11 May, 2009 Kuta-Bali: At just before 6:00 pm on Saturday May 9 at Kuta Beach in Bali, over 80 surfers paddled out at Kuta Beach to honor the life, spirit, and contributions of Kim “Fly” Bradley by sprinkling his ashes into the sea surrounding his beloved island. It would have been his 54th birthday.
Smaller groups performed similar paddle outs at Bradley’s favorite surfing beaches around the island: Nusa Dua, Sanur, and Padang-Padang Beach (near Uluwatu).
Later that evening in Kuta, friends and family gathered for a wake at his favorite watering hole, Tubes Bar on Poppies 2. Bradley and fellow Aussie Steve Palmer created the world famous wave at Tubes, where thousands have been photographed over the years perched atop a surfboard hovering just under the concrete lip. With food, drink, and many of Bradley’s photos and surfboards on display, stories were swapped and old times revived while “Morning of the Earth” played on the big screen, in a fitting memoriam to this Bali legend.
Bradley, an Australian expat from the Sydney area, passed away just a few weeks ago on Nyepi Day (the Balinese annual Day of Silence) March 26th at his house on the hill above Jimbaran, overlooking the airport and the reef breaks of Kuta. Though he had been battling skin cancer for many years, it was reported that a failed liver is what ended his time in Bali.
Nicknamed “Fly” by the older surfers when he was a youngster, learning to surf in the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Bradley left a job at Tracks Magazine in 1974 for a trip to Bali, inspired by Albie Falzon’s classic surf film “Morning of the Earth”, a film with intriguing scenes of Bali’s epic waves. Subsequently, he spent the rest of his life living in Bali.
Bradley’s extraordinary surfing ability made him a standout out on the island’s most difficult waves, and along with both his talent for making surfboards and friends, he soon helped to organize the first surfing competition in Bali. The Indonesian surf scene as it is today owes its very existence to “Fly”.
On April 29th, 2009, Bradley received a full Balinese funeral (called a nyaben) on the sands of Kuta Beach at the Asem Celagi cemetery near the Kartika Discovery Mall. His body was cremated in the traditional Balinese manner with hundreds of local Balinese and Western friends and family attending. Bradley had converted to Balinese Hinduism with his marriage to Ni Made Ringan in 1982, and is survived daughter Dewi (25) sons Adi (20) and 18 month old Genghis.
Special thanks to Coca-Cola Bottling Indonesia for supplying Coke Zero, to Billabong Indonesia for making the T-shirts, to Mick Curley for padding out with a camera, and to everyone that came out to join in the event to show their respect for Kim “Fly” Bradley.
Tim Hain – ISC
Mick Curley – Mick Curley Photography