The History of Surfing in Bali

Surfing has become one of the main activities in Bali since surfers first came to the island in the middle of the last century. Bali is on the agenda of every surfer, whether you are a beginner who wants to try the rising tide through your first surfing lesson, or a skilled surfer who wants to try one of the legendary places in Bali, or a pro surfer who wants to test your tube – the air skills when ride the waves perfectly. Here is the history of surfing in Bali.

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  • How surfing entered Indonesia

Surfing has been known in Bali since the 1930s. This could not be separated from the efforts of Bob Koke, a California photographer who widely introduced surfing in Bali since he moved to the island in 1936. Soon he was married to Louise Garrett who later became Louise Koke. Louise was touted as the first expatriate surfer from Bali.

Louise was actually the wife of the famous Hollywood screenwriter of the time, Oliver HP Garrett who worked on the film “A Farewell to Arms and” Duel In The Sun. Just because Garrett was known to often get drunk and seduce many women, made Louise establish a scandal with Koke, a photographer who was also his tennis coach in Beverly Hills. Finally the two couples chose to go to Bali from Singapore. The couple also opened a small hotel on Kuta Beach while offering surfing lessons. They lived in Bali until 1942.

Indonesia, and Bali in particular, just glimpsed and jolted the awareness of world surfers after the film ‘Tubular Swells’ which was produced in 1975 was watched by many people in the world. Since then the world surfers know that there are interesting spots besides Australia and Hawaii..

Bali is the first location of surfing sports introduced to the people of Indonesia, so many surf training is often held in various beaches of Bali. In addition Bali also has such talented surfer, Garut Widiarta, Raju Sena, Rizal Tanjung, Wayan Betet Merta, and many more.

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  • Before entering Bali, surfing was known as Masrupan in Kuta

Surfing is an integral part of the activities of the beaches in Bali. Who would have thought that the Balinese people actually knew this challenging game, long before the arrival of foreign tourists to Bali. Masrupan, so Kuta fishermen in the past used to call this game. Before Kuta developed as a tourist destination, most of the people worked as fishermen.

Masrupan is not much different from surfing. Masrupan is played by swinging on the waves with a wooden board. The difference is, the board used is small, only around 40 x 60 cm. The board used for the assembly is not a special board. The boards are just the back seat of the fisherman on the boat.

The real surfing sport, Kuta’s children were only known when tourists from America and Australia came to Bali carrying surf boards in the 1970s. Surfing boards that tourists bring, can make the Kuta kids wonder. But after being introduced to the board, the children of Kuta began to try this game. The more days, more and more Kuta children are interested in this sport. Since then there have also been local Balinese surfer talents.

Surfing began to get a place since many surfing competitions were held. Although the lure of the prizes offered is not so great, it is the competitions that have succeeded in building new generations of Balinese surfers. The first major competition that became the cornerstone of surfing’s rise in Bali was the Professional and Amateur World Surfing Championship in 1980. Activities sponsored by Om Company, a company with a brand surfing.

Surfing has been growing ever since the opening of opportunities for surf to compete. That was especially true after the entry of several foreign surf brands such as Quiksilver and Billabong to Bali since 1991. Since then, the surfer communities have continued to grow. Extreme sports are now not just a place to channel hobbies. Some young Kuta people depend on surfing.

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  • How Bali becomes the world of surfing

In the late 1960s Australian surfers began to arrive to surf in the Kuta area before discovering world-class waves on the Bukit Peninsula. Surfing in Bali was increasingly popular worldwide with the presence of the film “Morning of the Earth” in 1972, the work of Albert “Alby” Falzon, an Australian people.

The film described surfers living in harmony with the spiritual realm, making their own boards (and homes) as they travel to search for the perfect waves on the northeast coast of Australia, Bali and Hawaii.

If there is a question “why many surfing athletes from Bali are found?”, Because Bali is the first location of this sport in the introduction and consistency of surf training is often held in various beaches, Bali also strengthen this water sports into a kind of need.

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  • The first time Bali was chosen as official host of the pro surf competition in 1995

Although it is well known, but Indonesia has not been formally chosen to host an international surfing event. The World Surf League (WSL), previously known as the Professional Surfing Association, only made Indonesia the official host of the pro surf competition in 1995 held by Quiksilver Pro in Grajagan, Bali. The competition was won by 11-time WSL world champion Kelly Slater. Since then, the surf pro qualification round has always been held in Indonesia at Keramas Beach, Gianyar and the rest in Mentawai Islands, West Sumatra.

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  • Bali Becomes the favorite spot for the world of surfing

Beaches on the Bukit Peninsula (Bukit Peninsula), Bali, are heaven for any surfing lovers in the world. In the area stretches a number of beaches that are perfect for the thrill of riding the waves. Surfing enthusiasts really will be spoiled by the waves and the stunning scenery in the region. Not surprisingly, National Geographic won Bukit Peninsula as one of the best surfing locations in the world or “World’s 20 Best Surf Towns”

Those are the long journey of Bali until today it becomes the world of surfing. Bali grows beautifully and naturally after many people started to visit Bali. Even some  people abroad want to go to Bali in purpose of trying the wave for surfing.

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