THE BEST BALI SURF SPOTS
Everything Your Need To Know When Planning Your Surf Trip
This is a Surfer’s Guide for all levels searching for the best surf spots in Bali – informed by our Indonesian instructors who live, teach and play in the island’s best breaks every day.
BALI: BEST TIME TO SURF
Bali offers a huge variety of world-class surf breaks that cater for all surfing ability’s all year round- wet and dry season, including beach break and reef break locations. Blessed with pristine temperate waters, the winter dry-season is the peak consistent surfing season, running typically from April-September with summer wet-season and even warmer waters from October-March. It receives southern ocean swells direct from the Antarctic creating waves along the south-west and south-east coasts leaving you spoilt for choice and an ideal place to progress and master the sport, beginning from any level. With such variety, the best time of day to surf in Bali is all day: 5.30am until 6.30pm.
GUIDE TO SURFING IN BALI
While it’s famous for a handful of iconic waves, there are still many less discovered or ventured locations with quieter line-ups. We reference many here and on our Bali surf map, while there are some secret surf spots we respectfully choose to keep for our guides to disclose.
MAP OF BALI'S SURF SPOTS
Dry season | Beginner:1-3ft | High tide | Swell: S/SW | Left-hand | SE Trade wind
Balangan Beach is a reef break in the ‘Bukit peninsula’ that offers gentle green waves for beginners wanting to learn to surf. Known for its long left-hand wave as well as large and consistent left barrels for experienced surfers, it is regarded as one of the best waves in Bali’s dry season (the best surfing season) with a beautiful backdrop for tourists to enjoy. Due to the long length of the wave with multiple peaks- this break is perfect for beginners towards the right hand side at mid-high tide when between 1-3ft. Join Dawn Patrol Bali Surf School in Balangan for beginner lessons or a surf tour.
Dry season | Beginner:2-3ft | High tide | Swell: S/SW | Left/Right | SE Trade wind
If Balangan and everywhere else is too big, Jimbaran Bay, just south of the airport offers a good spot for surfing in Bali for beginners: a beach break with two breaks (one in-front of the waroengs & one in-front of the Four Seasons Hotel).
Dry season | Beginner:2-5ft | Low tide | Swell: S/SW | Left/Right | SE Trade wind
Dreamland is a sandy beach break most famous for expert level surfers, however under the right conditions, Dreamland is one of Bali’s beginner waves. Nestled between Balangan and Bingin Beach in the south peninsula, Dreamland is a dry season surf spot with an average wave range from 2-5ft that works best at low tide. It offers soft, large faced left-hand waves and shouldering rights off the peak over a deep sandy platform. Note this wave is not beginner friendly on bigger days where it can barrel.
Dry season | Beginner:1-3ft | High tide | Swell: S/SW | Left/Right | SE Trade wind
Kuta Beach is one of the best Bali surf spots for beginners. Consequently it is one of the most recognisable and visited beaches, and known to get crowded. It might seem surprising then that it is still valued as one of the fun and easiest places to take your first lesson. Kuta is a sandy beach break suitable in the dry season and can be surfed at all tides with an average size of 1-3ft. Here you can embrace learning to stand up in white water on larger days (benefits are that you use less energy than paddling), or in the line-up on small days. Once you have mastered standing up, you can progress on your own in the line-up where you will meet many novice & intermediates.
Dry season | Intermediate:2-4ft | High tide | Swell: S/SW | Left-hand | SE Trade wind
Balangan is also one of the best surf spots in Bali for intermediates. This spot offers a long left-hand wave as well as large and consistent left barrels for experienced surfers on larger days. It is regarded as one of the best waves in Bali’s dry season with a beautiful backdrop for surfers to enjoy. Due to the long length of the wave with multiple peaks – this break is perfect for intermediate surfers looking to progress and challenge themselves. Best intermediate conditions are between 2-4ft.
