Tips for those who want to learn how to surf
Batu bolong is the most popular beach for beginner surfers in Canggu. It offers several breaks and gives everyone the opportunity to ride a wave. The semi-reef bottom is deep and safe. Total beginners can start practicing inside in white water waves and then go for a next step and try easy green waves outside.
Oldmans, the break next to Batu bolong, also provides easy fat A-frame waves suitable for beginners who already get basic skill of paddling. It's a good spot for those who want to improve the turning skill.
The other popular breaks in Canggu – Echo beach and Berawa beach – suits mostly for experienced surfers who can handle faster waves. Under certain conditions beginners can practice here only in white water inside.
If you’re total beginner and want to try surfing Batu Bolong beach is a good option for you almost all year round. White water waves are rolling here almost every day in any season.
If you’re not total beginner and need to practice in green waves then the best time to surf in Canggu for you is a mid-season (March – May, September – November). The dry season (June – August) also provides nice waves if the swell is not too big (4-7ft). But big swell (more than 7ft) comes often during these months and makes waves closing and unsurfable.
Wet season (December – February) often brings onshore wind to west coast of Bali and waves in Canggu look choppy and messy. But anyway you can catch perfect conditions even during these months.
Surfing is a bit harder than it looks. It takes many hours of your own practice before you get the skill of catching waves without any help. So if you consider riding green waves on your first time you will be disappointed. But with a help of surf guide you can enjoy riding waves even on your first surf lesson.
Sometimes beginners go to surf not in proper time and put themselves into danger. That’s why it’s important to understand the ocean conditions. Of course, it will come with experience, but for the first surf days better to confide in a surf guide.
There is special surfing etiquette which help to keep everyone in the water safe. If you don’t know that rules you can make other surfers angry or just become a kook of the day.
If you’re total beginner and want to join group lesson in Canggu you will barely find such option in surf schools or camps around, because Batu Bolong beach (the easiest spot for beginners in Canggu) is not like Kuta beach.
Kuta beach offers for beginners easy knee-high shallow water and sandy bottom. 8-10 beginner surfers can play in the splashing water under supervision of one surf instructor and he can guarantee their safety cause of easy conditions. But such conditions hardly teach you the basic surfing skills such as paddling, managing the board, catching green wave and understanding the ocean.
You can learn it all on Batu Bolong, in the deep water with constant paddling practice and managing the board in waves rolling one by one. In such conditions one surf instructor can handle only one or two people and guarantee their safety. So the common practice in Canggu to learn to surf in a way of one-on-one coaching. And that’s also the quickest way to get ready for your own surf practice in easy green waves and different surf breaks.
The only one option that really works in Canggu for beginner surfers is surfing with a personal guide. Personal surf guide helps to catch every suitable wave and that’s why provides the most intensive practice, so during the surf session (about 2-hours) beginner surfer can successfully take at least 7-10 waves and improve surf skills at fastest rate. The guide also guarantees the safety and make a beginner surfer feel confident.
On Batu Bolong beach you will find plenty of surf board rentals which also offer cheap surf lessons. Usually the guides at rentals are surfers from other Indonesian islands, they have less teaching experience and barely speak English, that’s why they are ready to work for small money.
Well-experienced surf guides in Canggu usually work as freelancers or in surf camps.