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Experience Canggu’s epic surf culture during your stay in Bali. Bali is blessed with fantastic weather, warm water, just about 365 days of swell and Canggu is one of the very lucky spots that captures a large percentage of it.
The surf in Canggu is great, unfortunately it also attract a huge amount of crowd in most days. Waves vary from slow, fun breaks at Batu Bolong beach to faster paced breaks around Berawa, Eco Beach and Pererenan. Although Canggu is good for beginners having a year or two of experience, its not suitable for a total novice. On a bigger day it can also be dangerous if you don’t really know what your doing.
Fortunately there are surf schools and surf camps as well as a myriad of local instructors that can help you pick the right time and tide to practice the basics. For the more experienced surfer, Echo beach is the best bet. If your lucky on the right swell and tide, you will get a perfect left hander off the point or some epic shore-breaks on the sand bar.
As you walk towards Pantai Pererenan, you will notice the beach bars and development fade away. Sleepy Pererenan is a leisurely, more quiet beach than the rest of Canggu. You will find a few surfers trying their luck, horse riding along the beach and families spotted along the black sand enjoying a quieter beach day. The road leading down to the beach is not as built up as the rest of Canggu and you will find some fantastic cafes on your way down.
PANTAI BAKU MEJAN (Echo Beach)
Echo Beach (formerly known as Pantai Baku Mejan) is one of the more built up beaches, it’s shores are lined with incredible seafood buffet restaurants and further back some great little clothing stores. It’s a great beach to head down to and watch some of Bali’s better surfers do their thing whilst sipping on a coconut and eating from freshly caught fish for lunch! In terms of the surf, Echo’s breaks are generally better for a more experienced surfer. With fast (often large) waves, along with rocks and currents, it is not advised for beginners.
PANTAI BATU BOLONG (Old Mans)
Pantai Batu Bolong, more commonly known as Old Mans is Canggu’s busiest beach. There is a temple and a large car park to cater for the Old Man’s party-goers that lead the concrete right down to the sand. It terms of surf, grab a foam board or longboard and paddle out into the crowd, generally busiest around 8am and sunset. Be aware, midday brings a warm sun, and mixed with the black can often mean some very burnt feet!
BERAWA BEACH (Finns Beach club)
Berawa has become a very popular beach since the opening of the huge Finn’s Beach Club right on it’s shores, if you walk up to the right of Finn’s however, there are a few small dining and drinking options (we love Naked Coconut, Red Rasta & Kokoloko), that give off a fantastic, local and expat vibe. The break at Berawa is a great option for those learning to surf, offering thicker waves that aren’t as dumpy as the other breaks.
Surf schools are a fantastic way to learn to surf – particularly for those who are only in Bali for a short time. Surf schools line the streets and beaches of Canggu, meaning choosing one can be a little overwhelming. We recommend looking at the schools facilities, the qualifications of the instructors and the reviews online. We also recommend seeking schools that aren’t over-crowded, meaning one-on-one attention for students and plenty of waves to share.
For beginners, each surf school will focus on theory, beginning with basics such as safety, paddling, board control, stance and of course wave etiquette before trying out your skills in the water! There are however, options for intermediate surfers, with many surf schools operating surf trips to various breaks throughout Bali.
Pro Surf School
Canggu grew from a small community of fishermen and farmers to what it is today because of surfing. If you want to join this incredible community and learn to surf or take surf lessons in during your stay in Bali, try out Pro Surf School. The school was one of the first established on the island and most highly rated surf school in Bali, and opened it’s doors to it’s brand new location in Canggu in 2018.
In Da Surf is a family owned surf school and hostel, run by a small but dedicated team of ten surfers. The aim is to create tailor made lessons for surfers of all levels of ability, the experienced and friendly staff know all the best locations for catching waves and they have a great reputation for inspiring confidence in beginners. At In Da Surf, they like to give back to the local community and do so by running a program called ‘Surf Shelter’. The program gives free access to surf equipment and training to underprivileged Balinese children.
