a family of fishermen. Living only steps away from the sand and sea, surfing quickly became a way of life for him from a very young age. At fourteen, he began competing internationally and has continued doing so for more than twenty years, establishing a strong presence on the professional circuit.
"I'm stoked to be getting paid to surf well into my late 30's."
He currently rides for RVCA. As well as being their marketing manager in Indonesia, he thrives on hosting teammates and rivals in the summertime when the "whole surfing world comes to Bali." In the winter, he enjoys the luxury of choosing waves on Oahu's North Shore. In part because of the way he rides them, but mostly due to his deep connections in the surf industry that have grown from formalities to friendships.
Photo: Pete Frieden
Visiting a friend's house the other day, Betet immediately noticed an addition to his quiver, a Dark Arts Dan Mann.
"I picked it up, and my buddy said:"
"You're welcome to take it for a spin."
"Da Guy" didn't need to hear that twice before his intentions unfurled across his face.
It's the speed of the board that first caught his attention, expanding his expression on the wave. "This board is so fast, allowing me to do massive carves and airs. It's amazing."
On the sand, he says: "All the boys want to feel it and pick it up. Everybody wants to check it out."
Though it rides a little longer than his usual length, he has every thought of giving it a new home. "The board isn't sized in my normal dimensions, but I love it so much that I don't think I'll be giving it back."
Just make sure you don't leave the island with it, Betet. Ride on!
Surfer Level: Advanced
Current Board: FRK Model By Dan Mann
Next Board: Pyzel Shadow
"This board is soooo good!" - Betet Merta
Photo: Hamish Humphreys
(TOP) Lifestyle Photo: Lucas Balbino