Learning to Surf in Bali

Beginner’s Surfing Lessons in Bali

Learning to surf in Bali has never been more accessible. There are so many different courses offered now that you can find a class specifically tailored to your needs and ability. There are reputable surf schools on many of the island’s most popular beaches, particularly the regular strips of Bali’s southwest – Kuta, Legian, Seminyak and Canggu. Even budding little surfers can have a go!

Of course, anyone can grab a board and head out to the waves on their own, but without knowing the correct techniques you will no doubt struggle with the crashing waves and even standing up on a wave is unlikely. But with the proper guidance of professional surf instructors, you’ll get to know the basics and be familiarised with the correct choice of surf gear, as well as the essentials of safe surfing and awareness of being out there on the waves. There’s nothing like learning to surf in Bali with the thrill of catching your first ever wave. Here’s the lowdown on learning to surf with Rip Curl School of Surf, one of the most popular schools on the island, based in Legian.

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Learning to Surf FAQs

Why Learn with a Surf School?

  • Experienced instructors make learning to surf fun and safe
  • All equipment is included
  • You can learn the differences between boards and how to read the breaking waves

What gear is included?

  • Foam lined boards in all sizes to personally suit you
  • Helmet
  • Rash guard
  • Board shorts
  • Sunscreen
  • Reef shoes for advanced reef break courses
  • Towel
  • Refreshments

How long does it take on average?

  • It usually takes two days to stand and ride on your own – fast learners can do it in their first session!

What is the best time of the year to learn to surf in Bali?

  • Beginners learn on smaller breaks and near the shoreline, which is available all year round - you can learn to surf anytime!

You should avoid surfing if:

  • Pregnant, disabled or suffering a serious illness or injury
  • Children under 12 years old should take private lessons
  • Unable to swim for 50m

A Typical Day out with Rip Curl School of Surf

  • Pick up from your hotel (any time between 08:00-17:00)
  • Learn about the equipment and change into your surf gear
  • 2 Hour lesson starts with some practice on the sand
  • Head into the water to practice catching a wave (after the class you can practice on your own with all the gear free of charge)

Rip Curl School of Surf offers three levels: ‘beach surfer’ for total beginners, ‘reef surfer’ for intermediates and ‘power surfer’ for advanced. Its Legian base on Blue Ocean Beach in particular is the most ideal spot for beginners learning to surf in Bali, and offers different two-hour time slots from as early as 08:00 through 17:00. Mid-tides are usually best for beginner courses as they are safe, easier to catch and still good enough to ride.

You are picked up in an air-conditioned coach at your hotel in Legian, Nusa Dua, Tanah lot or Sanur – within an approximate hour before your scheduled course slot. Onsite facilities are complete with changing rooms, showers and lockers.

Each student is assigned a proportional sized foam ‘beginner’s’ board, and briefed on the basic fundamentals of learning to surf, such as posture, finding your right leg and positioning them properly on your board, as well as things about surf etiquette and safety.

After a series of practice paddles, squatting and standing on your board firm on the sand it’s time to jump into real waves. You start by paddling out midway in the shallower waters, before being guided by your instructor further out to look out for a medium swell. With a bit of help just before it breaks, you paddle hard against the wave and, putting the squat and stand to good use, stand on your first wave. It’s an amazing feeling!

After the two-hour session, you can take the shuttle transfer back to your hotel or you can stay on to practice on your own. The school will let you use their gear free of charge.

What Happens Next?

  • After your first session, you’ll understand that surfing is no easy sport
  • After 1-2 days you’ll be able to paddle out, and catch a good wave
  • By day 2 or 3 you’ll be able to ride one
  • By day 3 you’ll be able to stand on your board and surf unaided
  • Upon graduating, you’ll have confidence and may even want to buy your own board!
  • Sign up for an advanced course so you can surf some reef breaks!

Rip Curl School of Surf

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