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The Ultimate Guide to Surfing (And Scoring) Bali

It’s no secret that Bali has waves. Each year, this island is becoming more and more popular amongst tourists and surfers looking to travel to catch waves.

You can’t really blame people though, Bali has some of the best waves in the world, and ones that you’ve got to catch at least once in your lifetime.

From the longest waves, to the deepest barrels, this place is truly something you can’t miss.

Though there is no shortage of waves, in this article we will look at what are known as 5 of the best waves in Bali, and what makes them so special.

Surfing in Bali

Waves in Bali

As stated earlier, Bali has some of the best waves you could ever dream about.

The island has waves all year round, however, they get exceptionally good under a southwest swell.

During this time, you will find some of the cleanest and longest lefts you have ever seen.

The Surf Culture in Bali

All of Bali and its economy is based on its surf culture.

Local businesses make their money on tourism, surf rentals, photography, or hosting traveling surfers in hostels.

For this reason, the locals are fully aware of the popularity that the island is gaining for its surfing and the crowds that may follow because of this.

Even still, you may experience a sense of localism in the lineups. All this means is you should show a little extra respect to locals while they are out, and give them their pick of waves.

This isn’t a bad thing though, it really is a fascinating experience to see the surfing style and culture of the locals here.

Many of the local kids will ride older hand me down boards, and still rip like they are out on a brand new board.

Equipment Needed for Surfing

The water temperature in Bali stays relatively around 80 degrees all year round. It really doesn’t get much better than that.

All you’ll need to bring for your trip here is a couple board shorts or bathing suits and you’ll be nice and warm in the water.

The Best Surf Spots in Bali

There are so many different breaks that you could easily find in Bali, but here are 5 of the best and most popular spots that we will get a closer look into:

Padang Padang

Padang Padang is most commonly compared to the Pipeline of Bali. The Rip Curl Cup takes place here every year, so it is an undeniably good break for shortboarders.

This wave is known for its long tubes and sharp reefy bottoms that are perfect for snapping turns.

Since these are both such critical sections that involve skilled maneuvers, this break is not for beginners. Padang Padang can form up to 5-12 ft waves that can really give surfers a run for their money.

One of the biggest precautions people take while out here has to do with what lies beneath the surface.

The reef beneath this wave is extremely sharp and actually causes a few surfers to wear booties while surfing to avoid cutting up their feet.

With this being said, taking a wipe out onto the reef during a low tide would be something you would want to avoid at all costs.


Medewi is a great option if you are looking to escape a larger crowd.

This spot is an hour or two away from the main town, so you’ll definitely have a bit more space to yourself.

One thing that puts this break on the map is its ability to produce consistent and impressively long lefts.

Medewi is specifically popular amongst the longboard community because this point break begins 1000 meters out and gradually crashes all the way to shore.

With this amount of time, there are an endless amount of options for what you could do on a wave. There is plenty of time to walk up and down the board and noseride.

Plus, there are also many chances to crave up and down the wave and turn back and forth. If you are a longboarder visiting Bali, this is one wave you absolutely cannot miss out on.


Keramas is known to be one of Bali’s best and most popular waves because of its versatility.

Since this wave averages around 5 ft, on certain days, it can be surfed by both beginner-intermediate surfers, and those who are more experienced.

To back up the credibility of this wave, it can be noted that both Billabong and Oakley hold yearly competitions here.

So, if this wave is worthy of being surfed by the pros, there’s no doubt that it can be fun for you too!

Because this wave is pretty widely known, it is one of the more crowded spots that you will find here.

Still, the waves are incredibly consistent, so you are guaranteed to still catch a few waves while you are out there.

It has also been said that some people will even paddle out at night here. So, if you are up for the adventure and want an empty lineup, this might be the challenge for you.


As seen from the name of this wave, Impossibles is a wave that should only be surfed by experts who are aware of the risks and are ready for the challenge. Impossibles has three sections that are extremely fast and difficult to control your board on.

However, on particular days this wave cleans up a little bit and slows down and opens up these sections for more controlled maneuvers.

Since this wave is only surfed by experienced surfers and professionals, the lineup always stays relatively slim, but some crowds will form on the beach to watch.

So, if your skill level isn’t suited for the type of crazy and powerful wave that Impossibles is, we still recommend you take a trip here to witness the complexity of the wave.


Balagan is a point break off of a rock that produces slower rolling left hand waves.

For this reason, Balagan is popular amongst intermediate surfers and beginners who are looking for a wave with a little less power and size.

This wave is located on a white sand beach, so it’s one that you wouldn’t mind spending the entire day at. You could easily switch between surfing and relaxing on the beach to make a great combination for the perfect beach day.

The one thing you should keep your eye out for is the sharp reefy bottom. Like Padang Padang, many surfers will paddle out with booties to avoid getting deep cuts from the sharp bottom.

What To Do In Bali When the Waves Are Flat

Bali is known for its consistent waves all year round. For this reason, it’s pretty rare to find a day when every single break is flat.

Even still, if you are visiting and want to experience other parts of this island there are many things to do. Some of which include enjoying the night life, exploring nature, or just hangout on the beaches.

Bali is known to have some of the best and most exhilarating scenes when it comes to nightlife.

Since it is a beach city, there are tons of bars, beach shacks, and clubs where you could dance the night away. If you are looking for something to do, go out and explore the beauty around you.

Bali has some of the best tours and trails where you can be surrounded by some of the best views that will leave you awestruck.

Finally, if you aren’t in the surfing mood, you could simply lay out on the beach and enjoy the good weather and warm water.

Bali Surf Guide

Bali is one of the best destinations to visit when it comes to surfing. Home to many pro competitions and popular among traveling surfers, the quality of waves here are beyond questioning. If you are to go anywhere within your lifetime to surf, this is the place!


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