Uluwatu, located in south west part of the Island of Bali is considered as the best surfing spot in Bali as well as in the world.
Every surfer ever been to Bali must know well the phenomenal Uluwatu surfing waves.
Uluwatu nowadays is also well known for its best hanging spots and as tourists favorite destination. But it was a very different situation back in the 70s.
Stepping in Bali in that period of time is like stepping into time, when everything seems like in the unreal world. Stepping into a dream.
In the early 70s, the empty road between Kuta and Legian took you through palm plantations. Let alone Uluwatu which is more a secluded area than Kuta.
The dirt track of Jl. Kuta that led straight to the sea was lined with the ramshackle shacks. Even Made’s Warung was a shack at that time.
There were also just dozen losmen where their only lights at night were from kerosene lamps, flickering in the windows.
But in contrary also fortunately, not a single piece of plastic trash could be found on the beach. You can see the ocean was perfectly clear and lack of people.
In 1975, Gerry Lopez, a well know surfer at that time along with Rory Russell, surfer champion, found the waves of Uluwatu for the first time.
To both of them, the discovery itself is like finding the biggest candy store for surf, while it opens the gate to other surf spots in Bali and other islands in Indonesia.
Uluwatu has the waves that blew everyone’s mind. They were blown away not only for the quality but also from the consistency of the waves at any time of the day.
Another name that had experience Uluwatu waves in the old days was Jim Banks.
Emerged in 1977 as one of the world’s top young surf professionals, but since he was never convinced of a pro-career’s worth he eventually leave his surfing competition world to pursue the life as a surfboard shaper.
Jim Banks now lives in Bali full time, where he continues to surf daily and crafts some of the world’s best boards.
Bali first surf club was established in 1979 and the first professional surf competition was held in 1980, The Om Bali Pro at uluwatu on The Peninsula.
It was a big success as thousand of surfers from all over the world gather in Bali to attend.
But what really made Bali famous as a surfing destination, was the release of the greatest Australian surf film ever made “Morning Of The Earth” in 1972.
After that landmark film, with its depiction of mythical wave at Uluwatu, the floodgates open with the influx of 20,000 tourists in 1973, 1000 among them are surfers.
It is fascinanting how pristine and innocent this 70s time was in Uluwatu, known only by surfers.
Time when monkeys, not people are the ones watching from surounding cliffs.
As a comparison to the nowadays Uluwatu as surfers most loved destination you can read in : https://www.unicare-clinic.com/2018/11/25/line-up-surfers-here-are-your-3-best-surf-spots-in-uluwatu/