Location: Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong No. 32A, Canggu
Silver Surf is owned and operated by Ketut Tirta, a surf instructor with more than 20 years experience. Ketut’s classes consist of a 30 minute theory lesson on the beach followed by two hours of surfing. Lessons are available at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, and the fact that they are limited to a maximum of three students, means that you are guaranteed a high level personal attention.
Although the business is based in Canggu, Ketut always knows where the best surf is and is willing to travel to find it. Pick up and drop off can also be arranged to / from Nusa Dua, Jimbaran, Sanur, Kuta and Ubud.
If you are hoping to partner your surfing with your accommodation or simply want to get in as much surfing as possible on your holiday, then a surf camp if your best option. Similar to a hostel, you will be sure to meet plenty of like-minded travellers and surfers. Regular inclusions at surf camps include accommodation, meals, transportation, photography, instructors, surf lessons or trips and sometimes even yoga and other activities.
The Chillhouse Surf & Bike Retreat
The Chillhouse is located on the outer-skirts of Canggu and is the ultimate surf/yoga retreat. There are a myriad of accommodation options depending on what it is you’re after, for everything from the budget backpacker hoping to meet some life-long friends, to the family with young children who need some space and peace and quiet. From within the retreat, you are able to organise massages, surf lessons, yoga lessons (on top of the free ones that are included) and more. An incredible breakfast by the pool is also included each day as a part of your accommodation price and is a fantastic place to meet people and make new friends for the day ahead!
Starting from $42 USD per night
Location: Jalan Kubu Manyar No. 22, Br Pipitan, Canggu
This is a boutique hotel with a funky and colourful aesthetic running throughout. If you can’t tell this is a surfer’s hotel by the wave inspired bamboo artwork on the exterior walls, then the surfboard by the entrance will give it away.
The rooms are clean and well maintained, but the real selling point of this hotel is its rooftop. Here you will find the pool area and a bar with some seriously cool furnishing (think hot pink oil drums converted into sofas) – and how many other hotels can boast their own rooftop mini-beach?
If you book a ‘Surf & Relax’ package for your stay then a 2.5 hour surf lesson (for 2 people) will be included in the cost, as well as optional yoga classes. Other features include a restaurant, surf shop, oh and the five minute walk to Berawa Beach.
Starting from $21 USD per night
Location: Jl. Pantai Berawa Gang Sri Kahyangan No. 88, Berawa, Canggu
Whilst Mojosurf has years of experience teaching people how to surf, their Canggu hostel only opened in 2017, meaning that it is still all shiny and new, with a stylish, modern feel to it. The hostel has its own pool and chill out area, as well as a restaurant and cafe.
Surf retreats run from 2 -5 days, the instructors are ISA certified and lessons are targeted to all levels of ability. Accommodation types run from shared dormitories to private double rooms. Mojosurf is only a five minute walk from some of the mainstays of the Canggu nightlife scene and Echo Beach.
At Kima surf, they try to ensure that all guests leave feeling as though they have had a truly Balinese experience. The architecture of the camp itself has some nice touches of Balinese style and there are a variety of room types to choose from. Six-bed dorms, standard and deluxe private rooms are all well maintained and stylishly decorated. If you really want to surf in style though, why not opt for one of the villas? All of these have private pools and the largest is spread over two floors and sleeps up to ten people.
As far as surfing goes, Kima Surf offers a comprehensive training schedule with 2 practical lessons a day (7 days a week), 3 video analysis sessions a week and 2 theory classes a week. They also put on a boat shuttle service to the outer reefs (dependant on weather conditions and for advance surfers only).
In order to make the experience of staying with them even better Kima Surf has a selection of cars and bikes that are free for their guests to hire and between 7am – 6pm the tea and coffee is free-flowing!
Starting from $40 USD per night
Location: Jalan Camplung Tanduk, Gang Puri Kubu II No. 63B, Seminyak