Female surfer getting into the waves in Bali

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Bali is one of the most popular destinations in the world for surfers of all levels thanks to a spectacular combination of warm waters, big swells, and excellent surfing conditions.

With its tropical climate, consistent waves, warm ocean temperatures and immaculate beaches, Bali has become renowned as one of the best places to surf in the world. 

The best time of year to surf in Bali is between May and October, which is the dry season. At this time, Bali is known for powerful swells from the Indian Ocean and clean conditions with offshore winds. During the wet season, the waves are bigger and stronger but there are risks like strong ocean flows and floating debris.

Surfing in Bali is generally safe, as the local marine life is typically non-aggressive towards humans. Shark attacks in Bali are extremely rare. However, surfers need to stay alert for dangers such as cuts from reefs, strong ocean currents, and overcrowded surf spots.

Two of the best surf schools for surfing in Bali are Malu Surf School at Kuta Beach and Bali Surf Camp, with locations in Uluwatu, Seminyak, and Canggu. Bali’s surfing schools and camps offer thorough lessons and programmes for all skill levels, from complete beginners to more experienced surfers.

Additionally, finding and renting surfboards in Bali is easy and budget-friendly, with prices starting at around 200,000 IDR (~$20 AUD) per day for a variety of boards.

3 of the best surf spots in Bali are outlined below.

  1. Kuta Beach: Located between Legian and Tuban, Kuta Beach is renowned for its beginner-friendly waves and a plethora of surf schools like Malu Surf School, making it ideal for novice surfers with its gentle waves and educational facilities.
  2. Uluwatu: Situated at the southwestern tip of Bali's Bukit Peninsula, Uluwatu challenges intermediate to advanced surfers with its big waves and sharp coral reefs. Uluwatu has some of the best breaks in the world like Bombie and the Peak, making it a favourite among experienced surfers. 
  3. Bingin Beach: Hidden along the Bukit Peninsula, Bingin Beach attracts with its consistent barrels suitable for advanced surfers. While the break proves challenging, intermediate surfers find it appealing during certain tides. The locale is also equipped with various dining and accommodation options.


Continue reading for our comprehensive list of the 21 best surf spots in Bali! 

1. Kuta Beach

Silhouette of man holding surfboard walking on Kuta beach during sunset

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A renowned surfing destination in Bali, Kuta Beach stretches over 2.5 km between Legian to the north and Tuban to the south. While Kuta sometimes gets a bad rap due to its crowds and occasional disorderly tourist behaviour, the beach is a fantastic place to learn to surf due to its mild waves and abundance of surf schools offering detailed lessons. The beach break here offers waves that are easy to handle, with both left and right directions, accommodating various surfing styles.

The ideal surfing conditions at Kuta Beach include a southwest swell direction coupled with an east wind direction. Surfers typically find mid-tide to be the best time to catch waves, although the beach offers surfable conditions throughout all tides, with mid- to high tide providing the most favourable wave quality. Typically, the waves at Kuta Beach are gentle, presenting waist-to-knee-high runners that are perfect for beginners.

For those who want to learn for the first time or up their skills, Kuta Beach is home to many surf schools such as Malu Surf School and Daddy & Mom Surf School. These spots provide comprehensive lessons and gear, making surfing accessible and enjoyable for newcomers.

For those planning to surf at Kuta Beach, we recommend visiting early in the morning for the best waves and to avoid peak crowd times. The early hours often provide cleaner and more consistent waves, allowing for a more enjoyable and less crowded surfing session.

Best for: Beginner surfers, consistent surfable conditions

Drawbacks: Overcrowded at times, too easy for experienced surfers


2. Uluwatu

Surfers with surfboard on beautiful beach with high rocks in Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia.

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Located on the southwestern tip of the Bukit Peninsula in Bali, Uluwatu is the most popular surfing area in all of Bali and draws not only experienced surfers but even international surf competitions to the region. The waves at Uluwatu’s many surf breaks are not for the faint-hearted, making it suitable primarily for intermediate to advanced surfers. Expect big, powerful waves, sharp coral reefs and strong currents which require you to exercise caution and be a strong swimmer. Uluwatu’s five main surf peaks are Temples, The Bombie, Outside Corner, The Peak, and Racetrack.

