Bali Surf – A Bali Surfing Guide

As you probably know, Bali is a paradise for surfers, and its waves attract the surf community from around the world.

With its crystal clear waters, perfect weather, and consistent waves, it’s no wonder that the island is one of the most popular destinations. 

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, Bali has something for everyone, from long and mellow waves to world-class breaks.

You can see surfers on the waters at almost any time of day, particularly along the shores of Canggu – right on our doorstep, outside FINNS Beach Club.

Want to know more about surfing in Bali, check out our guide below, and if you want to try a lesson or perfect your skills, sign up for our classes and course at FINNS Surf Academy.

bali surf a bali surfing guide by finns beach club

Surf Lessons in Bali – FINNS Surf Academy

Bali is an awesome place to learn how to surf and is home to several surf camps.

First-timers will love the classes at FINNS Surf Academy located in the heart of Canggu.

The academy is open to beginners and intermediate surfers and all ages can join the sessions.

Book a one-on-one lesson with experienced instructors who will introduce you to the sport and hone your skills so you can confidently ride the waves.

If group sessions are more your style, FINNS Surf Academy also hosts small group classes. 

3 Days – Learn to Surf Program

First-timers and novice surfers can learn how to surf in just three days with a Learn to Surf Program designed to take you through the basics, gain the proper technique, and correct your form through video analysis.

You’ll have firsthand experience in the pools at FINNS during your sessions, as well as go on 2 surf trips as part of the program.

2 Days – Fearless Surf and Survival Program

Seasoned surfers can join the two-day Fearless Surf and Survival Program for a deeper dive into surfing techniques.

The intensive sessions spanning 6 hours will prepare you to tackle bigger waves and practice mind-body connection.

You’ll master how to hold your breath for long periods and by the end, you’ll feel safe and fearless when you ride.

It includes lunch and a fitness pass to FINNS Recreation Club , so you get a lot of bang for your buck.

surf lessons for kids bali. kids surf program at finns bali

Surf Lessons for Kids Bali.  Kids Surf Program

If the little ones are tagging along, don’t worry because they can try a hand at surfing too.

The Kids Surf Program at FINNS is led by world-class surfing coaches with years of experience.

Children will learn safely while having fun, amidst the shimmering waters of Bali. 

The program is open to kids aged 18 to 14 years old and surfboards and transportation to and from the beach are included with the package. They’ll be surfing superstars in no time!

Guided Surf Trip

Every weekend, the surfing academy hosts a guided surf trip where kids and beginners can be supervised by coaches as they paddle out and ride the waves.

Sharpen the skills you’ve learned at the academy and get more comfortable with a surfboard with these guided trips

Learn To Surf In Bali

The beaches of Bali aren’t just for lounging and swimming. Once you have a taste of Bali surfing, you may find it harder to leave the island.

And if you don’t have the chops yet to take on the long rides and currents with confidence, drop by FINNS Surf Academy anytime.

Contact us for more information on our surfing programs and upcoming surf retreats.

bali surf spots for beginners

Bali Surf Spots for Beginners

The best spots to learn to surf in Bali are along the west coast, starting from Kuta, going up past Canggu and to Echo Beach.

Kuta/ Legian Beach

Kuta Beach is another popular destination for surfing.

Its white sand beaches attract locals and tourists alike due to its predictable wave conditions and good swells.

You can expect both right-handed and left-handed waves and they can occasionally produce some heavy thick-lipped surf, but not enough to put you off.

Beginners will like the fact that it’s only a short paddle to the break from shore and the waves tend to be quite soft on the lower body.

It can get crowded though as it’s a well-known tourist location with lots of Bali surf outlets and restaurants close by.

Berawa Beach

This spot doesn’t get as crowded as the others, because the waves aren’t always favourable.

This is one of the surf spots on the island that is very popular with the local surf camps as the beach breaks provide sloppy waves that aren’t overly powerful.

You can catch right and left-handed waves here and the only real hazard is the shore break at high tide.

Everyone should be able to give this one of our surf spots a try, with mellow waves that are close to the shores. 

surf lessons in bali finns surf academy

Batu Bolong Beach

Canggu’s most popular spot draws surfers of all skill levels, from sunrise until the last light of day.

As it is the most popular, it can get very crowded, but the waves are long and mellow and perfect for learning. 

Medewi Beach

You will need to go for a pretty long drive to get to Medewi but the payoff is a spot where there are no crowds.

However, the beach itself is pretty rocky and you will need to ensure you wear some protective footwear.

The reefs here are also very sharp and you don’t want to get cut.

The point break here can offer 1-2 meters waves and this is going to provide a fairly stiff challenge for newbies, but by the time you feel confident at Medewi Beach, you will be ready for intermediate-level surf spots elsewhere on the island.

Gado Gado

This spot to the West of Seminyak beach offers a very easy beach break with both right-handed and left-handed waves.

It’s the ideal location to master your basic skills with the best waves being between 30 centimeters and 2 meters high.

The only downside here really is how popular the place is and you may need to wait a while before you can hit the waves, but that’s fine, it’s a lovely place to be.

