Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bali Surf Travel - Bali Surfing

Surfing In Bali

Bali Surfing Report - Bali have always been the established destination for those who want to surf in Indonesia. Bali Island boasts over 20 top quality breaks on the southwest and southeast coasts of the island and around the Bukit (Uluwatu) Peninsula. Some of beaches, like Padang Padang and Uluwatu, are well-known world class reef-breaks. Others range from smaller waves on the beach-breaks around Kuta and Sanur to serious heavy, sucking waves in Uluwatu.

Having so many surfing spots options available within such a short distance to the Kuta and Legian beach area means that after your surf you can return to a plush hotel and enjoy a long, lazy meal, lounge by the pool, take a nap in an air conditioned room and watch cable TV. Alternatively you can party at the discos each night, enjoy some of the local brew, all of which has definite appeal after having an exciting surfing session.

The surf in Bali Island is generally not huge but it is mostly in the 2-6 foot range (shoulder-high to double overhead). Larger waves can occur on some of the exposed reefs such as Padang Padang and Uluwatu, but a mellower surf break can always be found in Kuta, Sanur or Amed by anyone who wishes to avoid life-threatening conditions. Bali has surf breaks that are facing towards the east and west coastlines and because of this, an offshore wind can be found somewhere on the island on any given day.

If you are a serious surfer and want to have more "space" while surfing, Bali will be the right choice for you. This is because of the numerous surf breaks with the quality and consistency of the waves in Bali, it is very possible to find many spots to surf with only a small crowd of surfers around.

The peak of the surfing season for Bali is in April - October when solid swells are produced by the roaring 40's and can be surfed on the reefs around Kuta, Uluwatu, and Nusa Dua. Unlike most other cities in Indonesia which are mostly heavy reef breaks, Bali also have a lot of beach-breaks on offer which are less likely to cause a surfer of novice or intermediate ability to get injured which can happen on the larger waves on the reef-breaks.

Surfing in Bali began in the 1930s; from then on, Bali's top surfing spots have been a major part of Bali's cachet as a top notch tourist destination.

Bali's small size and unique geography means you don’t have to go far to find the surfing conditions you like. The variety of surfing conditions also promises a good time for veterans and newbies alike.

Finally, Bali’s position in the southern Indian Ocean ensures the arrival of swells all year round - a godsend to surfers who desperately need an off-season fix.

Bali Surfing Seasons

In July, the water is cool, the skies are clear, and the western side of the island get favorable trade winds. Strong offshore winds contribute to the big swells rushing up to the west coast.
From December to March, the rainy season hits and the wind shifts to favor the eastern side of the island.

Medewi Beach

Medewi Beach appeals to less experienced or ambitious surfers with its softer and more workable left-hand breaks. The beach is lined with restaurants and hotels, adding to the relaxed atmosphere.

The best surfing conditions in Medewi happen at high tide when you can catch an eight-foot swell on a good day.
  • Wave Direction: Left
  • Swell Direction: S/SW/W
  • Swell Size: 2-8 feet
  • Ideal Tide: Mid to High Tide
  • Ideal Season: April-October


Canggu is a short motorcycle drive from Kuta. It’s all things to all surfers depending on the time of year – big barrels for the expert, tame rolling waves for the beginner, and everything in between. Just watch out for the undertow and jagged reef bottom.
  • Wave Direction: Left and right
  • Swell Direction: S/SW/W
  • Swell Size: 2-8 feet
  • Ideal Tide: Mid to High Tide
  • Ideal Season: May-September


Kuta's crowds and intense development might make you forget that this is where surfing first found its footing in Bali.

Surfing newbies can take advantage of the many surfing schools, stores, and rentals in the area. The waves, too, are friendly to the beginner, with extremely consistent and forgiving beach breaks.

At high tide, expert surfers can take advantage of Kuta Beach’s long stretch of sand bar breaks to try multiple maneuvers in succession.
  • Wave Direction: Left and right
  • Swell Direction: S/SW/W
  • Swell Size: 2-6 feet
  • Ideal Tide: Mid to High Tide
  • Ideal Season: May-September


Bingin’s hollow, fast barrel is addictive for experienced surfers who know how to handle it. However, expect competition from every visitor and local for all the barrels they can score for the day.

You should also watch out for the "stop sign", the raised coral that has prematurely ended many a great surfing vacation for visiting surfers. Take Bingin for what it is, a short left-hand wave that can cost you if you try to get more out of it than you deserve!
  • Wave Direction: Left
  • Swell Direction: SW
  • Swell Size: 3-6 feet
  • Ideal Tide: Low-Mid Tide
  • Ideal Season: May-September


Dreamland is tamer than the other Bukit surf spots, attracting surfers who want to avoid the heavy waves and sharp rocks of Bingin and Uluwatu. Dreamland’s relatively mellow breaks and beautiful scenery combine to give the place its well-deserved name.

Beginning surfers can take on Dreamland at mid-tide on the beach break that’s more forgiving of the occasional wipeout. Its outer reefs can be really challenging at the right time of the year at low tide, when big swells can create some really sweet barrels.
  • Wave Direction: Left & right
  • Swell Direction: NW
  • Swell Size: 3-12 feet
  • Ideal Tide: Low Tide
  • Ideal Season: May-September


Uluwatu has been attracting surfers since the Seventies. Uluwatu's five breaks offer surfers consistent swells with multiple chances to show off their skills. Not surprisingly, the place has grown quite crowded over the years!

