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Surfing in Bali

Bali is a surfer’s paradise with all year round waves, surf camps, and a wonderful surfing community that is welcoming to both newbies and experts. Some of the best places to spots the waves would be on the south east and south west of the island. Expert surfers will find challenging waves at Padang Padang, and the Impossibles, but there are also plenty of waves to be found around the coast that will be suitable for complete beginners. Those individuals who are completely new to the sport might like to first try stand up paddle surfing as this can be a bit easier to pick up.

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Surfing Locations in Bali

Some of the best surfing locations in Bali would include:

  • Kuta Reef is located 800 meters from Kuta Beach in front of the Sandi Phala Motel. This is a long swim so it may be a better option to be taken out to the reef by boat – it should be possible to hire a boat for this trip for about 40,000 IDR (as of early 2013).
  • The Impossibles refers to a long stretch of reef that can be found between Bingin and Padang Padang. These are long and fast waves, but the experienced surfer should find that they are not as intimidating as they look.
  • Medewi Beach is 75km (46 miles) to the west of Denpasar, and there are good waves here all year round. The break here is a long right hander, and the best time to surf here is early morning.
  • Balian Beach is about 20 km to the east of Medawi Beach, and there is some excellent surf to be found here as well.
  • Padang Padang is located right beside the Impossibles, and this is where the famous Balinese Pipeline waves are to be enjoyed. The most challenging surfing on the island is to be found here in Padang Padang, but there are also some smaller waves that will be suitable for beginners.
  • Uluwatu is located on the Bukit Peninsula and is about 21km (13 miles) to the south of Kuta. Some of the best waves in the world are to be found at Uluwatu, but this location is only really suitable for experienced surfers.
  • Airport Left and Right are waves that can be found 1km offshore on either side of the Ngurah Rai International Airport runway . Airport Left tends to be busier than Airport Right, and it is necessary to hire a boat to reach either of these locations.
  • Bingin Beach is a five minute drive from Padang Padang. The reef here is close to the shore so it is relatively easy to paddle out to it.
  • Balangan Beach is to the north of Bingin Beach. The waves here are fast and can reach up to 8 foot.
  • There is some reasonably good surfing conditions to be found in the waters around Nusa Dua. The best reef in the area is about 500 meters offshore.
  • The waves at Sanur are most suitable for surfing during the wet season. The bigger waves here can reach as high as 6 foot.
  • Serangan is about half way between Sanur and Kuta. This used to be one of the best kept surfing secrets in Bali, but this spot has become popular in recent years.

Best Time of Year to surf in Bali

Visitors can come to Bali at any time of the year, and they will be able to find somewhere to surf – this is what makes it such a superb destination. The best locations to go surfing will depend on the time of year. During the dry season the best places to go will include; Kuta Reef, the Impossibles, Medewi Beach, Padang Padang, and Uluwatu. Visitors who are in Bali during the wet season will find some nice waves at Sanur, Nusa Dua, and Serangan.

Surfer @ Kuta Beach

Learn to Surf in Bali

Bali can be a great place to go if people want to learn to surf. There are a number of reputable schools offering courses that would be suitable for complete beginners or those who just want to brush up on their skills. Some of the best places to learn to surf in Bali would include:

  • Padang Padang Surf Camp is located close to some of the best surfing spots on the island. They have courses to suit every level of expertise, and they have surf camp packages starting from US$50 per day – this includes accommodation and transfers (prices correct as of mid 2013).
  • Odyssey Surf School is based in Kuta and they offer beginner lessons from US$35 per day (lessons last 2.5 hours) or US$60 for a private lesson. This school can also provide lessons for young children starting from US$45 per day.
  • Rip Curl School of Surf offer lessons in Sanur and Legian, and they offer a number of courses including; level 1 Beach Surfer , level 2 Reef Surfer, Level 3 Power Surfer, and Little Ripper (for kids) – they also offer stand up paddle surfing and wake boarding. Students can have a DVD made of their surfing exploits for 950,000 IDR (as of mid 2013).
  • Surf School Bali can be found close to Seminyak, and they offer lessons for four levels of surfer from complete beginner to completely addicted. They charge 400,000 IDR for a half day lesson, and they can also provide a one day surf trip for 500,000 IDR.
  • Pro Surf School are located on Kuta Beach, and they offer instruction for beginner, intermediate, and advanced surfers. They offer a nice selection of surfing packages that can include accommodation.
  • Big Kahuna Surf School has beginner’s lessons from 450,000 IDR. They can also provide private tuition from 600,000 IDR for one hour.
  • SUP Bali is a good option if people wish to learn stand up paddle surfing. This school is located in Kuta.
  • UP2U Surf School Bali is located in Legian, and they offer a good range of courses to suit different levels of expertise. This school also teaches stand up paddle surfing.
  • Canggu Surf School is based on Echo Beach and they offer instruction for kids as well as adults. They offer a nice get on board class for 660,000 IDR that will provide people of a taste of what it is like to surf.

Hire or Buy Surfing Equipment in Bali

There are many places on Bali where surfing equipment can be hired including:

The average cost of board rental in Bali tends to be about 40,000 IDR for an hour or 80,000 for one day (as of mid 2013)

Surfing Close to Bali

There are some other options close to Bali worth considering including:

  • There are some nice breaks on the Gili Islands on Gili Air and Gili Trawangan. Surf Camp Lombok provides instruction for new people who want to try their hand at surfing.
  • The nearby island of Lombok has some nice surfing spots on the south west coast of the island. The most famous spot is Desert Point
  • Sumbawa is located to the east of Bali and it is famous for its impressive waves and excellent beaches. Some of the best surfing is to be found on the west of the island, and the most popular destination is near the village of Maluk where the Super Suck waves are to be found.