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Surfing

Meet Indonesia's next big thing in his insane new biopic Becoming Bronson

From a sleepy Indonesian fishing village, Becoming Bronson tells the story of Bronson Meydi, the quiet surfer with stardom looming on the horizon.
Written by Chris Binns
3 min readPublished on
Bronson Meydi was born in the Sumbawan village of Lakey Peak to an Australian father and an Indonesian mother. While tradition suggests that Lakey Peak is a humble fishing town it has morphed into one of the surfing world's high-performance hot spots since the turn of the millennium. A short time later, Bronson landed and grew up in and around some of the globe's best waves, watching some of the planet's best surfers ply their craft in front of a rotating flotilla of filmers and photographers.
Although he would never say it out loud, Bronson's surfing slowly began to make plenty of noise over the past decade, and it didn't take long for visiting surfers to start taking notice of the welterweight local lad mixing it up with the pros and putting on a show for their assorted camera crews.
Slowly but surely, sponsors came knocking and one day Indonesian surfing statesman Rizal Tandjung, whose son Varun is great friends with Bronson, offered to take the young gun under his wing in Bali and fast track his road to surfing success. Bronson's development since he island-hopped has been staggering: Bali is treating him superbly.
Becoming Bronson announces the arrival of Indonesia's next great hope. Rizal followed on from local legends like Made Lana, and started gaining Indonesian surfers recognition overseas. The next generation – Marlon Gerber, Garut Widiarta, Mega Semahdi, Betet Merta and friends – built on his legacy. Now we see guys like Rio Waida competing in the Olympics and racing up the WSL rankings with Bronson right behind him, happily flying along in his slipstream.
When cinematographer Scotty Hammonds approached us about pulling together a Bronson profile piece alongside close friends Nate Lawrence and Sean Benik, we didn't have to think twice before saying yes. When Mick Fanning, Julian Wilson, Eli Hanneman and the one-and-only Kelly Slater signed on to testify to Bronson's talents, we knew we had a winner.
Although Kelly claims in the movie he struggles to tell Bronson and Eli apart, as the pair of phenoms grow up their styles are becoming more distinct, and it's fair to say there are shades of Bruce Irons' legendary flair to the way Bronson now attacks waves. As you'll see in the edit, whether it's launching over the ramps of Bali's east coast to threading tubes on the Bukit Peninsula, or mixing it all up at home in Lakey Peak, Bronson's game is well rounded and getting better with every session.
So please, get comfortable, hit play, and soak up what will probably be your first encounter with Bronson Meydi. If you've been to Lakey Peak before, then savour the walk down memory lane while meeting the new hometown hero; if you haven't, then good luck resisting the urge to book the first possible flight to Sumbawa once you see how good Bronson makes it look.
We owe a debt of gratitude to Scotty and co. for pulling together this first incredible insight into Indonesia's next big thing, and cheers to Hamish Humphreys for capturing all of the sterling stills you see on this page. Most importantly, though, thank you – terima kasih! – to Bronson Meydi for letting us into his life, and best of luck on the road ahead, though we've got a feeling, you're not going to need it. Enjoy!