Bali evokes dreamy images of sultry shores and is one of the most lusted destinations by surfers. The crystal clear waters and breathtaking tropical beaches are at the core of what Bali has to offer. Anyone visiting the Island of the Gods has to give surfing a go. So, where are the best places to go surfing in Bali for beginners?
Learning to surf in Bali is a fantastic experience. You’ll get to master the basics on world-class waves and in warm waters. What’s not to love about that? Join a surf camp for an intensive surf training vacation, or simply opt for one-off lessons from independent local surf instructors.
There are so many incredible beaches in Bali, but it’s important to only surf within your limits. As a beginner surfer, you have to think about rips, reefs, and crowds in order to stay safe while out in the water. Here are the top 7 ultimate beaches for beginners to head to and begin their surfing journey!
Kuta is one of the most popular places for tourists to set down their bags and embrace bikini life. The beach is sandy and the space is expansive. Kuta beach stretches across 2km and is considered one of the safest places for surfing in Bali for beginners.
There are countless warungs dotted along the shoreline providing cold coconuts, umbrellas and beanbags, and surfboard rental and local coaches available for lessons. Waves break along the length of the beach fairly consistently, although changing with the movement of the sandbanks. Just be aware of rips moving back out to sea; as the swell increases, these currents get stronger.
Beginner surfers are always recommended to get a local surf guide to assist them in the water. Kuta Beach is lifeguarded in sections. As Kuta is the most accessible tourist hub, crowds are extremely common – this is not a quiet beach to escape to.
Batu Bolong, Canggu
In recent years, Batu Bolong has become one of the trendiest beaches for tourists to visit. There are several main peaks along this Canggu beach stretch. ‘Old Man’s’ is the most loved break and a paradise for hipster longboarders.
The waves here are typically gentle and mellow, breaking consistently over the volcanic reef. This is a great place for beginners to take their surfing to the next stage and try paddling outback. However, don’t underestimate the paddle, it is tiring!
Old Man’s Batu Bolong can get extremely crowded, so taking a local surf guide out with you is always recommended. They will help direct you onto waves, give you tips on your technique, and teach you surf etiquette. There are no lifeguards on this beach, so surfing with a guide is also like having a buddy in the water keeping you safe.
Warungs and board rentals are available along the length of Batu Bolong. Five Old Man’s Surf Rental has a fantastic selection of beginner and intermediate surfboards available to hire along with local surf guides. They are located at the northern end of the beach, just after The Lawn Beach Club.
Berawa (Finn’s Beach Club)
Berawa is the next beach along from Batu Bolong and home to Finn’s Beach Club, Bali’s most loved beachfront lounge. There are several other smaller beach bars and warungs right on the sand offering cold beers, beanbags, and surfboard rental. This is a great spot to come and spend the whole day, hopping between the sand and sea.
The waves directly in front of Finn’s are best left for intermediate surfers; they are often fast breaking and sometimes barreling on the correct swell. However, turn left and head towards the rivermouth. Here, in front of the LV8 Resort, are gentle whitewater waves perfect for beginners to give surfing a go for the first time.
Generally speaking, Berawa Beach is quiet. There are no lifeguards on duty and the rip currents can be strong, so always be careful and aware of where you are when surfing here.
Baby Padang Padang
Padang Padang is one of Bali’s most iconic waves that professional surfers dream about. It requires a very specific swell direction and size, and the wave breaks off the reef around the corner of the bay and chucks over into a world-class barrel. Obviously, this is not beginner-friendly!
However, Baby Padang Padang (also known as Padang Padang Rights) is a polite sister wave that’s perfect for novice surfers. There is a clear channel to help you paddle back out to the green wave. Make note, you will have to paddle out to this wave.
There is a parking lot at the top of the cliff and you then access the beach down a series of steps. Accessing the beach costs 10k IDR (70 cents USD) per person which is paid on entrance. There is no board rental on the beach, so you have to bring your own, or rent from elsewhere, and carry the surfboard down to the beach.
Padang Padang is in Bali’s Bukit region, the southernmost peninsula. It’s still raw and relatively undeveloped, but it is slowly becoming more touristy. This part of Bali is rife with wild monkeys, so keep your eyes open for monkeys in the trees as you make your way down to the beach!
Dreamland is the only sandy beach break in the Bukit Penisula which makes it a good place for surfing in Bali for beginners. However, the wave is still powerful, even when small! So if you are a fresh beginner, it’s a good idea to bring a surf guide along for a lesson.
The best place to park when visiting this beach is on the north side of the river. Set your Google Maps to Wyndham Dreamland Resort Bali, continue down the road, and then you will come to a parking area. Follow the small row of market stalls along the river to access the beach.
Dreamland Beach does have surfboard rental available directly on the beach. It is a suitable surf break for beginners under the right conditions.
If the swell in Canggu and Kuta is too big, head over to Nusa Dua on the east coast of Bali. The position of Nusa Dua will be protected by the swell direction. However, do make note this is a reef area, so you may want to hire some booties with your surfboard.
There are many warungs and surfboard rental places in the area, all offering lessons with local guides. There is a choice of several waves along the beach. Beginners should stick to the waves closest to the Waterblow and intermediates can move further out.
As Nusa Dua is a resort district, expect prices to be higher than other places across Bali.
And finally, we have Balangan, our last recommended spot for surfing in Bali for beginners. Like most other surf breaks in Bali, the suitability for newbies does depend on the conditions.
On an average swell, Balangan provides different peaks ranging in height from waist high to head high. However, on bigger swells it’s best to sit in one of the beachfront warungs with a Bintang and watch the locals rip it up! The wave gets big, fast, and barrels with the right swell direction.
There are several surf schools and board rental shops located right on the beach in Balangan. Check out Balangan Wave Surf School at the end of the beach for expert and experienced local surf instructors.
Surfing in Bali for beginners is an absolute dream place to learn. Head to one of the best beaches for beginners, book a lesson with a local surf guide, and enjoy your time in the water. Yeeew!
What is the best time to surf in Bali for beginners?
Beginners can surf in Bali any time of year. However, wet season months (November to March) do bring bigger swells, so just keep that in mind if you plan to travel then. The dry season (April to October) is always a safe option for small and inviting waves.
Bali has two tides a day that shift by about 30-40 minutes each day, approximately. Beginners should generally avoid surfing on the low tide in Bali, although this does depend on the specific conditions. Check with the locals when is the best time to surf for beginners.
How much does it cost to go surfing in Bali?
Surfboard rental prices vary depending on where you are in Bali. Most rentals cost 50k IDR ($3.50 USD) for an hour, however, some beaches charge a premium rate. Surf lessons and guided sessions with locals also range in price depending on how experienced the coach is; beach boys charge as little as 150k IDR ($11 USD) per person, however, they probably aren’t fully qualified.
If you choose to surf with a surf camp or accredited surf school then you should expect to pay more. Most western operated schools charge a minimum of $35 USD per person which includes a qualified surf coach, equipment rental, and photo analysis and feedback of the session.
Is Bali surfing good for beginners?
Bali is one of the best places in the world for surfing. There are several amazing beaches that are perfect for beginners to learn the basics and get up standing on a wave. As you become more confident, you can then progress your surfing quickly on world-class waves. Learning to surf in Bali is the most progressive way to learn how to surf.
Where can I learn to surf in Bali?
You have a choice when learning how to surf in Bali: go with a surf camp and have a fully immersive experience with other people; or, book your own individual lessons with a beach surf guide for a more intimate style of teaching. Both are great ways to learn surfing for beginners in Bali. Canggu, Kuta, and Seminyak are the best places in Bali for tourists to learn how to surf.