Surfing in Asia: fans are everywhere

Raditya Rondi, Arip Nur Hidayat, Yasnyiar "Bonne" Gea and Decha Sithidej have conquered the inaugural Asian Surfing Championships Awards. They are the first professional Asian surfing champions.

"Thank you very much for this award, as this is one of the biggest honors of my life so far, and I’ll always remember this", said Rondi, winner of the Open division.

The awards event was a historical landmark in the progression of Asian surfing, as it was the first time that Asian surfing champions have been crowned as a result of competing in a multi-country and multi-event professional surfing competition circuit. The 2011 Asian Surfing Championship circuit saw a total of 9 events held in four countries, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Thailand.

Decha Sithidej is now Thailand’s first surfing champion. It has only been in the last several years that Thailand has been recognized as having a surfing community, and it has grown rapidly as a result.

Receiving the Singapore Women’s Champion award was Cheryl Tang. "I think that if there is a will there is a way. I’m really happy to see that surfing has grown so much in Asia, especially South East Asia, and I want to see more girls surfing in the current generation and the younger generation", said the Singapore’s first woman surfing champion.

Nasri Banadhaj took Singapore Men’s title. "I want to thank the Indonesians and the Malaysians for sharing their waves with us, as we don’t have any waves in Singapore, so thanks so much for that".