Your First Indo Surf trip


An Indo Surf Trip

8 Things to Know Before Your First Indo Surf Trip

If you’ve just clicked through your purchase of a flight to Bali, Indonesia than congratulations are in order. You are about to join an ever-growing population of traveling surfers and adventurers. The first of which came to Indonesia in the early 1970s in search of perfect surf.

The same driving force behind many of the travelers that venture to the island of Bali, Indonesia today. It is a little-known fact that the first surfers to set foot on Bali in the 1970s, were some of the first westerners to ever set foot on the island. Back then, the airport was a mere runway in the jungle, dirt roads connected the different boroughs of the island, and you could count the number of surfers who had graced each break with their presence on two hands. First surfers attempted to conquer the thunderous beach break at Kuta Beach.

From there, they explored south discovering famous waves like Padang Padang, Uluwatu, and Impossibles, one at a time. Bali’s rich and storied surf history aside, the island has changed a lot over the last half-century, but much of its original charm remains. Indonesian and Balinese culture and customs are unique and worth in-depth exploration.

There are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare for your travels. Continue reading below to learn 10 Things to Know Before Your First Indo Surf Trip.

bali surf camp

1. Getting here is an adventure in its own right

Depending on where you’re traveling from, Bali could be on an entirely different side of the planet from where you originally take off. Travelers leaving the United States face 30 hours or more travel days. If you’re flying from Europe or the UK, expect 18-24-hour journeys. Finally, if you’re traveling from Australia or other parts of Asia, you’re travel day will be more reasonable, clocking in at 5-10 hours depending on your origin.

Denpasar’s Ngurah Rai International Airport (Airport Code DPS) is relatively small, so many international flights connect through other cities. Connections can be adventures on their own. The most common connection when flying to Bali is through the city-state of Singapore. Singapore is known for its clean streets, towering skyline, and exciting food scene. It is worth every traveler’s time to venture out of Singapore’s chic airport to explore the city.

2. The Bali Waves are world-famous for a reason

As we’ve mentioned many times before, Bali is home to world-class surf. But don’t just take our word for it, venture out of our Bali surf camp to any of the waves on the Bukit Peninsula to see for yourself.

bali surf holiday

On the Bukit Peninsula alone, surfers can enjoy the cavernous barrels at Uluwatu, the racing, long lines at Padang Padang, and the leg-burning rides at Impossibles. Bali’s location in the southern part of the Indian Ocean makes it a virtual paradise for surfers. Warm water and year-round swells attract surfer from all over the world. The waves at Bali are simply on another level when it comes to quality and consistency.

3. There are more than just lefts

Some of the first images to emerge out of Bali from the glory days of surf travel were of goofy footers drawing effortless lines along the hollow walls of a wave or tucking into turquoise, Indian Ocean tubes. The flood of images that emerged from surf traveling pioneers in the 1970s and 1980s paints the picture of Bali as a goofy footer’s paradise, which it certainly is. However, Bali is home to plenty of quality right-hand waves as well that will excite any regular footed surfer.

Bali’s pumping beach breaks, such as Kuta and Legian, produce playful lefts and rights. Additionally, the entire East coast of Bali is full of world-class right-handers, including a World Tour stop at Keramas. Other famed right-handers within reach include Nusa Dua, Sanur, and Shipwrecks on Nusa Lembongan.

4. Bali is great for surfers of all abilities

Bali may be world-famous for cavernous barrels that break over jagged reef systems, but there are waves for every level of surfer on the island. With year-round warm water and swell, Bali is an ideal location for beginners to learn to surf and for intermediate surfers to hone their skills. Beginner breaks include DreamLand, Balangan , Bingin ( on high tide) Padang Padang Right, and Canggu. Intermediate surfers head to Old Man’s in Canggu, Dreamland on the Bukit Peninsula, or impossibles on mellow days.

bingin surf spot

5. There’s more to Indo than just Bali

While Indonesia may look small on a map, its population is enormous with roughly 264 million inhabitants. Indonesia looks small on a map in part due to the size of many of the islands that make up the Indonesian archipelago. Sure, Bali, Java, and Sumatra may be easily recognizable to those familiar with the region, but Indonesia is made up of over 17,000 islands. Each island has its own culture and independent traditions, making Indonesia one of the most culturally rich destinations on the planet.

Additionally, with over 17,000 islands under its flag, it’s easy to see why so many consider Indonesia to be a surf traveler’s dreamland. From the shores Bali, Java, and Sumatra, to the waters of the Maldives there are sure to be uncrowded, and even never before surfed, waves out there waiting to be ridden.


