Surfers' Guide to Bali: Top Surfing Spots & Schools for Beginners & Pros

A surfer’s guide to Bali: where are the top areas in Bali for surfing? Which Bali surf schools are the best? Read on for the best surf spots, schools and shops on the island & get ready to conquer the waves!

One of the things Bali is best known for is the impressive swell off its Western Coast, which attracts thousands of world-class surfers every year. Most expert surfers head straight to Uluwatu, where the waves can top 15 feet during monsoon season.  If you’re not quite there yet, don’t worry! Bali is a surfers paradise and also has multiple opportunities for learners, beginners and intermediate surfers.

So, what are the best areas around Bali for surfing and what are the best beaches and schools in each?

Surfing in Canggu

Canggu is one of the most popular places in Bali among surfers. The moderate swell around the coast here creates medium-sized waves, just perfect for intermediate surfers to improve their skills. Although most areas around Canggu are more suitable for experienced surfers, the town still has a few spots where beginners can get in some practice, too. Aside from its multiple surf breaks, the town is also home to several healthy eating spots, cool bars, and stunning villas!

Best surf spots in Canggu

Old Man’s Surf Spot

This is the easiest surf spot in Canggu, so it’s the best place for beginners to get in some practice. The waves here stand up and gather momentum slowly, giving new surfers plenty of time to get into position. The easy surf at Old Man’s makes it a popular surf spots in Canggu, so it’s often crowded here. However, this is still a great place to hone your skills before tackling the bigger waves at Berawa or Echo Beach.

Good for: Beginner and intermediate surfers

Old Man's is a popular surf spot in Canggu
Old Man’s is a popular surf spot in Canggu
Berawa Surf Spot

The swell at Berawa is a little more powerful than at Old Man’s, but the waves here are not as big as at Echo Beach. This spot is, therefore, a favourite among intermediate surfers. The waves here are big and fast enough to present a challenge but aren’t strong enough to be unmanageable.

Good for: Intermediate surfers

Echo Beach

The waves at Echo Beach are way bigger than those at Berawa or Old Man’s, especially around the reef breaks to the left and right. For intermediate and expert surfers, this is the best spot in Canggu to challenge yourself on some more powerful waves. If the swell at the reefs breaks is a little beyond your skill level, try surfing the beach break in the middle of the beach. This spot is always less crowded than around the reefs and the waves, although still powerful, aren’t as big.

Good for: Intermediate and expert surfers

Best surf schools in Canggu

Endless Summer Surf School

Whatever your skill level, Endless Summer offers tailor-made lessons to help you achieve your surfing goals. The camp is located close to some excellent, less-crowded surf spots and offers excursions to several others around Bali. The teachers offer expert instruction and the camp has everything you need to help you up your surfing game.

There are lots of places to rent boards and take surf lessons in Canggu
There are lots of places to rent boards and take surf lessons in Canggu
The Chillhouse

The Chillhouse is Canggu’s most popular place for lifestyle retreats and their surf retreat is definitely worth checking out. No matter what your level is, the coaches at the Chillhouse will help you improve your skills. Surf classes are taught one-on-two by experienced coaches, for thorough instruction in how to improve your technique. Surf spots are also chosen based on your individual skill level, for a surfing experience that’s tailor-made for you.

 

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In Da Surf

In Da Surf offers lessons to surfers of all abilities, whether you’re at the beginner, intermediate or advanced level. Knowledgeable instructors will choose the best time and location for your lesson and provide video feedback and useful tips afterwards.

 

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Best surf shops in Canggu

Chilli Surf Boards

If you want to buy a board in Bali, check out Chilli Surf Boards while you’re in Canggu. This surf shop carries a range of big-name brands and also offers custom-designed boards on order.

 

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Kartel Boardstore

Kartel Boardstore specialises in everything surf and sells a wide range of boards, accessories, clothing and even surf lessons! Surfers of all levels should check out this store, for everything from instruction to surf wax.

 

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Redz Surf Shop

From apparel to accessories, Redz has everything a surfer could possibly need. Boards, wax, fins, travel bags and more – and their friendly staff are always happy to help and advise.

Canggu is the best place in Bali for intermediate surfers
Canggu is the best place in Bali for intermediate surfers

Surfing in Uluwatu

Uluwatu, located on the southwestern tip of Bali’s Bukit Peninsula, is easily the island’s most famous surf spot. The waves around here can swell to epic proportions and it is not a place to go if you’re just starting out. For intermediate and advanced surfers, however, Uluwatu is a must-visit in Bali, where the monstrous waves will really put your skills to the test.

Best surf spots in Uluwatu

Padang Padang

Padang Padang actually has two main surf breaks; one to the left and one to the right. The left is suitable only for expert surfers, as waves break over the reef with formidable speed and height. The right break is gentler, however, and beginner and intermediate surfers can safely practice on the long, unbroken waves.

Good for: Beginner, intermediate and advanced surfers

Uluwatu is the best place in Bali for pro surfers to showcase their skills
Uluwatu is the best place in Bali for pro surfers to showcase their skills
Suluban

Located just to the west of Padang Padang is Suluban Beach, a white sand beach with spectacular views of the surrounding cliffs. This spot is best for experienced surfers, as the waves can form big barrels that can be difficult to handle. The jagged rocks and reef also demand careful navigation that can require pro-level skills.

