In the mid-80’s, I used to work for a friend’s home-grown Bali clothing company with its main office located in a Kuta Balinese family’s compound on Gang Poppies 1. Ketut Denda was one of the sons, a local beach kid with a big smile who ripped in the surf. He did things I hadn’t seen before, like shooting his board high over the lip, grabbing the rails while he was in the air and somersaulting backwards with the board and landing it back on the wave and on his feet to keep riding. He wasn’t copying anybody, or imitating any video clip, he was just having fun.
I only have one photo of him in my albums, at Labuhan Haji in East Lombok. Mike, me and Denda were getting on the good ship Hati Murnih (which we’d sent ahead and then flew to Mataram and rented a taxi for the cross-island ride to Labuhan Haji). This was pre-forecast days, and as I recall, we didn’t score big, but had fun waves here and there.
Denda lives in Japan now.