6. Indonesia is full of religious and cultural diversity

Indonesia is the most Muslim country in the world. Meaning that there are more Muslims in Indonesia than any other country on the planet. However, Indonesia is still incredibly culturally and religiously diverse. Each island still holds on to traditions and customs that predate the arrival of Islam and even Hinduism. The result is religious practices that incorporate indigenous religions into modern worship. Bali is a predominately Hindu Island. It is known as the land of a thousand temples for the many ancient temples and shrines on the island. At many of the temples, guests can observe the mix of indigenous traditions woven into modern worship. While Bali is mostly Hindu, Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam are also present on the island.

7. Bali is a  surfing destination for any budget

Whether you are a shoestring backpacker that pinches pennies together for every meal, or a jet setting businessperson looking to max out your  indo surf trip, Bali is the place for you. As one of the most affordable global surf destinations, Bali is great for young travelers and backpackers looking to make the most out of every opportunity.

Budget travelers will fall in love with the delectable local cuisine at Bali’s Warungs. Warungs are small, family-operated businesses that offer up tasty, local meals at an affordable, local price. Luxury travelers will bend over backward for Bali’s villa and resort options, as well as the many fine-dining establishments that have popped up all over the island in the last decade. Head to Seminyak to explore some of Bali’s best fine dining options. Here at Swell Bali we do not aim to be the cheapest surf camp in Bali, but we do aim to provide excellent value, Prices start at $125 dollars per night.

8. Bali nights are what you make them

Bali has recently developed a reputation as a party destination, which is slightly inaccurate. Yes, the nightlife in Bali is electric: the beach clubs are fun no matter the time of day, and a night out can last until dawn. Bali can also be a relaxing paradise with a healthy atmosphere and a rejuvenating spirit. Bali nights are what you make them. If you’re looking for an endless flow of Bintang, you’ll find it. But if you want a more relaxing travel experience that borders on health and wellness travel, you’ll find that too.

swell bali surf camp 

An Indo surf trip is unlike anything else out there. The only way to find out more is to hop on the plane and experience it for yourself!
Q: Tell me more about Swell bali
A: Swell is a purpose-built Bali Surf camp in the center of Bingin, for surfers, by surfers

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Finding that Bali is getting to busy? Not to worry, Indonesia has 27,000 islands. The more remote you go, the less busy the surf is. WaveHaven Surf Villa has beachfront luxury surf accommodation in Rote overlooking 3 different surf spots

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more bali surf reports and news here

surfing bingin


BINGIN FUN SURF REPORT JUNE 18, 2022 For the whole of the last week we had fun surf in the overhead to 2x overhead conditions here on the Bukit’s surfing beaches in Bali. Yesterday at Mid to High tide showed how much fun Bingin Waves can be for intermediate and beginner surfers. Ideal For Family and longboard fun Waves: 2′- 3′ Wind:  offshore winds Temperature: Warm & clear skies, rain overnight   Surfing Small Bingin Waves For beginners and intermediate surfers June 18, 2022   Want more information about Surfing Uluwatu? Read our Uluwatu Surf guide.  Swell Bali is closed

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surfing bingin


BINGIN SURF REPORT JUNE 10, 2022 The last 2 days we have had a great waves all over the Bukit. Uluwatu was in the 2 to 3 x overhead range. Padang was breaking today, and had some nice barrels. Waves at Impossibles were in the double overhead range, but there was a long wait between sets. We took some photos of Bingin, which was pumping. There were about 20 surfers out, the sets came through very consistently and every surfer in the water was getting their share of waves and barrels Waves: 5′- 8′ Wind: Light offshore winds Temperature: Hot,

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Uluwatu Surf Report April 13

 ULUWATU SURF REPORT April 13 , 2022 Last 2 days had some very fun waves at uluwatu, Impossibles and Bingin. Today April 13th it has dropped off, but still some overhead waves at Uluwatu. Bali is slowly getting a new influx of tourists, so the locals at the warungs are smiling more and more as they can start to make some money to feed their families. When you come (back) to bali, don’t haggle them for lower prices, they have had a very tough 2 years! Waves: 2′- 4′ Wind: Light offshore winds Temperature: Hot, clear skies   Surfing Uluwatu

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surfing bingin


BALANGAN & BINGIN SURF REPORT MAY 15TH, 2021 If you are in Bali now, and you are a surfer this will be a fun weekend for you. Waves are good! Uluwatu had some very solid overhead + waves in the mrning (sorry no photos today). Balangan had some fast barrels. Bingin at around 15.30 was a perfect barrel machine, every surfer I saw was getting a barrel, and 90% were coming out of them. Impossibles had some double overhead waves on the sets, but not easy to get into because of the 20+ knots winds. More good surf for the

