Bali surf culture
Bali surf culture means that surfing is embedding in the modern fabric of this island, among local expats as well as natives. Sure, it hasn’t been here for over 1,000 years like some of the villages and temples you’re bound to visit if you’re not a complete philistine — an admittedly unfortunate term unfairly derived from the real Philisintes of the ancient world — but surfing culture is vibrant on this Island of the Gods.
Surfing has the same effect anywhere in the world. It has that unifying factor that draws people together even from opposite sides of the world. Locals and foreigners can easily connect and share a wave. And even when the waves became few and far between, you could always share a smile or a conversation with other surfers. Most people who come to Bali after all already have a close connection to the ocean and an understanding of its fickle temperament. It would only be up to you to recognize that in everyone you meet.
One thing that’s great about surfing in Bali and learning to surf here is that the surf culture caters to your likes and needs. This means there is a supportive atmosphere with surf schools, surfcamps, surf lodges and shops dedicated to showing you how and where to surf. Choose the right surfcamp that’s run by people who love the local scene and are enthusiastic to share that love with you. Let Bali be how it should be your home away from home.
Bali was recently chosen by Surfline as the Best Bet surfing destination for the month of May. The author provides a grittier description of Bali surf culture than Lois Yasay, but the appeal still shines through.
While it’s no longer the pristine, untouched grace-land that lured the likes of Wayne Lynch, Jack McCoy, Gerry Lopez and others just shy of a half century ago, the waves still go by the same names (some of them). And they still fire (all of them). And now, in addition to barrelling waves, rippable waves, and lowers-on-steroids waves, you get near-death scooter experiences and a dodgy bar scene, Or a yoga retreat you can take the whole family too [sic]. Shit, you can check off all those boxes, while getting some of the best waves you could dream up, if you feel so inclined. Add a dash of Bali-belly and you could have stories of feast and famine to brag about for years to come.
Something that makes Bali even more of a “best bet” time for surfing is the fact that the tourist season doesn’t kick into full gear until July. So June is still in tune and September is also a time to remember. Bali’s dry season runs from April to September, but there can be great surf (and even smaller crowds) in the wet season as well. Read all about it and check out some stunning photos plus informative graphs and maps data on the swells of the Bali swell on Surfline.
Featured image of Bingin surfer kids by Sergio Fernández (Flickr CC)