Information before you go
Surfing in Kuta is one of the most popular things to do on the island. In the past Kuta was a little fishing village but today it is a famous surf destination for beginner and advanced surfers. While beginners are able to struggle just of the shore of Kuta beach, advanced surfers can take the boat out to the Kuta reef, located further in the ocean. Best time to go to the Kuta reef is during the dry season.
Since I never surfed before, it was always on my mind and every time I saw the new-fresh surf pupils struggling with the waves, I couldn’t wait to have a try myself.
However I had a hard time deciding what to choose: the Big Kahuna surf school who offers beginner surf courses for Rp450.000 or just one of the many Balinese surfers who stand at Kuta beach.
Our friend Barbro, catching every word
My choice was made when I was sitting at the beach just before sunset. Right next to me an English guy was getting instructions on how to stand on the board. After a few ‘stand-ups’ and minor instructions he and his instructor went straight to the water.
The first thing I thought was: ‘Is that all...?’ And I guess it is, because the English guy was standing on his surfboard in no time.
I had to give it a go too...
The next morning my girlfriend, her friend Barbro and I met with the same instructor named John. He had placed three surfboards in the sand and was ready to show us how to stand up on the board. .
My girlfriend practicing how to stand up on the board
Once we had some idea on how it kind of worked, John strapped the rope of the board around our ankles and we followed him to the big waves...
When we were further off the shore John said that I had to climb on the board and lie on my stomach. While we were waiting for the right wave, he held on to the end of my board.
Then, he yelled "start paddling!!", which I did and before I knew it I was moving forward fast.
I heard John yell: ‘Up!!!”. I tried but I guess too clumsy because I immediately ended up with my face in the water
John gave me some minor advice and when the right wave came I got up and remained standing. It was so cool! I was actually surfing!!!
Obviously I couldn't wait to get into the water
There were plenty of waves to practice and my girlfriend and her friend were able to stand too. For two whole hours we were getting up and falling off the surf board while John kept giving us instructions.
Towards the end of the two hours we were exhausted, getting sun burned and we felt we were on top of the world.
The lessons with John were Rp 100.000 per person for one hour lessons and one hour surf-board rental. The prices can vary, and you might need to bargain but it should be around the price I just mentioned.
Will this be me after a couple of lessons...?
While we chose to take lessons with one of the many local surfers, you can of course go for one of the schools with qualified instructors. You will also get additional facilities when doing a class with them.
If you want to contribute to a great foundation and at the same time join a surf lesson then check out the Eco Surf Shop. They work together with the Rip Curl School of Surf at the Double 66 (Legian beach). Part of the payment will be donated to the Surf Soul Project, a program that teaches orphans and street kids to surf.
Is on day surf session not enough for you? Then a surf camp might be a great option. Here you will learn all the basic moves and surf as much as you can at the most beautiful beaches that are ideal for beginners.
If you are an intermediate or advanced surfer, then I can imagine that crowded waves full with uncontrolled newbies can get a bit annoying. Luckily Bali is filled with great surf spots such as Belangan beach, Uluwatu beach or Balian beach.
Once again we found ourselves on the beach of Kuta, gazing along the horizon and watching the surfers catch the perfect waves. It was time to do some serious surfing again ;-)
My sister was there to join us and because it was her first time we asked one of the many Balinese surfers at the beach to teach us the basic instructions. And like our first surf lesson, we were in the water in no time.
Off we go...
The waves were not that high making it easier to wade into the water with our boards. Each time a wave came the instructor would hold on to one of our boards till it was the right time to start paddling...
After several attempts my sister managed to stand on her board. My girlfriend and I were able to use our experience from the first lesson and were standing more often towards the end of the lesson.
After an hour the private lesson was finished but we were allowed to struggle with the waves one hour more. Despite the minor cuts and bruises we had a great time.
There is nothing better than standing on the board and catching a wave. Especially if you do all by yourself...
Here's the evidence...
Surfing at Kuta beach is definitely on top of our list when we are here. And I can imagine why people head to this island for just surfing alone.
Hopefully after a couple of more lessons we will be heading for the other famous Bali beaches with our surfboards...
Do you really want to learn all about surfing besides being able to stand on the board? Join a surf camp and learn in a fun way all the ins and outs about surfing.Read more
For those who understand the waves already and are looking for more challenging surfing spots while escaping the crowd at the same time head to low key Balian Beach.Read more
Jump on a motorbike or rent a car with a driver and head to the southern most beaches in Bali. Do some beach hopping and discover the another beach in different bays.Read more
Now and then people send us inspiring emails and this generates even more enthusiasm to share all of the things we know about this lovely island in the hope that you can plan your tropical holiday properly and have as such a great time as we always have. Hope to see you there!
When I wrote the mail I never really expected a reply. I might have expected a computer generated but never a personally written one. The information you provided is invaluable, thank you so very much. I have been using your website as a bible through Bali. Through your recommendation, I will be heading to Ubud then follow the sightseeing route to the coast of Candidasa.
WOW...what an awesome website. I could only dream that there would be a website like this for all our travel destinations! You guys have done an fabulous job and now, I am sooo excited about our upcoming trip to Bali. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure Bali was the place for us considering some of the travel warnings (we are Americans). But I can tell from your experiences that the Bali people are so very kind and peaceful.
hi and congratulations on the blog it s brilliant and helpful....we are going to Bali in September with my family (including 2 little girls) so we need to have nice spaceous rooms garden and pool access rooms preferably in Semikyak but not too far from it all...I hope you can recommend a great place thats not full of Australian crowds as we like meeting people from other countries.
Hi, I have been travelling for years and I want to say that this website is the best I have EVER come across. It is easy to navigate, it is really descriptive, gives all the info that you could ever want and is accompanied by the best photos and advice. GREAT.