AIRPORTS LEFT & RIGHT / TORO-TORO
Dry season | Beginner:2-4ft | High tide | Swell: S/SW | Left/Right | SE Trade wind
Bali ‘Airport Lefts’, ‘Airport Rights’ and Toro-Toro are widely held dry season intermediate to advanced waves located 1k out to sea in front of Ngurah Rai International Airport. They are popular due to their fun & friendly large faced waves with Airport right boasting a classic right hand wave which rides up to 100m+. All three surf breaks are reached by small circling local boats from Jimbaran or Kuta’s shore. ‘Lefts’ is north of the airstrip and ‘Rights’ is to its south with Toro-Toro in front- closer to the shore (also shown on our map of Bali surf spots). These breaks are perfect for intermediates at mid-high tide when in the range of 2-4ft, with Toro- Toro always smaller on the inside. For advanced surfers- the waves are best at 4-6ft.
Dry season | Intermediate:3-6ft | Mid-High tides | Swell: S/SW | Left/Right | NE Trade wind
Canggu, located north of Kuta and Seminyak is friendly for intermediates if you are not intimidated by larger crowds. This stretch of beach is a submerged reef/ rock bottom below black sands and moving peaks including 3 main breaks: a right hand river mouth, a left hand sand bar with a sand bottom and a left hand reef break that range from 3-10ft. Due to low and high tide being more tricky on the inside reef, the best time to surf is at mid tides throughout the dry season – better in the early morning before trade winds pick up. Canggu can also work in the wet season when the winds are light.
Dry season | Beginner:3-5ft | High tide | Swell: S/SW | Left-hand | SE Trade wind
Bingin is a world-class wave situated between Dreamland and Padang-Padang in the southern peninsula in a scenic location below a steep cliff. Though well respected with advanced surfers for its iconic, big and powerful barreling wave with one small take off area- it is also friendly and popular with Intermediates on medium size days. Bingin is a reef break and dry season wave with a swell range working best between 3-5ft at mid-tide for intermediates and low tide for advanced.
Dry season | Beginner:2-4ft | High tide | Swell: S/SW | Left-hand | SE Trade wind
Infamous Padang-Padang is set in a picturesque sandy beach on the Bukit Peninsula between Impossibles and Uluwatu, accessed through a striking rock formation via a stepped path. There are two breaks- the famous left break (Padang-Padang) for professional surfers and the gentler beach break (Padang-Padang Right or Baby Padang) for intermediate surfers with a long, unbroken wave at high tide- perfect for refining your technique. Note that Padang-Padang Left is a reef break and expert wave that takes skill to attempt and can be dangerous at low tide.
ADVANCED SURF BREAKS IN BALI
Dry season | Size:4-8ft | Mid/Low tide | Swell: S/SW | Left-hand | SE Trade wind
Balangan Beach also offers a thrill seeking long left-hand wave with consistent barrels particularly at low tide for experienced surfers. It is known as a fast, hollow wave best visited at mid-high tide and mid-low tide. During the dry season, Balangan consistently picks up swells of 4-8ft and sometimes 10ft+.
Dry season | Size:4-8ft | Mid-high tide | Swell: S/SW | Left-hand | SE Trade wind
Impossibles is a professional thrill seeking wave for experienced surfers who are searching for a challenge located between Bingin and Padang-Padang. It boasts gorgeous rocky untouched scenery, getting its name from how difficult it used to be to reach. It is therefore not very crowded- especially due to the long stretch of reef Impossibles covers with multiple peaks. If you choose the right take off points, there are very long and fast waves to enjoy. Impossibles works finest when above 5ft at mid-tides throughout the dry season often picking up swells of between 4-8ft.
