Anyone heading off on a Bali holiday is greeted by this island paradise with open arms. Bali is well renowned for her beautiful beaches, exciting non-stop nightlife and the wonderfully warm locals. But at anytime of the year, the hotels in Bali are filled with the most enthusiastic of all guests – the die hard (or try hard!) surfers.
Bali is often the first and last stop off on any Indonesian surfing safari, but it is also destination in its own right. Many of the hotels in Bali are only a stone’s throw away from wide sandy beaches and easily accessible surf breaks of every size and difficulty. The year round swell off the deep southern oceans of the Antarctic, means that Bali has a non stop supply of surf. The swell flattens out once it reaches the reefs and creates the perfect conditions for a true surfing Nirvana. There are around twenty top class breaks around the island to choose from, and surfers of all ages and experience are generously catered for by Mother Nature! A Bali holiday between April and October offers the best conditions for surfing, although unfortunately everyone else is heading there between these times too, and it can become quite busy on the line-up at some of the more popular breaks.
Unlike the rest of Indonesia which is heavily reefed, Bali has a lot of smaller breaks more suited to the beginner or intermediate. Kuta is probably Bali’s most famous beach and there’s a great surf tradition of ‘anything goes’! The sandy bottom and waist deep water means that anyone from six to ninety six can get out on their board and give it a try. Whether it’s hanging ten, toes on the nose or total wipe-out – you can ride the fun waves at Kuta without fear of shredding any body parts on an exposed reef! There are lots of surf schools and board hire shops, so if you have never surfed before – Kuta is the perfect place to start!
A lot of the hotels in Bali are close to the easy riding Kuta and Legian beach surf areas, and when the sun goes down you can come straight out of the break, and head for a cocktail! You can outdo each other with tales of gnarly waves and killer surf, and then party on with the legendary Kuta nightlife. For the budding grommets and Gidgets, it’s only a few steps from bed where they can dream Bali holiday surfing adventure!
Veteran surfers will be heading over to the pounding breaks at Padang Padang or Uluwatu on their Bali holiday. Padang Padang has an awesome ‘killer’ wave and this world class spot should only be attempted by the most experienced surfer! It is one of the most dangerous waves in Bali to face up to, as the coral reef is almost entirely exposed. But even if you can only dream of conquering the wave, it’s still worth coming along to watch the brave make their assault.
Uluwatu with its famous entry cave is probably the busiest of all the surf breaks in Bali. You clamber down the dramatic cliffs and through the cave which leads out onto the beach. The waves at Uluwatu are fast and long, and the view from the break is breathtaking – but in the monsoon season the waves here can reach a terrifying fifteen feet so this location is definitely not for the feint hearted! As well as a constant swell at Uluwatu there is also a constant crowd – so be warned, if you do chance your luck against the giant waves, you’ll have an audience!
The island’s popularity as a surfing destination has increased so much, the hotels in Bali and the more popular beaches are heaving in high season. But the hidden beauty of this tiny surfing Mecca is that if you’ve got a bit of time, and a slightly adventurous streak, you just might find yourself surfing a break on a deserted beach with only the fish to see you fall!