BEST BEGINNER SURF SPOTS IN BALI
BEST BEGINNER SURF SPOTS IN BALI
Bali, one of over 17,000 islands that make up the nation of Indonesia, is no bigger than the US state of Connecticut, but it is known globally as a mecca for perfect waves. Ever since “Mr. Pipeline” Gerry Lopez was featured in the 1972 surf flick Morning of the Earth; Bali has been the apple of every surfer’s eye. The 1972 film starring the smooth and graceful Gerry Lopez, showcased one of Bali’s premier left-hand waves, Uluwatu. Since those days in the seventies, with minimal crowds, few lodging options, and a complete lack of overall infrastructure Bali has transformed into one of the world’s top vacation destinations, and perhaps the world’s number one surf trip destination. For surfers, there are plenty of reasons to come to Bali: Bali boasts warm water year-round, the island is hit by year-round swells, and the reef setups produce some of the finest waves on the planet. But is Bali the right destination for you if you’re not an experienced surfer? While Bali boasts a plethora of advanced waves, it also has a handful of beginner waves that are perfect for learning. Many of those waves are right near our surf camp on the Bukit Peninsula. There is no better place to learn to surf, than a destination like Bali where you can find a mellow beginner wave and also watch experienced surfers (even some pros) take on advanced surf. Visit our surf camp to experience Bali’s best beginner waves in person. For now, take a look at our list for some surf and travel inspiration!
The Best Waves for Beginners in Bali
1. Kuta Beach
Today, Kuta Beach is known more for its nightlife, shopping, and tourism than it is for surfing. Believe it or not, surfing has been present at Kuta Beach since as early as the 1930s. Surfers of all abilities flock to the waters at Kuta Beach to experience the fast-breaking, often hollow, sometimes crumbly beach break. While Kuta is frequented by plenty of local surfers, many of whom are advanced surfers, there are plenty of peaks for beginners to hone their skills. Kuta Beach might be known to many traveling surfers as a beginner’s break, but the reality of Bali is that many of the waves are expert only and Kuta is a great place with plenty of peaks to progress.
2. Old Man’s
Located north of Kuta Beach, Canggu is a more relaxed and rural area and is home to some of Bali’s best views and most fun waves. Canggu is surrounded by terraced rice paddies and is known for its powerful surf. One of the most noteworthy breaks in all of Canggu is Old Man’s. Old Man’s is a popular wave amongst many long boarders and stand up paddle surfers. The wave, located on the southern end of Canggu on Batu Bolong Beach, is a long mellow right-hander that is slow, fat, and completely user-friendly. While the wave does break over lava reef, the wave is mellow enough that surfers who have mastered the pop-up and have the ability to ride down the line can try their hands at the famous right-hander.
3. Berawa Beach
Also located in Bali’s favorite expat neighborhood of Canggu, is Berawa Beach. Unlike Old Man’s or Eco Beach, Berawa Beach is a beach break, which makes it ideal for learning. The wave at Berawa is a bit sloppier than the wave at Eco or Old Man’s, but it will serve beginners well who are still surfing white water. There are a few scattered reef systems that will create waves away from the main peak for those who are looking to avoid crowds. Overall, the break at Berawa Beach is much less powerful, and therefore more beginner friendly, than Eco Beach or even Old Man’s.
4. Padang Padang Right (Baby Padang Padang)
You may have heard of Padang Padang before; it is possibly one of the best left-hand barreling waves on the planet. Every time a large south/ southwest swell that hits Indonesia, surf media is set ablaze with captivating images of the monstrous left in its best form. The famous wave has a steep take off, a speedy cylindrical face, and for those willing to test it, an impossibly deep barrel that increases in size as it draws water off the shallow reef. Now, you may be wondering why such a monstrous wave is on a list of beginner-friendly surf breaks in Bali? Well, Padang Padang also has a right. So, while the left at Pandang Padang is a ferocious, hollow, experts only wave, the right caters to entry-level surfers. The right-hander at Padang Padang breaks almost directly in front of the beach and works during most tides. The right is a slow peeling, soft, mellow wave that is ideal for lessons and progression.
Located on Bali’s southwest coast, approximately 2 to 3 hours north of Kuta by car, is Medewi. The tiny beach village of Medewi is one of the least visited areas of Bali, but it has become known for its premier surfing in recent years. While Medewi is significantly further north than any other surf break in Bali, it is due west of Denpasar, where the airport is located. The wave at Medewi is a sloping, left-hand point break that breaks down a sand and smooth cobblestone point. The left at Medewi can actually be the longest ride in all of Bali during the right south/southwest swell. Along Medewi Beach, travelers will also find a reliable beach break and a river mouth wave.
While Dreamland is no longer the remote, isolated beach it once was –now that there is a massive hotel, and golf course perched above the break— it does offer both a left and a right that break over a deep sand covered reef. Dreamland is not as fierce as many of the waves on the Bukit Peninsula and the reef, as previously mentioned is deep and covered by sand, which makes the wave great for beginner and intermediate surfers.
Slightly north of Kuta beach you’ll find Seminyak, a more upscale, shopping and hotel area that is bordered to the west by long stretches of open beach that connect all the way to Kuta. Seminyak may not be the first spot that pops into your head when you think of Bali Surf, but the expansive beachfront is home to several shifting sand bars that create fun, peaky surf. The coastline of Seminyak is exposed to more direct swell than Kuta, so the surf can be substantially larger. While Seminyak is a great learning wave, beginners should be wary of the strong rip tide that can appear during larger swells.
Bingin is one of the most picture perfect machine like barreling waves in Indonesia ( or the world for that matter). But on High tide and a small swell (under 4′ – 1.2 meters) it’s also an ideal for learning to surf. However Bingin is very tide affected so don’t go out there without some local knowledge, Teko, a Bingin local, and world-class surfers runs TnT surf school right in front of the surf break. Talk to him if you are a beginner surfer or intermediate and want to improve your surfing.
BEST BEGINNER SURF SPOTS IN BALI
Navigating Bali can be difficult, finding the right surf for your skill level can be overwhelming, and no one wants to find themselves in waves that are out of their league. At Wave Haven, we strive to create the ideal Balinese surfing experience by putting surfers into the best waves for their skill level. Whether you are looking to score the waves of your life at one of Bali’s many world-renowned left-hand breaks, or you are learning to surf for the first time, come visit us at Swell Bali for a unique surfing experience.