Bali is a bucket list destination for people around the world. Whether you would already consider yourself an advanced surfer, you’re working on your cross step, or looking to take your first lesson, you can find the perfect surf break for your level.
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to take a lesson if you’re newer to surfing and it’s your first time in Bali.
Remember, location is important, but surf conditions make a huge difference! Some spots are good for both beginners and advanced surfers. Make sure to consider all the factors before entering the water.
You can look for a surf camp in advance or just show up to the beach, there are some incredible local surf instructors with boards ready for you! Instagram is actually a great way to book someone in advance – I highly recommend Leo and Dimas with @hanging_surf at Batu Bolong in Canggu.
Looking for some inspiration? Drink a fresh coconut while watching advanced surfers at Echo Beach, Berawa, and Batu Bolong.
1. Kuta Beach
Kuta Beach is a great place to surf for your very first time. The sand bottom beach stretches more than 8km and has three main areas – Kuta Beach, Legian Beach, and Seminyak Beach. You’ll want to surf here during mid to high tide with ideal wave size ranging from 2 to 6 feet (0.5 – 2 meters).
This beach can get very crowded, and so can the ocean! With so many people taking lessons and surfing for the first time, make sure to pay extra attention to the surfers around you.
2. Batu Bolong and Old Man’s
Drive north from Kuta Beach along the west coast and you’ll find Batu Bolong Beach. There are three different surf breaks here – Batu Bolong, Batu Bolong Left, and Old Man’s.
If you’re staying in Canggu, this will be the most convenient place to take lessons. Although this spot does have reef, it’s fairly flat which makes it safer for beginners. The best time to surf here is mid tide with waves ranging from 2 to 8 feet (0.5 – 2.5 meters).
Looking for the perfect spot to watch sunset? This is it! There are plenty of restaurants with beanbags in the sand, cold beers, and fresh coconuts to enjoy while surfers catch their last few waves before dark.
Head south to Uluwatu for beautiful white sand beaches and clear water. This part of the island is mostly reserved for advanced surfers. However, if you’re here and looking to surf, Bingin Beach is the spot. Because of the sharp reef break, high tide with smaller waves ranging from 2 to 4 feet (0.5 – 1.2 meters) are the best conditions for beginners.
If you’re unsure, ask! Don’t enter the water here without being absolutely certain you can handle the current conditions. This is a spot where I would highly recommend having a surf instructor come out with you.
Visiting Bali during wet season? Head east to Sanur to escape the small and windy conditions on the west side of the island. During mid to high tide with waves ranging from 2 – 5 feet (0.5 – 1.5 meters, Serangan is a great beach break for beginner surfers.
You’ll have to take a boat to surf at Serangan. Head over to Mertasari Beach – there are plenty of local surf instructors with surfboards to rent. There are also plenty of boat captains waiting to bring surfers out to Serangan and Baby Reef – which brings me to my next suggestion!
5. Baby Reef
One downside of Serangan is that if the swell is big, there is no surf for beginners. Instead, have the captain take you to Baby Reef instead! Like Serangan, it’s best to surf here during mid to high tide.
The mornings are less windy but can be very crowded. If you’re new to surfing and get really intimidated by other people in the water, talk to a local surf instructor about taking a lesson in the afternoon. They’ll know the best time to take you out. You risk a little extra wind but it’s a small price to pay to have the ocean to yourself.