Pinoy Surfer Roger Casugay Gives Up Lead in Men's Longboard Heat to Rescue Indonesian Rival

The Indonesian surfer disappeared under the waves.
IMAGE Jefferson Ganuelas for

Eighteen minutes into his heat at the Men's Longboard event in La Union, a massive swell hit Indonesian surfer Arip Nurhidayat — and snapped his surfer's leash.

Witnesses from the shore described his board being thrown up in the air from the force of the wave.

Nurhidayat, who also goes by the handle Mencos, was surfing against La Union local Roger Casugay. It was a good day for the Philippines at the men's longboard event. Casugay was leading in points; in the previous round, fellow La Union surfer Jay-R Esquivel had already impressed the judges.

The swells that day, however, were quite large, reaching almost 10 feet.

When Nurhidayat disappeared into the waves, the Indonesian crew scrambled to the beach to see if the surfer was okay.

Rescue marshals got on their own boards to try and rescue him. Coast Guard personnel on jetskis also zoomed forward to pick him up.

The force and height of the surf, however, drove them back.


Casugay decided to turn around to pick Nurhidayat up. In a photo that would later go viral on the official SEA Games Facebook page, the two rode back together on the shore on Casugay's board.

Applause greeted the two when they got back to the beach.

Because of the incident, the men's longboard event was postponed until further notice.


This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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