5 Surf Spots In Bali For Beginners (And One More For Later!)

Praias Em Bali Para Surfistas Principiantes - Beaches In Bali For Beginner Surfers

Indonesia is the biggest paradise on earth for surfing. And I say this with complete confidence! From the smallest to the most significant waves, the perfection is incredible, and it’s no wonder that every year, thousands and thousands of surfers make their way to those islands on the Indic ocean.

But if you’re starting out in this sport, is Indonesia the best destination to go to? Completely! There are waves for all levels on every island, from Java to the Mentawai.

But if this is your first venture into these waters, I suggest a trip to Bali.

Yes, it’s the most touristy island of all, and it currently deals with a pollution problem, but the island is super tourist-friendly, and there are several surf spots in Bali for beginners. Want to know more about them?

Kuta Beach

kuta beach bali

Let’s start with the quintessential Bali beach for beginners. Kuta Beach is a stone’s throw from the town center and, for its simple access and sandy bottom, is the best surf spot for beginners.

The sandbar is very long, and the waves easier. But avoid low tide, since they close more and don’t allow you to enjoy it so much.

Along the beach, sellers and longboard hire abound. Perfect for those who are learning or just want to catch one or two waves in this classic Balinese spot.

Canggu

canggu surf

Canggu has recently become one of the most sought after locations in Bali. Visitors are driven there by trendy cafes and restaurants, a relaxed pace of life and, of course, the waves.

When I was there, I surfed in a river mouth, with tougher waves and lots of surfers in the water. Most of them are foreigners, who choose Canggu to live, and know so well what they’re doing.

So my advice is to start with the sandbar area in Eco Beach, the best-known surf spot around there. Another excellent place to try surfing if you’re a beginner is Batu Bolong since the waves here are “fatter” and not so aggressive.

Dreamland

dreamland surf

When I started to go to Indonesia to surf, this was one of my favorites surf spots in Bali, as it’s partly sandy bottom, which makes it easier to get in and out of the water.

Today, Dreamland is a carnival! Local visitors flock to the water’s edge to take a selfie, but also newlywed couples. You’ll see grooms — mostly Asians — fully dressed in wedding clothes, accompanied by large film crews capturing images for posterity. Such a scene is mainly due to the proximity of the large luxury resorts.

As for the surf zone, it is vast and gives surfers a chance to spread across various spots. But be careful with those who are learning. They often get scared and lose their boards, clueless if they can hit anyone.

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Bingin

bingin surf
View from Bingin to the wave called Impossibles

I’ve said it before: Bingin is my go-to place in Bali. Usually, it’s on the slope of this beach that I stay when I’m visiting the island. After all, there’s nothing like first love!

The wave is demanding, and the crowd in the water very knowledgeable. So you have to know what you’re doing if you try to surf it to the left.

But for those still learning, wait for the high tide and catch the wave to the right. You can always take advantage of its reforms and ride it almost to the sand.

Padang-Padang

padang-padang surf

Remember “Eat, Pray, Love” with Julia Roberts? In the final part of the movie, when the main characters meet at a boat dock for the “happily ever after,” that beach is Padang-Padang.

The dock doesn’t exist and was placed there for filming purposes only. But you can find here two amazing waves that divide surfer’s ability. On the left side of the beach breaks the hardest one, where you may well hurt yourself. But, on the right side, breaks a much more fun and straightforward wave that will make the trip well worth it.

And if you're feeling confident…

Uluwatu

vista sobre Uluwatu view

Uluwatu is one of Bali’s best-known waves, and all surfers want to go there.

Try your luck only if you are already comfortable with your surf and the rocks.

You’ll have to go down a large slope until you reach the cave entrance that takes you into the water. The idea is to go at half tides because it’s easier. If it’s too low, it’s more likely you can hit the coral, and at high tide water usually invades the cave.  Anyway, an adventure! 

But it’s well worth it as it’s one of the best waves on the whole island.

If you are learning and still want to cross it off your list, choose to go out with one of the local surf teachers.

I won’t fool you into assuming that catching waves in Bali is easy… it’s not! If you are just starting out, I suggest you take some classes with local surfers. Many Indonesian surfers teach surf lessons and can help you catch some waves.

