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Conversations from the Clifftop: Wayne Lynch and Gerry Lopez

Sean Doherty

In 1974, while out to dinner at Jack McCoy’s vegetarian restaurant in Torquay, Gerry Lopez noticed a photo hanging on the wall outside the toilet and stared at it, mesmerised.


The photo, taken by Jack’s long-time collaborator Dick Hoole, was of a surfer racing across a long lefthander. It didn’t offer many clues. It had been taken from the water and there were no geographical landmarks to go off, it was just a beautiful, lined up left. The surfer, however, Gerry knew well. The photo was of Wayne Lynch and had been taken in Bali the previous year. Gerry had no idea where Bali even was at this point. Few surfers did. The Indonesian island had only just been discovered by surfers, and the secret was tightly kept… for now. Gerry surfed Uluwatu later that year and was immediately spellbound not only by the wave, but by the mysticism of the island itself. They’d found the Island of the Gods.

Over 40 years later Wayne and Gerry returned to Bali to find it a little busier than when they were last here. The cliffs at Uluwatu were lined with resorts and warungs and the lineup was a cosmopolitan full house. But the wave was still the wave and Bali was still Bali and over a week of surfing and yoga the pair reconnected with the spirit of the place. On their final night on the island, these two surfing legends gathered on the cliff and held court, discussing Bali then and now and the whole notion of change.

Following an introduction by Dan Malloy, below is a live recording of that conversation.


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