Most of the waves at Uluwatu break from left to right, making it predominantly a left-hand wave spot. Left-hander waves are a type of surf wave that breaks to the left from the surfer's perspective when facing the shore. The best surfing conditions in Uluwatu are met when the wind blows from the southeast, with the ideal swell direction coming from the southwest. These conditions combine to create the perfect setting for the groundswells that Uluwatu is famous for.

Uluwatu's popularity among surfers comes with its drawbacks, particularly the crowds. The area attracts top surfers from around the globe, resulting in fierce competition, especially during smaller swells. 

There are plenty of places to eat and drink in Uluwatu after a long morning or afternoon out on the waves. Some of the best Uluwatu restaurants include the Outside Corner cafe (which has a skate bowl!), and Lucky Fish, a casual seafood restaurant which offers fresh seafood and catches of the day, with tables right on the beach. Making things even more convenient for surfers and their companions, parking in Uluwatu is available at reasonable rates, with spots for scooters and cars throughout the day.

Best for: Experienced surfers, and enthusiasts of reef breaks.

Drawbacks: Not suitable for beginners due to strong currents and sharp reefs.


3. Bingin Beach

Wave breaking from water at Bingin Bali Indonesia

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Situated on Bali's Bukit Peninsula, Bingin Beach is a hidden gem surf spot compared to its well-known neighbours like Kuta and Uluwatu. Ideal for advanced surfers, Bingin Beach offers some of the most challenging breaks in Bali. However, intermediate surfers enjoy this spot too, especially during mid to high tide. 

Bingin's waves are known for their precision and consistency, often forming perfect barrels that don’t close out, attracting surfers looking to experience the thrill of a tube ride. The wave itself is characterised by a quick take-off that demands precise positioning to avoid missing the wave or wiping it out on the shallow reef. The best conditions at Bingin occur during the dry season from May to October, with offshore winds from the east and southwest swells producing the best waves.

Bingin offers an amazing range of amenities for surfers and visitors. Among the beachfront dining options, Fisherman's Club stands out, known for its delicious salads, rice, and noodle bowls. Plus, there are plenty of places to stay nearby, which are great for making friends to head out on the waves with. The Bingin Beach Villas' Bungalow Resort, for example, offers comfortable stays close to the beach, complete with restaurants and private parking.

Best for: Advanced surfers seeking high-performance and challenging waves.

Drawbacks: Not suitable for beginner surfers due to the quick take-off and shallow reef; the reef base poses a risk of injury, particularly at low tide.


4. Padang Padang 

Surfer riding big green wave at Padang Padang beach, Bali, Indonesia

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Located between Bingin and Uluwatu, Padang Padang Beach is part of Bali's iconic southern peninsula surf circuit. Known for its challenging waves, Padang Padang Lefts presents an advanced-level surf spot that attracts surfers worldwide. On the flip side, Padang Padang Rights, affectionately dubbed Baby Padang, offers a gentler alternative. Baby Padang is a haven for novices at waist-to-head high conditions, featuring an accessible channel for easy paddle-outs (a rarity in Bali's typically unyielding surf). The gentle waves, combined with the right-hand break, make Baby Padang a perfect training ground for beginners in Bali.

Optimal conditions at Padang Padang arise with southeast winds and southwest groundswells, ideally surfed around mid-tide. However, its global renown means Padang Padang becomes densely crowded, especially when conditions align, often leading to tension among surfers vying for the perfect wave. While not an infallible strategy, early mornings are often the best time to beat the crowds and catch the best surfing conditions in Bali.

Padang Padang is well-equipped for surfers and casual visitors, with ample parking across from the beach ensuring a hassle-free visit. 

Best for: Advanced surfers ready to tackle the Padang Padang Lefts; Beginners looking to practise in more forgiving conditions at Baby Padang. 

Drawbacks: The spot becomes exceedingly crowded.


5. Dreamland

Surfer riding waves at Dreamland Beach, Bali

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Next to Bingin Beach lies Dreamland, a beach and surf spot in Bali's Bukit peninsula. Sometimes called New Kuta Beach, Dreamland boasts lush vegetation, sandy cliffs,clear water, and big waves. One of the highlights of Dreamland is that, depending on the swell size, it’s suitable for beginners, intermediates and advanced surfers, with lessons and guiding available. At low tide, it presents a swift left-breaking open face and a fleeting right shoulder off the peak. One aspect that makes Dreamland special in comparison to other spots in Bali is that it breaks over a blend of submerged reefs and sand, thus obviating the necessity for donning rock booties. 

