Everything you need to know for a Bali Surftrip, the island of the gods.
Bali is known as the Island of the Gods, it’s a surftrip that has to be part of your agenda if you want to be a complete surfer. A popular tourist destination, the island of Bali in Indonesia, apart from its surf it´s also known for its kind and friendly people, its spectacular landscapes, its good food, great weather and delicate arts such as dance, sculptures, paintings, goldsmithing, peltry and its particular style of music. A Balis surftrip is what you need!
Next we offer you a small guide for surfers with the best waves to visit in the Island. Follow us on a Bali Surftrip!
The best season for waves in Bali
Normally the optimal time to visit Bali is during the dry season, since not only do you enjoy the best waves, you´ll also avoid the rains and humidity.
The dry season coincides with the European summer, from May to September. This Time of the year, waves like Ulluwatu, Padang Padang and Impossibles are found in their maximum splendor. Anyway, before you go on your surftrip, we recommend you read the “best season to surf”.
Now we´ll differentiate between dry season spots and wets season spots.
Surf spots in the Island
If we take Kuta as a reference point, to get to Medewi we have to drive around 2 – 2.5 hours northwest. Take a good pinch of patience with you since the traffic jams from Kuta can be hell. We recommend you leave early in the morning to avoid it.
Medewi, compared to other spots, works in the dry and wet season. Drive towards Tabanan and follow the main road.
Best Moment: First hours of the day (it’s a place where the wind starts early and then gets weaker)
Best Season: Both dry and wet season.
Best Size: 4 – 6 feet
Best Wind: First hours of the day or with smooth winds
Other Information: It isn´t an overcrowded wave. Its distance from Kuta and the fact that there aren’t nightclubs around favors this. This long wave lets you combo a series of maneuvers, but you won´t find a lot of tube sections. Less sea enters here than in Kuta.
Balangan is situated in the southern part of the island. It used to be a hard to find beach, but now there is an asphalted road that takes you all the way to the stairs of the sandy access.
Situated at the feet of an old Balinese temple, Pura Balangan is a left that breaks over volcanic rocks. It doesn´t require a long paddle like other waves in the island. Right in the beach there are a variety of stalls where you can take a break in front of the peak.
Best Season: Dry season (April – October)
Best Size: 4 – 8 feet
Other Information: Before the aperture of the asphalt road, the overcrowding wasn’t a problem in Balangan. Today with the new access road, there are more surfers. It’s a fast left that works well in medium tide rising.
This is the islands pipeline. The power and fear, are two words that describe this perfectly this incredible, consistent and wonderful wave that breaks left over the water. Known for its Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang that he best surfers in the Indonesia and the world gather every year.
Padang Padang is a long and hollow wave. In a good day, the best surfers in the island come here.
Best moment: Medium Tide
Other Information: The best option to surf this wave is a longboard (6´8 – 7´4).
Bingin is situated in a beautiful beach with incredible sights towards the Indic ocean. It offers us a not too long left that is pure adrenaline from the second you´re on it. Normally the peak is usually crowded. From the bottom you start tubing, the only worry you start to have is whether the wave will jump you or if you´ll end up hitting the floor. You have to be careful with this since there isn´t much depth in low tide.
Best moment: Medium tide
With the aperture of the new Keramas road in 2003, it´s now an easy to access spot. This has made a much busier place when the waves are working well. It´s one of the best rights in the world. Such that annually world class events are held here like the Oakley pro Bali.
To reach this place you have to head towards the coast, to the east from Denpasar and follow the indications towards Gianyar. Once there, find the road “Doctor Ida Bagus Mantra” that borders the coast. Long time ago there was a sign that would indicate when you would have to turn right.
Best season: Dry and wet season. The rainy season, even though not as consistent are usually glassy days or with a light Northwest since it´s offshore. Despite that, it´s during the dry season when better swells enter and when you´ll get the most out of the water before the winds come.
Other Information: If the wave gets too big you may need more experience. We´re talking about a powerful and fast wave with certain tube sections.
In Canggu you can find lefts and rights and, a reef and sandy bottom. A place where you have breaks to choose from and apt for any level. Has various spots like Old Mans for beginners, and then Echo Beach and Pererenan for experienced surfers.
Best moment: High or medium tide.
Fast right and a long left. It´s in the same bay as Bingin and Impossibles. Breaks over a flat rocky bottom and or sand. Depends on the tide. Here you don´t have to worry about the bottom, since it has depth even in the more lively tides. This makes it a good alternative for those that don´t have much experience. Works well when there is some sea in it.
