PART FOUR // where to surf
- Kuta Beach (Jalan Pantai Kuta) is one of the most popular surf spots for beginners. This peaky beachbreak with lefts and rights works on all tides with a swell range from 1 to 8 ft. The beach is clattered with surfboard rentals and locals are happy to give surf lessons. But be aware of the so called Kuta cowboys, they can make a girl fall in love like nobody’s business.
- Legian/Padma Beach (Jalan Pantai Legian) is a 10min walk up north from Kuta Beach. The break is similar to Kuta Beach with left and right handers and it works on the same tides.
- Seminyak Beach (Jalan Camplung Tanduk / Jalan Double Six) and the areas around such as Double 6, Gado-Gado and Kudeta are easily accessed by motorbike and offer a lot of peaks with lefts and rights. These beach breaks work well on all tides but low tide makes them quite spicy and steep. With overhead swells these waves tend to close out and are not that nice to surf anymore. Take care of the current that can become pretty strong.
- Batu Bolong/Old Man’s (Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong / Jalan Munduk Catu) is located in the heart of Canggu which is a 45min ride up north from Kuta. This semi-reef-break is nowadays a popular beginner and intermediate spot where you can easily rent a surfboard on the beach (50.000IDR/2hrs) or find a surf instructor (around 350.000IDR/2hrs including surfboard). Here you will probably find as many highly skilled longboarders dancing gracefully on waves as you can find beginners losing control of their soft tops and locals showing off how it’s done. These fat and forgiving waves still work on swells up to 10ft and on all tides – on low tide it might get a little bit messy though.
The Zealous Clothing Team is based in Canggu and Batu Bolong and Berawa are our home spots. This is where you might meet us in the water or at the beach sipping a coconut 🙂
- Berawa (Jalan Pantai Berawa) is a nice rocky reefbreak for intermediates or surfers who are keen to improve. It can get a bit crowded during peak times, but there are a few different lefts and rights so that you’ll get some waves for sure. Berawa works best on mid to low and low to mid tide and can handle swells of up to 8ft. Due to the newly built Finn’s Beach Club with bright floodlights right on the beach you can now even surf after sunset.
- Echo Beach/ Sandbar (Jalan Pantai Sentosa) with its rocky reef can be very powerful, challenging and barrelling. This lefthander needs a bit of water and works best on mid to high and high to mid tide and can handle swells of 3 to 10ft. As it’s a popular surf spot it’s mostly crowded, but there are other spots such as Sandbar just next to it.
- Pererenan (Jalan Pantai Pererenan) is a strong reefbreak close to Sandbar and one of the most-liked spots in Canggu which can break as an A-frame. The righthander is a bit more power but the lefty is often emptier. This famous beach is the best way surfed at mid to high tide. But be aware: at sunset time it can get quite competitive in the line up. The water here is dirtier as well because of a close by river
- Tanah Lot (Jalan Raya Tanah Lot) is located in front of Bali’s most famoust temple. The soft reefbreak is good to be surfed between low and mid tide. If you want to surf here you’ll have to pay the entry fee of 50.000 IDR for the temple. Once you are standing right in front of the temple you turn to the right. After 300m you’ll see two small sand bays that cann be accessed by the stairs. The spot has quite short but fun waves and works with swell from 1 to 8ft. Because the temple is a very crowded tourist attraction, you might get asked for a photo with some Chinese before or after your surf 😉
- Balian (Jalan Pantai Balian) is no major destination so the lineup will often be uncrowded. Balian is around 2,5hrs away from Canggu and we recommend to travel by car because the road in not well maintained, the drive is long and dusty and many super big trucks are crawling towards Gilimanuk on this road. These peaky waves break over a rocky reef just in front of a river mouth. The lefthander breaks long and nicely into a big channel whereas the righthander breaks powerful over the shallower part of the reef, can barrel sometimes and ends up in the river flow. Due to the river mouth, sharks like to hang around in the line up too and there have been shark attacks reported! Take care! Balian can handle swells from 2 to 12ft and works on all tides.
- Medewi (Jalan Pantai Medewi) is in a 1h driving-distance from Balian. This mellow pointbreak is the longest lefthander in Bali and you can get rides of up to 300m on a South-South West swell! Waves are mostly breaking clean and slow and even on a bigger swell they will still be breaking nicely (can handle swell from 2 to 10ft). We recommend you to bring reef booties to Medewi! There’s actually no beach in front of the spot but cobblestones all the way from the shore to the lineup. And locals will warn you of sea urchins – ouch! During high and mid tide it’s advisable to paddle out from the bay on the right just in front of the fishing boats. When it’s low you can even walk out over the cobblestones on the left side straight to the point and lineup.
