Bali is one of the best and most popular surf destinations in the world. The “Island of the Gods” is blessed with warm temperatures, sick waves almost year round and chill tropical vibes, pretty much everything you need for a fun surf trip!
It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time ever standing on a board or if you’re a pro surfer already, Bali has waves for every level. Bali was the third place where I ever surfed, and I loved the experience.
In this guide I put together everything you need to know about surfing in Bali. I didn’t surf all over the island (I wish I had!) so I asked some of my Bali-based digital nomad and surfer friends to contribute to this post.
Here you will discover all the best surf spots, surf beaches and surf camps in Bali, as well as the best time to surf in Bali, what you should pack for a surfing trip and where to stay.
So let’s dive in (metaphorically for now, and soon in real waves)!
- 1 Best time to surf in Bali
- 2 Bali surf spots map
- 3 The best surf spots in Bali
- 4 My experience surfing in Bali
- 5 The best surf camps in Bali
- 6 What to pack for a Bali surf trip
Best time to surf in Bali
Like most tropical countries Bali has a wet season and a dry season. The wet season goes from November to March, whilst the dry season goes from May to September.
The months in between are known as “shoulder months” and are my personal favourite time to travel.
In the “shoulder months” the weather is better than in the wet season, but the prices are still low as it’s not peak season yet, and there will be considerably less tourists around.
Even if you can only travel to Bali in the wet season don’t worry too much about the rain, it usually means warm and sun for most of the day, with a short torrential storm towards the end of it.
When it comes to the waves, Bali’s west coast is blessed with strong ocean waves year round. Whatever time of the year you visit Bali, you will find great waves.
However the dry season, May to September, has the most consistent waves and is the best time to surf in Bali.
Bali surf spots map
Here is a map outlining all the best surf spots in Bali. As you can see they’re concentrated along the west coast, in the southern part of the island. Let’s look at the most notable ones in more detail!
The best surf spots in Bali
On my first trip to Bali I surfed in Seminyak Beach. It was my third time ever surfing and I found it a pretty easy spot to surf. There’s a long beach break with consistent waves.
Uluwatu is one of the most famous Bali surf spots. It’s located under the impressive cliffs and temples of Uluwatu, and is actually a cluster of 6 different reef breaks.
The waves here can get pretty big and the surf line-up can be quite busy. It’s a pretty challenging spot and more one for the advanced surfers, but stunning nonetheless.
Padang Padang is also a reef break with pretty big waves, also recommended for more advanced surfers. However it also has an inside reef that can be surfed by beginner and intermediate surfers, depending on the tide and swell.
Kuta has a soft sand beach break, meaning it’s a great Bali surf spot for beginners. Lessons and board rentals are also a bit cheaper than in other spots of the island, making it ideal if you want to clock in a lot of surfing hours to learn.
Old Mans is one of the best surf spots for intermediate surfers. It’s also a reef break but a really long one, meaning you can ride the same waves for a very long.
When you’re first starting out this is ideal as it gives you more time on the board.
Medewi is home to Bali’s longest left-hand wave. The wave breaks slowly meaning it’s perfect for all levels. This spot is still far from the main tourist radar, so you won’t find much in the area besides other keen surfers.
It’s without a doubt one of the best surfing beaches in Bali.
The limited number of cafes and restaurants actually make it ideal as you’ll see the same people in the water as you do at night in the restaurants, making it easy for solo travellers to make friends.
My experience surfing in Bali
Like I said I only had the pleasure of surfing in Seminyak Beach, but I wish I’d been able to visit more of the epic surf beaches in Bali. There’s no denying the surf itself was awesome, but what I loved most was the overall atmosphere.
The beach is huge and there was plenty of space for all the surfers, I never found myself getting in someone’s wave or someone crashing into mine.
The waves were also long, powerful and consistent, making it very easy for someone like me, who was very much a beginner at this stage, to catch some waves.
I also loved chilling in Seminyak Beach post surfing. We sat on the beach as the sun lowered itself in the sky, setting the clouds on fire.
Seminyak is slightly on the more expensive end of prices in Bali, but there are lots of adorable beach bars that you have to try.
We spent the evening drinking mojitos, enjoying tasty food and watching the sunset on the beach from a colourful and fun beach bar. It was the perfect ending to our first Bali surf day.
The best surf camps in Bali
If you want to learn how to surf (which I’m guessing you do if you’re reading this post) I highly recommend doing a surf camp in Bali.
