5 Reasons Why Bali is a World-Class Surf Destination

A man surfing.
Image by Oliver Sjostrom via Unsplash.
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Epic waves…check. Eye catching scenery…check. Perfect year-round conditions…check. If you’re asking is Bali good for surfing, these are just a few of the reasons it most definitely is.

Bali is consistently ranked as one of the best surfing destinations in the world and surfers flock from all over to take to the waters here. With a backdrop of greenery engulfed cliffs, tropical palm trees, and enchanting sea temples, it’s also one of the most dazzling settings in which to get that adrenaline pumping.

But if you’re looking for more reasons why ‘The Island of the Gods’ should be on your surf destination radar, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re a newbie to the surfing world or a true pro chasing your next rush, here are the top five reasons why Bali is the perfect place to ride those waves.

World Class Waves

A man surfing large waves, Bali.
Image by Renan Brun via Unsplash

First up, the crème de la crème of reasons has to be the quality of surf breaks. Since thrill seekers discovered Bali’s surfing potential in the 1970s, it has grown into one of the most surf-orientated places on the planet.

Bukit Peninsula, in the southern end of the island, is home to a variety of world class surf breaks. Do you dare to ride a 15ft wave? Well, you’ll certainly get the chance to around here. And if you’re really looking to test out your skills, head to Padang Padang Left. Known as the ‘Balinese pipeline’ for its long and fast barreling wave, it is one of Bali’s most famous spots in the surfing community. No surprise then that it’s also home to the yearly Rip Curl Cup (Indonesia’s longest running surfing competition).

But don’t worry, if your surfing skills are somewhat lacking, Bali is home to at least 60 surf breaks, therefore, plenty of choices for beginners also. Top picks would be Kuta Beach and Padang Padang Right, which both provide gentle gradients, making them ideal locations to get in a bit of practice.

The Beaches

A beach in Bali.
Image by Kuelefm via Pixabay

So, besides epic waves, what makes Bali good for surfing is the beaches themselves. How does gazing up at a clifftop temple sound? Or getting your adrenaline hit in a tropical paradise of palm trees and pure white sands? Well, this Indonesian hotspot has all that and more.

But as well as ticking the box for spectacular natural beauty, the beaches here are also home to plenty of tasty Balinese delights for a little post surf meal. Take your pick from mouthwatering lawar (a vegetable, coconut, and minced meat mixture), vibrant salads or fresh from the sea lobster in one of the many beachside cafes and restaurants.

Bali is also the perfect place for a little sunset surf, as the beaches transform seamlessly into after dark hubs of activity. So, once you’ve caught that wave, you only need to venture to the beach bar, and you’re set for the rest of the night.

Surf Schools

Surfboards lying on the sand.
Image by Barni1 via Pixabay

Unfortunately, we aren’t all naturally born surfers, but fear not. What makes Bali good for surfing is that it’s home to a number of surf schools just waiting to show you the ways of the wave.

For gentler waters, it is recommended to head to the likes of Dreamland and Balangan. Here you will find a selection of surf schools to choose from. Whether you opt for a more immersive experience in one of the many seven-day surf camps or simply take advantage of a lesson or two from some of the best instructors on the island, you can be sure to leave with a few surfing techniques up your sleeve.

But it’s not just the beginners that can take advantage of the plethora of guides. Many surf camps are catered towards those with a higher surfing ability. So, if you’re looking for a little help in finding the best surf breaks on the island, you may want to take advantage of one of these.

For a little added luxury, there are several surf camps that offer yoga, steam rooms and free bike use. And of course, all are surrounded by the lush Balinese landscape, providing the perfect backdrop for a little evening drink with your fellow surfers.

The Climate

Blue skies at Nusa Dua Beach, Bali.
Image by Jarrad Horne via Unsplash

One thing you can be sure of in Bali is that a dip in the water can be shiver-free year-round, as the water stays at an average temperature of 26-30 °C. Although, while the waters remain relatively unchanged, the weather couldn’t be more different depending on the time of year. The good news for surfers though is that both the dry season and the wet season have their benefits. And in fact, what makes Bali so popular in the surfing world is that it is one of the few places that can be surfed all year round. So, come rain or shine here, the waves are calling.

The dry season tends to draw more crowds, due to the blue skies, sunshine, and most importantly, big swells. You will find the best spots during this time in the west of the island, at the likes of Medewi Beach and Berawa Beach, where offshore winds are most prominent.

But if you’re looking for a little more space to bag the best waves, you may want to opt for the wet season. With heavy downpours putting most tourists off, the months between November and March mean cheaper accommodation and quieter beaches. During this time, the east of the island sees the most surf action, with Keramas Beach being a popular choice for its huge waves.

Budget Friendly

Credit cards.
Image by Stevepb via Pixabay

How does strolling from a luxury beachside resort for your morning surf session sound? Well, in Bali, you definitely don’t need to be dripping in cash to make this happen. One of the top reasons Bali is good for surfing is its affordability. You can find 5-star resorts around here for under $50. So, after a day on the board, you can relax in the spa or sip cocktails by the pool for a fraction of the price elsewhere. But if you’re one for the backpacker vibes and social aspect to your lodgings, you’re looking at only needing to part with a mere $5 a night in one of the many hostels on offer.

And it’s not just accommodation that comes in cheap over in these parts. How does an entire meal coming in at around $7 sound? And a hearty meal is just what the doctor ordered for thrill seekers taking on the crashing waves of the Indian Ocean.

So, for surfers traveling on a shoestring budget, Bali is the ideal choice.

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