If you are already a regular surfer, observe the Indonesian surfers. They know precisely where to position themselves in the water. Just do what they do, but remember, you are in their country, so respect the locals.

Now, you! Have you ever thought about surfing? And if you’re already a surfer, is Indonesia on the travel plans? Share your thoughts in the comments box below, and if you have any questions, ask away!

Surf Spots In Bali For Beginners

Going to Bali and not surfing is almost like going to Rome and not seeing the Pope. If you have never tried the sport or are just starting out, don't worry. I'll show you the best beaches for beginners you won't want to miss on the Island of the Gods.
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Comments

  • Tami

    How funny that they built a dock at Padang-Padang just for a movie and didn’t leave it there for others to enjoy! So many beautiful beaches! I don’t surf but this reminds me of when we took our children for a beginning surfing lesson at Waikiki. Good times!

    • Marlene Marques
      Tami

      Hi Tami! Would love to try to surf Hawaii one day. I guess longboarding in Waikiki will be my thing since I don’t think I’ll have the skills to try more hardcore waves. Maybe you can give me some pointers when I go there. 😉

  • Jenn and Ed Coleman

    Bingin looks like my kind of place. I know it’s cheating, but I love catching a broken wave and waiting for it to reform. You never have to worry about your bottom turn or getting tumbled when drop in too late.

    • Marlene Marques
      Jenn and Ed Coleman

      Eheheh that’s sometimes my trick too! Especially if the waves are bigger 😉 But it doesn’t matter how you catch the wave, as long as you have fun. That’s the whole point of the sport. Happy travels!

  • Eric Gamble

    So I am still on the fence if I want to try surfing. I have been trying to kiteboard everywhere I go but basic surfing doesn’t excite me much which is weird.
    But with that said, it looks like of all the surf spots in Bali, Kuta Beach or Canggu seem the coolest to me in my basic opinion. Perhaps Canggu intrigues me because you said you can hit a river mouth and being from New Orleans, I have always dreamed of kind of surfin the Mighty Mississippi Delta.
    It does sound like most of these places are pretty slammed with cheeky tourists. But I don’t think that would bother me too much.

    • Marlene Marques
      Eric Gamble

      Hi Eric! You should give it a try. Since you already do Kiteboard, you won’t be a complete stranger on handling a board. As for the river mouth, I was a very small river, anything like the Mississipi Delta! 🙂 But that does sound like a great adventure.
      Regarding the tourist scene in Bali, it can be quite challenging sometimes, but, unfortunately, I don’t think is going to be any better in the future.

  • Elaine Masters

    I hadn’t thought of Bali for surfing but then I prefer spending time under the waves, diving. I do enjoy watching surfers and would go to the extreme beach Uluwatu to admire the pros.

  • Indrani

    Bali is indeed a heaven for surfers. I have been to 2 of these beaches but did not indulge in surfing. I must try next time I am there. Great pics.

  • Renata

    Although I’m not surfing, I did enjoy the beaches in Bali very much. Especially the north coast from where I went snorkelling – some of the best snorkelling of my life. So obviously, Bali has some wonderful water activity for everyone 😉

  • Claudia

    I would love to visit Bali and Indonesia, though I’m hesitant to try surfing again. It’s harder than it looks, and last time I burned the soles of my feet, which was excruciating. Still, your photos of the surf and waves at Canggu and Dreamland are tempting! Maybe I’ll give another go…

    • Marlene Marques
      Claudia

      Hi, Claudia. So sad that you had a first bad experience 🙁 I always recommend if it’s the first try to begin on a sand bottom beach and with a teacher, so you don’t get hurt. Maybe one day you feel comfortable to give it another go.

  • Nicole LaBarge

    What a great list of beaches in Bali. ANd I’m glad you pointed out the best ones for beginner surfers. Uluwatu looks like my type of beach for sure.

  • Kamree

    Bali is absolutely stunning, the beaches alone are breathtaking! Being able to surf the waves there would be an incredible experience, I will have to learn soon so i can experience it for myself! xo – Kam

  • sherianne

    These images are gorgeous. Padang-Padang.looks like a popular place. Would be fun to watch everyone surf from the safety of the shore… with a cocktail