Bali is well known for surf spots such as; Uluwatu, Bingin, Impossibles and Padang Padang (AKA “The Balinese Pipeline”) that produce some of the best quality waves in the world and attract expert surfers from across the globe. However, in this post we’re going to look at 5 surf breaks in Bali that are great for beginner and novice surfers.
1. Padang Padang Rights (AKA “Baby Padang”)
This spot is where the majority of beginners will have learned to surf with Padang Padang Surf Camp and has no doubt left a lasting impression in many of their minds. Its a soft reef break that breaks both left and right (great for practicing going both ways) and is suitable for a range of surfing abilities; total beginners will want to start off riding the broken white water waves and the novice-intermediate surfers will have a lot of fun riding the unbroken green waves.
The unique feature of this break that separates it from all of the others on this list, and many other surf breaks across the world, is its channel that allows for an easy paddle into the line up. Compare this to the more common beach break where you’ll have to battle with continuous feisty rolling white water waves just to get out the back, which can be a particularly frustrating challenge for a beginner with a larger board that can’t easily duck dive underneath them. Moreover, catching the right-hander will bring you right back to the channel and allows you to almost carousel yourself back out to the line up!
Although Padang Padang Rights can handle swells of most sizes and is sheltered by the cliffs from the wind, its generally best surfed on smaller days of around waist to head high (as any bigger and the current begins to get too strong) ideally with light offshore winds.
This breathtakingly beautiful beach is called Dreamland for very good reason and is not only the source of great waves but it also has a thriving social scene. A must visit for anyone travelling to Bali.
Dreamland is a beach break with several spots that work well depending on the tide. It’s the only non-reef break on the Bukit (and on this list) so it may produce a sense of familiarity for surfers who are used to beach breaks.
Beginners: beware of the shore break wave. You’ll notice a lot of local and visiting surfers flaunting their skills on this seemingly innocuous wave, but this wave packs a punch and can easily knock you off your feet if you do not properly respect it!
3. Kuta Beach
Kuta is Bali’s most popular location and is ideal for learning to surf on unbroken white waves due to its gentle gradient that allows for the white water to run for a considerable distance, even in shallow water, meaning you’ll get a lot of ride time which translates to better progress. Note that Kuta can be very busy and if you’re the type of person that is looking for someplace quiet and tranquil, you may want to avoid it!
A sheltered bay with soft sand and even softer waves makes this a perfect spot for your first ever surf. Plus, there’s not many places in the World where you can learn to surf and have a seafood dinner at the same beach. Even when the swell is too big for anywhere else in Bali, Jimbaran is the sanctuary for beginner surfers across the island.
5. Batu Bolong Beach, Canggu (AKA “Old Man’s”)
Canggu offers some powerful barrelling breaks and beginners will want to avoid those in favour of Batu Bolong where its generally more mellow and friendly. This spot has a fairly flat reef bottom which results in soft re-formable waves, ideal for beginners with longer boards.