The 6 Best Surf Spots for Beginners in Bali
Last Updated: 31 October 2018
Even if you’re just beginning to surf, 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. Chock 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. As a beginner, however, you naturally want to test surf spots that won’t put your life in danger the first few times you’re out on the waves.
Check out our special guide to the best beginner surf spots in Bali to get the low-down on when and where to catch some easy waves.
When should you surf Bali as a beginner?
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 a 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, the 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 are the best beginner surf spots in 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.
Here are the best beginner surf spots on the magical island of Bali:
1# Padang Padang Right
Located on the surfing mecca that is the Bukit Peninsula in Bali’s far south, 889 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 practicing your technique and taking the step from surfing white water to unbroken 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.
Also 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 this is definitely one of the best beginner surf spots in Bali. Stick to Dreamland’s soft, flat waves. When the swell is approaching 6 feet or more, leave it to experienced surfers.
3# Kuta Beach
Bali’s most popular surfing location and center 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 very busy nightlife scene during the high season. Despite the crowds, the wave itself at Kuta is a good place to learn the art of surfing, as are some of the neighboring 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 nice 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.
6# Bingin Beach (Pecatu)
With crystal-clear water and a stunning view over the Indian Ocean, Bingin beach is for many a surf paradise. Located along the western coastline on the Bukit Peninsula, very close to Uluwatu, it offers one of the most picture-perfect waves in Bali.
Surfing conditions in this spot are heavily affected by the tide, so before heading to this spot make sure you talk to someone with local knowledge or check the Webcam Streams Live from Nomina Resort to see the conditions in the southern tip of the island beforehand.
On low tide waves at Bingin are big, powerful, and challenging even for experienced and professional surfers. The great waves this place offers make it one of the most demanded surfing spots in Bali by surfers from all over the world.
On high tide and a small swell waves are small (1.2 meters) and break very softly offering an ideal playground and the perfect experience for longboarders, beginners & intermediate surfers who want to learn to surf, or improve their surfing skills.
More tips for a beginners’ surf trip to Bali
How to choose the right surf school in Bali
Most surf schools in Bali offer lessons for absolute beginners. However, be sure to choose one that has everything you want in a surf holiday. Are the instructors certified by an official body like the ISA (International Surfing Association)? Is it a camp? How are the accommodations? How far is it from a good beginner’s wave?
What kind of board should beginners use?
Surf schools will usually provide you with a board that is suited to your needs as a beginner. However, if you’re looking to buy your own board, tailored to your individual tastes, make sure it’s the right one. This means getting a surfboard that matches your height and weight. Keep in mind that boards that are too big are hard to turn and maneuver, while smaller boards can make it more difficult to get speed and catch waves. This surfboard size chart should clear things up a bit.
As a beginner, it might be a good idea for you to try out the learner soft boards at your surf school first and then move on to something like a Mini-Mal. For more information check out this article on buying the right surfboard.
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