Ever wonder what it was like to surf Bali back in the “gold school” days before things went boom and the island became an international surfing (and tourist) destination?
For those that weren’t around to see it firsthand, a video narrated by French surfer-writer Gibus de Soultrait gives us a fuzzy little glimpse back into the past when a crowded lineup meant 10 people and paved roads were unheard of.
While the video is hardly new (and the footage is obviously over 40 years old), it’s been making waves since it’s been re-shared across Bali social media recently.
Surf Session Magazine, the bi-monthly that de Soultrait directs, uploaded the video to their Vimeo in 2014.
Although de Soultrait’s narrating the whole thing in French, just take a moment to appreciate the visuals: peeling, glassy waves and pumping barrels, fishermen ferrying surfers out on wooden boats, and gun-ish, 8’0 Hawaiian and Cali influenced boards.
You’ll recognize the spots, Kuta, Medewi, Sanur, and of course, Uluwatu, as the same waves yet, set a little differently.
And just for fun the video throws in a clip of the “next generation”, Antoin de Soultrait, getting barreled at Padang Padang in 2009.
The point of the video isn’t to invoke nostalgia and get lost in the past, but instead let the past guide our future, writes Gibus de Soultrait in the video’s caption.
“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,” the Frenchman thoughtfully concludes.