Surfing in Bali, Indonesia – Best Surf Spots 🏄

Padang Padang beach 3 Bali

Indonesia is one of the best countries in the world for surfing and Bali is at the heart of the action. Surfing in Bali is a must for wave wizards and lively learners alike – ‘the Island of the Gods’ receives some of the best swells on the planet.

This, combined with the diversity of breaks, means that there are waves for surfers of every level, from those who’ve never set foot on a board to professionals at the top of their game.

Having spent a year travelling through Southeast Asia chasing waves all over the region, I came to realise why Bali has such a big name in surfing. It is the epicentre of surf culture in Southeast Asia and the best place to go if you’re looking to ride some waves on your travels. For tips on the best Bali surf spots, seasons and swell, read on!

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Surfing Season in Bali

Generally, the best time to surf in Bali is during the dry season from May to September. This is when conditions are at their best along the west coast, where many of Bali’s most well-known surf spots are located, as well as on the island of Nusa Lembongan. However, east coast waves in Bali favour the wet season, which runs from October to March/April

This means that whatever time of year you visit, there will always be spots working somewhere on the island, and the tropical weather means the water is a good temperature year-round. Even if you visit out of season (i.e. the West Coast in the wet season or East Coast in the dry season) you’ll still be able to catch some waves and with the added benefit of fewer crowds!

11 Best Surf Spots in Bali, Indonesia

1. Kuta Beach

  • Location: Southwest Coast
  • Required skill level: Beginner

The most famous learner surf spot on Bali, and for good reason, is Kuta Beach. The soft beach-bottomed breaks here are ideal for first-timers, with no rocks or reef to worry about. 

Kuta beach 5 Bali
Kuta Beach is the most popular surf spot in Bali for beginners.

There’s plenty of whitewash (broken waves) for learners to perfect their pop-up and the small swell is ideal for those looking to catch their first green (unbroken) waves, whether with a guide or independently. 

Board rental shops and guides can be found dotted all along the beach so finding the right board and instructor will be a breeze. 

2. Old Man’s, Batu Bolong Beach

  • Location: Canggu, Southwest Coast
  • Required skill level: Beginners

Canggu has turned into a thriving surf and party town as the popularity of Kuta and then Seminyak has pushed development further and further up Bali’s west coast. 

Old Man's 3 Bali
A few surf camps take students to Old Man’s.

There are several breaks here that keep Canggu’s resident digital nomads, travellers and locals in the water all day. 

A popular spot for learners is the break known as Old Man’s (after which the nearby popular bar is named). Here you will find consistent waves that are ideal for those learning the ropes. Many of the local surf schools bring students here for their first taste of surfing – check out the highly recommended Solid Surf House if you’re looking to join a surf camp in Canggu. 

3. Dreamland

  • Location: Bukit Peninsular
  • Required skill level: Beginner to intermediate

The beautiful sweep of powdery sand and limestone cliffs make for a stunning natural setting at this popular surf beach, although sadly the heavy development here leaves much to be desired. 

Dreamland 1 Bali
Dreamland is a good surfing spot for beginners and intermediate abilities.

The surf spot itself breaks over a sand-covered reef so booties aren’t required here (as with some other nearby spots). The relatively small swell is great for beginners and intermediate surfers looking to improve. 

The A-frame break means the wave breaks both left and right making it a good spot for both regular footers (right foot at the back of the board) and goofy footers (left foot at the back). 

Take caution when the swell is bigger though, at which point it’s not suitable for novices and the backwash can be very strong.

4. Serangan

  • Location: Southeast Coast
  • Required skill level: Intermediate

When the wet season arrives, Bali’s east coast spots are at their best. Serangan is a small island just off of mainland Bali and connected by a bridge. The spot here is a reef break and one of the best waves for intermediate surfers. 

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It can only be accessed by boat so is a little more tricky to get to, and not particularly cheap at $6-12USD for a return trip. Although it can get crowded, it is usually friendly and welcoming. Be careful of the reef and current here.

5. Kedungu

  • Location: Southwest Coast
  • Required skill level: All levels

Located around a 20-minute drive from Canggu, Kedungu Beach is a quieter spot and offers something for all levels. With three breaks, surfers of all abilities can have fun here, from locals to surf school students. 

Kedungu 1 Bali
Kedungu is a quieter surf spot on Bali.

The Main Peak is an A-frame wave which is good for longboarders in the right conditions. The Front Cliff Peak is a fast, steep and powerful wave suitable for advanced surfers only. 

The spot has hosted local competitions, which can be watched from the cliff-top bar above. The Beginner Wave close to the beach is perfect for learners who can play in the consistent whitewash created by the powerful waves from Front Cliff Peak.

Kedungu was my preferred spot during my time at a surf camp in Canggu. As it’s a reef break, it’s more mellow than the beach breaks and great for practising turning. Plus the channel makes it easier to paddle out to the line up without having to battle through the breaking waves, which is often the case in many beginner spots in Canggu and Kuta!

