SURF CAMP BALI – Laid-back Bali Flair and Surfing until Sunset
SURF CAMP CANGGU BERAWA from 329€
- 7 days accommodation
- Surf lessons + surf theory units + video analysis
- Accommodation in Shared, Deluxe and Superior Rooms
- Close to Berawa Beach, a popular surf break
- Free surf gear and scooter rental
- Legendary parties
- Trips to the nicest places around
Imagine standing on a palm-lined dream beach, facing perfect wave lines on the horizon, a board under your arm, sun on your skin, pleasant water temperature in the line-up, in joyful anticipation of a chilled sunset session and a beach party afterwards.. Do you like this idea? Good, because then you should go to Surf Camp Bali in Canggu – the place that most surfers dream of at night.
Many years ago, Canggu was a sleepy fishing village in the south of beautiful Bali. Today Canggu is a big name inside the surfing community. It stands for cool surfer lifestyle and a culture that is laid-back same as the smooth waves on the 8 kilometre coastline. For surf travellers, it’s impossible to resist Canggu’s charm. The waves are just too good, the parties to atmospheric and the small cafes too appealing.
Surfing in Bali – The best Waves on the Island
Bali isn’t just the island of the gods but also the island of uncountable surf spots and brilliant surf conditions. Everybody gets happy here. The pro surfer who wants to get pumped through the metre-high tubes, the intermediate surfer and the beginner who can gain a lot of experience on the wave here.
Right next to Surf Camp Bali in Canggu, there’s a spot for medium-level surfers which offers a consistent swell and high quality waves. At three main breaks, you can surf all year long. At high tide and north-eastern wind the spot works best. The swell is 3 – 10 ft.
Batu Bolong/Old Mans
In the south of Canggu is the spot Batu Bolong where you easily can park your vehicle. Compared with the more challenging spot in Canggu, Batu Bolong has plenty to offer especially for beginners. There is a right as well as a left wave. There are lots of longboarders and SUPs in the line-up. The swell range is 2 – 10 ft. and the waves roll best with north-eastern wind.
About 40 minutes from Surf Camp Bali you’ll find the Kuta Beach where the Balinese surf history began. It can get crowded sometimes when locals and part-time surfers share the waves. But people who want to absorb the full load of Bali’s surf culture in Kuta will get rewarded with a versatile spot for every surf level. On good days, the Kuta Reef offers a world-class left. The swell range is 1 – 8 ft. The spot works best with eastern wind.
Right next to the airport are the Airport Waves which are separated into a left, a right and a middle reef. The left is Japanese territory. It works just like the right-hand especially at high tide. The middle reef is surfable at any time. To reach the spots you need to book a traditional boat. At good conditions, it’s worth an investment. The swell is 4 – 12 ft. and the spot works best with eastern wind.
Before the government built paved roads on the peninsula Bukit there were almost no surfers. But since a few years spots like Balangan are visited more and more. It takes about an hour to get from Surf Camp Bali to the spot. Balangan offers beginner and expert swells depending on the conditions. The swell range is 4 – 15 ft. The spot works very well with wind in south-eastern direction.
The closest reef break to Balangan is located further south. In Bingin, waves are easy to catch but in exchange they don’t carry you for very long. Swell is 3 – 8 ft. and the south-eastern wind creates nice conditions.
Who’s well versed in the surf sport doesn’t need further explanation when the name Padang Padang comes up. It’s the spot where the Rip Curl Cup takes place each year, the most important surf event in Bali. As a training spot, it’s not very convenient. However, Baby Padang, the right-handed next to it is. The swell is 6 – 12 ft. and the wind blows ideally in south direction.
Challenging conditions you’ll also find on the south coast of Bukit, home of the strongest currents in Bali. Surfers struggle to hold position but will be rewarded with a pumping right. The Green Bowl also depends on season and daytime. The swell window is very short in the morning and in the winter the swell isn’t very reliable. The range is 2 – 8 ft. and north-western wind enables great waves.
At Bukit’s east coast is another top-class spot. But the conditions must fit. The spot works best at low and mid-tide. The swell is 4 – 12 feet and the ideal wind goes south-west.
Travel Time, Flight and Transfer on Site
Bali’s surf spots work in the dry season from April to October as well as in the rainy season from November to March. The spot variety ensures that you can fly to Bali all year long to still your hunger for waves. During European winter Bali’s east coast offers better conditions and in summer the west coast. Surf Camp Bali is on the west coast. Nevertheless you can come here for a sweet surf all year long.
The only airport in Bali is the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali’s capitol city Denpasar. Airlines fly from all the bigger airports in Europe. Most of the flights have one to maximum three stopovers which can be in Singapore, Jakarta, Bangkok, Taiwan, Dubai, Hong Kong or Doha depending on the airlines. Biggest airlines are Thai Airways, Emirates, Korean Airlines and KLM. In some cases, you can save a lot of money if you take a bus from the Singapore airport to Kuala Lumpur’s airport and continue your travel from there. You’ll find cheap flights on the comparison portal Skyscanner.