Uluwatu provides the most exhilarating challenge during monsoon season, when the biggest swells hit the island. The temptation of taking on those fifteen-foot waves should be tempered by knowledge of the dangerous conditions – don’t leave shore without a big board and a sturdy leash.
  • Wave Direction: Left
  • Swell Direction: S/SW/W
  • Swell Size: 4-8 feet
  • Ideal Tide: Low to High Tide
  • Ideal Season: May-September

Nusa Dua

Newbies be warned: Nusa Dua’s shallow, sharp reef bottom and powerful, huge right-hand waves should be left to the experts. Nusa Dua is always ready with a wave on hand, the biggest and baddest ones in town at about fifteen feet on a good day.

Nusa Dua is Bali’s best rainy season surfing destination, peaking between October and April with good access at any time of the year.

If you want to save yourself the effort of paddling out to the break, some local fishermen may give you a lift for 5,000rp (about $0.50).
  • Wave Direction: Right
  • Swell Direction: SE/S/SW
  • Swell Size: 5-15 feet
  • Ideal Tide: Low to Mid Tide
  • Ideal Season: October-April

Padang Padang

The "Bali Pipeline"'s surprising ferocity keeps professional surfers on their toes with huge swells and gigantic barrels that are about as fun to watch as they are to surf.

The downside: a wipeout here is more painful than most, as the sharp reef bottom and powerful create board-breaking, flesh-shredding situations that no one should attempt at low tide. Avoid if you’re a beginner, take precautions if you’re an expert.
  • Wave Direction: Left
  • Swell Direction: SW/S
  • Swell Size: 3-12 feet
  • Ideal Tide: Low to High Tide
  • Ideal Season: May-September


Balangan at high tide is great for beginners, who can easily ride this reef break’s long left-hand waves. On really good days, the big waves provide an irresistible challenge to expert surfers.

The vibe at Balangan is friendly and low-key, with less competition due to the smaller crowds compared to Kuta and Uluwatu.
  • Wave Direction: Left
  • Swell Direction: S/SW/W
  • Swell Size: 3-10 feet
  • Ideal Tide: Low-Mid-tide
  • Ideal Season: May-September
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The surf is always up in Bali, the Island of the Gods! Regardless of where you originate from, you will feel the mystique of surfing in Bali's beaches with so many exotic locations available for you. You can choose from white sands, black sands, amazing scenery, traditional fisherman and fishing villages which all add to the unique experience that comes with Surfing in Bali.

So what do you say? Do let me know of what you think about surfing in bali or regarding Bali itself alright :)

If you are still confused about Bali, you can have a rough idea and great insight into bali over here at - Bali Starter Kit and do read Essential Bali Information which will definitely be a great help for your Bali holiday.

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Winnie said...

Do you have any recommendations for surf school/class in Bali?

I'm visiting Bali in November and really keen to take up surfing.. Hope you'll update soon!

Julian said...

I agree with your post.

Surfing in Bali is definitely a great experience for both amateurs and professionals.

I surfed in Nusa Lembongan and Uluwatu and it was really cool!

Anonymous said...

the best surfing spot in bali for me is uluwatu (:

Ramayana said...

Bingin and Uluwatu are world class surfing spots. Beginners should be OK on Kuta beach though.

Dawn said...


Hehehe... I definitely love surfing in bali especially dreamland and padang padang..

Your Bali Surfing Report is so detailed and it enlightened me more of destinations for surfing in Bali. Thanks :)

aladyinlondon said...

Hi! Great blog. I found you through Travel Blog Exchange. Your surfing post is really comprehensive!

I have a blog on Bali as well, and have a post on Best Time of Year for Surfing in Bali.

Bali surfing school said...

Comprensive spot surfing in Bali.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys just read your blog on Bali surfing and though it was spot on !

ive just returned back to sunny England but when i stayed in Bali i stayed at a surf camp called Rapture Surf camps Bali www.rapturecamps.com they did surf guiding and took me to most the spots on your list! they also did a surf school,i stayed there for 3 weeks and had one week of surf lessons

its right next to Padang Padang and all the other main breaks. I thought the place was clean friendly and surf coaching was great hopefully returning there in August money depending!

Hope you check the place out if so tell them Adam says hi !

Anonymous said...

Yeeeahhh i did it as well and loved it ..surfing is amazing wonderful and great i should have started young..

Thanks for teaching me and showing me a new way of life Rapture Surf Camp in Bali. I read this blogg wanting to go to bali and it was well worth it. Great food , weather and the surf camp has been built great for all people..even me.

Josh is building a pool and this will top it off , pure 100% loved it all thanks to all of you who helped me learn surf.

bali travel said...

Bali is one of my favourite island for surfing. I did surfing there and it was so much of fun. Anyone who like to do surfing at least once surf at Bali.

location villa bali said...

There are hundreds of tourist attractions around Bali. Kuta, Sanur, and Seminyak are among the best tourist spots in Bali. The southern areas of Bali are warmer than other areas. The sandy beaches of Bali are well-known for abundance of coral reefs and marine life. But the surfing of Bali is just mind Blowing.

Anonymous said...

Can someone recommend me a nice and cheap surf school?

Unknown said...

anyone wanting a sweet villa to stay in bali for a great price should contact Paul on prsjcampbell@gmail.com...up to 4 adults...

Unknown said...

anyone wanting a sweet villa to stay in bali for a great price should contact Paul on prsjcampbell@gmail.com...up to 4 adults...

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