People in Indonesia called Bali the Island of the Gods. A nickname that was gained from its beautiful natural views and unique culture, as well as friendly and welcoming people. A reputation that makes Bali known as one of the world's most visited tourist centers.
Apart from the beauty of its natural scenery, Bali is also popular for its many surfing spots, and the best surf area in Indonesia. The southern shores of the island have a coastline of more than 100 km. The coastline of the Indian Ocean gives Bali many beaches with quality waves for surfing.
There are about 26 beaches known as surfing spots in Bali. Among all of those beaches, some are located close to each other. Such as Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Double Six, Petitenget, and Batubolong, which are located in the surrounding Kuta Area.
At the southern parts of Bali, you can find Balangan, Bingin, Padang-padang, Impossible, Uluwatu, and Nyang-nyang. Those beaches are located in the Uluwatu Area, where the sacred Uluwatu Temple is located. For a singular surfing spot, you can either choose to surf at Medewi in Jembrana, Balian in Tabanan, or Keramas in Gianyar.
Surfing spots for Beginner to Intermediate Surfers
Most of the surfing spots in the surrounding Kuta Area are suitable for beginner to intermediate-skill-level surfers. The exception is only for Batubolong Beach, where the wave characteristics are challenging for expert and pro surfers.
Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, and Petitenget are the most popular with tourists. These beaches shall be crowded with visitors in the afternoon. All are popular as hangout beaches with sunset scenery attractions. Therefore, start your surfing early in the morning. Further, to avoid the crowd, try wrapping up before 3:00 pm.
Another choice for not an expert surfer who prefers a less crowded surfing spot, you can choose to go to Balian Beach, in Tabanan. Where you can choose to stay at the surrounding beach accommodation or in Tabanan City.
Challenging Spots for Expert Surfers
The southern Bukit Peninsula coastline is the perfect destination for expert surfers. The area where are 6 popular surfing spots are located, Balangan, Bingin, Padang-padang, Impossible, Uluwatu, and Nyang-nyang. The breaks on those beaches are popular among expert surfers.
The challenge is most of those beaches are not closely accessible by motorbike. Most of the beaches are located at the foothill of the Bukit Peninsula cliff. Therefore, to reach each beach we must continue on foot down the pathway after parking our ride uphill. Well, such effort is worthed with the promising quality waves that you shall get.
Next to those beaches, for challenging spots, you also choose Batubolong Beach in Canggu, Keramas Beach in Gianyar, or Medewi Beach in Jembrana. Batubolong is part of the Kuta Area. Keramas and Medewi are quite far away but have fewer tourist crowds.
Surfing the quality waves in Bali
The quality of Bali waves, next to its tranquil scenery, is the main attraction to surfers. The wave quality in each surfing spot varies. In the following section, we will try to describe to you briefly the specifics of those beaches. It is need-to-know information to capitalize on your surfing trip in Bali.
Breaks in Kuta Beach are consistent lefthander and righthander waves. As it stretched about 2 km from north to south. Kuta Beach offers numerous quality breaks. It is a popular surfing spot for newbies and advanced surfers. The best time to surf is during the local dry season from April to September. You can reach this beach in short walking distance if you stay in the surrounding Kuta Area.
This beach is part of the Kuta beachline and is approximately 800 m in length. Situated north of Kuta Beach with pretty similar specific breaks. The only exception is during high tide as Legian has a higher wave than Kuta. It only takes a short walking time if you are staying at the nearby hotel.
Seminyak Beach also has quality left-hander and right-hander breaks. So, again it has similar wave specifics and conditions to Kuta and Legian. Resides North of Legian Beach. It takes about 10 to 20 minutes motorbike ride from the Kuta Area. Some nearby accommodations are available as well.
This beach is part of the Seminyak beachline with similar breaks specifics. It is another spot with quality waves recommended for beginner and advanced surfers. With a motorbike ride From Kuta Area, you can reach this beach in about 20 to 30 minutes. You can also choose to stay at the surrounding Seminyak Beach. Although Petitenget is popular as well, it has fewer crowds than Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak.
This beach is one of the best surfing attraction centers in Bali. Famous for its 2-meter wave height. The beach is dominated by flat rock beds—a perfect spot for all skill levels, from beginners to experts. Batubolong resided in Canggu, a famous exclusive villa residential area in Bali. Located about a 30 to 40-minute ride on a motorbike from the Kuta Area. You can get nearby accommodation by renting a cozy villa if you are willing to spend more money.
Balangan Beach is a surfing spot popular for experienced surfers. It has a challenging long left-hander wave. It is located about 19 km from the Kuta Area and can be reached in a 30 to 40-minute motorbike ride. The beach is located at the northside foothill of the Bukit Peninsula Cliff. It is part of the Uluwatu Temple sacred area.
The beach is located quite close to Bingin, Impossible, Padang-padang, and Uluwatu. You can plan as well to surf on all of these beaches in a few days or a week or maybe longer. If it is so, then you might consider your stay in the surrounding Uluwatu area. You can find some accommodation with similar prices as in Kuta Area.