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SURFING ETIQUETTE: THE RULES (Or what to do and what not to do) When you decide to learn to surf, you are not only beginning a new sport.  The nature of surfing is not only about the physical activity of catching waves, it’s a culture, a lifestyle and for most of us surfers, it’s an obsession.   As surfing becomes ever more popular, surf breaks become busier and therefore, the ‘etiquette’ of surfing more important still.  Knowing about surf etiquette and how it works will keep you safe, prevent you from being involved in a “surf rage” incident and will almost

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surfers etiquete in the line up


BINGIN SURF REPORT MAY 6TH, 2021 We have had great surfing conditions here on the Bukit of Bali the last few days. Solid overhead waves at Impossibles, Bingin, Dreamland & Balangan. Uluwatu was in the double overhead wave range. Impossibles was still peeling long lefts today. The next few days the current Swell is going to slowlyfade, and then a new pulse is going to set in. Surf Season has truly started here in Bali. Waves: 3′- 7′ Wind: Light offshore winds Temperature: Hot, clear skies   Surfing Bingin & Impossibles picture gallery May 6 , 2021   Want more

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surfing uluwatu

Uluwatu Surfing report April 25

 ULUWATU SURF REPORT April 15 , 2021 New Swlel arrived today, not quit the 12-15′ foot Uluwatu as predicted, but still solid waves in the double overhead range at the Peak, and Temples, and long peeling waves at racetrack. Light offshore wind and clear skies. The whole wind shows a similar wave size on the Bali Surf forecasts. Waves: 4′- 7′ Wind: Light offshore winds Temperature: Hot, clear skies   Surfing Uluwatu picture gallery April 25, 2021    Want more information about Surfing Uluwatu? Read our Uluwatu Surf guide.  Corona update: Bali  ( or the whole of Indonesia for that

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 ULUWATU SURF REPORT April 10 , 2021 Swell arrived a few days late, but today seems to be the start of the Bali ’21 Dry surf season. Overhead + waves at Impossibles, The tide was a little too high for Bingin to be barreling at midday. Uluwatu had some solid 1,5 to 2 x overhead waves, and racetracks was firing when the tide got lower. This coming week should see plenty more good days of surfing here on the west coast of Bali, since the winds have finally turned offshore or very light side onshore. Waves: 4′- 7′ Wind: Light

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 ULUWATU SURF REPORT MARCH 11 , 2021 Yesterday seemed to be the start of the surf season here in Bali, glassy and light offshore surf conditions here at the west coast of Bali. Clean conditions at Uluwatu (overhead), Impossibles (head high) and Bingin (head high). There are les and less surfers here now in Bali, so at least the locals and expats that live here have one advantage of being in Bali during the Pandemic, although financially everyone is struggling, good surf makes up for some of the pain. Waves: 3′- 5′ Wind: Light winds Temperature: Warm, clear skies  

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uluwatu surf report


 ULUWATU SURF REPORT FEBRUARY 16, 2021 New Swell has strated to kick in, with pretty clean and glassy conditions. Tide was very high when the pictures were taken at Uluwatu. Only7 or so surfers out. and some had to do a loop around the cave to get back in because of the high tide + strong current. Wave size should increase and provide good surf conditions for the next few days Waves: 4-6′ Wind: Light winds Temperature: Warm, clear skies   Surfing Uluwatu picture gallery February 16, 2021  

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surfing bali


Thinking about a surf trip to Bali? If so, there are 2 important questions to ask yourself before going: 1- Where should you go in Bali? 2- When should you go to Bali? To answer the first question: we chose the south of Bali, the Bukit Peninsula for very good reasons.  For 8 or 9 months each year we are surrounded by Bali’s best waves; not just for expert surfers, but also for intermediate surfers and also for people who have never surfed before.  We are located in the surf town of Bingin, with surf spots like Bingin, Impossibles, Dreamland,

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Surfing Balangan


SURFING BALANGAN   A surfing guide to surfing Balangan Balangan is one of Bali’s iconic left-hand reef breaks that doesn’t get as much attention as it’s more famous siblings like Bingin, Padang Padang and Uluwatu. THE LOCATION OF BALANGAN Balangan is located just north of Bingin and Dreamland beach, about 500 metres north of Bingin, but access is blocked off from Bingin by a headland, where the start of the Balangan wave is. You could paddle from Dreamland to Balangan on small days, but on big days this is definitely not recommended. Access to Balngan is easy, there are 2

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