So everyone is talking about the swell that’s coming later this week, and you don’t want to miss out. Maybe you’re still learning, but not afraid of nothin’. Maybe you’ve been surfing for a while and want to take it up a notch. Maybe you’re a seasoned big wave surfer but you’re two months pregnant and your doctor is telling you to take it easy. Maybe you’re recovering from injury, or maybe you’re just tired of going over the falls and getting cheese grated at Padang like last time and the time before that.
Here are six of the chillest bigger wave spots in Bali. Not everyone can be a hell-man all the time.
You still have to be safe, you still have to know your limits, but these are places of less consequence where the crowd might be a little more lax and the take-off less deadly and more do-able, while the waves are still good at head-and-a-half to double overhead.
1. Old Man’s
Ok look, Tugu and Old Man’s get really confusing. Tugu is right out the front of Batu Bolong Road in Canggu, and Old Man’s is a wee walk north along the beach.
Old Man’s is best mid-tide, as high tide will fatten it out and low tide is just a bit average and the wave quality drops. It’s kind of a paddle out, but if you go out just to the right of the big rock on the beach, that’s usually the most mellow channel.
Sometimes at bigger surf, maybe double overhead plus plus, the entire spot will close out, but it’s not too hectic if you can duck dive and hold on. It’s reef underneath, but you never hear of anyone hitting it.
The sets start feathering way out, so sit tight, hold your spot, and you’ll be able to paddle in and take off at the peak. Depending on swell direction, there is a left and a right. Ok at overhead to double overhead.
Impossibles on the Bukit really is bigger the better. Impossibly fast and super annoying at smaller swells, you want a moderate to large swell with as much south in it as possible. In between Padang and Bingin Cliffs, you can paddle through the channel at either spot.
The waves gets pretty warbly at high tide, so mid to low is best, but just watch the walk out at low. It’s a super long left that looks perfect from the cliff, but has a ton of sections so you’re lucky if you pop off the back at the end of your ride.
There’s no channel, but it’s rare to get caught inside for that long because it seems to be a wave where just sets hit or something. It’s all good from overhead to like, triple overhead, but if you’ve got the chi to surf it super big, you might as well go to Outside Corner where you can dig hard to drop in and just know it’s a super fast wave. Fun and wall-y.
A lot of long-time expats *heart* Balangan wave when it’s bigger and the right conditions. Like Impossibles, it can be annoying and section-y, but watch for swell with south and west in it on mid-tide, as magicseaweed says, 0.4-1.4m.
It’s reef for sure, gets a little gnar-gnar to walk on at lower tides, and watch out for the end section where you can either get barreled or destroyed. Paddle out along the cliff, you just have to time it right. If you can’t figure it out just don’t surf here when it’s bigger.
It holds up to double overhead plus, and like said, sensitive to the right swell directions but can be super fun, with a way more mellow crowd than say Ulus or Padang.
Medewi is a fun, left-hand pointbreak with sand and rock bottom. It’s a mellower long wave that doesn’t really barrel, but definitely holds size just fine.
Point-break wave and vibe, and because it’s so far out the crowd tends to be thinner. Watch for S-SW swell and it seems to be better with a little bit of water on it. If you’ve made the trek this far, you may want to wait for the swell to drop and check out Balian in the same area- also super fun!
This wave takes it name from a restaurant of the same, the first upscale spot in Bali. People laughed at it when they first opened but now they’re making cake so… Ok honestly, KuDeTa is a mushy low-tide spot, but word has it that when the surf is big, it deserves a high tide check.
Pluses at this spot include a luxe and very appreciative audience (maybe someone will even buy you a lychee martini if they see you get a sick one) and a shower right at the steps of the beach entrance to KuDeTa so you can take a victory rinse like an aquatic gladiator in all your glory, where everyone can see.
Don’t forget to suck it in and flex.
Dreamland is on the bukit, north of Jimbaran. It used to be literally a Dreamland, a beautiful beach with bamboo bungalows set into the cliff.
Now it’s a gross cheap mega-resort, so if you do surf here, don’t buy anything to support it! The golf course uses tons and tons of water that the bukit doesn’t have and the locals were forced out of their livelihood.
There are a couple waves looking out that are uninspired at smaller swells, but the peak to the right is fun at a super low tide like 0.2m, 4-6 foot. Sandy reef. Some say it even barrels, but who knows.
That’s up to you to find out.