Fabled Surfing Spots – Bali

Bali Surfing

Bali is viewed by many as the Mecca of surfing. Its reputation has grown since the 1960’s when Australian surfers began to frequent the island. Surfing has now become a major drawcard and attracts people from all over the world. It is not hard to see why this has happened.

Bali’s prominence as a surfers destination is built on the fact that it not only has powerful swells for the advanced technician but it also teems with places with waves suitable for beginners. Reef breaks such as Padang Padang, Uluwatu and Suluban are renowned for large swells that are both consistent and long. These are the principle drawcards to experienced surfers. However, there are also far milder beach breaks such as Kuta, Tuban and Seminyak.

Padang Padang, Bali

Padang Padang is one of Bali’s most acclaimed surfing spots. It is situated towards the north west tip of the Bikut Peninsula close to Uluwato. Just a short distance offshore from the beach, surfers can enjoy a world class reef break. The waves are consistent, powerful and long. For these reasons, it is no surprise that Padang Padang hosts a number of international surfing events each year. The large waves and treacherous reef make this an advanced boarders location and beginners should stay away.

It is not only the surfing that makes this beach such a drawcard. The setting is outstanding and begins with the unique rock hollow entrance. The beach is dotted with naturally colourful boulders and the background is enhanced by a lush green hillock. The only negative is that it gets very busy at weekends.

Padang Padang, Bali

Legian Beach Surfing

Legian Beach lies immediately north of Kuta and is the perfect spot for surfers to hone their skills. It has a sandy beach break with waves averaging in the one to three foot category. Crowds tend to be less than at its sister beach to the south. As a result, there are far more intermediate surfers here. Beginners should be warned that the swell increases in size later in the afternoon and the current can be a bit tricky.

Legian Beach Surfing

Suluban ‘Blue Point’ Surfing

Suluban or Blue Point is a secluded surfing Eden just to the North of Uluwatu. Access to the ocean is down narrow steps into a cave and then out onto the small enchanting beach.

The reef break at Blue Point features powerful waves that are long and dependable. Suluban is not for the faint hearted and should only be tackled by skilled surfers.

Suluban 'Blue Point' Surfing

Kuta Beach Surfing

Kuta was Bali’s first surfing beach and is still the most popular. There are hundreds of board renters and hawkers along the beach. This is also where the highest density of surf schools exist. For novices, this is a great place to start their surfing journey.

Kuta Beach Surfing

Bali Beach dogs

Dogs in Bali tend to be allowed to run free even if they are someone’s pet. It follows on that they are ever present at most of the beaches across the Island. They have become a feature of Bali surfing. They tend to be well behaved and I have not come across one causing a problem with visitors.

Bali Beach Dogs

Padang Padang Surfing Accommodation

Surfers wanting to be right on the doorstep of their favourite reef break can stay in rustic accommodation built into the rocky slopes of Padang Padang.

Padang Padang Surfing Accommodation

Seminyak Beach Surfing

The further north you walk from Kuta the bigger the waves become. Seminyak is the next beach past Legian and offers fairly sizeable swells. The other benefit of Seminyak Beach is that it tends to be less crowded than Legian and Kuta. This is a quality choice for the intermediate surfer.

Seminyak Beach Surfing

Portraits of Bali – Youth Are The Future

“The youth is the hope of our future” Jose Rizal

My interest in the people of Bali continues with a another post featuring portraits. With Bali’s population growing by more than double the global average, there is a large percentage of children in Bali. This is a good enough reason to make youth my chosen subject for this week’s post.

Bali Youth – Gong Musician

A Gamelan is a musical ensemble from Bali that is made up predominantly of percussion instruments. One of the more distinctive instruments in a Gamelan is the Gong. Gongs tend to fall into two categories. The most common are those that are suspended vertically. However, they can also be supported horizontally on a rack or on a musician’s knees. Gongs are hard to miss as they are generally large and look like cast iron pots.

Bali Youth - Gong Musician

Bali Youth – Budding Poultry Farmer

I met this young lad and his father when I stopped off at a pond to take photos of the water lilies. As is common with people from Bali, they were extremely warm and friendly. I was heartened to learn that this young man was hoping to make his living from the land when he grew up. Unlike the majority of today’s youth, he had not been seduced by the lure of the bright lights of the city.

Bali Youth – Budding Poultry Farmer

Bali Youth – A Boy With A future

I chatted to this young lady during a cremation ceremony in Ubud. Her young son was a bright as a button. She is determined to give him every opportunity to do well. I predict that he has a great future ahead of him.

Bali Youth – Young Professor

Bali Youth – Confident Drummer

Could this be the Keith Moon of the future? I was most impressed with the skill of this young drummer. He was a standout in the Gamelan ensemble.

Bali Youth – The Drummer

Bali Youth – The Shy One

This shy boys favourite past-time is playing soccer. I think you can tell where he would rather be.

Bali Youth – The Shy One

Bali Youth – A Pair of Greengrocers

The young greengrocers in this photo did a great job of selling their merchandise to me. I ended up trying and buying a number of their more exotic fruit.

Bali Youth – Budding Greengrocers

Bali Youth – The Sleepy One

At the end of a long day, this little boy decided it was time to have a nap. I can’t blame him as i was also dead on my feet.

 Bali Youth – The Sleepy One

Bali Net Fisherman At Sunrise

After four days in Bali it was time to once again to set the alarm for an ungodly hour. The weather was looking more promising than it had been for the past couple of days and there was every chance of being able to capture a decent sunrise. The first port of call was Sanur Beach. Sanur is where Bali’s first beach resorts were established. It is particularly popular with families as a reef and breakwater help to keep the water calm. Sanur is also much more relaxed than the hectic tourist hotspots to the South such as Kuta and Seminyak.

Sanur Beach Net Fisherman

Just off the the beach at Sanur is a small man made island with two pretty ornamental pergolas. This provides a wonderful backdrop for sunrise photography. The final ingredient for a quality photographic session is to add the human element. What better than a local cast net fisherman. The following are the result of putting these all together.

Bali Net Fisherman

Balinese Fisherman Casting Net

Although slight in build and advanced in years, the fisherman cast his net with skill over and over again.

Fisherman Casting Net

Bali Fisherman

I was advised by the friendly fisherman that success in throwing a cast net hinges on how it is folded. He also showed me some of his catch of small fish that were no more than a few inches long. They would be taken home and fried whole.

Bali Fisherman

Net Fisherman at Sunrise

With each throw the colours of the sky changed and the clouds slowly closed in. I love sunrises and sunsets because every scene and every image is so different.

Net Fisherman at Sunrise

God Beams at Sanur Beach, Bali

As the clouds rapidly closed in God-Beams shone through the small gaps that remained. Net Fisherman at Sanur beach

Sanur Beach Sunrise

A lovely young lady asked to be included in the photo shoot and her presence perfectly complemented the calm water and soft colours of the sky. Sanur Beach Sunrise