No cars, no motorbikes, no worries. The Gili Islands with…
Bali is known to be one of the best surf spots in the world. There are excellent waves all year around and it has surf spots for surfers of any level whether you are looking into learning to surf, are an intermediate surfer or an experienced pro.
People not only come to the islands of gods for the surfing, but the relaxed lifestyle, friendly locals, a great foodie scene and breathtaking scenery. This island has it all and this is also the reason why this is my third time that I am visiting Bali.
This time my main goal is to learn surfing and spend my time on Bali being active and healthy and charging those batteries after a busy couple of months at work.
What area to pick?
When researching surfing in Bali Canggu seemed like the perfect fit. It is close to a lot of surf spots like Kuta, Berawa, Seminyak or Echo Beach that all have the perfect conditions for beginner surfers. As a beginner you want to surf those gentle white water waves to get a feel for the ocean and the sport and be at a surf spot with a gentle bottom. Apart from the surf it was important to me to be in an area that has a lot to offer so I can go out and have fun in the evenings. Canggu has become really popular the past years with a lot of new cafés, shops and bars that opened, but it hasn’t lost its relaxed vibe and charm. I loved to start with a healthy breakfast at the Crate Café, join a yoga session, watch the sunset at The Lawn or Finn’s Beach Club and have vegan dinner at The Shady Shack. More about all my favorite hotspots in another blog posts though.
Staying at a surf camp
If you are a beginner surfer and are really keen to learn to surf, staying at a surf camp in Bali is the perfect way to spend your vacation. During my holiday all I wanted to do is surf, chill and see the best that Bali has to offer. There are so many great benefits of staying at a surf camp. I found it really motivating and inspiring to be surrounded by people there, who all were so eager to learn to surf and share that common interest. There is a daily schedule with surf lessons, but also a lot of other fun activities to choose from like yoga, fitness, movie nights or excursions to the hotspots of Bali. I found it perfect to stay in a relaxing environment and with everything being so well organized, all I had to do is sign up for those activities and have fun.
I chose to stay at Wave House Surf School & Camp that is located close to the beach in Berawa Canggu- with lots of beloved restaurants and cafés, nightlife, beach clubs in walking distance or a short bike ride away. They include free bike rental and scooters can be arranged as well. If you are staying for more than a week transfer to and from the airport is included as well.
About Wave House Surf School & Camp
When stepping through the doors inside Wave House, you find yourself in this little oasis, a perfect hideaway from the hustle and bustle of Bali’s busy roads. With two swimming pools, plenty of sun beds, hammocks and lounge furniture to hang out, a fitness and yoga zone, lush garden and a restaurant it has a true resort feeling to it. Prices start from 49 $ per night/per person and include surf lessons 6 times a week taught by professional surf coaches, surf equipment rent, theory lessons, video and photo analysis, insurance, free bike rental. breakfast of your choice and lots of other fun activities like a Friday night BBQ, yoga and fitness classes or movie night.
My first surfing experience
Once I settled in at the surf camp, I could not wait to get started and get into the water. The surf camp publishes a daily schedule with surf lessons and activities. Surf lessons are perfectly suited for beginner and intermediate. I signed up for my surf lesson that was going to start the next day at noon.
As a beginner surfer it is important to learn the basics properly from the start. Surfing is a very complex sport that takes time to pick up. Having a good surf instructor at the beginning is crucial, so you start to learn the movements right from the beginning.
We met up for a theoretical class that are happening before each surf lesson. We got shown a video and then our surf instructor explained us the necessary skills that we need to know before we start to surf. We also went through general safety requirements.
Then it was time for the dry run on a mat. Our instructor showed us first and then it was our turn to start practicing how to paddle and how to get up on the board. We got a lot of helpful tips and our instructor corrected us if we got things wrong.
After the theoretical lesson it was time to use those new skills in the water. We got equipped with a rash vest, shorts and a surf board, as a beginner you start of using a foam board. Then it was time to hop on the van and head to Kuta, which is a great place if you are just starting out.
After some more practice runs on the beach with the surf board it was time to go into the water. We were a small group and for every two people they had one surf instructor making sure you get the best attention.
I got to say it does look a lot easier, than it looks. It is a lot of trial and error and especially in the beginning you will fall a lot. It is important to keep going and not give up. Already during my first surf lesson I finally managed to stand on the board (for a brief couple of seconds) and it was the best feeling ever. I was quite sad when the two hours were over and it was time to head back to the camp. I was slightly bruised and sun burned, but so full of endorphins and had the biggest smile on my face.
I spend a wonderful couple of days at Wave House. My stay was pretty perfect, the surf camp was beautiful and well maintained and the staff were so helpful and kind. Most importantly I learned the basics of surfing and while it was challenging, it was also so rewarding. I felt perfectly looked after by the surf instructors.
I came alone, but it was nice to connect with people from all over the world, share meals, stories and go surfing together. I made a great bunch of friends at Wave House. Now the question is, when can I come back for more? Can’t wait to improve my surfing skills in 2020 and hopefully return to Bali as soon as possible.