Good for: Advanced surfers

Uluwatu Beach

The Uluwatu Beach surf spot is the most famous in Bali and is the sole domain of surfing experts and pros. The waves are fast and powerful and barrel often, giving even the most experienced surfers a run for their money.

Good for: Expert surfers

Best surf schools in Uluwatu

Bali Surfcamp – Padang

For experienced surfers, the Bali Surfcamp in Padang has one of the best locations you could ask for. The camp is located close to all of Uluwatu’s most surfable spots and is just a stone’s throw from Uluwatu Beach, Padang Padang and Impossibles.

Uluwatu is home to Bali's most famous surf spots.
Uluwatu is home to Bali’s most famous surf spots.
Padang Padang Surf Camp

Not everyone’s an expert surfer and Padang Padang Surf Camp welcomes all levels with open arms. Whether you’re a pro surfer or a total beginner, the experienced instructors can deliver lessons to suit your needs. The camp is located close to both beginner and expert surf spots, so surfers of all levels can practice here.

 

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Odysseys Surf School

Odyssey offers a wide range of surf losses and have options for group and private instruction across all levels. Check out their surf packages to get a good deal on classes and courses.

 

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Best surf shops in Uluwatu

Drifter Surf Shop

Drifter has all the surf-related stuff you could possibly need, whether you’re after a board or some fins. They also sell a wide range of men’s and women’s surfing apparel and even have their own cosy cafe. Grab something healthy and delicious from their plant-based menu after you’ve finished shopping!

 

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NUSA Surfwear

For boardshorts and bikinis head to NUSA Surfwear while you’re in Uluwatu. They have a range of cool designs and styles to suit every taste and sell everything from rashguards to T-shirts.

Stock up on Surf gear in Bali
Stock up on Surf gear in Bali
Uluwatu Surf Store

For accessories, boards and surfwear make your way to the Uluwatu surf store. They stock everything from leashes to wetsuits and will be able to help you out with whatever you need.

 

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Surfing in Kuta and Seminyak

If you came to Bali to learn surfing, or you’re a beginner trying to level up, the surf around Kuta and Seminyak is ideal. Small to medium sized waves and a generally gentle surf make this area perfect for surfers hoping to improve. After a long day of surfing, you can make the best of Seminyak’s high-end lifestyle and relax in your luxury villa.

Best surf spots in Kuta and Seminyak

Kuta Beach

Kuta beach is the most popular place in Bali for beginner surfers, as the generally small waves make it easy to learn. The sandy bottom and ever-present lifeguards also make this one of the safest places in Bali to surf, so if you’re new to the sport it’s a great place to start.

Good for: Beginner surfers

Kuta Beach is the perfect place for beginners to get in some practice.
Kuta Beach is the perfect place for beginners to get in some practice.
Seminyak Beach

Located just north of Kuta, Seminyak Beach is the best place for beginner surfers to practice. Waves are typically between 1 and 3 feet, but it’s typically less crowded than the more popular Kuta Beach, making it ideal for learners. Waves here can also be big enough for intermediate surfers to get in some decent practice.

Good for: Beginner and intermediate surfers

Tuban Beach

Tuban beach is a good spot for both beginner and experienced surfers, depending on where you go. Beginners can find small, manageable waves at the beach break near the sure, while more experienced surfers can head out by boat to catch bigger waves further out. After, you can visit one of the beachside restaurants for food and a beer and warm up in the Bali sunshine.

Good for: Beginner and intermediate surfers

Best surf schools in Kuta and Seminyak

Kima Surf

Kima offers surf lessons in typical Seminyak style and offers comfortable accommodation complete with pools, jacuzzis and a bar on site. Learn to surf in ultimate comfort while you enjoy the luxury lifestyle of Bali!

 

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UP2U Surf School

The UP2U Surf School in Kuta have been voted Bali’s no.1, so they’re definitely worth considering if you’re looking for lessons. UP2U offer courses with detailed classes in everything from safety and theory to practical technique. These programs are perfect for anyone looking to really nail the basics of surfing!

Seminyak and Kuta are the best places in Bali to learn to surf.
Seminyak and Kuta are the best places in Bali to learn to surf.
Rip Curl School of Surf

Rip Curl offer courses in surfing, kite surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing and more. With experience is all things watersports, their experienced instructors are skilled in helping surfers of all levels to improve.

Best surf shops in Kuta and Seminyak

Channel Islands Surfboards

If you want to buy a new board while you’re in Bali, check out  Channel Islands Surfboards. Located on Sunset Road in Seminyak, they’re easy to find and offer high-quality service.

 

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Rip Curl

Check out Rip Curl in Seminyak for all your surfing swimwear, clothing and accessories. They have an impressive range of products in adult’s and kid’s sizes, so you can find everything you need in one place.

 

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Deus Ex Machina

This surf shop in Kuta is worth checking out even if you’re not looking to buy a board. Deus sells professionally and custom designed surfboards but also has a neat collection of vintage bikes and a cafe on site. Stop by to browse the clothing and get your caffeine fix here while you’re in Kuta.

Bali is one of the world's most popular surfing destinations
Bali is one of the world’s most popular surfing destinations