We all know Bali is a mecca for surfers, but do you really know where to find the best swells for your skill set? We teamed up with the knowledgeable locals and lifelong surfers at Bali Green Surf to find out when, where and how to find the best breaks on the island for all levels of surfers.
The guys at Bali Green Surf have a natural talent for teaching first-time surfers and kids how to paddle, stand up and ride the waves all on their own, and they suggest Kuta, Legian and Seminyak for beginners. The bottom of the ocean here is soft and sandy, there is a nice big downwards slope and the white water is not too gnarly, making this a great place to start out for young people and total newbies. Once you’ve gained confidence on the waves here, the guys suggest heading out to Canggu or Brawa Beach when the swells are on the smaller side to practice your skills.
If you already know how to ride and just want to concentrate on taking yourself to the next level, there are many spots around the island that offer consistent breaks that won’t make your boardshorts turn brown. During the rainy season (from September to March), the reef off of Nusa Dua gets great swells for intermediate riders. The most famous reef break here is Sri Lanka, a fast right-hand barrel that rides best in between high and low tides. If it’s dry season, head west to Balian Beach, where you’ll find a consistent left-hander and plenty of chilled out surf bars and guesthouses nearby.
For advanced surfers, Bali is your oyster, as you’ll find superlative swells year round here. Uluwatu is the stuff of surf legends with seven different amazing breaks. Paddle out from the cave at the bottom of the cliff to hit the Peak where swells can get as big as 8 to 10 feet regardless of the tide. The Racetrack is another incredible wave that rides fast and is especially good at low tide.
Padang Padang is another stellar surf spot for those who have mad skills at riding tubes and barrels. The challenging left-hand reef break here creates an awesome pipeline worthy of epic surf movies and surf photography. However, the massive waves at Padang Padang break over a very shallow reef, so this spot is for experts only.
Keremas used to be a well kept secret among surfers in the know, but it’s now becoming more popular for it’s wicked right handers, perfect barrels and fast rides. Mind the end section, as it can get really shallow, exposing parts of the razor sharp reef.
If you want to get the most out of your surfing trips off of Bali, the guys at Bali Green Surf suggest checking up on the weather conditions, the wind, tides, swells, and the good rip`s (AKA rest in peace, meaning dangerous for swimming but good for surfing) around the island on any given day. As a general rule, the west coast rocks in the dry season, while the east and south coasts get better swells during the rainy months.
Check out Bali Green Surf for more information on surfing Bali, tide charts, weather forecasts and more.