October 20, 2021 5 min read 0 Comments

Canguu, to be found on the west coast of Bali, is one of my personal favourite places globally for surfers because its fabulous beaches offer a variety of waves for different levels of surfing ability.


While surfing is a year-round activity in Canguu, your visiting time should primarily depend on what type of wave you wish to catch! Depending upon your answer, there are two seasons to consider, i.e. the Monsoon Season, which runs between November and March, and the Dry Season, which runs between April and October.


The Monsoon (Wet) Season


Interestingly enough, the word "Monsoon" in this part of the world does not refer to the rain but rather the wind. Wave power tends to decrease on the west coast of Bali during the Monsoon season. Therefore, many dedicated surfers tend to head for spots such as Lombok or furthest Bukit, should they wish to chase some barrels! December, however, is when the Canguu surf is generally at its lightest, but even so, big days can still happen, and hollow conditions can be experienced.


Those who surf during Bali's wet season tend to have more space to ride the waves by themselves. However, they may not experience the best temperature while doing so! Nevertheless, it can be a joy for right-handed surfers to surf in Bali during the wet season, as this is when the offshore winds are experienced on Bali's east coast.


The Dry Season


The Island of Gods, as it is known, tends to be more crowded during the dry season as this is when the weather is at its best, i.e. plenty of sunshine, brilliant blue skies, as well as offshore winds coming in from the west coast. Little wonder, then, that Bali experiences a peak in surfers at this time of year when they can experience consistently clean and big swells.


Between May and September are believed to be the very best time for surfing during the Dry Season, during which the offshore wind is in its very best shape. This would be the ideal time for experienced surfers to tackle some of Bali's most famous reefs. Beginners, however, would be wise to start at some of Bali's surf sports that cater for newbies to surfing. In fact, the west coast is the best place to surf during this season as this is when the weather and the swells come together to offer the very best surfing experience.


Canggu's Best Beaches for Surfers


Batu Bolong

The Sunset at Batu Bolong Beach is spectacular!

                                 Sunset at Batu Bolong Beach

Looking to start surfing and need some expert advice? Then Batu Bolong Beach is the place to be. Batu Bolong beach is located at the very end of the most hustling street in Canguu, on the southwest coast of Bali. This beach is considered to be the very best place to begin your surfing experience. Here you will find some excellent surf schools, as well as shops that offer board purchase and hire options.


Batu Bolong beach has incredibly long waves, which is ideal for beginner surfers, as this allows them the time to correct any mistakes, adjust position if necessary and all while enjoying the experience! The waves here (swell) are only mellow, i.e. from one to six feet, and the water itself has a "semi reef wave" which flows both to the right and left.


When the tide is medium to high is believed to be the best time for surfing at Batu Bolong Beach. Nevertheless, as great a place this part of the world can be for surfing, it can get pretty crowded - and polluted - both points need to be born in mind when choosing your surfing destination.


Old Man's Surf


                                   Surfer at Old Man's, Canguu

The glistening grey(ish)-black sands of Old Man's Beach in Canguu is found between Batu Mejan (Echo Beach) and Batu Bolong. Visited by surf schools due to its beginner-friendly reef break, Old Man's is a great place to surf for learner surfers to the more advanced. It is also a popular place for those who love longboarding. On the beach, you will find local vendors who rent out surfboards. It is easy to paddle out on a longboard to catch the waves, which tend to be fat (meaning they are just shallow enough to allow the waves to break), friendly and not too fast. However, surfers need to look out for the reef bottom contour if surfing when the tide is low.


The dry season is indeed the best time to surf at Old Man's.


Echo Beach


             Surfer riding the waves at Echo Beach, Canguu

Echo Beach is indeed one of Canggu's most popular beaches for surfers. To be found some 22 miles, approximately, to the northwest of Seminyak and Kuta, and a short drive west from Denpasar, the provincial capital, parts of Echo beach, such as Echo Beach main break, are essentially more suited to intermediate and advanced surfers. However, other areas, such as Stairs Surf Spot, are suitable for beginners (the right has a sandy bottom and is beginner-friendly) to expert surfers. Nevertheless, Echo Beach is the home to many experienced instructors who will happily provide for beginners or those who are more versed with the art of surfing.


Pererenan Stairs



Surfer chiling out before tackling the Pererenan waves!
NB:  Photo courtesy of Rio Lecatompessy

When travelling from the southeast to the northwest, Canggu's final surf spot is Pererenan Stairs Surf Spot, given this name because of its stairs, which lead down to the water. Stairs breaks over a mixture of sand and rock. On the inside, the reef is somewhat shallow, and therefore surfers need to be careful when choosing where to enter and exit. This particular beach has both a right and left-hand wave and, unlike a lot of beaches in Canguu, is more often than not less crowded.


Whatever beach you may decide to visit, you can rest assured Canguu has plenty of surf shops at your disposal. You will find many of them congregated among the bars and cafes of Pantai Batu Bolong, but others can be found scattered as far north as Jalan Raya.


In conclusion, there are no hard and fast rules as to when and where is the best time to surf in Canggu, Bali. It all depends on what type of surfing experience you may be looking for. However, with a bit of clever pre-planning, whichever beach or beaches you may decide to visit, you should have the trip of a lifetime!