One of the best things about Dreamland is that it offers convenience for surfers and other visitors. Parking, for example, is quite cheap, costing around 5,000 IDR (~$0.50 AUD). Transportation to Dreamland is a breeze for tourists since there are buses from the resorts to the beach. As a result, expect a lot of tourists! After a long day of surfing, hungry surfers often head to one of the beachside eateries to enjoy some food, a cocktail and a stunning sunset view. 

Best for: Surfers of all ability levels

Drawbacks: The amount of tourists looking for a great picture and a relaxing day at the beach might affect your surfing experience.


6. Impossibles

Lone surfer at impossibles, Bali

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Named for its challenging nature, Impossibles Beach is tailored for advanced-level surfers only. Characterised by fast and formidable waves, Impossibles is inaccessible during high tide but becomes an exhilarating experience during mid to low tide, particularly for professionals seeking a thrilling ride. Renowned for its long lines and impeccable surf conditions, Impossibles Beach appears to defy conventional expectations. Divided into three sections, the absence of strong currents further enhances its appeal for surfers. The best time to visit Impossibles is during the dry season (May to October). 

Ideal conditions for surfing at Impossibles Beach involve double overhead waves and moderate offshore winds. The beach is accessible via Padang Padang or Bingin by paddle, or during low tide, a walk across the reef is possible. 

Best for: Advanced surfers looking for challenging waters and an unforgettable experience.

Drawbacks: Impossible to access during high tide, exhausting due to its fast and strong waves. 


7. Green Bowls

View of Green Bowls Beach, Bali, from above,  featuring a stunning aerial view of some tourists sunbathing on a beautiful beach bathed by a turquoise rough sea during sunset

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Green Bowls, located in the serene surroundings of the southern Bukit Peninsula, offers a tranquil spot in Bali for surfing enthusiasts amidst its white-sand beach and encircling cliffs.

Easily accessible, Green Bowls features the primary wave breaking to the right, cascading along the curvature of the reef and into a clearly defined channel. Here, surfers easily paddle out through the channel and around the reef. During higher tides, riders catch the white water across the reef and into the lagoon, concluding with a paddle to the beach. Conversely, lower tides sometimes need a brief walk across part of the reef to reach the lagoon, followed by a paddle to shore.

Benefiting from offshore winds, particularly in the infrequent northerly wind, mornings offer optimal conditions at Green Bowls. However, caution and wearing appropriate safety gear is advised due to the potential for strong currents. Additionally, mindful attention is needed at reef breaks, and take into consideration that tiger shark sightings have been reported in the vicinity.

Best for: Easy access and unique winds in this area.

Drawbacks: Tiger sharks, strong currents and reef breaks make this spot a challenging one for intermediate and advanced surfers.


8. Canggu 

Aerial view of  surfers in Canggu, Bali

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Situated in the southwestern region of Bali, Canggu is a popular destination among both local surfers and tourists alike. Offering panoramic views and breathtaking sunsets, this black-sand beach serves as an ideal setting for beginners and intermediate surfers seeking to enhance their skills, partake in surfing lessons, and ensure safety in the water.  While it can get a bit crowded at times, this only serves as evidence of the inviting atmosphere of this spot.

The wave conditions in Canggu vary, influenced by factors such as tide, wind, and swell direction, so it’s best to check the conditions before hitting the waves. You have to be careful with the reef breaks and avoid surfing too close to them.

Teeming with beachfront bars and cosy coffee shops, Canggu beckons as an inviting destination for those embarking on their first surfing endeavours, offering a youthful and relaxed environment.

Best for: A complete surfing experience for beginners and intermediate surfers alike.

Drawbacks: At times too crowded; wind and swell directions could be discouraging.


9. Echo Beach (Pantai Batu Mejan)

Surfers on Echo Point Beach at Sunset

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Formerly known as Pantai Batu Mejan, Echo Beach is a surf-friendly spot a mere 50-minute journey from Bali’s Denpasar Airport. Known for its youthful vibe, Echo Beach offers a medium-power reef break with rides ranging from 50 to 80 metres.