You can easily add the shuttle service to your booking to get from the airport to Surf Camp Bali.
For short distances, most of the people rent a scooter for about 3 – 6 € or call one of the cheap taxis. For longer distances, you can book an air-conditioned tourist bus. The biggest vendors are the Kura-Kura Bus and Perama.
Who wishes for more flexibility on his travel can rent a car. At the airport and in bigger cities there are lots of local vendors. But be careful: The traffic can be very chaotic on the heavily trafficked roads and the police likes to stop rented cars. If you cause a damage you normally must pay for the repair.
On the Indonesian island, you sometimes must draw on uncommon vehicles. On the one hand, there are surf spots that are only reachable by boat. On the other hand, there are lots of tourist attractions that are located on different islands and also diving spots, which you only can get to by boat.
Bali’s Surf History
Some decades after the history of surfing began in Hawaii, the sport got to Bali in the 1930s. In 1936 Robert Koke, tennis coach and photographer from Los Angeles wanted to spend some weeks on the island with his wife Louise. But Bali casted a spell over them so they stayed many years and opened the Kuta Beach Hotel.
In Hawaii Robert had learned how to surf years ago so he brought a longboard from the birthplace of surfing to Bali. Thereby he had laid the foundation of the longstanding surfing tradition in Bali. Robert and the Kuta Beach Hotel guests were the first surfers in Bali.
At the beginning of World War II the Kokes left the island. When they came back the hotel laid in ashes. Only the boards were left. Until the trend finally seized Bali it took another 30 years when the first travellers discovered the island. Kuta is still a popular destination for surf travelers and it’s not even one hour away from Surf Camp Bali.
Today Bali is one of the most famous surf areas worldwide and the surf tourism is one of the biggest industries in Indonesia. More about the early years of the Balinese surf culture you can read in the Surfer‘s Journal.
Surf Events in Bali
The first event of the year from 23th to 27th April is located at Keramas Beach in Gianyar. The WSL invites the best surfers to the Mad Hueys Komune Bali Pro 2017 like the 2015 World Tour Champ Adriano de Souza who competed last year.
The most important surf event in Bali is probably the famous Rip Curl Cup in Padang Padang, where the world’s best tube riders and Indonesian surfers compete. The main event takes place in August, the trials in July.
In August, there’s even more than live action to watch in Bali. From 11th to 13th surfers and movie fans come from all around to the 9th edition of the Ombak Bali International Surf Film Festival at Jalan Mesari beach in Seminyak. Beneath stunning surf movies, the festival draws attention to social issues and nature protection.
Right next to Surf Camp Bali in Canggu, the Rip Curl GromSearch has its tour stop on the Indonesian tour. Young talents get their life time opportunity here.
More events are the Billabong Grommet Attack at Padma Beach in Legian in July, the Volcom Stone Totally Crustaceous Tour stop at Kuta Beach in August, the Quiksilver Uluwatu Challenge on 17th August and the Surf Jam at Balian Beach in West Bali in November. Check this 2017 overview.
Culture in Bali
The Balinese population nowadays is used to tourists. The people are extraordinarily hospitable and helpful like in most parts of the Southeast Asian area. In the touristic regions, most of the Balinese talk English. To some extent other European languages are spoken.
Originally the inhabitants of Bali immigrated from South China. By now, Bali shows a great homogeneity because emigration is very rare. About 90% of the Balinese population are ethnic Balinese people. This has something to do with the importance of family, especially in the countryside. This again goes back to the religion. More than 90% of the population are Hindus. Religion isn’t handled as strictly as in India. In Bali for example, Hindus can marry people from other castes.
Furthermore, Hinduism is not unified in Bali. There are even regional differences. A big part of the Balinese Hinduism is the pursuit of harmony with people, the nature and the gods. Most of the traditions and feasts have a religious background. Here you’ll find an annual overview of the most important Balinese feasts and ceremonies.
Weather, Climate and Water Temperature in Bali
The temperatures are very consistent all year long between 29 and 31 degrees. In the night, the values drop to 23 – 25 degrees.
Because of the tropical location there are huge differences between the rainy season and dry season. During the monsoon from November to March there are 17 rain days per month and an 82 – 84 % air humidity. Rainfall depends on the region. When it pours down in the South, the North remains dry most of the time. The dry season is from April to October when the sun shines 4 – 5 hours each day. More about the climate in Bali you can find in the climate data.
The water temperature is comfortable all year long between 20 and 22 degrees. A thin wetsuit should do for surfing.
