If there is one thing Bali is known for, it is surfing. The reason for that no doubt is the fact that Bali sports some of the best surfing beaches in the world. Surfers, pro and novice, come from all over the world to ride the seemingly endless waves on the beaches of Bali. While there are plenty of places to surf in Bali, we have complied a list of some of the best surfing beaches in Bali. Make note though, that not all of these beaches are beginner friendly.
One of the world’s most famous surfing beaches is Kuta beach, southwestern Bali, not too far from the Ngurah Rai International Airport. Long expanses of white sandy Bali beaches, budget accommodations, value-for-money eateries, and a more than thrilling night life are just a few of the attractions Kuta holds for people from the West. The main lure, however, is the world famous surf break in the waters of the Indian Ocean.
With great quality surfing waves, especially for beginners. Kuta is easily accessible, as it is located right in the heart of the city, where you can simply walk out of your hotel and onto the beach. With a sandy sea bottom, the average length of the wave could be as short as 50m, while on a great day it could go up to thrice as much. With a southwesterly swell direction, and a south easterly wind direction, the swell begins to work at less than 1m and is known to hold up easily till 2m. Though huge crowds and a considerable level of pollution loom large, Kuta is still the numero uno choice for surfers and vacationers alike. So much so that, even if one is putting up in another area of Bali, not making a trip to Kuta would be a bad miss.
Padang Padang Beach
For that picture perfect beach for surfing to your heart’s content, Padang-Padang beach is the ultimate destination. With not too many people for distraction, you can camp at Padang-Padang to hone in on your surfing skills in peace. Easily accessible by a half-hour car ride from the airport, the Bukit Peninsula surf camp has all the elements for a surfing beginner’s learning paradise. With unfailing surf and comfortably warm weather conditions it is easy to see why this place is so popular.
There are also a ton of local guides who can either teach you the best moves for the local waters or show you the greatest stretches according to your already acquired abilities. Many of the instructors here know these waters like the back of their hands and are of immense help in advising you about the right time and spot to surf.
With a sloping hill taking you directly to the Indian Ocean’s long rolling waves, this beach is a surfer’s dream. The white sands of Padang Padang are also minutes away from other great surf spots like Uluwatu, Bingin, and the Impossibles. The best swell direction being south-south westerly, the swell size can go from 50m long on an average day to up to 300m on a great surf day.
A veritable jewel in Bali’s crown, Balangan beach, is located on the western side of the peninsula of Bukit. Not only does it have an amazing beach with a panoramic view, but its great surfing waves are easily the best spots to converge for an out-of-the-world water rendezvous.
Located between Kuta and Uluwatu, Balangan used to be difficult to find. But, now with a new road you can go all the way through, right up to where the reef meets the beach. With the best swell direction being south and winds being the Southeast Trades, on an usual day the surf will be about 15m high. While on a great day, it might be just double in height.
While this area is a classic beach for surfers of all experience levels, but beware of the random rock gardens and coral out cropings. One of the last main left hand Bukit reef breaks, Balangan is best on a mid to low tide day. This is when the different water peaks can get together to form a lengthy, speedy wall of water. One of the greatest attractions of this hidden wonder, is the fact that it remains more or less secluded on week days, and hence a terrific opportunity to enjoy the surf, sea, and sun.
Nestled in the beautiful scenic village of Pecatu near Kuta, Uluwatu’s captivating coral reef beach with its big waves is really a fantasy come true for any surfer. The swell of the Uluwatu surf is often described as hollow and fast. It starts working at less than 1m and holds up generally to about 4m. Walking down from the top of the reef hill to reach the beach itself is a great experience. You can expect to encounter epic waves on top of a rocky bottom, best mainly for the experienced surfer. On normal days the breaking surf can be between 5m and 15m high, and on a better day the same can range between 15m and 30m high.
Great accommodations at Uluwatu are located near the famous surfing cave, from where it is a mere paddle-out on to some of the most incredible waves for surfing. In the right times of the year, you can also catch the magnificent sights of whales, manatees, and various kinds of marine life. And, of course, there is the famous Uluwatu temple, known by tourists for its free-running Macaque Monkeys.