The waves at Echo Beach predominantly come from the southwest and are best surfed with a northeastern wind, particularly from May to October, when conditions are most favourable in Bali. Ideal for intermediate surfers, Echo Beach provides consistent surf with a channel on the right side for easier entry and exit. When the tide is high, you have the opportunity to execute several turns and occasionally experience a brief barrel right at the start of your ride. However, caution is advised as the seabed is littered with dead reefs and rocks, making the area dangerous as the tide recedes. 

Just a few steps from Echo Beach, The Surf Motel offers a tranquil retreat in Bali while remaining close to the action of Echo Beach, shopping, and dining, ensuring a balanced experience between tourism and surf.

Best for: Intermediate surfers seeking consistent waves, those who enjoy reef breaks with moderate power.

Drawbacks: Risky for beginners due to reef and rock seabed, crowded during high tide and optimal conditions.


10. Suluban (Blue Point)

man surfing on sea waves at Suluban Beach during daytime

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Suluban Beach is a beautiful coral beach located at Uluwatu south part of Bali known for its steep cliffs and great surf waves. Known as Blue Point, Suluban Beach is celebrated for its stunning coral shores, impressive cliffs, and powerful swells and barrels.

Blue Point features a unique layout with a secluded cove accessible by stairs and a cave leading to the "Hidden Beach”. This smaller spot is a calm bay surrounded by greenery and cliffs, ideal for those who love to stay away from the crowds. Known for its world-class left-hand break, the Hidden Beach at Suluban is a favourite among surfers visiting Bali. But be careful. Timing the tides is crucial at Suluban, as high tides sometimes submerge the beach and make cave passages challenging. 

Beyond the amazing scenery and left-hand breaks, the area near Suluban is equipped with facilities including rental shacks, surf schools, and local eateries perched atop the cliffs. A popular activity after surfing is visiting Single Fin bar above Suluban to enjoy breathtaking sunsets.

Best for: Experienced surfers looking for world-class left-hand breaks; those seeking scenic spots with a mix of surfing and relaxation.

Drawbacks: Not suitable for beginners due to the powerful waves and tricky tides.

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11. Balangan Beach

Surfers riding waves at Balangan Beach, Bali

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Balangan Beach is a white sandy beach located on the southwest coast of the Bukit Peninsula in Uluwatu, Bali. Balangan is mostly suitable for beginner and intermediate surfers, especially during mid to high tides.

Balangan is known for its left-hand reef break that offers long and regular waves. While the reef's flat nature means waves rarely barrel, they tend to become quite powerful under the right swell conditions. Optimal surfing at Balangan happens with a combination of a Southwest swell and an East-southeast offshore wind.

The waves at Balangan Beach are generally fast, presenting a perfect chance for surfers to work on their speed and technique. While a typical ride might cover about 50 metres, on exceptional days, the waves occasionally stretch across the entire reef, creating an exhilarating experience.

Early mornings at Balangan see fewer crowds, making it an ideal time for surfing. However, as with many reef breaks, surfers are advised to be cautious of the sharp coral, especially during low tides. Post-surf, the beach's warungs offer the perfect spot to relax and refuel with local delicacies, fresh coconut water, and cold beers, all while soaking in the stunning coastal views of Bali.

Best for: Beginner to intermediate surfers, and those seeking scenic, less crowded waves.

Drawbacks: The reef is dangerous at low tide


12. Medewi

A local surfer trims down the line of an open wave at Medewi, Bali

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Located along Bali's southern coast, Medewi Beach is a serene two-kilometre stretch of black sand fronting the gentle waves of the Indian Ocean. Unlike the more challenging surf spots of Bali, Medewi is known for its softer, more forgiving left-hand point break that runs over a boulder bottom.

Medewi's waves, known for their length, roll on for over 800 metres on a good day, providing one of the longest rides in Bali. The wave is particularly accommodating for longboarders and beginners, offering a slow and steady ride that's excellent for honing surfing skills like cutbacks. Medewi is a less crowded surf destination that stands apart from Bali's more popular spots due to its remote location and the relaxed atmosphere that pervades the area. However, caution is advised during entry and exit as navigating the boulder-strewn beach is tricky, especially with slippery rocks and barnacles.

