Is Surfing In Bali Crowded?


No doubt, Bali is a paradise for surfers around the world. With its turquoise waters and consistent waves, it’s a great spot for beginners and pros alike. But, with the influx of tourists, the beaches are getting crowded. Surf schools have popped up along the coastline, teaching thousands of lessons per day. Resulting in long lines for those waiting to catch a break.

Despite the tourists and the crowded lineups, Bali still offers some amazing surf sessions. For those willing to go out early or explore lesser-known spots, they can get uncrowded waves that rival the best surf spots in the world. It all started in the early 1930s, when American writer Walter Spies highlighted the breaks around Kuta Beach. Since then, top surfers have been drawn to the iconic waves of Uluwatu and Padang Padang.

Bali’s surfing spots

Bali’s Surfing Destinations

Known globally for its consistent waves and warm water, Bali’s surf spots are a paradise for surfers. Check out four of the best spots below:

  1. Uluwatu: Located at the southernmost tip of Bali, Uluwatu is famous for its large and consistent waves. The spot is best for experienced surfers and holds various competitions throughout the year.
  2. Canggu: Canggu’s black sand beach is an ideal destination for both beginners and intermediates. This spot offers consistent waves throughout the year, with a variety of breaks suitable for all levels.
  3. Keramas: Known for its hollow tubes and big swells, Keramas is a reef break that’s best for advanced surfers. It’s a perfect spot for those searching for challenging conditions.
  4. Medewi: Located on Bali’s western coast, Medewi is a remote spot with fewer crowds, making it ideal for those who prefer a more peaceful experience. Best suited for intermediate surfers, Medewi provides long, peeling waves.

For a unique experience, surf Bali’s remote areas, which offer untouched spots for a more personal surfing journey. Pro tip: Rent a scooter to minimise transportation costs and stay in local villas for an authentic Balinese experience.

Kuta Beach is where the waves are perfect for surfing, and the crowds make you want to paddle back to shore.

Kuta Beach

Kuta Beach is a must-see for surfers of all levels. It’s the perfect spot to practice skills or show off your moves. Plus, the golden sand makes it ideal for sunbathers. After a long day, reward yourself with the restaurants and bars along the beachfront.

Get a unique experience by renting a board and taking a surfing lesson. Your Balinese instructor will teach you proper techniques and tell you about the culture.

Don’t miss out on Kuta’s electrifying energy. Waves crash against the shore with amazing sunsets. Go early, as this famous surf spot is always busy.


The southern coast of Bali is renowned for its incredible surf spots. No one can compare to Uluwatu’s sheer power and beauty. This spot is surrounded by towering cliffs and crystal-clear waters. It’s not suited for beginners, as the waves here can reach up to 10 feet! Surfers can ride long barrels due to the reef break.

Uluwatu is special for another reason: it’s near an ancient temple. The Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple adds a sense of mysticism. It holds cultural importance for the Balinese people. Locals believe the gods created these waves for them to surf. Professional surfers, visitors, and locals alike come here for an adventure. They also watch traditional dance performances. reports Uluwatu is “revered and respected by surfers around the world.” Its challenging waves and breathtaking surroundings make it a favourite.

Padang Padang

Padang Padang is a famous spot for surfing, located on the southern coast of Bali. It has waves all year round, so it’s popular with casual and professional surfers alike.

The reef break creates powerful left-hand barrels that challenge even experienced surfers. It can get crowded, so it’s good to arrive early.

People who want to learn to surf can get lessons and rent equipment here. Plus, there are guesthouses and resorts nearby if you want to make a surfing trip out of it.

Remember to bring sunscreen and lots of water; the Indonesian sun is strong! Also, be sure to respect local customs and don’t surf during religious ceremonies.

Crowding in Bali’s surf breaks

Surfing on Bali’s popular breaks can be overcrowded due to the high influx of tourists and international surfers. The most frequented spots like Uluwatu, Kuta, and Padang Padang Beach can be extremely crowded, especially during peak season. The crowds can lead to localism and a lack of waves for beginners. Therefore, it is essential to have the ability to navigate through the crowds and respect the local surf etiquette. To avoid overcrowding and enjoy some peaceful rides, exploring less-visited surf spots in Bali is highly recommended. Additionally, surfing during early morning or off-peak hours can also help avoid the crowds.

Pro Tip: Respect the local surf etiquette, navigate through the crowds, and explore less-visited surf spots or surf during off-peak hours to avoid overcrowded breaks in Bali.

Surfing in Bali during peak season is like playing a game of bumper cars, but instead of bumpers, it’s surfboards.

Busy times

Bali’s surf spots are packed like never before. Rush-hour crowds, congested lineups, and rude behaviour are common during peak season. This harms the environment through pollution and damaged coral reefs.

Respect each other and keep our oceans clean, so future generations can still have fun on these waves. To miss the crowds, try surfing during the off-season or at lesser-known beaches. Research before you go to find good swells. Be mindful of other surfers, and always be polite when waiting for waves.

Pro Tip: Safety comes first. Check the weather, tides, currents, and wave size before you enter the water. Wear rash guards and helmets, and never surf alone.