Bingin Beach is also located at the foothill of the Bukit Peninsula Cliff. It is popular with its big dry-season waves. So, it is only recommended for experienced and pro surfers. Situated about 21 km from Kuta. You can reach it by motorbike or a cab ride from Kuta. The travel time is about 30 to 45 minutes. It can be in a much shorter travel time if you stay at the nearby accommodation in the surrounding Uluwatu area.
Surfing at the Impossibles
In the past surfers who visited this spot called it Impossibles. At that time, there were no nearby pathways available to access it. Surfers have to creep down the rocky cliff to reach it. That is why it is named as the Impossibles. Today it has an access pathway similar to Bingin but a bit steeper. The spot is famous for its intense barrel left-hander waves. This spot is also part of the Uluwatu area.
Padang-padang is a short 100 m length of white sandy beach. The beach is flanked by rows of tall rock cliffs. We have to go on foot down through a steep pathway to reach the shore. Padang-padang quality waves are famous similar to the Impossibles. It is immensely popular among pro surfers who visit Bali.
The beach is another short white sandy beach. Situated on the foothill of the Uluwatu Temple cliff, a sacred area. The spot faces the wide-open Indian Ocean. It is popular because of its 5 types of breaks. The spot is popular among pro surfers in Bali as well. It can be reached in about 45 minutes from Kuta or in 10 to 15 minutes travel from nearby accommodation. Excluding the on-foot walking time down the rock cliff.
The spot is located 2 km southeast of the Uluwatu Temple. The only spot that has the longest beachline of 1.2 km in the respective Uluwatu Area. The quality of waves is pretty much similar to the other spots in Uluwatu. It is popular among pro surfers in Bali as well.
Different from the other surfing spots in Bali, Keramas Beach is located on the eastern coastline. Part of the Gianyar Regency The beach borders the Bali Strait that separates Bali from the neighboring Lombok Island. Keramas is a black sandy beach that stretches almost 10 km from west to northeast. It is a far less crowded tourist area in comparison to Medewi and Balian.
Located about 34 km from Bali International Airport, it can be reached in approximately 45 min to 1 hour taxi ride. There is no nearby accommodation available in Keramas Beach. The recommendation is to choose your accommodation in Denpasar City. The travel distance from Denpasar to Keramas Beach is about 30 min with a motorbike ride.
The beach is a 2 km length of dark sandy beach. It takes about 90 minutes to 2 hours by taxi from the International Airport and around 30 minutes by taxi from Tabanan City. This spot is a less crowded tourist area and is quite popular among surfers.
Balian Beach is the best fit for beginner to intermediate surfers. It has left and right breaks with a considerably low-pitched barrel. Beach villas and resorts are available in the surrounding beach area, or you could choose a hotel in Tabanan City.
This surf spot is recommended for a surfer with advanced to expert skills. It is quite popular with its lengthy left-hand barrel waves. The best time to surf in Medewi Beach is during the dry season, from April to September.
Medewi Beach is located about 81 km from Bali International Airport. It takes approximately 2 to 3 hours taxi ride to reach it. The beach is a quite calm area with less tourist crowd since most of the time, it is visited only by surfers. There are some accommodations that you can choose from in the surrounding Medewi Beach. Mostly villas, guesthouses, resorts, and surf camps.
Planning Your Accommodation
Since the last decade, Bali has been renowned as one of the most visited tourist destinations. The crowded center of the island is the Kuta Area. If you are a beginner or advanced surfer, the recommendation is to look for accommodation in Kuta. Since Kuta is surrounded by surfing spots that are best fit for such types of surfer skill levels.
The Kuta Area also has many accommodations next to cafés, restaurants, spas, etc... The only problem is that it is only during the tourists’ peak season. As it will be difficult to get accommodation, due to the rise in room prices.
For experts and pro surfers, although most of the best spots are located in the Uluwatu area, they also can stay in the surrounding Kuta. While staying in accommodation in the surrounding Uluwatu, you can benefit from shorter traveling time. Well, the choice is yours.
In terms of meals, Bali offers various cuisines, local and international. The dining price starts from Rp 50,000 and above. If you want to save money, just ask around to look for Rp 25,000 meals at a local small restaurant.
You can find many surfing shops in Bali to get your surfing gear. Most of which are located in the surrounding Kuta Area. They sell all types of surfboards, from the longboard to the custom-made Fish board. Including wetsuits and other accessories. They offer assorted items, Including locally produced and imported branded products.
Most shops are providing rental surfboards as well. You can either visit their physical store or access their online shop page. Their online shop mostly includes delivery service. So, you can choose and pay from the shop’s online page and ask for a delivery to your place of stay.
There are many surf schools available in Bali. You can easily find them by googling online or asking for information from the staff at your stay place. The surfing lessons cost about US$25 to US$40 per hour. Commonly, it takes about 2 to 3 hours to learn the surfing basics. The trainers are mostly locals. In terms of quality, no worries, and they are all expert trainers.
Written by James Davis
I'm a true California local, and I've spent my life riding the waves along our stunning coastline. Surfing has always been my greatest love, and in my writing, I try to capture its genuine essence. My words aim to transport you into the heart of the surf culture, where the ocean and surfers come together in perfect harmony.
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