I didn’t do one last time I was in Bali but I have since done two surf camps in the Canary Islands, one in Fuerteventura and one in Tenerife, and they’ve been amongst my favourite trips and travel memories.
By doing a surf camp you’re not only sure that they’ll take you to the best places to surf in Bali, but also that you’ll be surrounded by likeminded surfers throughout your whole trip.
Instead of staying in a normal hostel and then getting classes from any surf school on the beach, you can be a part of a little surfing community. These are some of the Bali surf camps that my friends have done and can recommend.
Some of my friends went to Mojo Surf years ago and to this day they still rave about it. With camps all over Indonesia and Australia Mojo Surf have years of experience teaching people from all over the world how to surf.
The camp has a pool and common area where you can relax after spending a long day out on the waves. They also arrange overnight surf trips to Nusa Lembongan and Lombok for those looking to adventure and surf beyond Bali.
I haven’t been to this one, but I the surf camp I did in Gran Canaria was organised through Pure Surf Camps and it was awesome.
The Surf House in Canggu has a private pool for guests only, serves breakfast every day, and has some awesome common areas. They will take you to all the best surf spots in Bali, at the best time for your surf skill level.
When you come back you can sit on poolside and relax with a drink in hand, while you become friends with your new surfing pals. The price also includes daily breakfast and yoga.
If you’re a girl travelling solo and are looking for something a bit more unique, then the Surf Goddess Retreat might be for you.
It’s a bit more on the pricier end of the range but can be an incredible experience for girls looking to be surrounded by other positive and empowering women.
The retreats include almost all meals, yoga and meditation sessions, surfing classes, transfers and many other goodies.
It’s a great opportunity to not only learn how to surf, but pair it with a once in a lifetime empowering female trip. Being surrounded by likeminded and strong women is always a plus.
What to pack for a Bali surf trip
So what do you need for a Bali surf trip? Ultimately you don’t really need much more than any normal trip to Bali.
If you’re a beginner or early intermediate surfer it’s easier to rent a board in Bali than bringing your own, most classes will include board usage.
If you’re an advanced surfer and plan to surf a lot it usually makes sense economically to travel with your own board. It also gives you the freedom to explore all the surf spots.
Besides boards, here are some useful things to bring with you when you travel to Bali.
Sun cream – Make sure to pack sunscreen! The sun in Bali can be very strong, especially if you’re planning to spend a lot of time in the water. You might also want to get a zinc sunblock stick for your face, surfing is great but let’s try to avoid ageing skin if we can!
Reef booties – If you’re planning to surf any of the reef breaks you might need these. They’ll save your feet if you ever fall close to the reef and have to stand on it to get back on the board.
Rash vest – The water in Bali is warm enough that you could swim just in board shorts or a swimsuit. However if you plan to spend a lot of time in the water it can be a good idea to use a rash vest. It will keep you just a little bit warmer, protect your back from the sun, and avoid you scratching your belly on the board.
First aid kit – We all hope that nothing ever goes wrong on our trips, however when you do an active sport like surfing, it’s normal to get a bump every now and then! Bring your own first aid kit so that you don’t have to go searching for plasters all over Bali.
GoPro – You’re going to be surfing in one of the most beautiful places in the world, I’m sure you want to capture it all! Whether you mount it to the front of your board or strap it to your head, you can capture lots of great surfing moments with a GoPro.
If you’re looking for more Bali travel advice, beyond just surfing, check out my other Bali articles:
- 30+ epic things to do in Bali
- Planning the perfect Bali itinerary
- Where to go & not go in Bali
- Villas with private pools in Bali (for every budget!)
- Ubud travel guide
- Tegalalang Rice terrace – the ultimate guide
- The most beautiful & photogenic hotels in Bali
- The 33 most instagrammable spots in Bali
Going beyond Bali? Check out these Java and Gili resources!
- Borobudur & Prambanan temples day tour
- Hiking an active volcano at night!
- Snorkelling with turtles in Gili Trawangan
Since my first trip to Bali 3 years ago I’ve been surfing to a lot of cool spots around the world, and I’d love to go back to Bali and try some new surf spots there now that I’m more experienced on the board.
Bali is a surfers heaven, with lots of epic spots dotted all along the coast, I hope this post answers your questions about where to surf in Bali! If you have any questions, just let me know in the comments below!
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