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View of Padang Lefts from the beach

The Ultimate Guide to Surfing Padang Padang Lefts

Introduction

Are you looking for the best surfing experience in Bali?

Look no further than Padang Padang Lefts.

Known as the Balinese pipeline, Padang Padang Lefts is the perfect wave machine.

Padang Padang Lefts has earned its place as one of the world’s most coveted and challenging waves. This famous surf spot has become a bucket-list destination for surfers from all over the world.

Surfer getting barreled at Padang Padang Lefts

Padang Padang Lefts is an advanced level surf spot. If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly break, then you’ll want to check out Baby Padang.

In this blog post, we dive into the world of Padang Padang Lefts and guide you with invaluable insights and tips to navigate the Balinese pipeline.

If you’re ready to learn everything you ever wanted to know about Padang Padang Lefts, then read on.

Surfing information

Padang Padang Lefts is known as the Balinese pipeline because it breaks similarly to the world-famous Hawaiian pipeline. It only breaks to the left and needs a big swell to work well.

Padang Padang Lefts is the best barrelling machine wave in Bali. It attracts top local surfers and surfers from all over the world who are looking for the ultimate surfing experience.

  • The take-off is relatively easy because the wave forms in deep water and does not barrel immediately.
  • If you take off deep, then you run the risk of not making the first section, or getting dropped in on.
  • After the first section, there is usually a barrel section, so your take-off is about setting up for the barrel.
  • There can be 2, 3, or even 4 barrel sections before the wave flattens out in the deep-water channel.

The wave comes in very fast out of deep water, slows down when it feels the reef and throws huge barrels when the water becomes shallower.

View across Padang Padang to Impossibles and Bingin from cliffs

The waves here at Padang Padang Lefts are always smaller than Uluwatu because it’s less exposed to the swell, which is always from the SSW or SWS. For example, Uluwatu needs to be triple overhead for Padang Padang Lefts to be double overhead, which is about the perfect size.

When the size is below double overhead, then the wave sections and it’s a short ride.

On a head-high day, you’ll find very few surfers at Padang Padang Lefts because the ride is short and the wave quality suffers.

The wave at Padang Padang Lefts breaks at all tides. But when the tide is lower the barrels are bigger, and that’s the most popular time to surf this break.

Surfer getting Barrelled at Padang.

When is the best time to surf Padang Padang Lefts?

Early mornings can be a quiet time. But the wave at Padang Padang Lefts will barrel best when the trade wind kicks in, which is usually mid-morning.

You’d be surprised at how many 4-foot days (in Bali, 4-foot is around a head and a half height) there are with hardly anyone in the line-up. You can score the wave very well when the waves are this size and when the tide is mid-high.

If the surf is any smaller than this, then Baby Padang is the better option. Or, you could head up to Uluwatu if you’re looking for more size and power. Check out our guide to surfing Uluwatu here.

Even when the swell is small, you can always find a wave breaking at Baby Padang at mid-tide.

Aerial view of Padang Padang beach

For intermediate to advanced surfers, Impossibles can be a better choice than Padang Padang Lefts, because the wave breaks softer and in deeper water. Beginners will want to read this to learn the best beginner surf spots in Bali.

We recommend hooking up with a local surf operator or surf camp who will know the best location and tide to surf for your ability. Reach out to us today.

Padang Padang Left needs a solid swell to work well. There are roughly 25 days a year when the surf is big enough for the wave to break optimally.

Dangers of surfing Padang Padang Lefts

Padang Padang Lefts can be a dangerous surf spot because the main section frequently pinches over a nasty section of dangerous shallow reef.

But before you reach the end section, there is a nasty shallow sharp reef. The end section frequently pinches the barrel. At low tide, it can be a terrible experience to be caught on the reef.

The volume of water means you can’t walk and it’s too shallow to paddle. This can be the place for a serious reef grating.

Padang Padang Lefts is not a wave for beginner or intermediate surfers under any conditions.

If you’re not an expert surfer, then it’s best to surf Padang Padang lefts on a smaller day and on a higher tide.

The hold-downs at Padang Padang lefts can be intense and churning as the wave explodes onto the reef with so much power.

But due to the proximity of the wave to the beach, drowning is not the biggest risk. It is much more likely to be grated over the reef than to have a serious risk of drowning.

On a day when Padang Padang Lefts is breaking optimally, you can be certain that there will be a solid line-up of local rippers and traveling surfers looking to get the wave of a lifetime.

Aerial view of Padang Padang beach

But the risk factor is compounded on these days, due to the number of drop-ins that can occur. If you’re an unknown surfer taking off deep, then someone could drop in on you. Even Kelly Slater can get dropped in on at Padang Padang Lefts.

Here, drop-ins are mostly unintentional. But the problem is that the wave is so powerful that if you want to cancel your entry you run the risk of the lip throwing you over the falls and into the reef.

How to get in and out of the water at Padang Padang?

The simplest way to get to Padang Padang is to pay the US$1 entry fee near the main round, and then walk down the winding and twisting staircase until you get to the beach.

Be careful not to time it with hordes of tourists that are going the other way, because there is only enough room on the staircase for one person at a time.

Once you’ve made it to Padang Padang beach, getting to the line-up is easy. You can walk to the channel, lie on your board, and let the rip current do most of the work.

You can decide to take a left turn for Padang Padang Lefts, or a right turn for Baby Padang.

But getting out of the water is a different story, especially on a big day.

The deep-water channel between Padang Padang Lefts and Baby Padang creates a powerful rip that can be too strong to swim or even paddle against. Climbing up the rocks is one way to exit.

If you do get stuck in a strong current, then paddling diagonally to Baby Padang and getting the white water in is the alternative to paddling furiously but not moving forwards.

The bigger the swell, the stronger the current. The white water from both Padang Padang Lefts and Baby Padang goes into the channel and moves out to sea. When trying to paddle in via the channel it is helpful to compare your progress against the land.

Padang Padang barrell

If you are paddling hard and are stationary, or moving backward, then it’s necessary to change your tactics before you get exhausted. Many swimmers drown by exhausting their energy trying to swim against a current that is too strong. It is always important to be aware of your circumstances and not panic.

Be careful that you don’t ding your board in shallow water on a jagged piece of reef.

Conclusion

The Balinese Pipeline is a legendary surf spot.

Padang Padang Lefts has captivated the hearts of surfers around the world and drawn them in with its powerful waves and machine-like barrels.

For surfers looking for the ultimate adrenaline-fueled wave, Padang Padang Lefts is the spot to go. It’s a place where legends are made and your dream of a perfect wave can be realized.

The adrenaline rush that courses through your veins as you navigate the steep drop, maneuver through the barrel, and emerge on the other side is an experience like no other.

Padang Padang Lefts is not just a surf spot. It’s a rite of passage. You’ll be challenged physically, mentally, and spiritually. This wave is like a canvas where surfers can make their mark on the tapestry of surfing history.

So if this sounds enticing to you, then let the magic of Padang Padang Lefts ignite your spirit.

Come and embrace the challenge. Feel the energy. And immerse yourself in the extraordinary Padang Padang Lefts.

The wave is calling, it’s your time to answer, and there’s no better-placed surf camp in Uluwatu to base yourself.