Lack of etiquette

In Bali’s surf spots, etiquette is lacking. This causes dangerous and annoying conditions. Many surfers don’t follow rules, like taking turns and respecting locals. Beginners also disrespect experienced riders and fight for waves, which can lead to injuries.

When two surfers go for the same wave, they should talk and decide who has priority. Tourists should go with an instructor before hitting crowded spots. Instructors help tourists know where to paddle without colliding with others and point out areas where locals usually catch bigger waves.

Pro Tip: Respect is key to sharing Bali’s surf spots. Show courtesy by being aware, following institutionalised rules, respecting others’ domain, and following basic principles to not interfere with others’ surfing experience!

Solutions to crowds in Bali’s surf breaks

Bali, a popular destination for surfers, has overcrowded surf breaks. To tackle this issue, several solutions can be implemented.

  • Surf during non-peak hours, such as dawn or dusk, to avoid the crowds.
  • Explore lesser-known surf spots, such as Medewi or Nusa Lembongan.
  • Join a surf camp or hire a local guide who knows uncrowded surf breaks.

Additionally, some surf schools offer private lessons, which can help avoid crowded surf spots. It is important to note that preserving the fragile ecosystem of Bali’s ocean is crucial while seeking solutions to crowded surf breaks.

To keep the surfing experience at its best, awareness of and respect for the ocean and other surfers is essential. In Bali, there are more crowded surf breaks than ever before, but with the right approach, surfers can still find uncrowded spots to enjoy.

It is reported that sales of surf gear have increased by 4.8% annually, and this trend is expected to continue in the coming years.

Don’t want to fight for waves? Just surf outside peak hours—unless you’re into that kind of thing.

Surf outside during peak hours

Surfers flock to Bali’s beaches, making them overcrowded. A way around this is to surf early in the morning or late at night when the masses aren’t around. This means fewer people in the water and better-quality waves for the experienced.

If one can’t avoid peak hours, they can try smaller swells or beaches with fewer tourists. The result depends on surf conditions and weather. Ask local guides for more information.

Surfing in Indonesia dates back to the 1930s, when it was introduced by Australian soldiers. It wasn’t until the 1970s that Bali became a surfing destination and put Indonesian waves on the map.

Explore lesser-known spots

Tackling Bali’s surf crowds? Go explore lesser-known spots! While Padang Padang and Uluwatu are famous, Balinese surfers often choose places that offer amazing waves. Examples? Green bowl and black ball! These gems offer unique experiences; Medewi Beach has left-hand point breaks for longboard lovers. Plus, locals can help you avoid peak times and hidden dangers.

Pro Tip: Hire a knowledgeable guide to guide you safely and teach you about local culture and customs.

Book a surf trip with a local guide

Escape the crowds and still catch Bali’s best waves by booking a surf trip with a local guide! With insider knowledge, they’ll take you to lesser-known beaches with fewer people. Plus, they can give you background on the local culture and recommend the best places to eat and stay. Book through a reputable surf company to benefit both locals and visitors.

If you prefer to go solo, time your session during off-peak hours—early morning or late evening. Always respect the space of other surfers and follow surfing etiquette.

Remember, crowd management starts with individual responsibility. Be mindful of others and respect Bali’s beaches for future generations.

Is Surfing in Bali Crowded – Conclusion

For enthusiastic surfers, Bali is known for its amazing waves and stunning landscape. But some may ask: Is it too crowded to surf here? Not really! There are over 60 surf spots, so you can easily find a quieter spot. Like Black Sand Beach or Medewi on the west coast. Or, try Balian or Air Guling in the south-west. Or Nusa Dua Reef on the east coast.

To avoid crowds, plan for off-peak seasons or weekdays. Hire a private boat from Sanur Beach to explore the islands with fewer tourists. Or, go for a dawn patrol just after sunrise, when most are asleep. Finally, take a break from surfing and enjoy Bali’s culture and nature!

Is Surfing in Bali Crowded – Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is surfing in Bali crowded?

A: Yes, surfing in Bali can be very crowded, especially at popular breaks such as Kuta Beach and Padang Padang.

Q: Why is surfing in Bali so crowded?

A: Bali has become a popular destination for surfers from around the world due to its warm water, consistent waves, and beautiful beaches. This popularity has led to overcrowding at some of the more famous breaks.

Q: Are there any less crowded surf spots in Bali?

A: Yes, there are still several less crowded surf spots in Bali, but they may require more effort to get to and may not have the same amenities as the more popular breaks.

Q: When is the best time to surf in Bali to avoid crowds?

A: The best time to surf in Bali to avoid crowds is during the off-season months of March to May and September to November.

Q: How can I stay safe while surfing on crowded Bali breaks?

A: It is important to be aware of other surfers in the water and follow proper etiquette, such as waiting your turn and not dropping in on other riders. It is also recommended to wear protective gear and to know your skill level before attempting to surf in crowded breaks.

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Jarrod Partridge

Jarrod has spent six years living in Bali, visiting every corner of the stunning island while immersing himself in the local culture. He fell in love there - with the football team Bali United - and spent many an evening with the locals, cheering the team on to two Liga 1 championships.

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