Medewi is best visited during the dry season from May to October when the conditions are most favourable for surfing in Bali. However, the wet season has its appeal as well, as it presents mushier, smaller waves suitable for novices.

Best for: Beginners, and those seeking less crowded waves for a more relaxed surfing experience.

Drawbacks: Remote location makes access more challenging.


13. Nusa Dua Beach

Distant view of male surfer riding waves at Nusa Dua Beach, Bali, Indonesia

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Situated 40 km south of Denpasar, Nusa Dua is renowned for its contrasting surf experiences suitable for surfers of all ages and levels. The coastline offers calm waters close to shore, especially for surfers travelling with children due to its soft sandy bottom. However, surfers looking for excitement find Bali's biggest waves far from the shore, requiring either a long paddle or a quick boat trip to get there. 

The Nusa Dua area gets its waves mainly from far-off swells coming from the south-southwest, and its coral seabed creates waves that go both left and right. Surfing conditions are most favourable during the summer, particularly in January, when the chances of encountering clean, surfable waves are highest. 

Besides surfing, Nusa Dua is a hub for family-friendly water sports like jet-skiing and banana boating and boasts a variety of clean beachside dining options. Additionally, the area is home to some of the most luxurious hotels in Bali, such as the Mulia Resort and Sofitel Bali, all of which have top-notch restaurants.

Best for: Families seeking safe surfing conditions and experienced surfers looking for large waves.

Drawbacks: Nusa Dua tends to get a bit crowded due to its popularity among families.


14. Serangan

Surfer riding a wave in Serangan, Bali

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Located on the southeastern coast of Serangan Island, Serangan Beach is best known for its white sandy shores and versatile reef break waves that cater to both left and right surf directions. Serangan is a hidden gem in Bali that remains relatively quiet due to its isolated position, making it an ideal spot for surfers looking for less crowded conditions. At Serangan, surfers enjoy a wide range of wave sizes, from waist to double overhead, regardless of the tide, and find the best surfing conditions with north-to-west offshore winds.

The wave consistency and the ability to choose between left and right-hand waves make Serangan a top surf point in Bali. Currently, access to these prime surf spots is limited to paddling from the beach, as the road previously used is now closed. However, the quality of the waves and the beauty of Serangan Beach make the paddling worth it!

Apart from the excellent surf, Serangan Beach is a peaceful retreat from busier locations, providing a tranquil environment for visitors. Entry to the beach is free, offering an economical day out in Denpasar with free parking available. 

Best for: Surfers seeking a quiet spot with consistent waves.

Drawbacks: Limited access to the surf spots due to closed roads and potential challenges for those unfamiliar with reef breaks.


15. Berawa Beach

Berawa beach in Canggu, Bali Indonesia.

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Berawa Beach, situated along the Canggu coastline, is one of the less frequented beaches and surf spots in Bali. The beach accommodates all tide conditions and typically experiences a south-to-southwest swell ranging from 0.3 to 1.5 metres. Its unique combination of sand and volcanic reef makes it a very special place to visit during your stay in Bali.

Surfers at Berawa are able to enjoy a reliable beach break with peaks forming randomly across the shoreline, perfect for days when the beach is crowded. The waves vary, offering exciting rides and occasional barrels during larger swells, while smaller days present more gentle waves suitable for all levels. To the north lies a lower-quality reef, offering a steep, sometimes barreling take-off, best navigated during lower tides for those ready for a challenge. Meanwhile, the southern reef at Berawa delivers fast, barreling right-handers under the right swell and tide.

While the presence of the local beach club adds a luxurious twist to the beach scene, we encourage visitors to support the smaller local vendors along the beach to help preserve the traditional beach culture in Bali.

Best for: Surfers seeking a quieter alternative to Bali's busier beaches.

Drawbacks: Inconsistent quality of the reef breaks and the potential overcrowding.


