Surfing in Bali
Surfing is not the first thing we imagine to do when you talk about Bali. But there are some very good spots for surfing, and became very popular among the surfers from all around the world! We will see the reasons of this trend and some more tips to surf in Bali.
Why is Bali a great surf destination?
Bali is a good place for surfing for some reasons. The location of Bali is one of the reasons explaining this. The warm water in Bali makes the location relatively pleasant to surf. Besides, the waves of Bali are relatively uncrowded, when compared to the one you can find in California and Australia. Bali gets some sort of surf most of the year, there are beach breaks and Kutaand Dreamland and also reef breaks on the rest of the Bukit, including the famous Uluwatu. The unique geography of Bali means that you can get a selection of left hand breaks on one side of the Bukit, 20 minutes away by car and get another whole selection of right hand breaks. In Lombok, for instance, you’d have to ride for 4 hours or more, to get from one side of the island to the other.
The trade winds favor surfing the western side of the coast during the dry season (between April and October), including the breaks on the western Bukit, including Uluwatu and Bingin. During the wet season (between November and March) the tides and winds favor the eastern coast including the eastern Bukit breaks such as Nusa Dua and Sri Lanka.
Surfing regions in Bali
There are some basic surfing regions in Bali, West Bali (Medewi, Balian), East Bali (Ketewel, Keramas), South Bali (Canggu, Gado Gado, Padma), the Bukit (Bingin, Balangan), Nusa Lembongan (Playgrounds, Shipwrecks, Lacerations).
The best waves in Bali
Kuta Beach is the ultimate waves for the beginners. It is a complete beach with long sandy beach, plenty of people on hand as well as a surf rescue tower and jet-ski. Competition isn’t too hard, so it makes this beach a good place to learn for all of them.
Padma is a kilometer North of Kuta Beach and has some nice little waves during high tide.
The most famous wave in Bali is Uluwatu on the tip of the western Bukit. This is actually 5 breaks that combine to draw the top surfers coming from all around the world.
Padang Padang on the western Bukit is famous for being one of the best performance waves in Bali.
Balangan is a reef break, but this place is the most suitable for the beginners during high tide. There is a great sand beach for a long fun ride.
The best surfing breaks in Bali as far as performance are Uluwatu which sees good size surf and had 5 breaks. Bingin (which has a short fast barrel), Padang Padang (which has a fast barrel and dangerous reef), and Nusa Dua.
If you want to go to Green Ball, you can head up to the hill onto the Bukit, from Bypass Ngurah Rai (heading to Nusa Dua), then at the four way intersection (Nusa Dua, Uluwatu, Balangan), turn left towards Nusa Dua. You will be able to see a sign for the Bali Cliff Resort, and the surf beach at Green Ball.
For the beginners and the non initiated surfers, Green Ball is a cool beach to chill out and take some rest. Above the trees, the cliffs provide some shades. The sea is quite clean as well, and you will even be able to see a large cave with bats!
Renting a surfboard in Bali
You should not rent surfboards from the guys on the beach. All those boards are snapped, and will snap again in the same place. When that happens, the owner will demand $300. Australian Palu from Byron Bay, has 3 shops in the Kuta area selling boards, as well as a surf school. He also has a selection of used boards for rent of sales. Palu provides a wide range of boards, focusing on the learner end of the market. The prices for the brand new rental for a week was 600,000rp. The price to buy its was 2.5m Indonesian Rupiah. For short term rental, you will find prices around 20,000rp per hour, 150,000rp, 600,000rp. You will need a deposit or show your passport as well. You can also book a surf tour in Bali that includes lunch for $100 total.
Buying a surfboard in Bali
You will have plenty choices when it comes to get your own surfboard in Bali. At the Kuta area, you will find have to choose among several kind of surfboard, according to your level and wishes. You better make the right choice as your buying it for a long time!