Looking for the best Bali surf spots? From reeling left handers to punchy rights – Uluwatu to Keramas and Medewi. Here’s your full guide to Bali surf spots
There are heaps of incredible Bali surf spots to explore – whether you’re looking to learn to surf, push your skills to the next level or are an experienced surfer dreaming of that perfect wave.
From the long mellow walls of Medewi or the punchy rights of Keramas to the famed barrelling lefts of Uluwatu and Padang Padang – Bali serves up some of the best waves on the planet!
So if you’re on the hunt for the best Bali surf spots for you here’s a rundown of some of the best waves the Island of the Gods has to offer…
Bali Surf Spots – Your Ultimate Guide
Top East Coast Surf Spots (Rainy Season)
Bali is famed as the land of the lefts – but in the rainy season (which runs from October to April) the East coast of the country lights up and there are plenty of right handers to explore…
Lets start off with the most famous of the Bali rights – Keramas.
The fast, punchy right is home of the WSL world tour spots (well it was until they bumped it for G-Land!) and offers up plenty of tubes and puntable air sections.
Certainly not one for beginners, Keramas can hold a solid amount of swell so it’s the spot to head when a big pulse comes through.
Trust me though – it’s much heavier than it looks from the beach or Komune swimming pool!
Green Bowl/Green Ball
Until a few years ago Green Bowl (sometimes call Green Ball) was a hidden gem in Bali, with only those in the know aware of its location.
Another right hander it does break over a pretty sharp and shallow reef so make sure you have your booties packed for a session here.
Again not suitable for beginners, but intermediates will have fun here on a smaller swell. When it does pump though beware of the notoriously strong currents.
This surf area (as opposed to just being a single break) sits in front of the luxury resorts and popular honeymoon villas.
There are plenty of reefs to choose from along this stretch of white sand Bali coastline and it’s also home to a couple of famous big wave spots as well – which are certainly not for the faint hearted.
Sharp, shallow and fast – the right hand peaks of Sanur are for expert surfers only and like many of the surf spots in Bali they can handle their fair amount of swell.
Hold you nerve and you’re in for the ride of your life, but dont expect to get out without a few reef cuts!
Serangan is the other hugely popular wet season surf spot (alongside Keramas) so expect a crowd when it’s on. Unlike most other locations, Serangan offers up a selection of both left and right hand peaks – which means plenty of options for everyone in the water.
No we’re not randomly talking about Sri Lanka the country in (you can find out more about surfing in Sri Lanka here), but the surf spot Sri Lanka – which sits right in front of the Sofitel Hotel in Nusa Dua.
Often referred to as a mirror image of Padang, this right hander offers a quick, technically challenging wave with great barrel potential, so it does also come with a crowd.
Top West Coast Surf Spots (Dry Season)
The most popular time to surf in Bali is during the dry season, which runs from April to October, and offers up the perfect balance of sunshine and consistent swell.
As the weather switches so does the coast and you’ll be heading across to the West Coast to make the most of this time of the year…
Airports (aka Kuta Reef)
Airports or Kuta Reef (whichever you prefer) sits right in the heart of the chaotic party town which started the Bali surf boom.
A short boat ride from the beach it’s split into two distinct deep water reefs either side of the main airport runway. Airport Rights and Airports lefts…with no prize for figuring out which is which!
Best left to high end intermediate and advanced surfers it can be pretty hard to tell how big its breaking from the beach and it can handle a solid amount of swell so dont underestimate it.
Sitting close to the main part of Canggu, Berawa is a pretty mellow affair – offering up a mixture of semi reef and beach breaks with both left and right hand options, great for all levels of surfer.
The main surfing section is in front of Finns Beach Club (check out my full Bali Beach Club Guide here) which means a post surf beer is only a short paddle away – or you can simply kick back and watch the action from the pool.
Often mistaken as the break in front of the famous Canggu bar which has the same name, this peak sits off to the right hand side, more towards Echo Beach and is one of my favourite spots in the area.
A deep reef which offers up some super fun and long rides on the right conditions (I’ve had many over 200m long!) it’s a slightly steeper take off followed by a fun and carveable wall.
When there are lessons running it can be a bit chaotic, so time your session well.
Ideal for longboards and fishes, but dont overlook it when the swell comes in and it jacks up for some shortboard action too.
The main surf break in Canggu, this wave is the one that sits in front of Old Mans and Sandbar. A fun and usually mellow deep reef it’s ideal for beginners and intermediates, but as a result is usually pretty crowded.
When the swell starts to pump this is a super fun and long ride that experienced surfers will also enjoy (included threading through the crowds) and is also a favourite for long boarders too.
It can hold a fair amount of size but when it’s big it’ll usually close out – so if your chasing bigger swells Echo Beach is the better option.
Also be aware of the flat reef in the shallows – which can make getting in and out rather hectic on a low tide, so pick your spot carefully!
Echo Beach sits a few hundred meters up the coast from the main section of Canggu. This spot consists of 2 main breaks – the reef and the beach. Echo Reef is a short but punch left hander, which can offer a few cheeky cover ups.
Echo Beach is again super punch with some cover up sections and offers both left and rights.
With both options be aware of the tide as both can get super shallow and unforgiving on the rocks below!
