For as long as surfing has been around, the idea of travelling to exotic islands with palm tree lined beaches, crystal clear warm water and consistent surf has captured the imagination of surfers from across the world.
Bali, the global tourism centre of the current surfing trend, offers it all as far as dream surf destinations are concerned. Whether you are an absolute novice that dreams of learning how to ride waves, or an experienced life long devotee to the sport, Bali has a surf spot to cater for your specific requirements. Endlessly long white and black sand beaches with gently rolling waves for beginners, as well as some of the most pristine ‘reef’ break surf spots on the planet for the more ’hardcore’ and experienced surfers looking for perfect ‘tube rides’. However these are just a small part of why Bali should be your surf destination of choice.
Bali’s rich cultural heritage really adds to the ‘exotic’ element that all us surfers dream of when deciding on the destination for their once in a lifetime trip. Added to this is the wide variety as well as affordability of accommodation and food on the island. These elements all add up to the promise of an experience of a lifetime!
Getting from the Airport to the Surf
Bali’s brand new Ngurah Rai International Airport is a buzz of activity, but is really easy to navigate around. It is a fairly small airport, and once through immigration and out the front doors, you will be greeted by a host of taxi and mini-bus drivers willing to take you wherever you want to go. Here are some suggestions for starting points for your surf holiday:
Beginner surfers in Bali
Head to the buzzing tourist centre of Kuta Beach. The waves are beginner to intermediate friendly and there are loads of local and international surf schools and board rental options on the beach ready to set you up and get you started. Whats more, Kuta has endless options for places to stay, restaurants to eat at and plenty of night life to keep you busy for a couple of days.
Be warned though, some people never make it out of Kuta due to the amount of fun they have while staying there, don’t fall into this trap as Bali is an island with so much more to offer!
Bali offers a host of reef breaks that offer fast, hollow ‘freight train’ style rights and lefts. We recommend starting your trip on the tip of the world famous Bukit Peninsula. Roughly an hour’s drive from the airport, The Bukit (as it is fondly known) offers a wide range of accommodation, places to eat and of course, waves.
Most of the breaks here are left hand reef breaks that face into the prevailing South Easterly trade winds that pepper this part of the tropics during the mid months of the year., resulting in strong offshore winds all day long from May-October. Both big and small swells consistently wrap around the headland offering at least 5 world class surf breaks that every surfer should surf at least once in their life.
Be warned though, these spots can get extremely crowded (especially during high season) so make sure to spend some time chatting to the myriad of locals and expats to figure out where else on the Bali coastline offers great waves.
Annother great beach is Echo beach and Batubolong Beach. You can read a bit more on these here.