16. Batu Bolong Beach

a couple of people walk on the beach carrying surfboards at Batu Bolong Beach

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Batu Bolong Beach in Bali is located at the end of Batu Bolong Street, opposite Old Man's Beach Bar & Restaurant in the Canggu area. Batu Bolong has a volcanic bottom and peaks that extend for over 100 metres across a reef that's friendly for beginners. Due to the wave's gentle nature, Batu Bolong is a favoured spot for longboarders seeking leisurely rides on its long walls.

Batu Bolong Beach is accessible throughout all tides, welcoming swells from the south to southwest direction ranging from 0.3 to 1.5 metres. While the waves at Batu Bolong are generally soft, they often gain some energy during lower tides. Given its mellow characteristics, the beach is a magnet for a diverse group of surfers travelling around Bali, which means it gets quite crowded.

For the best conditions, aim to surf at Batu Bolong early in the morning when the water is still glassy, or right after a storm before the wind intensifies. Entry and exit are facilitated via channels located to the north or south of the reef, with the northern channel being preferable when the swell is significant.

Best for: Beginner to intermediate surfers, longboarders, and those seeking a large area to practice with forgiving waves.

Drawbacks: The main challenges are the crowds, especially given the mix of skill levels.


17. Nyang Nyang Beach

an aerial view of Nyang Nyang beach and a forested area

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Nyang Nyang Beach is a secluded, 1.5-km white sand beach at Bali's southern tip. Nyang Nyang is surrounded by awe-inspiring cliffs and accessed via a lengthy descent through verdant terrain.

The surf at Nyang Nyang consists of short, powerful right-handers breaking over coral, suitable for small swells and high tides. Due to its direct exposure to the Indian Ocean, the waves at Nyang Nyang here are forceful and unpredictable, emerging from deep waters to form challenging walls and occasional barrels. Given the height and unpredictability of the waves in the area, the Nyang Nyang spot is recommended for intermediate to advanced surfers. Ideal surf conditions are best during mid-to-high tides, with waves ranging from waist height to slightly overhead. 

Nyang Nyang's remoteness and the physical effort required to reach it means fewer crowds, providing a peaceful alternative to the bustling Uluwatu in Bali. Access involves descending around 500 steps down a steep cliff, crossing open fields, and avoiding natural obstacles like cow paddies to reach the surf spot located about 100m up the beach to the right.

Best for: Intermediate to advanced surfers seeking seclusion and a challenging break.

Drawbacks: Difficult access due to the long descent and remote location.


18. Seminyak Beach

The beach at Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia

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Seminyak, the cosmopolitan heart of Bali, is a beach town located north of Legian and Kuta in South Bali. Unlike many of Bali's reef breaks, Seminyak Beach features a sand-bottom break, making it more susceptible to changes in conditions such as size, swell direction, and currents.

The waves at Seminyak Beach are generally suitable for beginners, offering both left and right breaks. As one of the island's more popular surfing spots for all levels, Seminyak tends to attract crowds. As with most spots in Bali, the best surfing conditions in Seminyak are found during the dry season, from May to October. 

When planning a visit to Seminyak, it’s crucial to choose accommodation with easy beach access, as not all properties provide direct routes despite appearing close to the shoreline. Mapping out their path to the beach beforehand helps visitors save time and avoid any inconvenience.

Best for: Beginner surfers and those looking for a versatile, sandy beach break.

Drawbacks: Seminyak is often crowded and the wave conditions are highly dependent on the weather and tides.


19. Jimbaran

Beach and Sea, drone view of a resorts at Jimbaran Beach, Bali.

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Jimbaran is a small fishing village in southern Bali, known for its calm waters and gentle waves. The beach break in Jimbaran is sheltered and only becomes suitable for surfing under specific conditions, with the dry season from May to October being the optimal time for waves. Ideal surf at Jimbaran Beach happens with west swells and offshore wind from the east-southeast, offering conditions that are particularly favourable for beginners due to the beach's light waves.

The beaches of Jimbaran offer both left and right waves, with clean groundswells predominating. Despite the ideal setup, Jimbaran is rarely crowded, offering one of the most relaxed surf experiences in Bali. 

Besides its surf, Jimbaran is celebrated for its culinary scene, particularly seafood. The village boasts numerous stalls and restaurants like Shrimpis and Bonito Fish Bar, making it a must-visit for food enthusiasts as well as surfers in Bali.