6. Medewi

  • Location: West Coast
  • Required skill level: Intermediate

Situated two to three hours by car from the more popular Kuta and Canggu, Medewi is a quiet surf spot on Bali’s lesser-visited west coast. If you’re looking for some peace away from the party vibes and hectic towns of south Bali, mellow Medewi is for you. You’ll also find the area more budget-friendly as it’s away from the more popular tourist areas. 

Medewi 1 Bali
My favourite surf spot in the whole of Bali!

The waves are great for intermediate surfers and the line-up is relatively empty. Plus it’s home to the longest wave in Bali – a left-hander that peels for hundreds of metres and is a dream for goofy footers! The spot is rocky so reef booties are advised. Check out the Holy Tree Café for rental boards at decent rates.

Of all the spots I visited during my two months in Bali, Medewi was my favourite. The laid-back quiet vibes and relatively undeveloped surroundings give a sense of the Bali of old – plus the uncrowded line up means more waves to go around! 

7. Toro Toro

  • Location: Southwest Coast
  • Required skill level: Intermediate

Toro Toro is another great spot for intermediates, close to the bigger break Airport Rights, which is favoured by world number one surfer, Kelly Slater. The long right-hander here is great for regular footers and there is also a left-hander, though it’s a short ride. 

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The waves here are consistent and break softly and slowly making it one of the easier spots to surf, although it’s only accessible by boat. It’s popular with longboarders, and particularly favoured by Japanese surfers, hence its name.

8. Padang Padang

  • Location: Bukit Peninsular
  • Required skill level: All levels

To be clear, the main point at Padang Padang is for experienced surfers only! Known as Bali’s Pipeline, it is one of the most famous breaks on the island offering one of the world’s best left-hander waves. 

Padang Padang beach 4 Bali
Surf’s up!

It plays host to the Rip Curl Cup where professional surfers can showcase their skills on the pumping barrel waves.

Next to Padang Padang spot, however, and just off one of the most picturesque beaches in Bali (made famous by its appearance in Eat, Pray, Love) is Baby Padang. The waves are much smaller and ideal for beginner and intermediate surfers. There is reef here so take care; ask locals, or go out with a guide so you know the areas to avoid. Board rental is available on the beach.

9. Playgrounds

  • Location: Nusa Lembongan
  • Required skill level: Intermediate

Just off of mainland Bali’s southeast coast lie two tiny islands: Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. Part of the province of Bali and tucked next to the much larger and more famous Nusa Penida, these unassuming islands offer a refreshingly calm place to enjoy a few days – and there is some decent surf here too! 

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Of the four surf spots on Nusa Lembongan, Playgrounds is the most accessible and user-friendly. As the name suggests, this is a fun wave with a left and a right-hander, suited to intermediate surfers and best surfed on a higher tide. 

Although the wave can get a little crowded, the vibe here is mellow and you’re still likely to find significantly fewer people in the line up than at spots on the mainland.

Nusa Lembongan was one of the highlights of my first trip to Bali. As it is so small, there is a real island-life feel here. Even though I was able to explore it fully in the few days I spent there, I could easily have stayed for weeks enjoying the varied beaches and surf – many people do just that!

10. Keramas

  • Location: East Coast 
  • Required skill level: Advanced

One of the most northerly surf spots on Bali’s east coast, Keramas is considered to be one of the island’s best waves. Once a hidden gem, it is becoming increasingly popular, which, of course, means bigger crowds. 

Indonesia surfing
Keramas is another spot for top-notch surf masters!

It has played host to a number of competitions including prestigious events organised by Oakley, Billabong and Red Bull. The right-hander waves offer long barrels and steep drops to be enjoyed by the most experienced of surfers.

11. Uluwatu

  • Location: Bukit Peninsular 
  • Required skill level: Advanced

World-famous Uluwatu offers fast, powerful and barrelling waves that are a playground for advanced surfers. The surrounding cliffs provide a stunning backdrop and a perfect platform from where mere mortals can watch the crème de la crème of the sport ripping it up. 

Uluwatu 4 Bali
Watch the pros from one of the many beach bars in Bali!

Sunsets provide an extra layer of beauty to the scene, doubling up as a great time to hit the water, or grab a drink at popular Single Fins and watch from above. The waves here break over sharp, shallow reef so booties are a must and caution should be taken at all times.

You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to picking a surf spot in Bali, where the variety of waves offers something for surfers of every level. Each destination has its own character so whether you’re looking to party in Kuta or Canggu after a day on the waves or chill in laidback Medewi, there is sure to be a break in an area suited to you. 

Which will be your favourite surf beach in Bali?

Lisa Barham author pic
Lisa Barham

Having always dreamt of travelling the world, Lisa finally decided to follow that dream in her mid-thirties when she left her nine-to-five in London for life on the road. After trekking to Everest Base Camp in Nepal and learning to surf in Sri Lanka, she headed for wondrous Southeast Asia, where she can currently be found solo backpacking, navigating through life and unfamiliar streets.

Follow her on: Instagram

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