In amongst all the green jungle and really laid back happy Balinese locals you will find some of the most picture perfect sceneries along with the best waves in the world!
The water is warm and clear so you can see the fish swimming beneath you along with the reef while you surf which keeps the heart rate up and that line just that little tighter on every wave.Catch a good wave and make a barrel or a few good cut backs and the locals will give you some inspiration :)
In general one item you want to take with you at low tide in Bali are Booties, I have a few holes in my feet and that was from surfing before dead low tide!
Getting around with the J-Bay surf board.
Having read many articles on this phenomenon of a wave I could not wait to go surf this wave and I was nervous after hearing about the reef the size of the waves and especially the part about swimming in and out of a cave to go surf! Sometimes you really do want a few of your mates with you!
High tide at the cave Uluwatu.
Checking out the waves on one of the smaller swell days.
We arrived at the cave and local Warung (cafe/resturant in Indonesian) called Delpi with a balcony high above the surf that lets you view all the breaks from Temples to Racetrack. In the mornings you will often find a few devoted partners having breakfast or taking pictures of their other halves in the water below. (Thanks for the photos Shev!)
Its a crowded spot and the group is made up of the experienced along with a few intermediates.
You need to paddle hard to get a wave and when you do look out for others as you will have to carve around a few. The wave is a left and quite open at the start which is great for take off, but make sure you get moving fast as it will tube and its great to make it out, cut back and you ride white water if you're lucky...before getting back on the face of the wave. Bigger days you will have to hang on to a rail backhand, as the take off is crazy and you need all the speed you can get to make the first section. If you don't its a long paddle around the set and with all the surfers out you dont want to be in the contact zone.. If left is your favourite and you really enjoy big powerful waves this is your spot!
The locals won't drop in on you but sometimes the others will have a go and you need to shout and chase them else they will ride your wave (seems others think that since they flew all the way out here they deserve the wave). The locals are some of the best surfers out here and at all ages including the groms. After surfing here for 4 days in a row and this is an ultra consistent break and its never been less than 4ft while I was here. Its the tides you need to watch for, at low tide be sure to have booties as the reef is pretty sharp and walking barefoot even with my leather feet was a slow task walking back in when there was only a foot of water over the reef. At high tide get ready for a paddle, the rip is strong coming back in and you need to paddle hard to the right of the restaurant next to the cave - too far left and you're better off doing another circuit round out and back again or swim in at teh next beach Padang Padang! One of the guys surfing with us crunched his board up pretty good in the cave.
After surfing there's some steep stairs to climb either back to the car park or the Warung and once you haul yourself back up there if you got a few good waves and the local camera guys snapped a few pictures they will call you in to have a look and see if you're interested its about 200,000Rp for 10 or 5,000Rp each if you only buy one that's pretty much 5$ - 2$ each! depending on your bargaining skills and how many pictures you buy. Remember to keep 3,000Rp for the car guards.(I had missed these guys since SA!!)
Stormriders have some great guides read here on Magicseaweed
Surfing a wave on the way back in at Uluwatu
Sometimes you have to trust each other!
Gearing up for the lip!
This is my favourite photo I think I finally got my backhand cut back down!
Padang - Padang
Surfing here at the end of March its was a fun left and more of a long boarders wave, I am still hoping to catch this spot working as its apparently a great barrelling left. The beach is a small secluded bay and reminded me of Clifton, SA. Its a steep walk down and you will be rewarded with a small sandy beach that even has some shade from the surrounding cliffs later in the day if you need a break from the intense heat. Its a popular beach so it does fill up quickly.
Mid April I surfed this at 4ft plus and its a non stop barrel and almost impossible to make the wave you need to be able to pump speed right from the get go the locals have the hang of it and make it look easy especially at low tide but don't be fooled I saw at least three tourists come out bleeding from the reef!
The two of us surfer and photographer at Padang padang 2-4ft
Padang padang have aussie style lifeguards- with the between the flags style in red and yellow
Padang padang is good for a swim as well, see above and below.
Unfortunately no pictures of me surfing at Padang Padang :( Shev was too busy sun tanning.
Nicest beach we have been to so far and Atli came along with us so it was good to have someone else to surf with. The break here is a left built for Speedy Gonzales just imagine the cheese at the end of the tube! Its fast and its on a razor sharp reef, for me it was fun and great to get barrels but the chances of making them were slim..
The other spots have been good to see and hear about so much to do so little time, however the guys tell me Nyang Nyang is a bigger wave this time of the year but I am not complaining as Ulu's has been around 6 -8ft and glassy.
Next I am looking forward to Nusa Lembongan, Playgrounds, Shipwreck and Lacerations all aptly named I'm told.
Sunset surf at Balangan. Dave is there somewhere, not that many surfers out at Balangan that day.
Sunset at Balangan was spectacular that day.
Arriving at Nusa Lembongan was great we couldnt have planned it better our ferry dropped us off right outside Tarcis and the Shipwreck break!
There are three main breaks here Playgrounds,Razors and Shipwrecks and I only really saw the last two working surf was in the 4 - 6ft range with a few small days as well.
Its a long right and my favorite wave In Indonesia so far! The take off can be steep but the slight offshore holds it up perfectly and the water pushing over the reef means you always have enough speed. I didn't have any issues with the reef here even though it is sharp its just not as much force pulling you down as around Bali! It felt like you could try anything here and land without a worry :)
Dave surfing Shipwrecks at Nusa Lembongan. Wish I had a bigger zoom!
The East coast wave of Bali, a bit of a walk out on the reef, make sure you wear booties. I scored some good waves here at Temples, Chickens was working as well according to the beach watchers when I got back but we couldn't see it from where we were further south at temples. The current here pulls you from South to North along the coast and it gets big swell from deep water so the waves are large rolling walls that suddenly jump up a foot near the reef. It was 6 - 8ft and great, you just need to paddle like crazy. Coming back in at dusk was a long paddle I caught a wave the reformed as I glided over the shallow reef and then paddled over the lagoon home to or the sun loungers!
Walking on the reef to get out to the waves. Booties are needed, reef is sharp.
A perfect right hander.
Another perfect right hander.