- Balangan (Jalan Pantai Balangan) is a not so touristic beautiful, little bay and surf spot with white sand and clear water over a submerged reef. The lefthander can deal with a swell from 4 up to 15 ft and suits intermediates on small swell days as well as experts at overhead to double. Balangan usually has different sections with experts charging the outside on big days and intermediates the inside. The vibe is a bit more relaxed and it’s less crowded than the surrounding breaks.
- Dreamland (Jalan New Kuta Beach) however is the opposite: a very crowded beach where tour buses drop off hordes of tourists. The lefts and rights of this beachbreak are not too challenging, less persistent and attract surfers of all levels. It can barrel on big days but if it’s too small there’s nothing but a fat shorebreak. The break can handle swell of 2 to 10ft and is best surfed on low tide.
- Serangan Beach/ Turtle Island (Jalan Pantai Serangan) is a great alternative during wet season even though you are not staying around here. It takes about half an hour in the morning to get to Serangan from Canggu. The rocky reefbreak mostly offers three peaks with lefts and rights that can handle swells from 2 to 15ft on all tides. The reef is not too sharp and you only notice it during low tide. We’ve seen sea urchins here before but there’s actually no need for reef booties. You’ll need a bit of paddle power because the main break is quite far and the less crowded left even further.
- Nusa Dua (Jalan Nusa Dua Selatan) can give you a couple of good rides, especially during wet season! This coral reefbreak is about 500m off shore so it pays off to hire a boat and to save your energy for paddling against the strong current. The break works on all tides and best on swells between 4 and 8ft. On bigger days the waves become pretty powerful and heavy with unpredictable sections.
- Bingin is a sharp and short lefthander over a shallow reef. The wave is highly technical, barrelling and crowded and frayed tempers are common. It works best on a swell between 3 to 8ft and on mid tide. There are many nice warungs at the beach, yoga classes are available at Swamis and the white beach is perfect to hang out at for a day.
- Nyang-Nyang is a short and spicy righthander that is located at the foot of the Bukit’s impressive cliffs and a very long staircase. The waves are breaking over a submerged reef and work best during mid to high tide on swells from 2 to 6ft. Because the rip currents are strong and king waves may appear, Nyang-Nyang is an advanced spot that should be treated with caution if you’re new to the spot.
- Impossibles is a pointbreak located between Bingin and Padang Padang where the left breaks impossibly fast over a submerged reef. It works on all tides and on a swell from 4 to 12ft. When you surf at mid tide and the waves are above 5ft you might get rewarded with picture perfect long and fast waves.
- Ulutwatu with its 4 different sections rolling over the reef is one of the most famous surf spots in the world. This swell magnet that works on swells between 2 to 15ft is almost never flat and becomes crowded at 2 to 5ft when waves are do-able. Uluwatu works on all tides. The four different sections are Temples (long and hollow, during mid to high tide), The Peak (in line with the cave, during high tide), Racetrack (super fast, barrelling, shallow) and Outside Corner (starts to work above 8ft, long and fast!). If you want to get back on land you will have to paddle straight towards the cliff so that in the right moment the current takes you with it into the cave. In case you don’t make it you will need to paddle another round of about 15 minutes.
- Padang Padang is the so called barrel machine, offers one of the best lefthanders in the world and is the stage of Rip Curl’s annual Padang Padang Cup around August. The short ride of only 50m over a shallow coral reef attracts only the best and experienced surfers. Padang Padang starts to work on swells above 6 up to 12ft and is best surfed between mid to high tide as low tide can be very sketchy. When the wave starts to break it gets super crowded, the vibes get heavy and intermediates better surf Baby Padang.
- Green Bowl is located at the foot of impressive cliffs and can only be accessed by walking down 500 steps. This righthander works during wet season but the glass window in the morning is short and it might get crowded. This fast and punchy wave works at swells between 2 and 8ft and runs over a submerged reef with a strong current. It works on mid tide only!
- Hyatt Reef is located in front of the Hyatt Resort only a boat ride away from the shore. This righthander works best on high tide and a solid swell to form perfect barrels. You better go early in the morning before the wind starts to pick up.
- Keramas is a very powerful and barrelling righthander over a lava reef. Early mornings are best to surf Keramas but the vibes can be heavy as it can get pretty crowded. The break can deal with swell of 2 to 12ft and all tides are surfable, but higher tide is preferred.
Happy Surfing 🙂
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