Learn to Surf: Great beaches in Bali for Beginner Surfers

Bali is known for the beautiful fauna and flora, the amazing food, the nice scents, the colourful ceremonies and the beautiful smiling faces. Apart from that, it is also a surfer’s paradise.

If you would like to learn to catch some waves, we can help you with that at our surf and yoga retreat Pelan Pelan Bali, located in the Canggu area in Bali.


learn to surf bali


Beaches for beginner surfers in Bali

Because of the many different beaches, suitable for all levels of surfers, it’s good to know which beach you should go to if you want to learn how to surf in Bali. In this blog you can find some suggestions of beaches that have mellow, long waves, and are therefore perfect for beginner surfers.


Old Man’s


oldman beach


Close to our surf and yoga retreat, in the Canggu area, on the South-West coast of Bali, you can find Old Man’s, also known as Pantai Batu Bolong.

It’s a black lava sand beach with a semi-beach break. Here you can find both right- and left-hand waves, so you can choose which wave to catch depending on the direction you want to go to. This might sound difficult if you have never surfed before, but Pelan Pelan’s surf guides will help you to choose the perfect wave for your surf level. In the beginning we will teach you how to stand up and ride straight on the white-water (foam/broken waves). Once you control these movements, we will help you to catch green waves (unbroken waves) and to learn how to make a turn onto the wave.

At Old Man’s, the waves are fat, mellow and not so fast, so you have time to position yourself when you take off. That way you also have the time to really experience and enjoy the feeling of riding a wave. All of this makes this beach very good for beginners, who usually start the first days riding a soft longboard.

Because this beach is perfect to learn to surf it can get really crowded, but the waves tend to break and reform several times so you have the opportunity to find your perfect spot and catch your very own first waves.

After surfing you can get thirsty or hungry, so you can have a Bintang (local beer) or grab some food with your fellow-surfers at Old Man’s. If you go between 5 and 6 PM you get lucky and get 2 drinks for 1, Happy Hour! Just don’t go too wild if you want to go surfing the next day, which we are sure you will!




surf in seminyak


A little bit more to the South, about 40 minutes away from Canggu, you can find another nice beach to learn how to surf, located in Seminyak. This white-grey sand beach also has both left- and righthand waves with a beach break. The length of the waves is a little bit shorter than the ones at Old Man’s, but because of their mellow nature and slower speed they are also awesome for people wanting to learn to surf.


Baby Padang


surf in baby padang


Padang Padang is located in the Bukit Peninsula, on the South coast of Bali. Padang Padang is a playground for more experienced surfers, but its little brother, known as Baby Padang, is very suitable for beginner surfers. Some people also call it Padang Padang Right. It’s an easy paddle into the line-up (this is the spot in the ocean where surfers line up to catch waves, just behind the breaking zone), and if you pick the right-hand waves you surf right into the channel. This is the place you want to be to easily paddle back out and catch more waves. Since you don’t have to paddle too much you can put all your energy into catching as many waves as possible. This way you can practice your pop-up techniques and feel how your board turns when you move in a certain way.


Nusa Dua


surf in nusa dua


As you might know Bali has a dry and a wet season. The dry season is from April to October and the wet monsoon season from November until March. Although there might be a bit more rain during the monsoon season, Bali has hot and humid temperatures all year round. From November to April the winds can change direction from Westerly to Easterly, which might have an influence on the surf conditions on the West coast. Luckily this doesn’t happen often and if it does, it gives you the chance to take a surf-trip to the East-side of the island. On the South-East coast, in the Pekatu region, you can find nice surfable waves on a lovely white-sand beach with a semi-reef break, called Nusa Dua. Nusa Dua has 3 surf spots, being Black Rock, Mushroom Rock and Nikos Beach. Black Rock is the most beginner-friendly, because of its long rides and multiple peaks.

After surfing you can enjoy a refreshing coconut or a snack at the beautiful beach or in one of the Warungs (local restaurant or café), or you can even do some shopping. Since there are also a few breaks for more experienced surfers, you can watch them play with the waves and dream about how you will be able to surf that way one day.


When to surf at these beaches?


surf at beach


After choosing the beach you would like to go to, it is good to know which conditions are the best and when the best time is to paddle out. All the above beaches are ideal to surf for beginners when the swell is 3 to 5 feet. At Old Man’s and Seminyak beginners should go surfing at middle or high tide. At baby Padang and Nusa Dua you should go when it’s high tide, so that the water covers the (semi-) reef.

Our surf guides will explain you everything about this, but if you would like to check the surf forecast yourself, here are some tips on how to read a surf report. We will also help you to choose the right type of surfboard.


Beginner surfer instruction video to get you started

Now that you know which beaches to go to to learn how to surf in Bali, when the best time is to paddle out and which surfboard to use, below you can find an instruction video that will show you the basic rules of how to catch a wave, and will definitely make you even more excited about catching your first waves with the surf guides of our surf and yoga retreat.

Hope to see you (again) soon at Pelan Pelan Bali!


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