With brilliant surf conditions all year round (regardless of whether you accidentally show up during the rainy season), Bali is the place to learn how to shred like the pros. And, as much as you might want to dive headfirst into the expert breaks at Uluwatu – we don’t recommend this, Uluwatu is a reef break, and diving head first would hurt – sometimes you have to start small. To help get you started, we’ve rounded up where to go for the mellow waves that’ll help you go from shoobie (someone with all the gear and no idea) to not too shabby or totally amazing.
Kuta beach has some of the easiest and most beginner friendly waves for beginner surfers. Along a long and sandy stretch of beach, Kuta has small swells that are good fun for getting started. The waves typically range in height from 1-3 feet and are gentle enough too that you won’t have any problems dodging them if you decide to start in the white water.
The surf at Canggu beach is a bit more difficult than the waves at Kuta depending on the tide. It’s a popular area for both intermediate and beginner surfers as there’s a variety of beach, rock and reef breaks.
South of Kuta and, actually, quite close to Ngurah Rai International Airport is Tuban beach. There are two breaks at Tuban where you can catch some waves. These are ‘Airport Lefts’ and ‘Airport Rights’, with one break north of the airport’s landing strip and the other south. Beginners should stick to Airport Left, where there are easy and rideable waves near the shore.
If you’re with someone more advanced, they can take a boat to the reefs that are further offshore of the beach. The swells at the reef can get to five feet high.
Set against the upscale neighbourhood of Seminyak, Petitenget and Dhyana Pura Beaches are ideal for beginners. With swells comparable to Kuta, these two beaches have waves that are small, gentle and short in length – perfect for getting a feel of things.
Just south of Seminyak, you’ll find the swells of Legian. This beach is typically quieter than those of Seminyak and Kuta, but with similar conditions. The sandy break allows for easy surf that rarely get larger than three feet. As a beginner, it’s best to be at Legian in the morning as the waves do tend to get bigger in the afternoon.
Padang Padang Rights
Padang Padang is not a beach you’d generally associate with beginner waves. Near the famed surf of Uluwatu, the beach is known for its serious waves for advanced surfers only. However, Padang Padang Rights, also known as “Baby Padang” is perfect for beginners who want to get a taste of Padang Padang. This beach break (Padang Padang is a more dangerous reef break) features a long and calm wave at high tide that’s ideal for those who are ready to get out of the white water.
The beach at Jimbaran is in a sheltered bay, protected against large swells and winds, allowing for softer, rolling waves. It’s also one of the most beautiful beaches in Bali with its white sand and turquoise water (another plus of it being a sheltered beach!).