Freedom Machines: The Unending Enthusiasm of Deus Ex Machina

Words by Matthew Vanatta

There’s an intrinsic freedom that comes with gliding down a paved or dirt road on a two-wheeled machine. Riding a motorcycle is akin to moving meditation, there is no future and no past, only the present. This freedom of the present moment is also achieved by gliding across the face of a wave, perched effortlessly on a piece of functional sculpture trimming in cosmic synchronicity with the rhythm of the universe. Some would say both are a spiritual experience.

Deus Ex Machina was founded in 2006 in Australia by a group of motorcycle and surf enthusiasts in Sydney, Australia. The brand quickly accumulated a loyal following for building show-worthy custom motorcycles and housing some of Australia’s most prominent surfboard shapers. It was clear from the inception that Deus was going to be a brand about ideas, about a cultural ideal, about exploration and if they had to sell some clothing to fund the experience, then so be it.

It wasn’t long before a few custom bikes turned into The House of Simple Pleasures in Sydney. Deus’ first location was a shrine for fellow motorcycle and surf craft enthusiasts, one part showroom, one part retailer, and one part cafe, The House of Simple Pleasures quickly inspired greater dreams, grander vision, and it wasn’t long before the founders were looking to grow beyond the borders of their native land.

Bali has long been a refuge for Australian surfers looking to escape overcrowded beaches of their surf-crazed homeland and making the pilgrimage to the mystical land of reef bottom barrels and Bingtangs is a must for anyone willing to search for epic waves and uninhibited adventure.

From Canggu to Kermas, Bali is surfers paradise and seems to hold a certain magnetism for misfits and surf psyched escapist in search of freedom. A freedom to pursue one’s dreams, especially if those dreams drift far from the status quo. Deus is an amalgamation of dreams, dreams that needed to be fostered and grown in a place that was anything but conventional.

While Dues was founded in Sydney it came into its own in Bali, at the Temple of Enthusiasm located in Canggu. The Temple of Enthusiasm set the tone for what the brand is today, a dreamers paradise where the very best motorcycle and surfboard makers traveled to partake in the cultivation of a culture that has reached worldwide appeal.

Bali is where Deus glided into the collective consciousness of surfers, craftsman, and fashion enthusiasts the world over. The brand wasn’t just selling clothing and motorcycle accessories, it wasn’t just selling surfboards and board shorts, Deus was selling an idea that if you have a vision and the willingness to explore that anything was possible.

They captured this perfectly through curated events and media like their longboard event ‘9ft and Single’, a style over substance event that is a nod to classic longboards and through awe-inspiring cinema like their surf classic ‘I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night’, which follows ambassador Harrison Roach and friends as they ride and glide all over Bali.

Since Deus opened its doors in 2006 its seen a whole culture develop around the symbiotic relationship between moto and surf, it was the provocateur of a movement and although countless other brands have hopped on the bandwagon, Deus is truly responsible for the holy unity between metal and foam, dirt and sea, tires and trim. Deus has grown into a worldwide phenomenon, it has stores in Japan, Los Angeles, and Italy, but the essence of the brand is and always will be about freedom of expression, about doing whatever it takes to keep building, to keep growing, to keep seeking enjoyment.

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