The Boys of Watukarung.

The Boys of Watukarung.

By Hunter Jones.

📷Hunter Jones.

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to visit Watukarung in East Java, then you’ve probably met these local boys. Jefri Prabowo (@jefri_prabowo), Aldo Isdiaji Gumilang (@aldoisdiaji) and Fauzi Fran (@rockstarmediasurf).

These are the boys who sit on the shore for hours on end and capture all of your best waves for you. Now all young men, these guys have grown up here and watched as it evolved from a small fishing village to a small fishing village with some international bodyboarders hanging around.


Like so many places around the world, small businesses were hit hard with Covid. Watukarung was no different.
Jefri and his family run the Prapto Homestay (@praptosurfaccommodation) and Aldo and his family run the Sackstone Guesthouse (@watukarung_guesthouse). For less than $30US a day, they will keep you well fed and provide a lovely room to crash with wifi, a/c and tons of other things us Westerners are accustomed to.I’ve had the honor of staying with Jefri and his family at Prapto for the last 6 weeks and it’s been amazing.
I sat down with Jefri, Aldo and Fauzi after a day full of surfing (and filming) to ask them a few questions.

Fauzi, Hefei, Hunter and Aldo.

Hunter: So first of all, how did you and your families handle Covid?

I’ve had the honor of staying with Jefri and his family at Prapto for the last 6 weeks and it’s been amazing.
I sat down with Jefri, Aldo and Fauzi after a day full of surfing (and filming) to ask them a few questions.

Hunter: So first of all, how did you and your families handle Covid? Jefri: “We just tried to keep healthy, eat good food. We walked the empty beach a lot and tried to keep our minds happy.”

Jefri: “We just tried to keep healthy, eat good food. We walked the empty beach a lot and tried to keep our minds happy.”

Aldo: “Only in home. Quarantine.”

Fauzi: “Just do what I want because I don’t care about Covid,” as he laughs.

Hunter: How was the village during Covid?

Jefri: “It was just really bad news ya know, because everything was closed. That was the real trouble and the media showed people dying. Every time new people came to the village we kept our distance and stuff which was really funny. But we always wore masks and stuff and made sure everyone was safe”.

Hunter: Before Covid, what percentage of your homestay patrons were Indonesian vs Westerners?

Jefri: “We just had maybe 90% Western, 10% Indonesian. With Westerners staying a minimum of like one week, which is good for us.”

Hunter: And what percentages are they more recently? Jefri: “It is the opposite. We have like 90% locals and 10% foreigners. Maybe just a couple people ‘stuck’ in Bali could come. It was hard”.

Jefri: “It is the opposite. We have like 90% locals and 10% foreigners. Maybe just a couple people ‘stuck’ in Bali could come. It was hard”.

Aldo: “Zero! Because they all come to Prapto!”

Fauzi: “It was so bad for me because when I just finished the new rooms, Covid came. So maybe 10% or something of my rooms were full with locals”.

Hunter: Alright enough Covid bullshit, on long days filming what do you do to pass the time?

Jefri: “For me, I listen to music. Maybe a little bit of thinking. Not much. Just enjoy because sometimes when you’re filming you can feel what the boys are doing. Especially when the waves are really good, it looks so scary, sometimes they do amazing maneuvers, which is sick! Frothing ya know?”

Aldo: “Smoke. Drink. Makan (eat)”. Fauzi: “For sure, smoke. Drink. Listen to some music. Watching the girls on shore and try to get some pictures of the girls. Because the thing is we are photographers so it’s easy for me.”

Fauzi: “For sure, smoke. Drink. Listen to some music. Watching the girls on shore and try to get some pictures of the girls. Because the thing is we are photographers so it’s easy for me.”

Hunter: Who is your favorite bodyboarder to surf Watukarung?

Jefri: “For me it’s Ryan Hardy. It’s not just about his riding, but the best thing is he respects everyone. But he has the best style for sure”.

Aldo: “For good barrels, Adrian (@javanese_slabs_panji_). But for maneuvers, Josh Garner”.

Fauzi: “For charging, for the barrel, it’s Snormy from Australia. (@snormy87) For the maneuvers, I like Lachy. Lachlan Hearne”.

Hunter: Do you like to film the left or the right more? Why?

Jefri: “For me, the left. Because in the afternoon, the sun hits it perfectly. Plus it’s the better wave”.

Aldo: “Same,” as Aldo laughs.

Fauzi: “For the angle, I like the left more. But for the wave, I like the right more”.

Hunter: What was your first camera? What camera do you use now?

Jefri: “My first was a handycam, a long time ago. It was really shitty. Now I use the Canon 7D. But if I had money I’d use the RED Camera”.

Aldo: “It was a Canon 700D. Now I use a Canon M50 Mirrorless”.

Fauzi: “My first camera was a Panasonic DMC FZ300. It had superzoom so there were no lenses. Now I use a Sony a6300″.

Hunter: Last question, what is one thing you want more people to know about Watukarung?

Jefri: “I think promotion at the moment is really hard because of the access. But people should know that the people here will respect you and it is safe. People will welcome you here so well. It is a great place to discover. There are a lot of places to visit but you have to be adventurous”.

Fauzi: “The thing is Watukarung is just a small village, but it has really good waves and people. Maybe if you know Watukarung just for the wave, it’s going to be very different because there’s so many more things to discover”.

Aldo: “Same…”

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