We’d all like to try new things, right? How about that surfing lesson you always dreamed about? Who wouldn’t want to try it, right? For starter, one f the best locations to learn how to surf the waves is the island of gods, Bali, Indonesia. It has some of the best waves in the world, for both amateurs and professionals. And add some professional surfing schools, expert guides or even surfing music gigs from celebrities like Tex Perkins or Phil Jamieson, to create the perfect recipe for surfing in Paradise.
But what should you know before setting up for Bali, for that perfect week of Indian Ocean, amazing beaches, friendly locals and surfing the craziest waves? The first thing to know is how much you can withstand staying on the side while others are riding those perfect waves. From what local Bali surf guides told us, tourists need approximately three days until they decide to give surfing a try.
Where should you start your surfing adventure? In Bali, everything starts with Denpasar, the island capital. Be warned, though! Denpasar is extremely crowded, almost to chaos level. You’ll realize that from the first moment you set foot on the Balinese soil. Although there are officially 2.000.000 inhabitants, tourists make that number almost double during high season. Most of them are Australian and Russian, but you can find here tourists from all over the world. On the streets, in restaurant or warungs, in supermarkets, there are scores of people everywhere and you can hardly understand why someone would come here for a peaceful holiday. Sometimes, it seems more crowded than New York, or Buenos Aires at rush hour. But this is just Denpasar. As soon as you leave the capital, things start to settle down. Just a bit, though.
The answer to the question above is surfing, obviously! There are, of course, lots of resorts where you can enjoy peace, tranquility and relaxation. Some of them are located in secluded areas, such as Hidden Valley Resort, in Uluwatu, but these are more appropriate for families and yoga lovers. Beyond that, and especially in Kuta, one of the most crowded resorts in Bali, you’ll see a different kind of crowd. One made of young people, those ones feeling good in chaos and crowds. And most of them being here solely for the pleasure of surfing.
Everybody talks about surfing in Bali, everybody measures and know the waves by heart. Many of the small local businesses revolve around surfing in Bali. And even most of the scooters available or rent have racks for the surfing boards. Did we mention that the best way to get around in Bali is by scooter? Once you have the ride, get to one of these two perfect beaches for surfing in Bali: Jimbaran or Balangan. They are quieter, not so crowded, and also a little bit technical. Choose them only if you and surfing get along well, as the waves are frequently higher than 5 meters (16 feet).
For all of you, beginner surfers, check out the second part of our Bali surfing guide.