ShareSpace Logo

Surfing safari in Bali: riding the Indonesian waves

Welcome to Bali, an island where the waves whisper tales of adventure and the shores beckon surfers from around the globe. This Island paradise is not just a destination; it's a surfing sanctuary where every wave tells a story, and every ride captures the essence of freedom. With its world-renowned surf spots and tropical charm, Bali offers a surf experience that caters to everyone from beginners catching their first wave to pros carving up legendary breaks.

Bali's surf culture is as vibrant and diverse as the island itself. Here, azure waters meet a backdrop of lush landscapes and cultural richness, creating a surf scene that's as thrilling as it is serene. In this adventure guide, we'll take you on a journey across Bali's most iconic surf spots, offering insights into the best places to ride the waves and practical advice on renting surfboards.

So grab your board, and let's dive into the magical world of surfing in Bali. Whether you're looking to hang ten on challenging breaks or gently glide along mellow waves, Bali's shores promise an unforgettable surfing safari.


Bali's surfing hotspots

Bali, a surfer's paradise, is dotted with some of the most enticing surf spots in the world. Each spot offers a unique experience, catering to different skill levels and preferences. Let’s ride through Bali’s renowned surf beaches, each with its distinct character and charm.

Uluwatu – the legendary break

Iconic surfing destination

  • Uluwatu, at the southwestern tip of Bali’s Bukit Peninsula, is legendary in the surfing world. Known for its long, powerful waves and consistent swell, it's a must-visit for experienced surfers.
  • The reef break: The wave here breaks over coral reef, making it more suitable for advanced surfers. The surf can get quite big, offering an exhilarating challenge.

Find surfboard rentals in Uluwatu

Find accommodation in Uluwatu

Find flights to Uluwatu

Canggu – the trendy hotspot

Mix of waves

  • Canggu is a favorite among surfers of all levels. With a mix of beach and reef breaks, it offers a variety of waves that are great for beginners and intermediates, as well as more challenging options for seasoned surfers.
  • Vibrant atmosphere: Beyond the waves, Canggu is known for its trendy cafes, vibrant nightlife, and a laid-back, hip atmosphere.

Find surfboard rentals in Canggu

Find accommodation in Canggu

Find flights to Canggu

Kuta – the beginner’s playground

Ideal for learning

  • Kuta Beach is perfect for those new to surfing. The soft, rolling waves and sandy bottom create a safe and forgiving environment for beginners.
  • Surf schools galore: The beach is lined with surf schools offering lessons and board rentals, making it easy for anyone to get started.

Find surfboard rentals in Kuta

Find accommodation in Kuta

Find flights to Kuta

Other notable spots


  • Located on Bali’s east coast, Keramas is famous for its fast, powerful right-handers and is a regular spot for international surf competitions.


  • Further up the west coast, Medewi is known for its long left-handers, making it a more laid-back alternative to the busy southern spots.

Unique features and local tips

Respect local etiquette

  • Bali’s surf culture is strong and respectful. Take time to understand local surfing etiquette, especially at crowded spots.

Tides and swell

  • Pay attention to tide charts and swell forecasts. Bali’s surf conditions can change rapidly, and different spots work best at different tides.

Each surf spot in Bali offers its unique set of waves and atmosphere, making the island a versatile destination for surfers. From the challenging barrels of Uluwatu to the mellow waves of Kuta, Bali's surf spots are a testament to the island's rich and diverse surfing landscape.

Renting your perfect surfboard in Bali

To fully enjoy the surf in Bali, having the right surfboard is key. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or just starting, Bali’s numerous surf shops and rental services have you covered. Here's how to find and rent your perfect surfboard on this beautiful Indonesian island.

Choosing the right surfboard

Based on experience and wave conditions

  • Beginners: Look for larger, more buoyant boards like longboards or foam boards that offer stability and ease in catching waves.
  • Intermediate to advanced surfers: If you’re experienced, you might opt for shorter, more responsive boards that can handle Bali’s varied wave types, from gentle rollers to powerful barrels.

Local advice

Where to rent

Surf shops across Bali

  • Bali is dotted with surf shops offering a wide range of boards for rent. Popular surf areas like Kuta, Canggu, and Uluwatu have numerous options.
  • Quality and variety: These shops often have a broad selection of boards, ensuring that you find one that suits your style and the local wave conditions.

Tips for renting

Inspection before renting

  • Check the board for any dings or damage before renting and make sure it’s in good condition.

Rental duration

  • Consider how long you’ll need the board. Rentals can range from half-day to multiple days or even weeks.

