Surfing in Bali

The island of Bali is considered one of the foremost tourist destinations in Indonesia and has been lauded by many as the ‘dream paradise island.’ The provincial capital of Bali is Denpasar. The islands of Java and Lombok border the main island of Java to the west and to the east, respectively. Tourist flock constantly to the paradise islands of Bali even during the wet, rainy seasons because of its highly developed arts such as folk or modern dance, sculpture, architecture and scenic white sand beaches. Bali has seen a consistent rise in tourists during the recent years owing much of it to its famous surf spots.

Surf Spots in Bali

Surf Spots in Bali

Indonesia owes much of its modernizations and its rise as premier tourist and surfing destination to the start of a new earn after the downfall of the past president and dictator, President Suharto, in the 90’s. In the 70’s some famous surfer movies were shot in Bali. Thus, it ushered a new era of fame for Bali’s pristine waters and perfect swells. Surfing magazines started to feature Bali as a top surfing destination. Needless to say, a lot of surf spots in Bali do live up to the pro or kamikazee standards. But before you go to any random beach, first you must the characteristics of the waves because if not, you might just find yourself in a swell or a tide that you can’t handle.

Surfing Girl, Bali, Indonesia

Surfing Girl, Bali, Indonesia

For avid amateur and professional surfers alike, Bali is the place to go to if you want high waves, great accomodations, and perfect waters. There is no end to surfing in Bali. You can surf all year round even during the rainy season. But a lot of surfers consider the dry winter season in Bali, a period from May to September, as the best time to surf. But if you decide to surf during these times, there’s a tendency for the breaks to be overcrowded because that is the foremost surfing season. Not to worry, you can ask the locals for perfectly undisturbed or not so crowded breaks for a taste of Bali’s highest swells. But if you are not one who likes to look for the best spot and who does not mid a lot of surfers, Kuta Beach or Uluwatu will serve your tastes quite well, depending on your level of experience. But if you prefer privacy, here is a list of popular surfing spots along the Bali coastline according to difficulty:

For all surfers

Berawa Surfing Bali

Berawa Surfing Bali

  • regardless of level of experience: Airport’s, Berangan, Balian, Berawa, Buitan, Canggu, Dayana Purra, KU DE TA, Kuta Beach, Medewi, Padang Galak, Nusa Lembogan, Perereu, Serangan, Sri Lanka, Tanah Lot and Yehleh, just to name a few. These areas all have beach breaks, and going at right and/or left directions. If you venture further into Airports, you will see that it has a fantastic coral reef.

For experienced surfers

Surfing in Bali

Surfing in Bali

  • many suggest the following spots: Matias Point, Bali tropic, Ceningan point, Dreamland, Ewan’s left, Greenball, Jimbawan Shorey, Kartika, Keramas Beach, Lower Temples, Lacerations, Kuta Reef, Middles, Mushroom beach, Nusa dua, Nyang nyang, Pulakan, Rice paddies, Right hander reef, Sanur – Grand Hyatt, Secret beach, Shipwrecks, Tandjungs, Temples and lastly, Uluwatu. All of the reef-coral point breaks and have average to high swells. These are great places for trying out fast current white rapid surfing.

All these beaches on the list are for professionals or kamikazees only and should be tried with extreme caution. The tides can get pretty fast here and the currents really strong. Not to mention, super high swells that’ll blow an ordinary surfer’s mind. Padang padang, Bluffs, Ketewel and the Impossibles. The Impossibles isn’t just called the Impossibles for no reason. It’s called this by the local surfers and foreign surfers alike because of its impossibly high swells and extremely strong currents. Not forgetting that it’s a point break and a not a beach break.

Kuta Beach Surfing

Kuta Beach Surfing

Kuta beach can easily be considered one of the most easy and beginner suited surf spots in Bali. It’s quite close to Legian, hence the nightlife crowds can be hectic. Most of time, this beach is usually over crowded. The mellow tides and the average swell height make it great for those who want to try surfing the waves after they break and roll towards the beach or otherwise known as white water surfing. It can also be a good idea to ask for surfing lessons from the dudes who rent out surfboards. That way, as a beginner, you’ll learn more faster. This place is otherwise easy to defeat for professionals.

Canggu Beach Surfing, Bali

Canggu Beach Surfing, Bali

Another spot you might want to try, as beginners or intermediate surfers, is Canggu beach. It’s near the Seminyak and is close to Kuta beach since it’s only 30 minutes away. This place can be a more bit tricky, depending on the tide. This is an ideal place for both experienced and beginner surfers since there’s a variety of reef and beach breaks to choose from. With soft swelling waves and rippables that’re great for both beginners and experts alike.

The Impossibles has an average swell height of 4 to eight feet. The difficult part here is the fact that there are very few take off points in this long stretch of coral reef. The current can get very strong and rapid as well during the dry season, more so in the wet. This place doesn’t seem to get very crowded for most of the year, though.

Surfing in Padang-padang

Surfing in Padang-padang

Surfing in Padang-padang needs expertise. It’s nicknamed the ‘Balinese Pipeline’ and is strictly for kamikazees or professionals only. This is definitely one dangerous left hand point. All year round, plenty of surfing competitions are held in Padang-padang. A few things to be careful about when you venture in these dangerous waters are shallow coral waters and definitely, other surfers trying to rip it up. This place gets seriously busy with surfer traffic. Fortunately, there’s a gentler right hand break that goes to the shore. It’s perfect for beginners especially at high tide. Waves are from 4-12 ft.

Happy Surfing! Surfers Rock!

Happy Surfing! Surfers Rock!

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Tags for this post: Best surfing spots, Surfing, World surfing spots
  • Igor Onishchenko

    Awesome mate! Thanks for posting!

  • Serge

    I had not ever seen surfers on Bali and always thought that Bali is a tropical paradise for relax. It seems I was wrong.