The Inertia Contributing Writer

The Inertia

Desert Point — one of the most perfect lefthand barrels on the planet — is a familiar sight to nearly any surfer. But how much do you know about how the wave was discovered?

Thanks to an upcoming documentary about the group of swashbuckling American surfers who found the place and got more waves there than probably anyone else ever will, you’re about to know a whole lot more. The makers of the movie Secrets of Desert Point have released a tantalizing trailer, accompanied only by this description:

“In the early eighties, while sailing in crude, leaky boats off remote Lombok Island in Indonesia, young California surfer Bill Heick and his friends stumbled across the perfect wave…. Join us for a journey on one of the last great dirtbag adventures of the 20th Century…one passed through three generations. And learning that if you want to keep paradise, you need to stand up for it.”

Deserts was the prize for lighting out from the already growing crowds of Bali, buying a dilapidated turtle-fishing boat, and rolling the dice. Luckily for them, these guys were good at keeping secrets. So good they told nary a soul about their discovery for the better part of a decade.


“No talk, no maps, no photos. We became really good liars,” the trailer’s narration says.

The movie is being screened at the Newport Beach Film Festival on April 24, followed by a Q-and-A with Heick.

This video below, posted by Heick, appears to show 20-plus minutes of footage from the early days of Deserts. Unfortunately, it has no narration but the grainy images of the boat used to explore the Lombok coastline and the empty waves have plenty to say without one.


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