Food in Bali
Eating is very cheap in Bali. You get big portions for little money. Especially on the street you can spare your wallet from high expenses.
The traditional cuisine has a lot of rice in it which makes perfect sense regarding the famous rice terraces within the island. Rice is part of almost every dish and is ate at all times of the day, also at breakfast. Beneath rice, the Balinese food is very diverse and prepared with many spices. Dishes can be spicy but most of them are attuned to the European likes. Beneath many meat dishes Bali offers a lot for Vegetarians because vegetables are an important part of the Balinese cuisine.
Top 10 Bali Highlights
1. Tanah Lot Temple
Few kilometres north of Surf Camp Bali is the famous sea temple Tanah Lot. It was built on a rock surrounded by the ocean in the 16th century. You can go there only at low tide. Tanah Lot was built to honour the patronizing sea spirits. Entrance is about 4€.
2. Rice Fields Ubut
Ubut – that is post card panorama at its finest. The iconic rice terraces offer a view which you will automatically link with Bali. You can discover Ubut’s region on your own or as part of a tour where you visit temples, a volcano and the Monkey Forest. A Package like this costs 70€.
3. Monkey Forest
The Monkey Forest in Ubut is worth a visit, also independently. In the forest there live about 115 tree species and a large monkey population which you shouldn’t feet and mustn’t disturb in their habitat. Beneath nature there you’re gonna see old temples and statues. 3 – 4 hours is the entrance fee if you don’t take part of a guided tour.
4. Kecak Dance
Beneath the temples and markets, you’ll get to know the Balinese culture best at traditional feasts. Part of many feasts is the Kecak dance which narrates the epos Ramayana. The background music of the dance is without instruments. Only the dancer’s voices are used. The fusion of the dancer’s bodies draw an impressive image. A Kecak dance can be attended during the visit of the Uluwatu temple. Entrance is about 8€.
5. Scooter Trip
You can discover the island very well by scooter. You can be part of a guided tour or discover it on your own. Tours are safer and you won’t get stopped by the police. A guided half-day tour costs about 17€. Rent a scooter is very cheap in Bali. One day is between 10 and 20€.
6. Gili Islands
Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan are all part of Lombok and have one thing in common. They are paradisiac. Gili Trawangan as the biggest of the Gili islands is very popular with people who like partying and comfortable accommodations. Gili Meno is calmer, less developed and a decent snorkelling area. Gili Air is also calm and interesting especially for surfers. The spot Playgili is still unknown and not appropriate for beginners. With the speedboat, you can reach the islands in 2 – 3 hours. It’s about 60€.
Bali without diving is like surfing without board – it doesn’t work. There are lots of diving spots with clear water and a large variety of species like the Liberty shipwreck in Tulamben, Nusa Penida, Amed, Penyabangan or Padangbai. As a diving fan, you have lots of possibilities in Bali. Prices are of course different at each spot.
8. Rock Bar
Who is longing for the absolute relaxation during the stressful leisure should go to the Rock Bar in Jimbaran. Fruity cocktails and a cold beer are even better when you enjoy them surrounded by water. It’s a good place especially after a rough surf session on the peninsula Bukit. Don’t leave the party to late. Jump on your scooter before it gets to dark. And most important: Don’t drink drive! You probably want to arrive safe and sound at Surf Camp Bali.
9. Watch Dolphins
There’s not only a large surf and dive spot variety but also many places to watch dolphins. You can get in touch with the social animals in Lovina where the visitors get to the spot by colourful fishing boats. Another great possibility offers the Dolphin Lodge in Sanur, a care facility for dolphins which got injured by boats and fishing nets. By day they can swim out to the open ocean and they come back to the lodge each night because of the loving care. Visitors get the chance at three times of the day to get in contact with the animals.
10. Mount Batur
Despite the size of Bali it has plenty to offer. The Mount Batur is an active stratovolcano which seems to be put in the landside to perfection. The last eruption was from March 1999 to June 2000. A volcano hike is highly recommended. It’s a two hours’ drive from Surf Camp Bali.
Why going to Bali with Planet Surfcamps?
Bali is a multi-talent and one of its greatest talents is producing waves. The island doesn’t only offer a wide range of surf spots – there is also an incredible amount of possibilities between the azure blue ocean and the emerald green rice terraces. Our Surf Camp Bali in Canggu is perfectly located to discover the whole island. The best surf spots in the region around Canggu and on the southern peninsula Bukit are maximum an hour’s drive away from the camp. Also, Mount Batur is in a reachable distance.
The surf instructors at Surf Camp Bali have a large spot expertise and will bring you to the best spots around and to conditions which are suitable for your surfing experience.
The camp is very familiar. Beneath the surf lessons, there are plenty of opportunities to get to know like-minded people at common activities or while hanging out at the camp – make yourself ready for an unforgettable surf adventure!