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A surfer riding a wave at Pantai Muaya.

The Complete Guide to Surfing Jimbaran Bay

Jimbaran bay Bali Surf Spot guide

Bali has consistent swell year-round. At exposed spots, which are directly open to the swell, it is never flat: every day the waves are big enough to ride when the tide is favourable. The swell can be big any time of the year, and novice surfers will then be best advised to find a surf spot which is not directly exposed, and the swell will need to wrap around.

Uluwatu is open to all swell directions, and is a very long reef open to the full force of the Indian Ocean. It frequently gets too big, for even advanced surfers between April and October. The swells always come from the SSW or SW so it is always smaller on the other west coast Bukit breaks as they are north west facing. The swell needs to wrap around the headland to reach Padang Padang, Impossibles, Bingin, Dreamland and Balangan so the waves break smaller. What you lose in size, you can gain in quality as the wave quality is improved when it bends around a headland. The swell always comes in raw, unfliltered at Uluwatu, which is why the waves are sometimes less organised than the aforementioned breaks around the corner.


On the very biggest swells, even the breaks not directly facing the swell, will be too big for everyone except expert surfers. When waves double in size, the power of the waves is not double – the power increases exponentially. Safety is of paramount importance at Padang Padang Surf Camp. To improve your surfing, you sometimes have to push your limit, but the risk of going outside your limits involves the risk of drowning, and you will also be a hazard to other surfers. Never underestimate the power of the sea, and beware that due to the long range nature of swells in the Indian Ocan, set waves come at very long intervals, but when they do come, they come very fast and unexpected. A mistake that novice surfers, and even experienced surfers do in Bali, is to look at the surf for a short time, think it’s OK, and then 30 minutes a set of 6 waves will thunder in and explode on the reef.

On the biggest days in Bali there are generally 2 recommended options: Take a rest day, or go to a bay that is sheltered from the swell. Jimbaran bay is fortunately only 20 minutes drive from Padang Padang Surf Camp, and has a number of surf spots that can handle any size of swell.

Honeymoons / Jump offs

Honeymoons is a beautiful secluded spot, and that is why it acquired the name. It is located on the far west of Jimbaran Bay near Ayana resort. It is a low tide break, but will also break at mid tide on the very biggest swells. Due to it’s isolated location, it is unfortunately a target for car thieves, so be careful with any valuables.

The quickest way to access the surf spot is by jumping off the cliff directly onto the take off zone! We strongly recommend you do not jump off at low tide as there are hidden rocks at various depths. At least 1 person had a very serious injury – it may look cool, but if you land in the wrong place, you risk being a paraplegic for the rest of your life. It is relatively safe to jump off at mid-tide, but that also is not without risks. There is a famous video of a surf instructor showing his students how to jump off, but not taking care of his leash which got snagged on a rock. If you are jumping with your board, best to hold your leash in your hand. It is far easier to throw the board in first and then jump in, but the risk is that a wave takes your board to the beach! Check Tik Tok for some funny videos of Jump Offs.

It is not necessary to risk serious injury or embarrassment entering the water. There is a beach a short walk away which is the exit point, and also the entry point for cautious people. Honeymons is not suitable for beginners under any circumstances, due to difficulty getting in and out of the water, and the nature of the wave.

There are 3 take off points. The most popular take off point is very close to the jump off spot. It is quite intimidating as the wave breaks very close to the rock, and jacks up quickly. It is not as dangerous as it looks, as it does not break very hard, and very unlikely to hit the rock as the waves are not pushing you that way. However, it is quite tricky as there is a bounce from the rock, the wave jacks up quickly, and it’s usually the person closest to the rock who gets the wave.

An easier take off point is around 20 metres inside of the jump off point. Here you will find the intermediate surfers looking for slower softer breaking waves.

On the biggest swells you can catch the wave about 30 metres further out to sea than the jump off point. The waves are moving very fast in deep water, and the take off is very difficult as the wave jacks up and breaks very quickly. The ride from here can be quite long, but it is only for advanced and expert surfers due to the difficulty of the take off.

Honeymoons can be described as a novelty wave. It is one of only 2 point breaks in Bali. All other spots are either reef, beach or river mouth breaks. The wave always fattens off in deep water and can not be compared in quality to Uluwatu and Bingin, but it is a good option when all the world class surf breaks are too big to surf.

Muaya beach

Tucked in the corner at the most southerly part of Jimbaran bay is Pantai Muaya. This is a low tide break but beware at dead low tide, as there are hidden rocks and you can scrape your feet. Booties are a good option at low tide. Like most beach breaks, it is not a high quality wave, but is a suitable spot for beginners and intermediates when everywhere else too big, as there is no current and it offers easy access. It can also be surfed at high tide on the very biggest swells.

Lifeguard hut

Just 100 metres north of Muaya, there is a lifeguard hut which breaks at high tide on the bigger swells. This break is popular with local kids and breaks both left and right. The wave quality is generally better than at Muaya, but would not interest advanced surfers.

Ahimsa

Ahimsa is located in the middle of Jimbaran bay and only breaks on the very biggest swells. It is a low tide break of average quality that is popular with surf schools. As with the afore mentioned beach breaks, it would only be of interest to novice surfers.

Airport Rights

Airport rights is located close to the airport runway. It is a world class wave and is one of the best waves in Bali due to the quality, speed and length of ride. It only suitable for intermediate surfers when shoulder-head high, but any bigger and it is only suitable for advanced surfers due to the strong current and speed of the wave. Read our guide to surfing the airport reefs for everything you need to know.

Toro Toro

Toro Toro is arguably the best intermediate wave in Bali as it breaks softly, slowly and predictably and has deep water channels either side to allow easy paddle back to the line up. Check out our guide to surfing the airport reefs for more information!

If Toro Toro is too large for the current swell size or beyond your skill level, there is Inside Toro-Toro, which is approximately 200 meters closer to the shore than the main peak. This spot is well-suited for intermediate surfers when the surf picks up, and offers a relatively easy wave. Inside Toro-Toro breaks both left and right, providing a enjoyable experience under the right conditions.

Tower

Located just in front of the local fisherman’s mooring area, just before navigational pillars, is a right hand wave that is surfed only on the biggest of swells. This is a soft right-hand wave, suitable for beginner and intermediate surfers when all other breaks are too big.