Video: Bali, 1974

74′ Bali was still a buzz. Story of a two months surf trip there at 17. Kuta was just a small village. Few losmen for backpackers and surfers with the neighborhood of the local families. Cows were hanging under the coconut trees. No electricity, no running water, dogs everywhere. Mushrooms from cowpats end up in a small restaurant. Pot passed from hand to hand. No forecast just the expectation of a new moon when it was flat.

We had to listen the sound of the swell during the night, with the morning surprise… Just few surf spots were discovered beside Kuta and the virgin beaches up to Legian. Kuta Reef was the main surfed left on a good swell. Aussies were already ripping on 6′ boards.Frenchies, we were still under the 8′ gunny hawaiian/cal influence.

Uluwatu was the mythic spot. First was to get informations about the track and second was to not get lost walking hours long there under the sun. Nothing on the cliff. The discovery of the waves, of the cave, of the shallow reef, of the hollow drop… No duck dive, leashes made of local fabrics, rumors of sharks and sea snakes… and important to not miss the cave on the way in at high tide… Uluwatu was an adventure on its own… Then back to France and high school with a two days train trip with the boards through Java to Jakarta. 70’s trip…

No nostalgia, but important to not forget how was the past to preserve the future. Today, as everywhere, Bali has more than one challenge to keep going. Pollution (sewer, plastic) is a main one and surfers are concerned… – Gibus de Soultrait.


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