For the more advanced surfer looking for a challenge
If you are in search of world-class quality waves, than you are going to the right country. Indonesia is littered with world class set ups that can give you the wave of your life in its ideal conditions. Bali is no exception, hosting some of the best left and right reef breaks in the world including Uluwatu, Padang-Padang and Keramas which has just been added to the WSL world tour.
Depending on the season, there is often a barrel to be found on Bali.
During the Dry season, most of your attention will be directed at powerful lefts of the Bukit Peninsula. Uluwatu, is a swell magnet and very rarely goes flat. All of the sections at Uluwatu will offer barrels when the swell is over head high. Temples can offer up a thick double up barrel on mid tides with 4-5 ft of swell, and The Peak at higher tides can give up great opportunities to backdoor the peak giving thick round barrels that will let you out onto a sloping shoulder that is great for big power carves and cutbacks. The Racetrack can offer up to 4 second long barrels on the lower tides breaking over shallow reef. The crowds here add to the challenge and you will need to be top physical condition to paddle around the hordes of surfers trying to get a slice of the action.
When the swell gets bigger, Padang-Padang and Bingin come to the fore-front of quality waves. Padang-Padang hosts the best left hand barrels in Bali and possibly the world. When large long period swells march into Padang-Padang they unload onto a super shallow coral platform, offering up 2 opportunities for stand up barrels before it runs into the deep well defined channel. Padang-Padang draws in a crowds of some of the best surfers around the world when it turns on, and the competition is always heavy when conditions are good. Bingin can offer one of the most perfect barrels in Indonesia, with a thick bowling take off that doesn’t forgive you if you take off too deep with a nice round open barrel that can stay open for 2-3 seconds before opening up into a performance wall which just begs to be hit twice before it shuts down on the inside reef. Again the competition on this wave is a fierce as anywhere in the world and you will need to be at the top of your game to get a good one out here.
In the wet season your attention will shift to the east coast as waves like Keramas, Sri Lanka, and Sanur start to get good as the north westerly winds blow offshore. Keramas is a consistent option on the east coast, and offers a great barrel when the swell gets over head. The first peak gets thicker the bigger it gets, but has a nice round shape with a lot of make-able barrels as the wave bends back towards you. Sanur and Sri Lanka both need bigger swells to show their true form so can be a little fickle in the wet season as the long period swells that come from the southern hemispheres winter are less common. When a large swell is running Sanur Reef can offer one of the best barrels in Bali that will relentlessly and perfectly barrel all the way down the reef before shutting on the shallow end section. This wave draws in some of the best surfers on the island who know when it will be on, so bring you manners and show respect to the locals who have this place dialled.