Even if you’re getting into surfing, you’ve likely heard about Bali, the “Island of the Gods”. It is one of Asia’s most popular tourist destinations — and for a good reason. Full of incredible beaches and countless surf spots, Bali is also home to a surfing culture that, despite its young age, rivals those of California, Hawaii and Australia.
When should beginners surf Bali?
Bali’s peak or high season lasts from April to October — the island’s dry months. The remaining part of the year is known as the wet or “off” season for both surfing and tourism. If you want sun and lively time, hit Bali during the dry season, when you’re sure to mingle with many other tourists and fellow beginner surfers.
On the other hand, rainy months can still have sunny days and some great surfing. Beginners who don’t mind rain should consider the wet season for
surfing Bali since the waves are smaller and less intimidating, but still consistent. You’ll also avoid the crowds and benefit from lower off-season prices.
It should also be noted that the change in winds during the rainy season benefits right-hand waves at places like Green Bowl, Keramas, Sanur, Nusa Dua, Balian and Medewi.
Where can beginners surf Bali?
Famous surf spots like Uluwatu, Impossibles and Padang Padang (the “Balinese Pipeline”) attract experienced surfers, pros and daredevils from across the globe. As a beginner, however, you naturally want to find out about surf spots that won’t put your life in danger the first few times you’re out on the waves.
1. Padang Padang Right
Located on the surfing mecca that is the Bukit Peninsula in Bali’s far south, Padang Padang Right is next to the more famous barrelling wave of Padang Padang Left. “Right” is a beautiful sandy beach break suitable for beginners and intermediate surfers. During high tide, this long, unbroken wave is an ideal spot for practising your technique and taking the step from surfing white water to continuous waves. Just 3km north of the temple at Uluwatu, the beach at Padang Padang is also popular with swimmers, sunbathers and other water sports enthusiasts.
Even on the Bukit, north of Uluwatu on the northwest portion of the peninsula is Dreamland. Dreamland is a sandy-bottom break that works well for beginner-level surfing when the swell isn’t big. Stick to Dreamland’s soft, flat waves. When the swell is approaching 6 feet or more, please leave it to experienced surfers.
Bali’s most famous surfing location and centre for Balinese surf culture, Kuta provides everything you might want on your surf holiday except peace and quiet. As Kuta is Bali’s original surf town and party spot, its backpacker/tourist scene is big. Expect large crowds in town and on the beach. There is also a bustling nightlife scene during the high season. Despite the crowds, the wave itself at Kuta is an excellent place to learn the art of surfing, as are some of the neighbouring sandy beach breaks like Legian, Tuban and Seminyak. Surf when the currents are gentler and follow the advice and instructions of your surf school.
On the island’s southwest coast, about three hours north of Kuta, is the smooth left-hander of Medewi, providing amazing 30-second long waves. Known as a friendly spot for surfers of all levels, Medewi beach is also a beautiful place to hang out and enjoy local seafood.
Also located on Bali’s southwest coast to the north of Kuta, the popular tourist destination of Canggu has waves for all levels of surfers in both wet and dry seasons. However, be sure you don’t cut your teeth on the more powerful breaks like Canggu’s famous barrels. Beginners should stick to spots like Eco Beach and Batu Bolong when the swell is mellow.
If you are planning a trip to Bali don’t forget to check out our experience pages to take your vacation to the next level! We offer some of the most unique experiences in all of our destinations, including surf lessons in all the top spots throughout Bali, let’s be adventurers together!
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