If you’re a surfer with set in stone trips schedule to Bali, you probably know that the best surf spots in Bali are mostly on the southern coasts and around the Bukit peninsula. The aforementioned playgrounds that are discreetly served for advanced surfers as they mostly comprise serious reef breaks and greater curls, spots where you can line up and ride world-class waves together with skilled dudes from around the world.
But if you’re not a pro yet and are interested to try to ride on those waves, there are more popular and leisurely “kinder” breaks in Bali that are more beginner-friendly for you to try.
So, here’s our compilation of the best surf spots in Bali!
1. Padang Padang
Its consistent barrels make Padang Padang a favourite. But most of all, its accessibility and unique hollow rock entrance that opens out onto an exotic, long white sandy beach. The beach is located between Bingin and Uluwatu, a regular host for international surfing events, such as the regular Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang. The powerful and consistent waves are an average four feet and above. The sharp reef dwell underneath the beautiful barrels, which occasionally break onto the rocks are definitely for the pros. But because of its unique location, the beach often gets crowded especially on the weekends with tourist getting their dose of vitamin sea.
Where in the world can you sit in the line up after catching big waves and look up on the hill to see an ancient Hindu shrine ? Uluwatu, that is where. Famous not only for its top waves, Uluwatu is also popular because of its location and the overall experience of surfing with beautiful scenery and Bali’s iconic temple landmark. Remember to bring some cash for a great after-surf massage at one of the warungs on the cliff. Pro tips: Beware of the current as the tide changes, or you may be swept all the way down to Padang-Padang before you know it.
Not far north from Uluwatu is the secluded surfers paradise of Suluban, popular with its stage name “Blue Point”. It has its own appeal, a beautiful narrow beach where many sunbathers. Getting to the beach is an adventure down steep staircases and rocky openings that require you to bend down a bit in order to get through. You must first make your way down the narrow path down the somewhat treacherous steps into a cave, then out onto the sand. Suluban in Balinese means to crouch under, which is easily understandable. The main appeal for surfers is its long and powerful swells and consistent barrels. The cliff top is lined with shacks overlooking the thrills and horizon.
An hour drive down from Kuta, and only several minutes north from Uluwatu, Bingin waves here are not as big as Uluwatu’s, but being on the same south-western side of the Bukit peninsula, it shares the same hazardous reef. Bingins barrels are consistent, much like its sister spot of Uluwatu but a little shorter. This makes it a bit of a challenge in catching a good wave in time. Tides similarly play a factor here, so its good to keep your tide charts handy or ask around some local surfers who know the playgrounds well. Expect more crowds here than Uluwatu, as the waves are less intimidating.
Not too far from the (sadly overdeveloped) Dreamland Beach, lies Balangan beach, a surfing paradise with a-kilometre-long stretch of white sand and green seaweed covered rocks. The reef is right in front of the beach, and it has southern swells with one of the longest left-hander breaks on the island that range from four to six feet. The beach is slowly sharing the similar fate of Dreamland, as once secluded beaches that now have improved access. Expect some crowds.
On the islands eastern coast in Gianyar, you’ll find Keramas beach. This black sand beach is a long-time favourite too. With a wide-open ocean view facing Nusa Lembongan, the Keramas beach break is now the home to the Komune Beach Resort which has hyped up the area. Night surfing spectacles is also what this beach is known for. The waves are mostly fast right-handers and average up to five feet. It is one of Balis world-class waves, and the new beach resort and club has upped the hype. Keramas is also a regular host to major sponsor title pro and grommet events such as Billabong and Oakley.
In prime position along Balis sunset coast, Medewi is a lesser known beach on the west side of the island that offers a glimpse of Bali before tourism struck. With remote villages and wide open rice paddies lining the palm-studded coastline, come here for a tranquil escape not an action-packed day at the beach that is, unless youre a keen surfer. Flocked mostly by visitors in search of uncrowded, world-class waves, Medewi is an isolated surfing destination that doesnt require a flight to get to, but is far enough away from the crowds to guarantee a quieter sesh in the water. Stick around for golden hour, as thats when Medewis magic really shines through.
Home to a growing number of expats and surf fanatics, Balian Beach draws in the cool crowds with its pounding surf, instagram-friendly dunes and knolls, and new boho cafes and bars popping up every other day all of which just so happen to overlook the world-class waves from the towering cliff face above. Whether you simply stroll along the sprawling black sands, brave the water or kick back with a sunset beer post-surf, Balian Beach has an undeniable charm that keeps us coming back every other weekend, and it just so happens to sit in prime position on Balis west-facing sunset coast.
Are you ready to catch the waves with us?