Best Bali Surf Spots for Experienced Surfers

Bali’s world-famous waves that bring talent from all over the world are for more experienced and advanced riders. 

Echo Beach

Echo Beach offers three excellent surf spots for intermediate surfers and advanced-level surfers.

The best and easiest to find spot at Echo Beach is right in front of the Sate Bali restaurant (you can pay to park there).

Use the channel right in front of the reef to paddle out and make sure to keep an eye out for boils at low tide (rocks occasionally poke out through the water).

Be aware that there’s no board rental here and you will need to bring your own to surf.

Surfer girl

Uluwatu

This is one of the most famous surf spots in Bali, with some of the longest and most challenging waves on the island.

The waves at Uluwatu break over a coral reef and can reach up to 8 feet (2.5 meters) high.

The beach gets pretty crowded as there are some truly epic barrels to be had when the waves pick up a bit.

You will need some reef booties to keep your feet safe as Uluwatu has a fairly sharp shallow reef that can tear up your skin if you’re not careful.

Make sure to check the tide charts too and keep an eye out for tidal changes, otherwise, you’re going to be in Padang Padang (our next beach) without expecting to be.

The best thing about the lineup at Uluwatu is the awesome views of the Hindu temple on the cliffs overlooking the beach.

Beginner surfers might find Uluwatu a bit too challenging but intermediate surfers and experienced surfers are going to love the reef breaks in this part of the Bukit Peninsula.

There are also some amazing hotels in Uluwatu to stay in while you surf. 

Suluban

Suluban is usually called Blue Point by the advanced surfers who frequent it.

The place has some genuinely unique appeal as the beach is narrow and attractive and is considered a fantastic place for sunbathing.

Getting onto the sand is hard work as you need to follow a stone staircase that passes through some constrained rocky openings that are going to need you to bend with your board.

In fact, “Suluban” means “crouch down” in Balinese and you will know why by the time you hit the beach here.

You can get some world-class waves on this beach though and it’s one of the best surf spots in Bali if you’re seeking out powerful swells and barrels that are among the most consistent of any surf spot on the island.

There are some nice cliff-top shacks that serve as equipment rental spots, surf schools and warungs when you’ve finished on this secluded beach.

young male surfer riding in ocean at Nusa Dua Beach, Bali, Indonesia

Padang Padang

Another famous surf spot in Bali, Padang Padang has heavy, barreling waves that are only suitable for expert surfers.

It’s a very easy beach to get to and unlike at Suluban, when you pass through the hollow rock entrance to the beach, you won’t need to do duck down.

Advanced surfers love this beach and they regularly hold top-level International Surfing Events such as the Rip Curl Cup here.

This is because the waves run at an average of 1 meter and above and be warned below the wave breaks, you will find a sharp coral reef and the barrels can push you onto the rocks.

This white sand beach is very popular with surf fans too it can get crowded, especially during the high season and on weekends.

Impossibles

Located in Uluwatu, Impossibles is known for its fast, hollow waves that can reach up to 10 feet (3 meters) high.

It’s a challenging surf spot that requires experience and skill, it’s definitely for intermediate and advanced surfers only.

The long reef break is intimidating in the extreme and there are three take-off zones, two are in the midsection here.

It’s a real challenge to find the surf spots and that means beginner surfers could get in real trouble at Impossibles.

It’s worth tackling this most famous of surf spots in Bali though because it means you’re going to get amazing views over the beach and the coastal rock formations.

Bingin

Bingin Beach is not far from the surf spots of Uluwatu and because it shares the same edge of the island as the Bukit Peninsula, it also shares the same reef breaks.

Barrels at Bingin aren’t quite as tall as the barrels in Uluwatu but otherwise, you can find a consistent wave on the beach breaks if you’re patient.

You will definitely need your tide charts here as high tide and low tide offer very different conditions.

Talk to the local surfers and find out what the lay of the land is like. This is a decent spot for somebody who has just graduated from a local surf camp or intermediate surfers seeking a new challenging wave.

Expect a few more crowds here as the waves are easier to handle than they are in Uluwatu.

Night Surfing 23 of 42

Dreamland Beach

The beach break here is one of the longest left-handers on the island and the Southern swells here can easily reach 2 meters.

The beautiful white sand beach is one of the most attractive around and surfers love to hit up the surf breaks and then spend some time chilling on the sand with a beer afterwards.

More experienced surfers will enjoy the test of their surfing skills around this white sandy beach and beginners and even intermediate surfers will find themselves with plenty of challenges at this one of our favourite surf spots.

Green Bowl Beach

Pantai Green Bowl isn’t the easiest part of Bali to get to as it’s on the Southernmost tip of the island.

There was once an elevator down to the beach, but since the Bali Cliff Resort closed, so did the elevator, which means a long walk down some concrete steps to hit the sand.

Be warned, it’s much harder to go back up again than it is to get down. Watch out for the bat caves around the base of the stairs, they’re a lovely addition to a trip to this beach.

There are rarely any crowds here but that’s because the surf break is highly unpredictable with currents that can easily drag the inexperienced out to sea.

