Bali was made famous by surfers who came to the island in love with the waves. Now, the range of water sports in Bali has increased, with wake boarding and kite surfing being added to the mix!
What is coastal life in Bali? To some it’s lying on the beach with a coconut in hand, the rays of the sun warming their skin- the sea simply making for the perfect backdrop. For others however, the open sea is an empty playground and they are the excited children, eyes wide and hearts beating with eager anticipation to dive in.
Bali is a surfer’s paradise, no matter where you are you’ll find a surfer on every part of the island’s coastline. The amazing thing about surfing in Bali is that whether you’re a surfing legend or a budding beginner there will always be a wave for you.
If you’re a first timer we suggest taking a professional class, this will help you build up confidence and have the support you need. Start your surf experience with Rip Curl School of Surf, run by highly knowledgable pro surfers. You’ll learn the absolute essentials and basics of surfing, whilst also learning important ‘ocean knowledge’ too.
Their ‘Beach Surfer’ lesson for beginners can be done on Double Six Beach, Seminyak. By the end of the day you’ll surely be mastering those white-water beach breaks with ease! Kids looking to surf can join the ‘Little Ripper’ classes, their special junior surfing program. Rip Curl also offers their ‘Reef Surfer’ and ‘Power Surfer’ classes that will have you killing cutbacks, duck diving and surfing reef waves.
Moderate – Advanced
For those of you who have what it takes to tackle the Bali seas yourselves, there are so many surf spots on the island to explore, each with their own types of wave and difficulty.
The popular new hub for surfers is Canggu, a great location for enthusiasts and those looking to practice. Batu Bolong with its slow glassy swells is great for long boarders, whilst confident surfers should check out Echo Beach too.
Further west is Medewi, a taste of ‘old Bali’. No nightclubs and bars here, just stretches of beach and friendly locals! With some seriously long waves and a natural ambience, its heaven for the real surfer types.
Moving way down south to the cliffs of Uluwatu, the surf spots here are now becoming world famous. Suluban Beach, with its amazing cave entrance, is a favourite. It’s no easy surf, so make sure you’re confident. Near Suluban is Padang Padang, the pipeline of Bali. A busy surf spot with pros and brave souls, and a place where legends are born! Even just watching the surfers here gets the adrenaline going.
Further out of Bali’s Southern hub is Keramas in Gianyar, with a south-east facing shore. Tubes and right handers will greet you in this surf area, mainly filled with locals showing you how it’s done.
This is only a brief introduction into the surf spots in Bali, having not even mentioned Balangan and Bingin beaches in Nusa Dua, or even Sanur Reef… Why not explore and find some new spots yourself? Wherever you end up, remember to respect your fellow surfers and the locals and you’ll find yourself having an amazing experience here in Bali!
If the usual surf-life is getting stale or you’re just after a brand new adventure why no try out a bit of kite-surfing? The conditions can be amazing for this exciting – yet tough – water sports in Bali.
Head over to Sanur and link up with the Rip Curl School of Surf: Kite School. The open stretch of white sand and their 1km wide and 7km long Sanur Lagoon is the perfect spot for kite surfers new and old. Freestylers and beginners can enjoy the flat waters of the lagoon whilst the reef waves further out are great for kite wave surfing.
Beginners will need to take a course, as the theory and technicalities are important. The level 1 course includes a classroom session with theory, understanding wind, setting up and some on shore kite practice. You’ll be itching to get in the water, which you will in Level 2, firstly without a board (body dragging) then onto your first ever ride! It’s a frustrating start with many crashes and fails at first, but once you’ve got it, it’s like riding a bike.
It’s not an easy water sport to pick up and is a serious test of your commitment, but with the Bali sun on your back and tropical waters splashing at your feet, it’s an experience you won’t want to give up on too quickly!
Newest to the scene of water sports in Bali is Bali Wake Park, home to Bali’s only cable wakeboarding circuit.
It occupies a massive 5-hectare area which has been sculpted into a lake measuring 600m in circumference. A sophisticated system of automated cables runs above the lake, simulating the traditional pull of a speed boat. The park caters for all abilities: beginners to pros! Pros, you’ll be strapping up and heading for the ramps and rails peppered around the lake, too easy. Beginners, not so fast…
You’ll likely start with the knee-board, so that you get used to the ‘pull’ of the cables without having to balance too much. It’s an extremely fun way to get the hang of things and if you want you can just kneeboard all day. If you’re up for the challenge though, upgrade to the wakeboard, when the frustration begins- wakeboarding for the first time is not easy. Take it from me, I took plenty of embarrassing falls not 3 metres from the start line!
However, after many frustrating moments, finally you’re up and riding! Maybe only for 5-6 seconds the first time, but its a glorious feeling. That’s all it takes. Once you’ve had a taste, you’re addicted and you can’t stop. The pull of the cable, the wind in your face, the board gliding above the water. You’re cruising around the circuit and suddenly 2 hours have gone by. Time flies when you’re having fun right?
Bali Wake Park is a great day out, both for kids and adults. They offer knee-boarding, water-skiing, wakeboarding, mono-ski, skurfing and wake skate – something for everyone of all abilities. Not getting involved? Don’t worry, around the park is a pool bar, infinity pool, bean bags, pro shop, a day spa and ‘Ninebot’ tours around the park and surrounding mangroves are available too . Made’s Warung has set up shop there too, serving up their usual favourites plus the specially prepard ‘Benoa Burger’ and ‘Chili Dog’, only found at the wake park.
So, there you have it. Board based water sports in Bali – take your pick and enjoy the huge range of adventure Bali has to offer!
Rip Curl School of Surf
– Surfing in Seminyak: Jalan Arjuna, Legian
T : 0361 735 858
– Kite Surfing Prama Sanur Beach Hotel
Jalan Danau Tamblingan, Sanur
Bali Wake Park
Jalan Raya Pelabuhan Benoa No. 7x, Benoa, Bali
T : 0361 8468866
Jl. Benda Raya No. 98 A-B, Cilandak, Jakarta 12560 - Indonesia
Phone: +6221 781 3212
Fax: +6221 781 2476
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Jalan Pengubengan Kauh No.99 Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Bali
Phone: +62 811 380 850 / +62 811 399 0072
Fax: +62 361 823 6722
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