Best for: Beginner surfers and those looking for a quiet, relaxed surfing experience.

Drawbacks: The need for specific conditions for good waves.


20. Old Man's

a person holding a surfboard walking into the ocean at Old Man's

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Located in Canggu, Old Man's is one of Bali’s most well-known surf breaks. Distinct from the nearby Old Man’s Restaurant and Bar, this spot is ideal for surfers who have outgrown beginner waves but still find more advanced spots too daunting. Just a five-minute walk north from Batu Bolong or a ten-minute drive from places like Wave House surf camp, Old Man’s is particularly suited for longboarders due to its manageable waves that are not overly fast, providing a decent introduction to reef break surfing in Bali.

The best conditions for surfing at Old Man's include a southwest swell of 1-2.5 metres.and northeast winds. The area features supportive currents that assist surfers in reaching the lineup, although returning often requires significant paddling. Right-hand waves form barrels but tend to close quickly, so staying near the foam is advisable for a longer ride. The lefts, in contrast, offer longer, more consistent rides that are strong enough to carry surfers all the way to the shore.

Accessing Old Man's involves paddling out via channels on either side of the reef, and exiting is typically straightforward, with surfers riding over the reef at any tide before paddling back through the channel. While Old Man's is one of the most coveted surfing spots in Bali, patience and caution are key, since the main reef tends to get quite crowded.

Best for: Intermediate surfers and longboarders

Drawbacks: Main reef gets crowded; extra effort is required to paddle back against the current.


21. Gado Gado

Aerial view of Seminyak Beach, Bali

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Gado Gado is situated on the west coast at Seminyak Beach, known for its youthful, lively atmosphere. Gado Gado is characterised by its beach break waves, meaning the surf breaks over a sandy seabed rather than rock or coral, making it one of the best surf spots for beginners in Bali.

The waves at Gado Gado cater to both right and left-handed surfers, offering variety in their breaks. The ideal surfing conditions here range from 0.3 to 1.8 metres in height, suitable for mid to high tides or during the transition from high to mid-tide. This variance ensures that the waves at Gado-Gado are enjoyed by a range of surfers, from beginners looking for small, manageable waves to more experienced surfers seeking out larger swells.

Those opting to surf at Gado Gado must be aware of two hazards. The area is known for its strong currents, which is a challenge for less experienced surfers. Additionally, the beach sometimes becomes crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons, leading to a more competitive environment in the water. Still, Gado Gado is one of the most versatile surfing spots in Bali

Best for: Surfers of all levels due to the variety of wave sizes and directions

Drawbacks: Strong currents and overcrowding.


When is the best time of year to surf in Bali?

The best time of year to surf in Bali is generally from May to October, during the dry season. This period is known for consistent swells from the Indian Ocean, solid waves, and generally clean conditions with offshore winds. The favourable weather conditions during the dry season in Bali make the period especially favourable for experienced surfers looking to catch ideal barrels at famous spots like Uluwatu and Padang Padang on the western Bali coast.


What is the best place to surf in Bali for beginners?

The best place to surf in Bali for beginners is Kuta Beach, due to its gentle waves and the presence of many surf schools that provide comprehensive training. Firstly, the surfing conditions at Kuta Beach are exceptionally favourable for beginners. Secondly, Kuta Beach is abundant with surf schools like Malu Surf School and Daddy & Mom Surf School, which cater specifically to beginners. 

Kuta beach features a 2.5 km stretch of soft sand and a beach break that offers manageable waves in both left and right directions. These waves are typically waist-to-knee-high, especially during mid- to high tide, making them ideal for novice surfers. 

Local Kuta surf schools offer lessons that include everything from basic surfing techniques to safety in the water, providing a comprehensive learning experience.


What are the best hidden spots to surf in Bali?

The two best hidden spots to surf in Bali are Nyang Nyang Beach and Medewi, both situated on Bali’s southern coast. More information on each is given below.  

  • Nyang Nyang Beach: Nyang Nyang Beach is located at Bali's southern tip, known for its secluded and pristine 1.5-km stretch of white sand. It's surrounded by cliffs, accessed via a significant descent through lush terrain, making it less crowded.
  • Medewi: Medewi is a serene two-kilometre stretch of black sand fronting gentle waves, found along Bali's southern coast. Unlike Bali's more challenging surf spots, Medewi is hardly ever crowded, offering a peaceful retreat from busier locations. 