This is one of the surf spots in Bali that absolutely requires a high level of skill to tackle and there’s not likely to be much in the way of help if things go astray here.

Pro surfers are going to be fine, everyone else should enjoy watching them tackle the surf breaks here.

man surfing in bali indonesia kuta beach at sunset

Keramas

Located in Gianyar on Bali’s East Coast, Keramas is known for its long, fast barrels that break over a black sand beach. It’s a high-performance surf spot that’s suitable for experienced surfers.

You can expect the Eastern swells to really pick up and then crash out over a lava reef here.

Waves are fast and right-handed and are pretty much guaranteed to hit 1.5 meters every time.

This beach often hosts major professional tournaments and if you love to watch highly skilled surfers, we can thoroughly recommend heading to Keramas.

Nusa Dua

This stunning resort beach is a great surfing destination during the wet season.

There’s an excellent right-handed reef break and it produces a real variety of waves.

The area is a swell magnet which means you can get much larger waves there than they appear to be when viewed from the beach.

There are strong currents however and it takes an experienced surfer to tackle this area.

Nusa Lembongan

You need to catch a boat from Mushroom Bay to reach the surf breaks in Nusa Lembongan.

The first, named “shipwrecks” is easy to find as you can find the ship that got stuck on the reefs there.

It’s a great place for any standard of surfer to have a good time but it’s fair to say that the best barrels require some real work to master here.

If you want something less challenging try Laceration and Playgrounds, they both break over a shallow reef and are great spots for a beginner to master their art.

Bali Surfing FAQs

Here is our complete guide on everything you need to know about Bali surf today.

What Is The Best Time Of Year To Surf In Bali?

The best time to surf in Bali is during the dry season, which typically runs from May to September.

During this time, Bali experiences consistent swells and offshore winds that create ideal conditions for surfing.

However, this is also the peak tourist season in Bali, which means that the beaches and surf spots can be crowded.

During the wet season or rainy season, from October to April, you can also have good surfing conditions.

Still, the Bali surf forecast can be unpredictable, and the waves can be bigger and more challenging.

What Is The Water Temperature In Bali For Surfing?

The water temperature in Bali for surfing ranges from 26 to 29 degrees Celsius throughout the year.

The water is warm and inviting, so many surfers choose to surf in Bali without a wetsuit.

Do I Need To Bring My Own Surfboard To Bali?

While it’s possible to bring your own surfboard to Bali, it’s not always necessary. You can easily rent or buy a surfboard once you’re on the island.

Many Bali surf shops offer surfboard rentals, and there are plenty of options to choose from, including shortboards, longboards, and funboards.

Rental prices vary depending on the type of board and the length of time you plan to use it.

What Should I Wear When Surfing In Bali?

When surfing in Bali, it’s important to wear appropriate clothing that will keep you comfortable and protected while you’re in the water.

Surfboard shorts or a bikini are the most popular choices for surfing in Bali.

It’s important to choose a pair of board shorts that are comfortable and allow for freedom of movement. Many surfers in Bali also choose to wear a rash guard, which is a tight-fitting shirt that provides protection against the sun, sand, and wax on your surfboard.

Are There Any Local Customs Or Etiquette I Should Be Aware Of When Surfing In Bali?

  • Respect the local surfers: Balinese surfers are known for being friendly and welcoming to visitors, but it’s important to show respect for the local surfers and give them priority on the waves.

  • It is recommended to dress modestly. In Bali, where Hinduism is the predominant religion, it is crucial to dress modestly as a sign of respect for the local customs and traditions. Avoid wearing skimpy swimwear or going shirtless when you’re not in the water.

  • Don’t litter. Bali has a serious problem with plastic pollution, and it’s important to dispose of your trash properly and not leave any litter on the beach or in the water.

  • Follow the rules. Be sure to follow any posted signs or regulations at the surf spots you visit, and be respectful of any local rules or guidelines.

  • Learn some basic Indonesian. While English is widely spoken in Bali, learning some basic Indonesian phrases can go a long way in showing respect for the local culture and community.

By following these local customs and etiquette, you can show respect for the local culture and community while enjoying some of the best Bali surf spots.

Bali Surfing Safety And Risks

It is generally safe to surf in Bali, but like any outdoor activity, particularly one that requires skills and when you are dependent and among nature’s elements, there are risks. 

Some of the risks associated with surfing in Bali include strong currents, sharp reefs, and dangerous marine creatures. To ensure your safety while surfing, it is essential to select surf spots that align with your skill level and be mindful of local conditions, such as tides, swell, and wind.

It’s also important to take basic safety precautions such as wearing a leash, staying hydrated, and applying sunscreen to protect your skin from the strong Bali sun.

Overall, while there are some risks associated with surfing in Bali, by taking the necessary precautions and being aware of the local conditions, you can enjoy a safe and memorable surf experience.

Ask our team at FINNS Surf Academy if you have any questions or would like to sign up for a lesson. And after your morning on day on the waves, join us at FINNS Beach Club to relax with a poolside cocktail or refuel with a snack.