I only got one chance to officially meet him. An Australian magazine was doing a piece on him and needed a fresh photo. I called him and he ended up living just up the road from me. As I drove my car through the gates of his house, I couldn’t help but notice the amazing view. Volcanoes in the distance. Airport Rights firing off. Kuta beach, Turtle Island. You could see it all from his front porch. He later told me there were no other houses or anything on this hill when he bought the land. Which ended up to be some time ago. I don’t remember the dates. Forgive me, I am not a writer. Just a photographer on assignment. Usually I show up, shoot the subject and get out. But my afternoon with Kim was different. I remember being in awe of the stories he told me about walking into Uluwatu for the first time. About the first surfboard he shaped in Bali, actually the first board ever shaped in Indonesia. And that he had given it to the Governor of Bali. The second board he had at his house this day. A board shaped for his daughter. A single fin. With beautiful art on it: The island of Bali. A fiery sunset. A palm tree. And a perfect wave peeling. These were what lured me to Bali for the first time.
But Kim’s first time to Bali was quite a bit different than mine. Many of the stories he told me, I wasn’t even born yet. It was crazy to imagine being such a pioneer in this part of the world.. And the stories he told me, aren’t even a fraction that others know. So please; Write in. Use the comment box below and share with others what an amazing life Kim had. And Kim, you’ll be greatly missed by your friends, family, and everyone in Bali and all over the world.