Bali has many advanced surf spots which are typically reef breaks. The reefs are perfectly shaped for the consistent swell produced from the Southern Indian Ocean at the latitude 40-50 degrees knows as the howling 40's and roaring 50's. In 2018 Bali was the location for 2 WSL events attracting the worlds best surfers to Keramas (top to bottom barrelling right hander) and Uluwatu (the premier big wave surfing spot in all of Indonesia). In this post we’re going to look at 5 surf breaks in Bali that are excellent for intermediate surfers.
1. Toro Toro
Top of the list must be Toro Toro as it ticks all the boxes and more. Get exhausted by long paddle to the break? The boat drops you 20 metres from the line up and it's a dry hair paddle out. The wave is an A frame peak breaking both left and right so no complaints from either goofy or regular footers "I'm no good back hand". Well defined peak, the wave breaks in the same spot and only moves inside or outside depending on the size of the wave. It is best on a small to medium size swell as the bigger waves don't break so good. Small ones are more juicy.
The wave breaks softly and slowly so perfect for intermediates who struggle with a fast take off and heavy breaking wave. The break does not just have 1 channel, it has two. Both the left and right break into a deep water channel allowing an easy paddle back to the line up. The left hander is short and sweet and is best on a higher tide. The right hander is the most fun wave in Bali. Easy take off, you only need to concentrate on making the first section. The rest of the wave is very long and mellow, perfect for practicing your cut backs.
2. Padang Padang Rights
Padang Padang lefts aka Balinese pipeline is not suitable for intermediate surfers under any circumstances as the wave ends on a very shallow section of reef. On a higher tide the wave can push you close to the cliff and there is always a strong rip.
Just the other side of the channel is the less famous Padang rights, otherwise known as baby Padang. This is suitable for intermediate surfers on small to medium size swell as the wave does not break or move so fast and the reef is relatively safe except on low tide. The wave breaks both and left. The right hander breaks into a deep water channel and always fades to nothing so in fact never ever closes out and assuming you make the wave the complete length, you end the wave in the channel where the rip takes you back to the line up without any effort at all. The left breaks soft and slow, except on the biggest swell, and can be a very long ride with reform sections. Long rides are perfect for improving your balance and feel of the board.
Dreamland has turquoise coloured water and is reminiscent of the caribbean. A must visit for anyone travelling to Bali. It is rumoured that mermaids frequent this spot but no evidence exists and try as hard as I might, I have never seen one.
Dreamland is a low tide beach break with several spots that work well depending on the swell size. It’s the only non-reef break on the Bukit. The A frame breaks on a deep water flat rock shelf at low tide and is perfect for intermediates on a small swell as breaks gently and consistently. The right breaks into the channel allowing easy paddle out. The left always closes out but can offer a long fast ride and is fun to race as far as you can do. It is suitable for intermediates as not too steep and very predictable, whereas beach breaks are always shifting peaks.
On big swells best to avoid the A frame peak as it is heavy breaking. Inside from the A frame left there is a reform wave that is fun for improvers. There is also a soft left hander to the southern end of the beach that can be ridden all the way to the beach. The local surfers like to ride the inside shore break, as it is a punchy wave that can barrel and provide a launch pad for aeriels, but is tricky for intermediates.
Not sure which section of the break is best for you, or when to surf it? Contact a local reputable surf school or local guide.
Balangan is never ever flat. There is always a rideable wave. In the dry season the wave is offshore from sunrise to sunset. In the wet season the wind switches to the South-South West and the headland offers some protection so it is an all year round, go to surf spot in small to medium size swell.
The reef is quite flat which means that except on the biggest days, the wave breaks quite gently. Many waves are too fast breaking to make all the sections but perfect to practice that high line to race the wave as far as you can. Balangan is famous for long left hand peeling waves, but on smaller days there are also right handers breaking into deep water that are suitable for intermediate surfers.
Medewi is often touted as a beginner wave as it breaks softly but the truth is, it is not suitable for beginners as you need to be able to turn the board. Ride the board straight and you will end up straight onto the reef badly cut. Access into and out of the water is also difficult and dangerous with a big foamy board if you don't know what you are doing. Having said that, the wave does peel left for a very long ride and breaks gently. Also handles a big swell quite good and even on the bigger days intermediate surfers can manage by staying inside on the shoulder.
If you are a proficient paddler, can turn the board left, then the wave is very makeable and long. It is perfect for improvers due to the consistency and length of ride. First turn didn't feel so good? Second turn felt a little bit better? By the 3rd and 4th turn you will be feeling how the board responds and improving your surfing. Breaks best at mid to high tide and is mushy at low tide. Watch out for the sharp rocks. Don't believe everything on the internet even from sites you would think would know better. It is not cobblestone. The rocks are sharp. Best at high tide and maybe with booties if you value the skin on your feet.
We are experts in teaching intermediate surfers improve their skills and taking them to the next level. We are located very close to Toro Toro, Padang Padang, Dreamland and Balangan. We will take you to the best spot depending on the tide, wind and swell size. Demand is always high and we only have a limited number of rooms book surf camp.