A Girls Guide to Surfing Bali & Lombok
With warm tropical water, mellow waves and plenty of sunshine, Bali and Lombok offer a fantastic place to travel as a surfer - particularly as a female!
If you're just learning to surf, or your well accomplished, there are waves for literally all skill levels on these beautiful islands.
As someone who is around an intermediate level of surfing, my favourite waves are those that give you a great long ride without the underlying feeling that you might get injured by anything too gnarly in doing so!
With that said, here's my girls guide to surfing in Bali and Lombok, Indonesia!
Balian is a perfect spot for literally everyone, situated about two hours from the Denpasar International Airport, this lovely black sand bay offers a more authentic Balinese experience away from the hustle of tourist hotspots like Kuta.
Whether you're just learning to surf or you're a shredder, Balian can offer the perfect conditions for all skill levels.
With the main break rolling in right out front the main surf camp area, it's the perfect spot to relax as well as surf without the need to hire a scooter or transport to get to the break each day.
This wave is perfectly mellow and really deep on a small day giving beginners the perfect opportunity to try their hand at standing up on a mellow green wave - which is much easier than trying to learn in white wash!
On days where Balian pumps, you'll get awesome steep take-offs with solid walls often reforming with another super fun steep section on the inside.
It's distance from Kuta also means that the crowds are far less, meaning more waves all round! The area is super chilled with some awesome food spots including delicious locally made sushi and daily yoga straight out front the surf break.
For some excellent local knowledge and to truly immerse yourself in the surfing retreat experience, stay at Girls on Board Bali , run by Canadian/Balinese local Jenny who has over 15 years experience surfing and living in the area. This retreat can be booked by groups or individuals, it's perfect for all skill levels and is situated perfectly right behind the main surf break.
Playgrounds, Nusa Lembongan
A perfectly deep and mellow reef break, Playgrounds on Nusa Lembongan is a very well known and often surfed break approximately a forty minute boat trip from mainland Bali.
Situated right in the centre of the Lembongan Island, this little reef break is about 100m paddle offshore into the middle of the Tamarind Bay.
It offers up small, mellow rolling waves that are great for learning and just a muck around on a smaller day and quite a steep walling wave on a bigger day. It's a great 'next step' wave for those who are wanting to challenge themselves but aren't chasing anything super gnarly.
Nusa Lembongan is also a great Island to stay and play, it's less hectic than the mainland but has plenty of great accommodation options from resorts through to surf camps and great night life such as beach parties. Try Rigils Bungalows for a cheap but very well appointed jungle style Bungalows in Mushroom Bay.
Ceningan Point, Nusa Ceningan
Although this break is for intermediate to advanced surfers on a big, heavy day, on a full tide with smaller swell this little reef cove is perfect for less experienced surfers.
Wrapping around the point, this left hander has steep barreling sections on a big day but also breaks a small a-frame into the bay on a smaller day with a full tide.
With easy access down the side of the cliff and straight into the water, Nusa Ceningan is as picturesque as it is surf-able!
Only a short ten minutes scooter ride across the yellow bridge from Lembongan, the point at Nusa Ceningan is also the perfect spot for cliff diving and swimming on a full tide.
Probably the best known right-hander on the Island, Gerupuk is most certainly not a secret wave.
However, it's certainly worth the trip, not only to surf the wave, but also to experience Lombok which brings a different experience to visiting Indonesia.
The wave is accessed by staying in Kuta, Lombok, which is only a 25 minute flight from Denpasar or two hour boat trip from Padang in Bali. Once you're on Lombok you simply take a small boat around to the break.
Gerupuk is a popular wave for surfers travelling to the island and also for the local surf schools to bring beginners on smaller days, so expect a fairly big crowd.
Although the right-hander is it's most famed wave, the Gerupuk Bay also has a number of other waves on offer in the bay including a few left handers.
On bigger days the wave does have a steep and barreling section, however on smaller waves it breaks fairly mellow and consistently provided a really fun long ride.
To access the break you will need to drive about fifteen minutes from Kuta Lombok and then take a small local boat around the bay to the break which will cost 150IDR (approximately $15 AUD return), your boat will hang around the and wait for you to surf.
Canggu is hardly a secret spot on Bali mainland, rather quite the opposite really, however it's a hard spot to overlook for those surfers chasing some mellow and fun waves.
Offering a few little breaks along the beach from Batu Bolong down to Echo Beach, Canggu offers the perfect opportunity for beginners on a full tide with small swell, with plenty of surf schools on offer.
On a large swell though Canggu can pump, and the wave volume can be quite heavy. With steep take offs and fast sections Canggu is better suited to more advanced surfers on big swells.
Best surfed at around three foot, Canggu has long peeling waves perfect for fun boards and long boards with a good wall over mostly quite deep water and minimal reef.
The Canggu area itself is also a very trendy and fun spot to stay with both breaks in walking distance from most accommodation. For more on the Canggu area, also check out where to eat, drink and relax in Canggu!