Paddle around the entire island of Bali on the 425pro BIG WIND

My name is Mike Brumby. I am from England, born in El Salvador but grew up in Indonesia since I was the age of 3. I have lived in Indonesia over 30 years and call this country my home. I am a qualified PE teacher and fitness coach. Currently, I work as a teacher at an international school in Surabaya.

I have a passion for all sports and pushing my body to the limit with extreme challenges. In the past I’ve cycled my bike from Jakarta to Bali and London (South England) to the Lake District (North England), and flipped a 100kg tire the length of Jalan Sudirman amongst other challenges. I did these not only to test my body’s limit but also to raise money for a good cause.

A back problem and subsequent operation forced me to take things easy for a while but on October 10th, 2021, I took on a new physical challenge, this time in a sport that I knew very little about, stand up paddleboarding (SUP). In the past I have done a lot of windsurfing and some surfing but not so much on a SUP.

On Sunday morning, October 10th, I took on a stand up paddleboard challenge in Bali. Supported by Lukas Gallu, I paddled my board from Sanur (South West Bali) to Tianjar (North Bali). This adventure around the beautiful west coast of Bali took 5 days and covered around 150km. A team of fishermen who accompanied us on a boat also supported me. The challenge was also completed for a good cause - to raise money for North Bali Reef Conservation, an NGO that does a lot for the conservation and restoration of the coral reefs in Bali.

In July next year I plan to take the challenge further and paddle around the entire island of Bali. It will be the first time this feat has been attempted and, in doing so, will be a Guinness World Record and Muri Rekor (Indonesia). The journey will take approximately 15 days and cover around 400km. I will be aiming to raise Rp100juta ($7,000) for this challenge.

I made the decision to take on this challenge to circumnavigate Bali on my last conservation with my dad over the phone before he passed away 11/2 years ago. He wished me good luck and I promised him that I would do it and do it for a good cause.

I only started training for this challenge in August 2021 because my body was still recovering from the back operation I had 11 months previously. To do this challenge I have the 425pro BIG Wind board and for the first week I paddled every morning for an hour up to the reef and back (3km) near Rip Curl School of Surf. The first few times I could barely keep my balance and kept falling into the water. After the first week I paddled further - to Pantai Sindhu and back (8km). After a month I finally took my board past the reef break and experienced the power of the ocean. I started to play around with the waves too. It has been a very quick learning process but I feel fairly comfortable on the board now.

I originally decided to paddle the entire circumference of Bali starting on October 10th, but after some reconsideration I felt it was best to have a test run first for a couple of reasons. I was still not sure how strong my back was and whether it would hold up paddling 30-40km a day for 15 days nonstop. So the plan was changed to paddle from Sanur up to the North Bali Reef Conservation in Tianjar. Secondly, I felt that I needed more time to paddle the entire island of Bali, which I didn’t have in October.

The first challenge itself was amazing. I was nervous at the beginning because it was a new experience and I didn’t want to let my team down. The first day was relatively easy as the winds and currents weren’t that strong. We paddled around 25km on the first day.

The challenge from then on got progressively harder as we experienced stronger winds, more choppy water and fiercer currents. On the second day, on the leg from Pantai Cucukan to Blue Lagoon, we hit a spot where the currents were extremely strong - so much so that it took us over 2 hours to paddle 4 kilometers.

Reaching each destination was an accomplishment and we were greeted with warm welcomes everywhere we went. Along the way people from the shore would wave at us and fishermen on other boats would give us a curious look and smile as we slowly paddled by them.

I’m really looking forward to the next challenge in June. I plan to spend as much time in Bali as possible training for this challenge as it will be a lot harder than the first. I will also be spending more time promoting this challenge and educating people about the importance of looking after our oceans. One of the additions that will be made to the next challenge is that we will be visiting local schools along the way to give presentations to the students.