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Malaria House Women Series: Bonne Gea - The Spirit of A “Kampung” Girl

Yasnyiar “Bonne” Gea is considered as one of the best Indonesian female surfers that have won Indonesian Surfing Championship five times in a row, plus two titles from Asian Surfing Championship. Malaria House has the opportunity to interview Bonne as part of the Women Series program.


Growing up with the beach as her playground, it’s not surprising that Bonne has been surfing since she was 10 years old. Using a broken board or borrowed her brother’s surfboard, Bonne learned how to paddle, stand up, do tricks, and also learned how to avoid being roll up by the waves. However, there were still some challenges when Bonnes started to learn surfing at that time. “My parent didn’t like to see me surfing. It’s because, in Nias, girls have to help their parents, go to school, etc. Well, I help my parent once in a while at home or at the garden,” said Bonne.


Already surfing since the age of 10 years, Bonne packed her surfboards and head out to Bali with her friends to chase her dream on becoming a surfer after the tourism collapsed due to the big earthquake that hit Nias in 2005.


After the tsunami hit Nias in 2005, the tourism collapsed and struggled to get out from the situation, including Bonne’s parent homestay in Sorake, Nias. Bonne packed her surfboard and when on an adventure to Bali with her friends. “It was an adventure trip because I don’t have enough saving. First, I had to go from Teluk Dalam to Gunungsitoli by car and took a ferry to Jakarta for 3 days and 2 nights. Stayed overnight in Jakarta and immediately went to Bali by bus on the next day,” said Bonne.


Always inspired by Bethany Hamilton, a one-hand female world surfer, Bonne arrived in Bali and never look back. She surfs every day to exercise her surfing skills until she met Billabong Asia and become their Ambassador and sent her for competitions and surfing trips around Indonesia like Java, Sumbawa, and Lombok.


Bonne moved forward with her surfing activity by winning the Indonesian Surfing Championship 5 times in a row and Asian Surfing Championship two times. The Kampung girl from Nias is now one of the best female surfers in Indonesia.


There were not many women doing what men were doing such as surfing in the past. But now, women have the opportunity to become whatever they want to be, even becoming a pro surfer, and it includes Indonesian women. Bonne has proved that women can achieve whatever they feel passionate about. “I always feel passionate about surfing because there’s always something new every day when you surf. It becomes part of me now and I will never stop surfing.” Said Bonne.


Check out Malaria House Playground: Bonne Gea - Spirit of “Kampung” Girl. Video by @arimendrofa


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By: Malariahouse | 28 April 2018