Additional gear

  • Don’t forget to rent any additional gear you might need, like wetsuits, rash guards, or reef booties, especially if you’re planning to surf over coral reefs.

Renting the perfect surfboard in Bali enhances your surfing experience, allowing you to make the most of the island’s world-class waves. With the right board under your feet, you’re all set to ride the Indonesian waves in style.

Navigating Bali's surf culture and etiquette

Embarking on a surfing adventure in Bali isn't just about catching waves; it's about immersing yourself in a rich surf culture and respecting the unwritten rules that govern the local surf scene. Here’s what you need to know to surf responsibly and harmoniously in Bali.

Understanding local surf culture

Respect for tradition

  • Bali's surf culture is deeply intertwined with the island's rich traditions and customs. Recognizing and respecting this cultural aspect can greatly enhance your surfing experience.

Community aspect

  • Surfing in Bali is as much about community as it is about the sport. Engaging with local surfers and sharing waves can open doors to new friendships and insights into the Balinese way of life.

Surfing etiquette in Bali

Respect the lineup

  • Understanding and respecting the lineup is crucial. Wait your turn, avoid 'dropping in' on someone else's wave, and always be aware of your surroundings.

Communicate and share

  • Communication is key in the water. A simple gesture or word can prevent misunderstandings and collisions.

Surfing seasons and conditions

Best times to surf

  • Bali’s surf season typically runs from April to October, with the biggest swells usually occurring between June and September.
  • Wet Season Surfing: The wet season (November to March) offers smaller, less crowded waves, ideal for beginners or those looking for a more relaxed surf.

Understanding the breaks

  • Bali offers a variety of breaks, from beach breaks ideal for beginners to challenging reef breaks for advanced surfers. Researching and choosing a spot that matches your skill level is important.

Environmental awareness

  • Be aware of environmental factors like tides, winds, and currents. Bali's ocean can be unpredictable, and understanding these conditions is key to a safe surfing experience.

Surfing in Bali is an unforgettable experience, blending the thrill of the sport with the beauty of Balinese culture and nature. By embracing the local surf culture, respecting etiquette, and understanding the natural conditions, you ensure not only your enjoyment but also your safety and the well-being of the local community and environment.


Beyond surfing: experiencing Bali's charm

While Bali is a surfer's paradise, the island's allure extends far beyond its waves. Beyond the surf spots, Bali offers a rich tapestry of experiences that capture its unique cultural, natural, and spiritual essence. Here's a glimpse into what you can explore and enjoy in Bali once you step off your board.

Cultural exploration

Temple visits

  • Bali is known as the 'Island of the Gods,' and a visit to some of its sacred temples is a must. The Tanah Lot, Uluwatu, and Besakih temples offer not only spiritual insight but also stunning architecture and views.

Local art and craft

  • Immerse yourself in Bali’s artistic heritage in towns like Ubud, known for its art galleries, craft markets, and traditional dance performances.

Culinary adventures

Indulge in Balinese cuisine

  • Bali’s culinary scene is a delightful exploration of flavors. From local warungs (small eateries) serving traditional dishes to high-end restaurants with international cuisine, there’s something for every palate.
  • Must-try dishes: Sample local specialties like Bebek Betutu (slow-cooked duck) and Babi Guling (suckling pig).

Natural beauty and adventure

Lush landscapes

  • Discover Bali’s interior with its lush rice terraces, especially in areas like Tegallalang. The scenic beauty and tranquility here provide a stark contrast to the bustling beaches.

Adventure activities

  • Engage in other adventurous activities like hiking Mount Batur for sunrise, exploring the waterfalls in the northern regions, or snorkeling in clear blue waters around the Gili Islands.

Wellness and relaxation

Yoga and wellness retreats

  • Bali is a hub for wellness, offering numerous yoga studios and retreats. Places like Ubud are renowned for their holistic wellness centers, perfect for unwinding and reconnecting with oneself.

Spa and traditional healing

  • Treat yourself to traditional Balinese massages and spa treatments, known for their therapeutic properties and use of natural, local ingredients.

Sustainable and responsible travel

Supporting local communities

  • Wherever you go in Bali, strive to support local businesses and engage in responsible tourism practices that benefit local communities.

Environmental consciousness

In Bali, the surf is just the beginning. The island invites you to embrace its diverse cultural experiences, indulge in its natural beauty, and immerse yourself in a world of relaxation and spiritual rejuvenation. Bali isn’t just a destination; it’s an experience that captivates your heart and soul.

