Sea, Sun and Sand : Water Sports in Bali

Explore Bali | Written By, Life on the Island |

Holidays or leisure time on the island will remain incomplete if you do not consider taking part in water activities. There are numerous options to choose from that will extend your love of water beyond mere swimming. Adrenaline junkies can indulge in advanced water sports with boat-towed adventures, splashing in the waves and high altitudes. Mixing perfect weather and waves, these activities are spreading around the island with different locations catering to the needs of different individuals. Be it to cruise along rapids or enjoy the thrill on steady streams, there is more than one way to enjoy water activities.


Theme - WTD - Kitesurfing - Photo courtesy of Rip Curl (1)

This new sort of extreme sport combines wake boarding with windsurfing. It is like normal surfing with a kite added to the equation, which allows surfers to make incredible jumps that make them literally fly over those tough waves that are normally not easy to beat. With a few tough steps at first, the basics of kitesurfing can be learned quite easily in around a week. Give yourself a few days to strengthen and practice what you have learned. For first timers, shallow water is the best spot to practise to avoid injuries. What you need to know before kitesurfing in a specific location is the wind statistics and wind forecast. Some surfers believe that strong winds can always bring some problems. Kite flying is already exciting enough, and when you combine it with another sport, it makes for an explosive ride on the water.

Rip Curl School of Surf


Theme - WTD - SUP - Photo courtesy of Rip Curl (1)

SUP stands for Stand-Up Paddle and is another way to enjoy the waves. Combine surfing with kayaking, this water sport activity is a full-body workout that improves your core strength, cardio fitness, balance and flexibility with virtually no impact. However, since no wave is needed, SUP or paddle boarding can be done on an ocean, lake, and even a river. Therefore, it is suitable for all ages and fitness levels. In SUP, the key is not about how strong you are, but all about the technique. Unlike in surfing where you need to slightly bend your legs for better balance, here you simply need to stand with straight legs on the board and gazing ahead at the horizon. The boards come in larger sizes than the regular surf board, and are specially crafted to support a specific weight and keep the surfers balance on the water. When paddling on the board, most beginners’ first instinct might be to focus on the arms. However, you won’t last long by using your arms more than your core as the water constantly changes so you need to be mindful about keeping your midsection engaged for better balance and endurance. The large size of the board makes it easy for one to cruise through calm or flat water safely at the speed that they desire. At this point, the surfers get to control their movement and work out a little. The paddles allow them to ride over the equally larger swells. It sounds a little complicated at the beginning, but once you’ve given it a go you will have another cool way to get out on the water and enjoy nature.


Theme - WTD - rafting - Photo courtesy of BAT (1)

This outdoor activity uses an inflatable raft to navigate a river and is done on different degrees of rough water. Normally, the raft is occupied with 4 to 6 people and therefore the need for teamwork is part of the experience. Rafting requires the individuals on the raft to paddle in sequence and manoeuvre through the various waterways on the river. For some people, this adrenaline inducing activity can quickly become addictive. Many rafters from all over the world put Ayung River in Ubud on their bucket list due to its fast-flowing and frothing waters running over huge rocks and through tight gorges. As easy and fun this may sound, please bear in mind to follow the safety procedures by wearing the necessary equipment required, such as helmets and life vests. Also, choose your level of difficulty based on age limit and the degree of one’s physical stamina. Always go with a professional rafting guide who is familiar with the specific river.

Bali Adventure Tours
A : Jalan ByPass Ngurah Rai, Pesanggaran, Denpasar
T : +62 361 721480
W :


Theme - WTD - watersport - freediving - photo courtesy of Green Island Bali (1)

Freediving is a form of underwater diving that relies on divers’ ability to hold their breath until returning back to the surface. This may sound like a simple water activity that requires no equipment whatsoever, however, you still need to be wary of the safety procedures. Freediving demands a diver to hold their breath for long periods of time, without breathing apparatus making the dive extremely liberating. Freediving in Bali will present you with a wonderful experience of swimming with the fish and many other sea creatures, while at the same time witnessing the exquisite bio diversity that fill the coral reefs. For that reason, you should never free dive alone, just to make sure there is someone to rescue you from any worst-case scenario you might get into. Besides knowing your limit, other things you should consider before freediving is to understand the tides, currents and weather conditions of the location that you will place yourself in. Please remember, no matter how capable you are, accidents do happen, and you are the only person who can guarantee your personal safety.


Theme - WTD - water sports - flow boarding - photo courtesy surf & turf

This activity involves riding a stand-up board on an artificial wave machine that shoots out water at speeds of up to 48 km/hour over a padded surface. People always think flow boarding is surfing outside the ocean, but they are totally different to one another, from the techniques used to the structure of the boards. If you are a surfer, you know very well that in order to maintain balance you have to lean forward on the board. However, in flow boarding, you simply have to keep your weight on the rear foot. As a good starting option, you can try to you lie on your stomach while on the board. Then, whenever you feel confident in terms of balancing your body, you can slowly stand up on it with one foot ahead of the other. Once you have found your balance, just keep facing forward and to watch your footing. Remember that you will fall flat if you lean too far forward. The best thing about flow boarding is the wave will always be in the same condition. The learning curve is gentler compared to surfing which deals with constantly changing conditions.

Surf & Turf Beach Club
A : ITDC Nusa Dua, The Bay Lot C-0, Nusa Dua
T : +62 361 9388007
W :


Theme - WTD - water sport - Kayaking

We all know what kayaking is like – It is pretty easy, really! What you need is a bit of balance and good stamina to reach your destination. With stunning coastal areas, Bali offers adventures for paddlers at all levels. Whether you are keen paddling on calm water or gliding through the unique landscapes, this island has some of the best conditions in Indonesia for kayaking. For this activity, you will get the chance to go through narrow channels and straits that makes navigation fun. Most parts of the island are suitable for kayaking; however, you may want to stay away from the west coast as the current can sometimes be unmanageable. Taking part in a short kayaking trip brings you up-close to the elements of nature. For longer trip, you are suggested to be well-prepared with your own survival techniques in case you should end up in the water.


Theme - WTD - Water Sports - Tubing - Bali Quad (1)

This recreational activity requires an individual to ride on top of an inflatable ring on water. There are two forms of tubing; towed and free-floating (also known as river tubing). In towed tubing, the tubers are towed through the water by a motorboat, while in free-floating, the tube riders are untethered and often conveyed by the current of a waterway. As in all water activities, for safety reason you should wear appropriate safety gear such as life vests, protective water shoes and helmets in both tubing forms.

River tubing is a fun and exhilarating activity as you can drift down the river in your own inflatable tube through the virgin wilderness in an idyllic stream hidden inside a secret canyon. In Bali, Siap River is one of the best spots for this friendly activity. Practically, no significant effort is required for you to make. Not even to paddle the tube. You simply need to sit on the tube and let the river current take you downstream leaving you to soak in the surroundings. If you are lucky enough, you might spot monkeys or rare birds nestled in the treetops.

Bali Quad Discovery Tours
A : Jalan Wirasatya VI / 4X, Suwung Kangin, Denpasar
T : +62 811 3800046
W :

Bali Safari
Anantara Seminyak



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