First recorded surf at Gili Air, Lombok, 1980

Going through some old photos for a quick post and found this ragged shot. 1980, taken from the tin dinghy, the little boat that could.

gili air surf

Mike & Tim McHugh and yours truly did the channel crossing to the Gili Islands and scored the Gili Air right. Mike is on the very first wave of the very first session, with Tim sitting outside. The square head belongs to Nyoman Mawan, a salty-sea dog Lembongan islander with experience of the Bali Straits.

That’s Trawangan in the background before the first Euro back-packer ever set foot on the island and claimed it in the name of The Full Moon Party. We slept there that night on our board bags and then in them when it started pouring.

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11 Responses to First recorded surf at Gili Air, Lombok, 1980

  1. robert says:

    Cool as :]

  2. Kevin Gordon says:

    What a great experience

  3. Cool sekali! ~ Did you guys name it Pertama?

  4. Tim McHugh named it Pertama. There’s no proof that was the first time it was ever surfed, although it’s possible, because it’s such a fickle spot. The local villagers on Gili Air (Meno and Trawangan were uninhabited) said they’d never seen surfers there before. Getting to the Gilis overland wasn’t easy back then. The Turtle Boat guys hit Desert Point and then went around south of Lombok as far as I know.

  5. Thanks. Tim must have been young back then eh? How lucky…

  6. Anonymous says:

    Dick surfed the first wave,……at the second break which we call dicks reef,a very nice little wave

  7. I remember encouraging my Indonesian business partners in 1985 to buy Gili Meno… apparently it was for sale, the entire island. They were worried there wasn’t enough water for the golf course they wanted to build so didn’t go ahead. Apa boleh buat…

  8. Pingback: Gili Trawangan Surf Camp, 1980 | Bali and Indo Surf Stories

  9. Tim McHugh b says:

    Hi, it’s Tim McHugh here…. We had a small speed boat. First day we couldn’t go from sanur. But we drew straws. Who would take the supplies over to Lembongan then we did a the channel crossing, after much consideration.then we camped out at trawangan or however it’s spelt and slept in our boardcovers. Next morning we blasted around to Gili air and surfed that place and I caught the first wave and got hammered on the reef.

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