Is it safe to surf in Bali?

Yes, surfing in Bali is generally safe. Bali’s ocean wildlife is not typically a threat to humans. While there are reef sharks in Bali, they typically avoid human contact and are not a threat. However, surfers need to be careful in order to avoid collisions at crowded surfing spots, reef cuts and other injuries. 

Bali's popular surf spots become quite crowded, especially during peak seasons, which increases the risk of accidental run-ins with other surfers. This often leads to injuries from surfboards or from hitting the water forcefully. In addition, the coral reefs, while providing some of the world's best surf breaks, also pose a risk. Sharp coral formations sometimes cause cuts and other injuries if surfers fall or are pushed onto them by waves. Wearing protective gear such as reef booties helps minimise these risks.


Are there any recommended surf schools or instructors in Bali?

Yes, two frequently recommended schools for surf instruction in Bali are Malu Surf School at Kuta Beach and Bali Surf Camp, which hosts instructors in Uluwatu, Seminyak, and Canggu. These schools are renowned for their comprehensive training programs, designed to cater to surfers of all levels, from beginners to advanced. The schools provide all necessary equipment, including surfboards suited to various skill levels, leashes, and rash guards, ensuring a safe and comfortable experience for all learners.


Are there any surf etiquette rules to be aware of in Bali?

Yes, there are a number of surf rules in Bali. The main rule is to respect the right of way, ensuring you don’t drop in on other surfers. Another unspoken surf rule in Bali is to engage in clear communication with other surfers so they know your surfing level and style. 

The right of way indicates that the surfer closest to the peak of the wave has priority, which helps avoid collisions and ensures fair turn-taking. Communication is essential; surfers should verbally signal their intentions or inquire about others' directions to prevent accidents. Respecting local surfers is crucial as they are familiar with the unique conditions and customs of their home breaks - and getting in their way too much can cause conflict. 


What are the typical wave conditions in Bali?

 The typical wave conditions in Bali are characterised by big, consistent swells. During the Bali’s rainy season (November to April) , there are more powerful swells but with increased hazards like strong currents and debris. During the dry season (May to October), the clear skies and strong offshore winds contribute to the formation of high-quality, consistent surf conditions, making it the prime time for surfing in Bali. This period is characterised by the arrival of consistent swells from the Indian Ocean, providing excellent opportunities for surfing, particularly on the island's west coast. Conversely, the rainy season presents larger and more powerful swells, making this period an ideal time for advanced surfers. However, surfers must be cautious of the increased risks from October to April, such as stronger currents and waterborne debris from rain-induced runoffs.


How easy is it to rent surfboards in Bali, and what is the cost?

Renting surfboards in Bali is very easy and affordable, with most boards costing less than 200,000 IDR (~$20 AUD) per day. Surf shops are plentiful in Bali, especially along the beaches of popular surf spots such as Kuta and Padang Padang. 

The abundance of surf shops and schools in Bali makes it easy to find various types of surfboards including beginner boards, shortboards, longboards, and fish boards depending on your skill level and the type of waves you wish to tackle. Prices for surfboard rentals in Bali are quite reasonable, generally starting from less than 100,000 IDR (~$10 AUD) for a 2-hour rental and around 200,000 IDR (~$20 AUD) for a whole-day rental.

What is the water temperature like in Bali, and is a wetsuit needed?

In Bali, the water temperature is warm year-round due to its tropical climate, typically ranging between 27°C and 30°C. As a result, wetsuits are not often needed to surf in Bali. The coldest month in the region is usually July, while January is typically the warmest. Given these warm conditions, most surfers in Bali find that board shorts or a rash guard are sufficient for surfing. Unlike with surfing, a wetsuit is typically needed when diving in Bali. Because scuba divers go deeper into the water where it is colder, a wet suit of at least 3mm is typically required, or up to 5mm for deeper dives. Thankfully, both surfers and divers don’t need to worry too much about being bothered by local marine life in Bali.


Flights to Bali

If Bali's waves are calling your name, it's time to book your flights! Virgin Australia offers direct flights to Bali from major Australian cities, including:

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