Dry season | Size:5-8ft | Mid/high tides | Swell: S/SW | Left-hand | SE Trade wind
Infamous Padang-Padang also known as ‘Bali’s Pipeline’ is set in a picturesque sandy beach on the Bukit Peninsula between Impossibles and Uluwatu, accessed through a striking rock formation via a stepped path. There are two breaks- the famous left break (Padang-Padang Left) for professional surfers and the gentler right beach break (Padang-Padang Right or Baby Padang) for intermediate surfers. Padang-Padang is a reef break that works best in big swells of 5-8ft with all the tubes, wave height and speed an expert could want. This wave takes skill to attempt and can be dangerous at low tide.
Dry season | Size:4-8ft | All tides | Swell: S/SW | Left-hand | SE Trade wind
Uluwatu is considered one of the most famous surf spots in Bali that feature Pro- level and legendary waves. Situated at the southwestern tip of Bukit Peninsula easily accessed down a stepped cliff. Uluwatu is recognised for its consistent high quality variety of breaks and conditions throughout the day in dry season, between 3-10ft+ and rarely goes flat.
There are four sections that make up Uluwatu including ‘Temples’: a long and hollow wave- best at mid-high tide, ‘The Peak’: situated in front of the cave- best at high tide, ‘Racetracks’: a fast barrel working on low tide for the serious surfers and ‘Outside Corner’: considered a world class wave that does not break until the swell is 8ft or above. If game, it deals one lengthy and wide ride.
Wet season | Size:4-8ft | High tide | Swell: S/SW | Left/Right | W/NW Trade wind
Surfing Nusa Dua on the East coast has an array of consistent waves to choose from for all levels so it is worth doing a bit of exploring to see where you prefer. There are plenty of left-hand and right-hand waves with an average size of 4-8ft but can hold up to 15ft in some sections. The two well-known beginner – intermediate Nusa Dua surf breaks (average of 3-5ft) are Mushroom Rock with a fat left point break that barrels when above 4ft – best surfed at mid-high tide and Black Stone that has a vast array of shifting right & left hand peaks best at mid-high tide. This overlooks the main Nusa Dua waves far to the right for experienced surfers.
The main Nusa Dua breaks are a long stretch of reef situated 800m offshore with an option to get a local boat to take you out to save on your paddle. This wave is characterised by three moving peaks, increasing over different sections of the shallow reef and building into powerful, thick-lip barrels and long sections of fast-paced carve walls. It always guarantees a wave will be yours. When big, the drops get serious and heavy with some extremely strong currents and rogue unpredictable sets to add to the sense disorder.
Wet season | Beginner:2-6ft | High tide | Swell: S/SW | Left/Right | W/NW Trade wind
Serangan or Sanur Reef is one of the best East coast surf spots. It is a great wet season wave for all surfing levels with swells that average between 2-6ft and can hold some impressive size waves. One of the reef breaks, it stretches a vast strip of beach offering multiple left and right hand peaks. Similar to Nusa Dua, the waves are a little unpredictable with moving peaks- rising over different areas of a shallow reef and growing into powerful, heavy barrels and long sections of speedy walls. There is a reasonable paddle out but the currents are usually calm. Beginners and Intermediates can enjoy the smaller waves in front from mid-high tide with the larger advanced waves further out, best at mid-low tide.
Wet season | Beginner:4-6ft | High tide | Swell: S/SW | Left/Right | SE Trade wind
Green Bowl – a secret paradise, situated below an unspoiled 300 stepped cliff on the southern coastline of the peninsula is an advanced ability, wet season, reef break wave- offering rights and lefts that work best between 4-6ft on all tides. Though not always consistent, it has small crowds and hollow and fast waves. Recommended for experienced surfers on big days which produce strong rip tides.
Wet/dry season | Size:4-5ft | Mid/High tides | Swell: S/SW | Right-hand | W/NW Trade wind
Black sand, beach break Keramas on the East coast is an advanced ‘regular’ surfers dream and frequently plays host to top-level professional events. It is a famous for being a powerful fast right hand wave that can produce hollow barrel rides above a rocky reef. Due to its good reputation, Keramas is a popular surf spot with many locals and can be surfed from 2ft around waist high through to 8ft (triple overhead). The best time to surf at Keramas is usually early morning but also can be surfed through the dry season with light wind conditions. Best size is between 4-5ft.
