Indonesia, the land of the endless summer and a veritable playground for surfing pro’s and enthusiasts alike. Bali is the hub of Indonesia’s surfing, it’s where it all began, and still today it’s where so many of the surf world’s elite come to catch a wave at their favourite break, shoot a promo video or compete in one of the many world-class surfing competitions that are held on Bali’s shores year after year.
Whether you are a pro or a complete novice, Bali has a wave that’s going to get your heart pumping. Rumour has it that Bali waves were ‘discovered’ by a group of Australian surfers during the 1960s and when they first threw their boards into the water and paddled out towards the horizon something shifted in the world of surfing… a new surfing Mecca was discovered. Whether this is true or not doesn’t really matter, what matters is one way or another Bali has become one of the worlds top surf destinations and for good reason. Indonesia is famous of its perfect waves. Lefts, rights, reef, beach – this little island has it all with perfect peelers in all shapes and sizes as far as the eye can see.
The best season for perfect surf in Bali is during the dry season which falls somewhere between May and September (it’s a fickle beast that dry season, and like swell reports at any beach anywhere in the world, there is never any guarantee of perfection). This season is the most likely to produce a solid ground swell with offshore winds on the West Coast (where Ulu Watu, Medewi and Canggu hold their ground). During the dry season it’s time for offshore winds on the East Coast with still moderate to good conditions for swell (if not a little patchy from time to time). Fighting with the crowds at beaches like Kuta can be a real headache, so sometimes low surf season (dry season) is actually a better way to go, there is always something surfable around and if you have a hire car with some racks on the top, the island is your playground and you can hunt the surf top to bottom and find hidden perfection where you don’t have to share the waves, except maybe with a few dolphin or fishermen…
If you are heading to Bali for a surfing safari there are a few names that just can’t be missed… Ulu Watu is a heaven for surfers but has a tendency to steal a little of your hard grown skin. With spectacular hollow waves breaking over shallow reefs and three separate left handers (the peak, racetracks and the outside corner) you have to spend at least one day out there in the surf before searching for more hidden glories. Shipwreck at Nusa Lembongan has a pretty awesome back-door tube and fast walling sections to get your blood pumping. For a long ride and a true logger’s wave head up north a bit on the West Coast to Medewi for a long, perfect left hander.
Kuta and Legian have a huge host of surf schools which are a perfect place for beginners to start getting the hang of surfing on some of the best waves in the world.
There is a reason thousands of surfers make the trip to Bali each year dragging heavy surfboards along with them in the heat and humidity – Bali and the wet dream it offers is worth every single second…
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