Travel essentials: navigating to Bali's surf paradises and accommodation options

Exploring Bali's surf spots involves not just riding the waves but also navigating your way to this island paradise and finding the perfect place to stay. Here’s essential travel advice on getting to Bali’s renowned surf destinations and accommodation options to ensure a comfortable stay during your surfing adventure.

Getting to Bali's surf spots

Flights to Bali

  • From North America and Europe: There are no direct flights to Bali. Travelers usually connect through major Asian hubs like Singapore, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, or Hong Kong. Consider airlines like Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, or Emirates for a comfortable journey with reliable connections.
  • From Australia: Bali is a popular destination for Australian travelers, with frequent direct flights from cities like SydneyMelbourne, and Perth. Airlines such as Qantas, Virgin Australia, and Garuda Indonesia offer regular services.

Travel tips

  • Best deals: Use flight comparison tools on’s partner websites to find the best deals and flight options.
  • Travel documents: Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your stay. Depending on your nationality, you may need a visa or visa-on-arrival to enter Indonesia.
  • Airport to surf spots: Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport is in Denpasar. From there, you can take a taxi or rent a car transfer to surf spots. Uluwatu, for instance, is about just under an hour’s drive from the airport.

Accommodation options in Bali

Stay close to the waves

  • Surf resorts and hotels: Bali offers a range of surf-centric accommodations, from luxury surf resorts to budget-friendly surf camps, especially in areas like Kuta, Canggu, and Uluwatu.
  • Beachfront villas: For a more private experience, consider renting a beachfront villa, which often comes with amenities like pools and personal kitchens.

Find the perfect accommodation for your Bali surf adventure.

Booking your stay

  • Use's partner services: For convenient booking, use’s accommodation booking partner This service offers a wide range of options, from budget hostels to luxury resorts, and allows you to compare prices and amenities.
  • Book in advance: Bali is a popular destination; booking your accommodation in advance is recommended, especially during the peak surfing season (May to September).

Other considerations

  • Location: Choose a location that balances proximity to surf spots with access to local attractions and amenities.
  • Cultural Experience: Consider staying in traditional Balinese accommodation, like a homestay or bungalow, for a more authentic experience.

Planning your travel and accommodation well ensures a hassle-free surf trip to Bali. With breathtaking surf spots and a variety of accommodation options, Bali is a destination that promises both adventure and relaxation.

Final reflections: embracing Bali’s surf and culture

As we reach the crest of our journey exploring the surfing safari in Bali, we reflect on the rich tapestry of experiences that this Indonesian island offers. Bali isn't just about riding the perfect wave; it's a holistic experience that marries thrilling surf adventures with cultural depth and natural beauty.

Celebrating the surf

  • A surfer’s dream: Bali stands out as a surfer’s paradise, offering waves for every level, from the gentle rollers perfect for beginners to the challenging breaks that test seasoned pros. The island’s surf culture is vibrant and welcoming, making every surfer feel at home.
  • Diverse surf spots: From the legendary breaks of Uluwatu to the friendly waves of Kuta, each surf spot in Bali has its unique charm, ensuring surfers have a varied and exciting experience.

Beyond the waves

  • Cultural immersion: Bali’s rich culture, seen in its temples, dances, and art, offers a deeper understanding and appreciation of the island beyond its surf.
  • Natural wonders: The island’s lush landscapes, volcanic mountains, and serene beaches provide a backdrop for exploration and relaxation.

Sustainable surf and travel

  • Eco-conscious approach: As surfers and travelers, we have the opportunity and responsibility to respect and preserve Bali's environment and local culture.
  • Supporting local communities: By engaging with local businesses and participating in sustainable tourism practices, visitors contribute positively to the island’s economy and environment.

Final thoughts

  • A lasting impression: Bali leaves a lasting impression on its visitors, not just as a surfing destination but as a place where adventure, culture, and nature intertwine.
  • An open invitation: Bali’s shores are more than just a destination; they are an invitation to experience, learn, and grow.

Bali’s surfing safari is an adventure that transcends the sport. It’s an exploration of an island blessed with incredible natural beauty, a rich cultural heritage, and a warm, welcoming spirit. As you leave Bali's shores, you take with you memories of the waves, the people, and the island that will call you back to its shores time and again.


Also read:

Winter waves & gear rentals: your Morocco surf adventure guide

Quick guide to renting surfboards

Surfing bliss in Ericeira, Portugal: a memorable adventure with my rented surfboard

Top 4 winter surf destinations

Rebecca WarrenLQ_Blog_Author_Rebecca-Warren.jpg

Rebecca Warren