Early mysteries of Bali’s dreaded south winds

Many years ago, some of us were hanging out at Mek’s fish shack at Sanur. This was back when Mr. Sanur the Silver Fox (aka Martin Boothman) and others stored their boards at Mek’s and used her mandi and ate her fish. We’d surfed a couple hours of morning glass but now the wind was coming up sideshore-onshore, puffing ragged on the waves.

A chartered bemo from Kuta rocked up to the end of the road.

DIY trip 1 bemo

Boards were stacked down the middle of the bemo’s back. Four Aussies jumped out and eyed the lineup. “Fark fark fark,” they said, sounding like a flock of ducks. “It’s onshore over here too! What the fark is going on?”

What was going on was the dreaded south wind. In those early days, much of Bali’s surf (swell direction and tide and wind and current) was a mystery you figured out as you went along. It took time to acquire the Wisdom of the Silver Fox, including knowledge of the very few breaks that tolerate a south wind.

south wind

Above is what happens when the south wind blows. A recent grab from a wind-model site. It ain’t rocket science, and you’d think surfers would be clued in by now, but the other day, the same scenario repeated itself at Serangan, although the surf vehicle was a surf school van and the surfers were Germans, and instead of “fark” it was “fick fick fick.”

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8 Responses to Early mysteries of Bali’s dreaded south winds

  1. “Fick” and “fark”. Perfect!

  2. Bukit Bear says:

    That’s a classic bemo shot.

  3. Pingback: And what an October it’s kind of been for Bali surf… | Bali and Indo Surf Stories

  4. Shaun says:

    My name is Shaun sanur. I’m live in jp and I’m looking Martin boothman (Australian about 60years old)
    I heard he is famous in Bali ( Kuta beach and sanur beach)
    do you know him ?
    thank you

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