Medewi beach is a surf spot on the West coast of Bali, 2 hours North of Canguu. Offering two incredible beach break rights and the infamous and consistent left point, Medewi is a great place to surf for intermediate and advanced surfers with a very fun long workable wave with very few barrel sections. With a leisurely dawn patrol walk from a Medewi homestay onto the volcanic black sand beach, you can choose your favorite spot – Some surf left and others right just 100m away around the northern point or 250m south. Medewi is a mellow crowd also known to work wet and dry season, best in the mornings between 4-6ft. Join Dawn Patrol Bali on a surf trip with our guides.
SURF SPOTS CLOSE TO BALI
Dry season | Size:2-6ft | Mid/Low tides | Swell: SW | Left/Right | E/SE Trade wind
Nusa Lambongan spots are on a less discovered island, 30 minutes from Bali off the coast of Sanur. It is home to some world-class reef breaks that are enjoyed by beginner to experienced surfers – safe at mid & high tides. Surf spots include ‘Playgrounds’: a sheltered reef break with reliable conditions a small paddle out from coconut Beach- usually a mellow, long and playful left great for single fins and as shorter barreling right on certain tides. ‘Shipwrecks’: a boat ride required to a right hand point break for experienced surfers only with great tubing sections and fast walls. ‘Lacerations’: to the right of Playgrounds with a right-hand take-off that drops straight into a barrel section that eases into an enjoyable wall- only for experienced surfers. On a small- medium swell, it is perfect for longboarding.
Dry season | Size:2-8ft | All tides | Swell: W/SW | Left/Right | E/SE Trade wind
Lombok is home to many incredible surfing spots that are much less discovered than Bali. Locations include thrill seeking advanced level Desert Point as well as Kuta Lombok and the South Coast where waves are excellent offering left & rights and catering for all abilities. Mostly transported by local boats, locations include Gerupuk Bay, Mawi, Seger Beach, Are Guling, Ekas Bay and Sengigi.
Dry season | Size:2-5ft | Mid-high tide | Swell: S/SW | Right/Left | SE Trade wind
Red Island, Java is a picturesque- for all level dry season surf spot, situated in Banyuwangi, East Java. It’s an ideal wave to learn and improve your surfing ability, offering uncrowded, beach break waves resembling pre-tourist, untouched Bali. The playful right and left hand wave works best between 2-5ft at mid-high tide for beginners-intermediates and mid-low tide for advanced surfers.
Dry season | Size:4-10ft (Hawaiian) | Mid-high tide | Swell: S/SW | Right/Left | SE Trade wind
G-Land on Grajagan Bay, East Java is a very long left, Barreling reef break and considered one of the best advanced surf spots in the world. The main point break is rarely less than 3ft with 7 main sections. Throughout the dry season, it is one of the most consistently ridable waves in Indonesia with plentiful swells.
Plengkung breaks for hundreds of metres in length and can bring 12ft+ swells linking a series of take-off zones with some long wall sections and barrels. Including ‘Moneytrees’: a long barreling first-class wave which works between 4-10ft, ‘Speedies’: the heaviest wave at G-Land, the most dense wave at G-Land, but can be a perfect pipe dream for several hundred metres- ridable from 2-8ft. ‘Tiger-Tracks’ is fun for intermediates.
BOOK A SURF TOUR TO YOUR FAVORITE BALI SURF SPOTS
Dawn Patrol Bali offers adventurous and fun surfing for all levels, from beginners and children taking their first lesson with our Balangan Surf School, to intermediate and advanced surfers seeking to go to the best surf spots in Bali and surrounding islands. Just get in touch with us by filling out our tours form below!
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