Bali’s first resident surfboard shapers

There’s little doubt that the first person to shape a surfboard on Bali was Robert Koke, sometime in the late 1930s. He and his wife Louise built and ran the Kuta Beach Hotel (at what is now the Hard Rock hotel). In her mesmerizing memoir, “Our Hotel in Bali”, Louis recounts how Bob made some “Honolulu” style boards — there’s also some pictures of locals with their alaias that Bob probably would have made. (Check out an earlier post on Bali’s first surfers)


Skip forward to the late 1970s/1980s for Bali’s next resident shaper. Your blog correspondent did some informal polling, and the consensus was that the next person to put planer to blank (whether slab of wood or foam) was Kim “Fly” Bradley, with his Bali Design label. I remember some weird shapes and art work that fit well the herbal sensibilities of the era.

bim bradley boards

(Grabbed off the Net–I’m not sure these board are Fly’s handiwork, as he also collected boards).

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8 Responses to Bali’s first resident surfboard shapers

  1. mattjenna says:

    I’m pretty sure the board he is holding IS one of Fly’s-I have one of his from 83′ with a very similar spray. A real character-a memorial was held for him in Avalon, Sydney, I think about 2 years ago, on his passing.

  2. robert says:

    Yeah those boards look like Fly’s. One really small board [ The OM board ] Fly made for David Palmer [ Steve’s Son ] when he was a grommet. This was the first board Lee [ my Son ] ever stood up on. I’ll post a picture of it soon. I believe these days Riz T has it somewhere ..

  3. Bukit Bear says:

    Hey RL… here’s a shot of few more of of KB’s boards…

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