Bali is a popular destination among surfers because no matter the time of the year, surfing is possible. But of course, with most tropical countries, there’s a wet and dry season to take note of. The dry season is usually from May to September while the wet season from November to March. As you’ve probably guessed it right, the peak surf period is during the dry season where the best waves are spotted.
In this article, we will look specifically into one of the more popular spots, Kuta Beach, which is situated 9.7 km (6.1 mi) from the city center of Denpasar, the capital city and main hub of Bali. With various surf spots, surfing lessons for beginners and beautiful accommodations surrounding the vicinity, there’s no excuse to not head there. Here’s a guide for anyone who’s planning to start surfing at Kuta Beach, new or old surfers alike.
Getting to Kuta Beach
You can head to Kuta Beach via a 12-seater public shuttle bus service or taxi.
Spot the Kuta line route map and stop at the Beachwalk bus stop. Kuta Beach will be a 1-minute walk away from the bus stop. You can find the Beachwalk bus stop on lines 1, 2 and 3, though the present routes differ slightly. It will take you about 30 minutes from DFS Bus Bay and will cost you 20,000 IDR (2 USD).
Hop on a Blue Bird taxi in light blue from Kuta and you can get to Kuta Beach in five minutes. You can either hail a cab on the streets or download the Blue Bird taxi app from the Apple store or Google Play store. Remember to prepare some spare change for your taxi fare. Before entering, confirm that the driver will be using the meter before departing. Or if you’re familiar with Gojek and Grab, read our article for more tips on how to travel around Bali with these ride-sharing apps.
Surf spots at Kuta Beach
Congratulations on arriving at Kuta Beach. Were you greeted by the stunning stretch of golden sand and numerous beachgoers along the beautiful coastline? With a safe bottom for surfers of all levels, you will find beginners learning to surf as well, so don’t worry about sticking out like a sore thumb. Kuta Beach is a beach break with waves that allows surfers sufficient space to spread out and find a peak of their own. Since the waves are soft waist to knee-high runners, it’s a prime spot for beginners to start learning.
Halfway Kuta is the most consistent and crowded peak along Kuta Beach, which makes it one of the best spots to surf. You will find it situated approximately 50 m (0.03 mi) north of Poppies Lane 2. There are mostly right-hand waves here, which is essentially a wave that breaks to the right from the surfer’s vantage point. Due to how the sand builds up at Halfway Kuta and the formation of a small channel, it breaks longer than the rest of the waves along the beach. Skilled surfers can take advantage of the bigger swells and a low tide to catch and ride.
For intermediate and advanced surfers, Kuta Reef can break in 50- to 200-m walled-up bowls ripe for maneuvers and a few barrels. With consistent waves, it works best during mid to high tide. The paddle out to Kuta Reef usually takes about 20 minutes since it is 800 m (0.5 mi) offshore. If you’re a beginner surfer and seem to find yourself at Kuta Reef, don’t turn back just yet. Make this trip an observation lesson as you watch how other surfers do it. See which waves they choose to catch and which ones they’ve avoided. Take your time!
Kuta Beach is a hotspot for surfing beginners since you can take lessons or classes from surf schools readily found at the beach. Or if you prefer to pick it up on your own, head to the right spot, speak to a local surfer (if you spot one) and just do it! Otherwise, we highly recommend that you learn it from a professional and get your basics like how to stand up, control your board and tips on safety right.
Take advantage of the soft waves and paddle out when the swell is small. Stay waist-deep if you’re not confident or take the chance to ride sideways out back if you think you’re up for a challenge. You can book a lesson via Viator for a 2.5-hour surfing lesson at Kuta Beach conveniently online with the link below.
2.5-hour Beginner's Surfing Lesson at Kuta Beach
Duration 2 hours 30 minutes
Tips on surfing at Kuta Beach
These are some general surfing tips in Kuta Beach for beginners.
Watch the season
For the best consistent wave conditions, avoid the wet season from December to February.
Check the condition of waves
Before traveling, dig deep into the surf spots you are interested in for information on the conditions of the waves during different times of the day. We’re pointing this out because the swell, tides, and wind can change drastically within hours on the same day.
Seek the professionals
This brings us to why people join surf schools or camps since the local experts should know best and can point you in the right direction to keep you safe.
If you’ve got a trip booked earlier or in the midst of deciding on a Bali visit just to learn surfing, be sure to check back on your fitness level. You will need enough strength and stamina to paddle and conquer those waves so if you haven’t been exercising, it’s time to start somewhere.
Protect your skin
Early mornings can be good for surfing since the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays aren’t that deadly. But if you can’t make it in the morning, it’s better to put on some sunscreen that is marine-life-friendly. Mineral-based sunscreens, especially those made from zinc oxide, titanium dioxide and contains no nanoparticles are good.
Bikini, shorts, Bermudas or swimwear, put on something that gives you the flexibility of movement. If you have much skin exposed to the surfboards, then you might want to consider putting on a rash vest to prevent rash on certain parts of your body where the board rubs against your skin.
Never go alone
This is one sport you should never go alone, especially if you’re a beginner. It’s best to have someone to watch your back as a partner surfing together or from the beachside.
Places to stay near Kuta Beach
Most accommodations in Kuta itself are a great choice. You can stay in a hotel or resort for convenience or Airbnb/Homeaway for comfort.
Need recommendations? We’ve written an article on where you can stay in Kuta, from hotels to Airbnb and HomeAway accommodations. Have a read and make your comparisons!
Apart from surfing, there are other popular things to try at Kuta Beach. Get a suntan, picnic by the beach, catch sunsets with beers and even horseback riding, you’re sure to bring home some lovely memories from here.
You can also go on an e-bike environment tour to learn more about mangroves in Indonesia and how it is nature’s own natural defense ecosystem.
Kuta Beach E-Bike Half Day Tour
Duration 3 hours
Kuta Beach is a prime destination for surfers and we think you won’t be disappointed in choosing it. With the best surf spots, schools and tips on surfing, you’re almost ready to hit the waves. Grab a friend or two, and learn a new skill this year. For those who’ve taken a long surf break, isn’t it about time to take another trip?
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.