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The Inertia

A big west swell at Uluwatu does amazing things. Imagine, if you will, what it was like when Gerry Lopez found himself there in the mid-1970s. The wave, just as perfect then as it is now, the beach in front of it mostly unspoiled by humanity’s grasping fingers.

“We discovered the biggest candy store for surf there could ever be,” Gerry Lopez said about that time in his life. “We were completely and utterly just blown away by not only the quality but the consistency of the surf and the lack of people.”

On a big west — or a global pandemic — the crowds might be similar to back then. It’s always scary, and only a handful of people can muster up the courage to paddle out. On the morning you see in the video above, only a few people pulled out their eight-foot-plus guns and paddled out to the bombie. As the tide began to drop a little later in the afternoon, more and more people decided to try their luck at the outside corner, where cleanup sets were a little more scarce and the wave ran just a tad better.

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