Ten Tips for Your First Surf Trip to Bali

09/02/2020

Are you ready to begin a lifelong love affair with Bali? Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned surfer, Bali is a dream destination. The quality, quantity and consistency of waves is unparalleled. Regardless of your ability, local knowledge is key to getting you to the right break depending on the conditions. If you’ve booked your stay with Padang Padang Surf Camp, rest assured that the guides will give you the low down and take good care of you.

With that out of the way, you’re probably wondering what else you need to do to prepare for your big trip. Your Google search was probably a bit overwhelming so here are ten things to consider:

  1. Bali has banned single-use plastic items in a bid to cut down on ocean pollution so don’t forget to pack a reusable water bottle because staying hydrating when you travel and surf is key.
  2. Zinc and high SPF sunscreen are highly recommended. They can be on the pricey side here so you might want to bring a favourite brand from home. If you’re particularly sensitive to the sun, you might want to consider leggings and a surf hat. This might not go with the vision you had of yourself surfing in a bikini or boardies but the sun is probably stronger than what you’re used to at home. You don’t want to be forced to take a couple of precious days of surfing because of a bad burn.
  3. Dress codes are pretty lax since surf culture is so prevalent so don’t worry about dressing up but you might want to pack a couple of options for a night out.
  4. Let’s face it - wifi has replaced the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Make sure your phone is unlocked and get a local SIM card. They are super reasonable and cost only $10 for 15+ GB of data.
  5. Dengue and a host of other mosquito-borne viruses is still a thing so bring or buy repellent and apply liberally (may vary depending on location and season).
  6. Activated charcoal. Sooner or later most visitors are hit by a bout of Bali Belly and this natural remedy works quickly and effectively to take the bad bugs away.
  7. If you want to get around Bali, you can use a ride share app like Grab or GoJek (the local Uber). If a going to rent a scooter, note that Bali drives on the left. Safety is an issue so make sure to wear a helmet; you have insurance; and be aware that if you don’t have your International Driver’s license, you might be pulled over by local police.
  8. Your debit card may not work at all ATMs. Local ATMs may also dispense cash before returning your card so don’t leave it behind!
  9. If a place does not have a glass front, you can generally haggle for prices. Don’t forget to pack your reusable tote bag - you don’t want to add to the pollution here.
  10. Even though you’ve come to surf, take a layday or two and explore more of what this amazing island has to offer.