The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Surfing in Uluwatu, Bali

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re gearing up for an epic surfing experience in Uluwatu, Bali. A wonderful adventure awaits you. From the people, to the food, the waves, the views, the culture of hospitality… Uluwatu is at the top of my list of surfing holiday destinations.

Best Beginner Beaches

Over the last few years, Bali has become a popular surfing destination. Naturally, the beaches can feel overcrowded. However, Uluwatu is blessed with breathtaking beaches that are not overwhelmed with people. Padang Padang and Dreamland Beach are definitely the best for beginner surfers. Bingin Beach is great for intermediate and advanced surfers and Uluwatu Beach is a spot you graduate to once you’ve mastered the rest.

  1. Padang Padang Beach is perfect for novice surfers. It has gentle, rolling waves that are ideal for learning the basics. The sandy bottom makes wipeouts a little less daunting, giving newcomers the confidence they need.
  2. Dreamland Beach is a sort of paradise for surfers, as the name suggests. Like Padang Padang, it has forgiving waves and a sandy bottom. It does tend to experience larger swells during peak season so timing is everything. The Surf and Yoga coaches will generally decide which beach is best to train you on depending on your skill level and the wave forecasts for the day. If you want to go on a solo adventure but don’t know where, speak to them for some guidance.

Surf Tips:

  1. Respect the ocean. She is a powerful force you need to understand and cannot control. Listen to your coaches, local surfers and warnings from lifeguards.
  2. Surf Etiquette maintains respect for the sport and saves lives – don’t take these lessons for granted.
  3. Prioritize your safety at all times. Start in shallow water, away from rocks and reefs, and gradually work your way to deeper water as you gain confidence. Always wear a leash to keep your board within reach, and know your limits – if conditions are beyond your skill level, it’s okay to sit it out.
  4. Start small and work your way up – Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is your surf game. You will get better with time.
  5. Practice patience – surfing is a sport that requires patience and perseverance. Don’t get discouraged by wipeouts or slow progress – every surfer starts somewhere, and improvement comes with time and practice.
  6. Learn to read the waves – take the time to study the waves and understand their patterns.
  7. Stay balanced – surfing reveals the state of mind of a surfer. An agitated mind will show up in the surfer’s ride (or lack thereof). Keeping a balanced body and mind avoids injuries and makes the sport a lot more fun.
  8. Have fun – whether you are catching waves or wipeouts, surfing it meant to be a good time. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Enjoy your time in the water, learn its lessons, rinse and repeat.

Dos and Don’ts:

  • Make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen – sunburns can wipe you out in a different kind of way.
  • Respect the local culture and customs, both in and out of the water.
  • Don’t be the person who drops in on someone else’s wave.
  • Watch out for sharp rocks and coral reefs lurking beneath the surface, especially during low tide.
  • Keep an eye out for strong currents and riptides that can sweep you out to sea.

As with all things, you will get better with time. Uluwetu is a great place to learn to surf and when you have mastered the beginner beaches, you can move onto more challenging spots. Each beach has its own vibe and level of surf, so make sure to scope them out before you paddle out. Learn the basics, listen to the water, and hone your wave-worrier skills through practice. See you out there.

 

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