Photos from the Road: Surfing in Bali

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Photos from the Road: Surfing in Bali

Throughout my travels, I occasionally bump into fanatical surfers. They travel the world, occasionally for travels sake, but usually a deserted beach with the right waves is the only thing on their mind. Nearly every one of these surfers has one county in their small handful of favorites: Indonesia.


Although there are even more sought after locations (by experienced surfers) in Indonesia, Bali is nonetheless its most famous. I was lucky enough to get a chance to surf there during the recent international blogger trip.


This was not my first time surfing. I had my first lesson a few years back on the shore near San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. I got another chance on the rough waves of San Blas, on Mexico’s Pacific coast. Despite knowing the basics, I am still a beginner.

Surfing in Bali


I joined a few others one morning on Kuta Beach in Bali. We joined the Pro Surf School’s beginner lesson. This included a thorough 30-minute theory lesson indoors followed by two hours on the beach in practice.


Kuta Beach is great for starters because it’s got a sandy bottom. If you fall, and you will, you smash against the soft sand instead of rocks or reef. The instructors at Pro Surf School were knowledgeable and helpful. They took it step-by-step and within a few minutes I was standing up and riding waves into shore.


A stop in Bali is a good way to break up the more serious stops while traveling through Indonesia. My surf lesson in Bali came after two weeks of intensive sightseeing, including the orangutans of Kalimantan, the temple of Borobudur, hiking Mt. Bromo volcano, and visiting the Komodo dragons.


My visit to Kuta Beach Bali was part of the international blogger trip to Indonesia hosted by the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy. All content and opinions are my own.

*photos taken by Pro Surf School in Kuta Beach, Bali


practicing on Kuta Beach before entering the water

carrying the surf board to the beach in Bali

heading out to surf in Bali

Surfing in Bali Indonesia

getting up with the help of Pro Surf School in Kuta Beach, Bali



returning after a morning surfing in Bali

Have you taken a surf lesson? If you’re experienced, where is your favorite place to surf?

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Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno has been traveling the world and writing about it for the better part of 20 years. His articles and essays have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, and Transitions Abroad magazine. He blogs at Bohemian Traveler and edits the independent travel magazine He most recently set up a tour company offering authentic, small group tours at Unquote Travel. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


  1. soloflightEd says:

    I’ve tried surfing in Kuta Beach. Waves are really beginner-friendly! Only there’s so many surfers there! Still, sunsets in Kuta beach are always amazing! First time here!

  2. Tom says:

    I had a great time surfing Kuta despite the fact it was rainy season and you had to paddle through a maze of cigarette butts and general trash to get to the breaks. Anyway, really fun waves like big fluffy pillows. Loved it.

    Had my first lessons in Hikkaduwa, Srilanka. Not a bad place to start.

    I surf regularly in Chiba, Japan now. Loads of waves at any time of year. Very little localism. Accessible from Tokyo but much easier if you have a car. Outside of July/August you need a wettie.

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