Bali Surf Guide: The fundamentals
Bali has been on the map for surfers for some time. The beautiful white beaches and the clear waters of the Indian Ocean make it a perfect spot for all beach activities. One of the charms of the island is that it has a fun, lively side, where you can indulge in everything from scuba diving to parasailing.
In this Bali Surf Guide, we will present you with a list of all the favourite spots for surfing, different types of recreational water activities and much more.
Book a villa at the magnificent and luxurious Karma Jimbaran and go surfing in the Bay!
Before we start, you should focus on finding the ideal accommodation for your surfing holiday. We recommend booking a Bali Surf resort, the Karma Jimbaran. This Karma Group luxury resort is located in the Jimbaran Bay, locally known for its superb sands, smooth surf and renowned seafood restaurants. The 5-star resort features contemporary deluxe amenities, incredible vistas of the Bay and the best spa you can find in the area.
The Karma Jimbaran accommodation features 40 high-class villas, all built in the traditional Balinese flair. Each of them is designed to implement the open-air concept of the pavilions, with spaciousness and intimacy in mind.
The warm crème colours of the interior design will put you in a serene mood of relaxation. Every piece of art and furniture inside the villas was handpicked carefully and made by local craftsmen that honour the Balinese culture.
Inside, you will find a modern kitchen equipped with state-of-the-art appliances and a beautiful, big en-suite bathroom. Each of the villas has a satellite TV, a DVD home theatre system and free Wi-Fi. Depending on the number of people in your group, you can choose between one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom villas.
Parasailing in Bali
Parasailing in Bali is also one of the exciting water activities you should try while visiting. The concept of parasailing is straightforward; you are equipped with a waistcoat and strapped on to a parachute. After that, you just enjoy the ride. This is one of the activities you can do solo or with a partner. The instructor will coach you before the session, on how to use the parachute and on which things to pay more attention.
If you love dangerous sports, then parasailing is for you. A note of importance, the weather is the most crucial factor, and it has to be close to ideal for you to take off the ground. A weak wind will prevent you to fly the parachute. Moreover, a strong wind or a wind in the wrong direction will also make you unable to do parasailing. So, have the weather conditions in mind before booking a session.
Useful tips include avoiding alcohol and a full stomach before parasailing. You will have to steer the parachute in the right direction during the landing.
Scuba diving and snorkeling: Bali’s famous diving sites
Bali has been blessed with some of the most beautiful diving sites in the world, incuding colourful reefs covered in blooming soft corals, rich biodiversity and underwater scenery that is breathtaking. We compiled a list of the most exquisite diving and snorkelling Bali sites you should dive in:
• Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan – have the most spectacular reefs where you can experience exciting drift dives and see some pretty corals and big sponges. There is vast biodiversity in these dive sites, and you can encounter different fishes, tunas, eagle rays, the Mola Mola, manta rays and a lot more.
Padang Bai – is a harbour city with a transparent aquatic scenery, which makes it one of the most suitable places around Bali for scuba diving and snorkelling. The ocean bottom is sandy and friendly for children and adults. The reefs are vibrant, and you can see a lot of small ocean animals.
• Menjangan Island – is the ideal choice for everyone who wants to see vigorous and bustling coral reefs. You can find small sharks, turtles and a wide variety of fish. The island is covered in underwater caves and fan corals hanging from the walls. The most beautiful site for diving and snorkelling around the Menjangan island is the coral garden.
• Permutaran – features an underwater temple garden and the BioRock project, which are probably the most exciting diving sites on the whole island. If you want to come across big ocean animals, this is the spot. The BioRock project is restoring the coral reefs in Bali and Permutaran is the first success story.
• Tulamben and Amed – between these diving spots, the one you have to put on your must-see list is the USAT Liberty Wreck. The marine life is incredible, and the history of the sunken ship adds allure. You will see soft and hard corals, big fishes and a lot of different ocean animals.
Best beaches for surfing
Bali Surf beaches you should visit during your vacation if you want to catch waves:
• Kuta Beach – was the first “surf beach” in Bali. The legend about how the beach became one of the “it” spots for surfers is interesting. In the distant 1936, an expat hotel owner, that went by the name of Robert Koke, decided one morning to take his homemade Honolulu board and ride the waves of the ocean.
Once that became an attraction, the locals joined in this activity and thus surfing on Bali was born. Even though today the beach has calmer waters, it is still recommended as the best spot for beginners. The waves are smaller and perfect for learning, although the currents can sometimes be harsh depending on the weather conditions. There are a lot of local schools where you can book a beginner’s surf course.
• Bukit Peninsula – is the most visited and hip spot for surfers that come to Bali. The waves are challenging, and the reefs are shallow, creating the long tubes that surfers love so much. Along the peninsula you can find more than one beach to suit your needs, from crowded to secluded, it depends on you. Balangan, Dreamland, Bingin, Impossibles, Padang-Padang, Uluwatu, Nyang Nyang, Green Ball and Nusa Dua are all along the coast.
• Tuban Beach – or also known as the Bali Airport Reef. Waves form on both sides of the reef, making it a good spot for beginners and experts. It is recommended to rent a boat and sail around a kilometre into the sea to catch the best waves. However, if you are just starting out, surfing on the soft waves at the shore is advisable.
• Seminyak Beach – has right and left side waves, which give you many opportunities for surfing. Very similar quality to Kuta beach, but a lot less crowded. Cafés, restaurants and local shops that offer surfing courses. The waves have short lengths, so kids can also enjoy them.
• Legian Beach – is north of Kuta beach. You can expect a variety of waves, on average three feet high. Depending on the weather conditions and the power of the currents, the beach is suitable for professional surfers as well as for beginners.
Other surf activities
If you love surfing, then you are going to like bodyboarding, which is riding waves with your body down on the board. Surfers love trying this because you can catch the waves faster. The thrill and the adrenaline are high, and this is an opportunity to learn new tricks in the water. Another water activity you can try while in Bali is kitesurfing or kiteboarding. This one is recommended only for experienced surfers, and it is classified as an extreme sport.
First, when it comes to kitesurfing, the board is smaller (like in wakeboarding), and you are holding onto a kite. The reason this is entertaining but extreme is that you gain speed while you are riding the waves, making surfing riskier. The best part is that you can use the wind, so when the ocean is not suitable for regular surfing, it might be for kiteboarding.
More mellow versions of surfing are paddleboard surfing and windsurfing. They are great recreational activities for windy days. SUP features a slightly bigger board then regular surfing, and a paddle which helps you navigate in the water. You will not have to wait for the waves or worry about the perfect positioning. Instead, you can cruise in the ocean. There are a lot of local schools that offer SUP lessons and rent the equipment.
What about windsurfing? This Bali Surf water sport is gaining traction. You need the special board with an attached kite, a stable current and some wind. If you are good at surfing, it will come naturally to you, and it will be easier. However, schools offer courses for windsurfing beginners. The fun part is that you can learn cool new tactics in the water, swirl, try a few tricks and head down to the reefs for an adrenaline rush.
Book a deluxe villa at the Karma Jimbaran and start trying new water sports!