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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.