September 19, 2018 4 min read
Over recent weeks and months, images have been trickling onto out social media feeds from the elusive Aloysuis Parker. Stoked sliders wrapped in glassy barrels somewhere on Australia’s West Coast, subaquatic scenes that have us yearning for the brine and an empty right-hander – the stuff of bodysurfers’ dreams come true – allegedly off the shores of Komodo Island.
So who is this intriguingly-monikered man of mystery? We caught up with Parker’s alter-ego to discover more.
A lifelong bodysurfer, the real Aloysuis Parker was also a passionate triathlete and mountain biker. The Qantas aircraft engineer spent more time in the ocean and in the saddle than he did under a roof, but late last year his body had other ideas. Nerve damage in his lower back made it impossible for him to run or cycle anymore, but bodysurfing was his saving grace.
“No running, no bike – my wife told me to get a hobby to fill my spare time, and so that she wouldn’t murder me,” shares Parker. “I’ve always bodysurfed and swimming helps ‘unload’ the nerve, so it was a perfect excuse to get in the water more. I also took up water photography.”
Without triathlons and bike races to fill the void, he found himself with plenty of extra time to fill and, having been a regular visitor to Indonesia for over two decades, decided to explore the archipelago further.
First stop: the all-too familiar surfing Mecca of Canggu, Bali.
“I went to Canggu in May for a week, bodysurfing around Echo beach and Batu Bolong. I got good waves, chasing the ones stand-up surfers couldn’t late-take-off on, and got Old Man’s pretty big too. There are sweet little reef peaks going west of Canggu if you walk down the beach with no crowd.”
Returning with family in tow gave him an opportunity to induct 10-year-old Aloysuis Jr to the bodysurfing fold, coaxing him into the sand-laden shorebreaks west of Canggu and soaking in the Bali sunsets with his wife and a Bintang.
Southern Sumatra came later in the year, offering empty, three-foot peaks on seven kilometres of deserted coastline while the stand-ups were frothing and champing over the more renowned and populated spots. While his humility kept him from some of the more major reef breaks, Parker’s urge for solitude saw him riding his motorbike against the flow of board-bearing scooters to explore Krui Town, Mandiri, ‘Leftovers’ and ‘the Peak’, perhaps not the dream waves from the brochures, but warm, clean, endless fun…and empty.
His most recent trip found him in the Land of the Dragons – Komodo Island…or so he lead his eager followers to believe. Keen to protect the sanctity of his new discovery, the actual location remains his secret, just like his true identity.
“I've been surfing Indo since ‘93 and watched it all blow out up and down the archipelago. This ‘Spot X’ is so awesome, we were hoping to not to burn our new discovery too much. [The location offers] awesome bodysurfing waves, one break with three sections over 400 metres, which distributes the crowd. I never had an intentional drop in and got the main peak to myself at dead low tide as it was too sucky on take-off for the stand-up surfers. It’s a super-chilled out crew there, with lots of girls getting waves and plenty of sharing. My favourite break offered an easy roll-in and then barrel after barrel. The wind gets into it early so all my shots were dawn patrol sessions.”
Back on Australian shores, Parker established the City Beach Dugongs bodysurfing club, but even this, it transpires, is somewhat of a misnomer. “I made it up for giggles,” he illuminates. “There’s a bunch of older guys and girls who have been bodysurfing the City Beach Groyne since way before I moved to WA in 2003. From November until late March there are no surfers on the groyne, so we get to whomp in peace.”
‘Club’ in the loosest sense, the passionate bodysurfers still jumped coasts for Whomp Off Australia earlier this month, bringing their West Coast stoke to Cronulla. “I just thought a dugong matched our middle-age spread,” he confesses.
The mystery surrounding Aloysuis Parker remains, no Clark Kent-esque, mild-mannered alter-ego emerged, no perfect-break destinations were divulged. But what we gleaned from Parker’s carefully ambiguous interview was his inherent passion. Despite losing a huge portion of his life of physical activities, he has found bodysurfing to be his saving grace, the camera a way to expand his excuse for water time.
It’s also shown that, while the most renowned and popular spots have gained their reputations for good reason, they are far, far from the only waves breaking on the planet. Surfers look for one type of wave, bodysurfers another. We can co-mingle and get along, but we can also carry our fins a little further down the beach and score endless waves all by ourselves. If we think outside the box, the horizons are endless.
All Photos: ©Aloysius Parker | Cover Photo: ©Max Beocean Krui