Probably my favourite wave in Bali – this super long left hander is a dream for goofy footers who aren’t obsessing over barrels at Uluwatu!
Breaking over a rock bottom this wave is a serious leg burner and my longest ride there clocked in at 400m and 49 seconds long – so get ready for some epic rides and equally epic paddles back out!
On smaller days it’s super fun too, but does need a good pulse to get working.
Until only recently it was a bit off the beaten track and you could score empty sessions here, but the words out now and when it pumps be prepared for a crow in the water.
Although many people don’t bother I’d recommend reef boots here as there are plenty of urchins kicking around.
The Bukit Peninsular (Dry Season)
Sitting at the bottom of Bali the Bukit is the epicentre of surfing in Bali – where every corner leads to another world class wave. Surfers from all over the globe flock to the Bukit on the hunt for the wave of their life and many find it too.
Although it can break year round as a rule of thumb the best time to surf the spots in the Bukit is dry season.
Fast, punchy and mechanical – all words to describe Balangan when its working!
This left hand reef works on all tides, but low tide is advanced surfers only as it does get hollow and shallow.
If you want my tip for surfing at Balangan its make sure you keep your speed – you’re going to need it to make it through to the next section and if you do you’ll be on your way to a truly memorable ride!
One of the few waves on the Bukit that offers up options for all levels of surfer, Dreamland does attract a bit of a crowd as a result, but also due to the abundance of luxury hotels and resorts in the area too.
Take your pick of left and rights here (although the left is certainly a longer ride), and hit it at low tide for the best of it.
Perfect for surfers looking to push their comfort zone, but when the swell begins to pump step aside and leave it to the more advanced surfers!
Another beautiful spot along the Bukit and with an incredible walk down the cliffs to get to the white sand beach – Bingin Beach offers up a number of left hand peaks too choose from.
The main left hander at Bingin is a great introduction to surfing on reefs, but because of this the peak can get super crowded.
Don’t let its mellowness fool you either – it can handle some serious size and when it’s pumping it packs a serious punch and hollow sections.
Smaller days are super fun and the backdrop makes for some amazing pictures.
A well names spot – Impossibles looks much easier and friendlier than it actually is!
The fast, hollow barrels of Impossibles are mechanical and when it lines up it’s truly mesmerising to watch.
Get your timing right on a mid to low tide with a swell of over 5 feet and you’ll find yourself paddling into a ride that could easily last over 400m and a wave you’ll never forget.
It might look perfect- but that doesn’t make it an easy wave…expert surfers only!
Paddle, drop, tuck, get spat out – that’s Padang Padangs famous combintaion!
A left hand reef break that is equal in both speed and hollowness it’s also the spot that hosts the Ripcurl Padang Padang Cup due to its world famous barrels.
For beginners and intermediates the inside reef (situated on the right hand side of the beach) can be a great spot to learn and practice on a smaller swell, but when it starts to build this is a place for advanced surfers only.
You thought I’d forgot all about it didn’t you?
Well no Bali surf spot guide is complete without the crown jewel of surfing in Bali – Uluwatu!
There’s not much I can say about Uluwatu that any serious surfer doesn’t already know.
Paddling out through the cave, the importance of speed to get through Racetracks, the barrels that set the bar for the rest of Bali. The place is just legendary!
It goes without saying that it’s high end surfers only – but dont worry if you’re not up to the challenge yet, grab a cold Bintang at one of the warungs or famous Single Fin bar and watch the show from the perfect vantage point.
Best Bali Surf Spots For Beginners
Although a lot of the Bali surf spots in this guide are intermediate and advanced surfers only there are a few spots in Bali that are suitable for beginners and even those learning to surf;
- Canggu – one of the most popular options, due to the towns booming surf tourism industry.
- Kuta – a mellow beach break with some of the cheapest learn to surf options around.
- Seminyak – very similar to Kuta in terms of the waves, but slightly more upmarket and with a price tag to match
- Padang (inside) – on a small swell the inside reef here is another good spot for lessons.
So what does learning to surf in Bali cost? Well if you opt for a local surf coach expect to pay around 350,000IDR ($35AUD, £20, $25USD) for a lesson.
For those who want to opt for an accredited surf school (like Mojo or Kima Surf) but this will be much more expensive at around 700,000IDR ($70AUD, £40, $50USD), so double the price.
What this will however get you is a certified surf coach, decent surf kit and insurance.
Best Bali Surf Spots For Intermediates
Looking to push your surf skills to the next level and want some long rides, reef breaks and size to play with – well intermediate surf spots in Bali are all over the place.
Here are some of the most popular options, but be aware once the swell jacks up many of these become advanced spots’
- Padang (inside)
- Green Bowl
- Kuta Beach
- Kuta Reef (Airports)
- Old Mans
- Echo Beach
- Uluwatu (depending on the swell!)
Best Bali Surf Spots For Advanced Surfers
If you’re an advanced or expert surfer you probably already know the potential that Bali has and that it offers up heaps of world class waves.
But just incase you need a refresher here are some of the highlights…
- Padang Padang
- Sri Lanka
I hope my guide to the best Bali surf spots has helped you piece together your ultimate Indo surf trip! the Island of the Gods throws up some epic waves and is well worth a visit or two!
See you in the lineup!
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