At Play in the Fields of Allah

To surfers in the early '70s, Indonesia meant Java, which in turn meant Third World urban poverty in Jakarta, coup attempts, student riots, Communist purges, and a stone-faced dictator in sunglasses and a military dress uniform.

Decades after Uluwatu was first surfed, when surfers were jacked to their computers and a lot faster with their credit cards, the sport developed a swarming reaction to the latest perfect-wave discovery. One week after a 2006 contest webcast from an incredible never-before-seen Mexican pointbreak, no less than a 100 surfers flew in to catch the next good swell. Reaction times were slower in the 19...

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