Impossible is a gorgeous rocky beach with a name that is due to its hard access. Again, it´s a long and perfect left. Situated in the same beach as Bingin but to the left.
Sanur is a beach with sand and tranquil waters situated in the city of Denpasar. It´s one of those touristic destinations in Bali. Around the area you´ll find big hotels, restaurants, shops, massage parlors, spas, and even a golf course.
In this area, in a reef separated from the beach, you can find the right of Sanur. It’s one of the classic waves in Bali. It can offer you the best or the worst. If the conditions are right, its reed generates one of the best waves in the island. Despite that, unfortunately it’s not a constant wave
The wave is very powerful and breaks with little water over the corral. Something that makes it apt for experienced surfers.
Swell: South – Southwest. Need a solid swell with the correct angle. A good reference to know if there´s enough sea is to compare it to Nusa Dua. If you see a gap of around 10 feet, then Sanur is working.
Other Information: It´s better to not be too confident with this wave and be wary of the tide. That’s because when the tide is too low, any mistake can be fatal. In Sanur there are two reefs, Sanur Reef where the mythical wave from Sanur breaks, and Tandjung Reef which is to the right just in front of “Sari Hotel”. This last reed is consistent and you can surf in any tide.
Tide: Medium – High
Best season: All year. As long as the conditions allow it.
Winds: West – Northwest
How to get to Bali?
There are many companies that go to Bali. The majority of them have special promotions getting into summer. Emirates, Qatar, Turkish Airlines, KLM… any of them take your surfboard for free since it´s included in the check in of the baggage. Visit our post “Traveling with surfboards” so that you can choose the best company for you that includes the price in the ticket. Don´t let a bad trip ruin your surftrip.
There is something we want to highlight from Bali, and that’s the hospitality and kindness of their people. It´s rare to have problems in the water with a local surfer. You´d have to be more careful of the hundreds of Australian surfers that crowd the many peaks of the Island
What surfboard do I bring to Bali?
One of the best options in a Bali surftrip is without a doubt the Hypto Krypto from Hayden Shapes. It´s one of the most versatile boards in the market. Precisely because of its versatility, it works so well in waves that are 0.5 m in beach break and dry tubes that are 2 m. That’s why we consider this the ideal board for Indonesia, a surfboard that adapts to anything.
If you want to know more about this board, we encourage you to read our opinion on Hypto Krypto.
If you are more on a budget and looking for an all-terrain board we recommend the Egypto Kypta from Single Quiver. A lauded replica of the Hypto Krypto, designed to surf waves with walls and carve with fluidity.
Another good option is the Mini Twin Fin from DHD Surfboards. The Twin Fin has captivated the freesurfer Asher Pacey. A fast board, with high performance that will delight you from the very first moment you try it. In Single Quiver we have a passion for the Twins. For more information, we have a post about the Mini Twin.
If you prefer shorter boards, another good option is the Sweetspot from DHD. A board designed to resist the most strenuous of conditions. Necessary for your quiver when looking for the best spots in the world or when the conditions get serious in your usual spots.
Bali is a destination that is relatively cheap for Europeans. The biggest cost will be the plane ticket because once there, you will be surprised at how cheap things are.
These were the prices a couple of years ago:
Double room with A/C: 20€/night
Motorbike rental: 3€/day
Food at a warung (traditional): 2.5€
Balinese massage: 4€
Fruit juice: 1€
Fill the bike gas tank: 2€
Every surfer likes to refill his reserves with a good plate of food. So those of us that like to discover exotic foods and traditional dishes when we travel, Bali is the perfect place. You will be able to experiment with all types of flavors of the world, since Bali is a multicultural destination. Nassi Goreng a typical Indonesian rice dish or Mie Goreng which is their version of fine noodles. These are sure bets.
Things to do
Apart from surfing, the island of Bali offers us multiple options for all tastes. The island is full of interesting places to visit. From temples like Pura Besakih, Pura Tanah Lot or Pura Luhur Uluwatu. Even volcanoes. The most popular excursion is the ascent of mount Batur. Even lakes, waterfalls and thermal waters. Like lake Bunyan and Tambligan or the GitGi waterfall.
We also recommend you visit the little towns and Balinese cities like Ubud, Jimbaran, Ulluwatu, Seminyak and more.
If you wish to combine your Bali surftrip with a surftrip through Indonesia, don´t miss our “Lombok” surftrip. Only a 25 minute flight from Bali, you will find this spectacular destination where apart from having great waves, you´ll find more tranquility than in than in Bali.
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