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Balangan surfing questions

Posted by jordeer on 25/3/2012 at 22:04

Hello-- I'm a single female traveling alone to Bali in about a month, and I'd like to take some surf lessons--but nothing too committed like a surf camp. I am really attracted to Balangan beach (Kuta seems waaaay too intense for me in terms of atmosphere), but it seems like maybe the surf might be too advanced for someone who has only surfed twice in her life. So, I have two questions:

1. Is it worth it for me to go to Balangan as a beginner?
2. Has anyone ever tried Balangan Surf School? Is it good? Does it cater to beginners?

Any thoughts, general or specific, are greatly appreciated! Thanks!

#1 jordeer has been a member since 25/3/2012. Posts: 2

Posted by tezza on 25/3/2012 at 23:55

1 - beginners can learn something ANYWHERE. I've seen a surf school operating at awesome Uluwatu in big dangerous conditions - the instructor was getting his charges to catch broken waves near the shore which is great paddling/standing up/staying up practice.

Every time I've visited Balangan the waves have been super-fast left hand reef breaks. But still plenty of white water to practice on.
Note that neighbouring Dreamland (aka New Kuta Beach) does at times have a right hand beach break which is a bit easier for beginners. You can easily walk around from Balangan on the rock platform at low tide.

I have to say that as a beach Balangan is the best beach on mainland Bali IMHO. And Dreamland used to be before it got a bit too commercialised. So from that point of view Balangan is way worth staying at. Tends to have accommodation from basic beach rooms to nice lower midrangers joints with pools. And New Kuta Condotel is only 15 minutes walk away - that nice midrange joint often has attractive deals on the booking sites.

2 - I've no experience of Balangan Surf School but ANY instruction is a help (when I learned to surf there were NO surf schools - it was a matter of looking at what people did and practising/practising - a surf school has gotta shortcut the process by pointing out what you are doing wrong).

I notice the LESSON AND PRICES page says:
!!! Surfspot and -time depend on the tide and the swell !!!
Hey that would be neat - you get to stay on gorgeous Balangan but they pick you up and take you wherever they think conditions are best for learners. That may well be back at the Kuta/Legian shore-break.

I notice too on the ABOUT US page a pic of an instructor showing-off on a pretty benign looking wave which would be excellent for beginners.

#2 tezza has been a member since 13/4/2006. Posts: 1,344

Posted by jordeer on 26/3/2012 at 00:59

Thanks for the awesome advice! I feel a lot better now. I think I've just been a little intimidated by this process--the prospect of trying to learn something as challenging as surfing, alone, in a foreign country... I don't want to make it any harder on myself by showing up at like, the Extremely Advanced Surfing Capital of the World or something. But as my countrymen would say, time to "nut up or shut up," I suppose.

I think you've convinced me to spend at least a few days in Balangan. Do you know if there's a decent nightlife at all? I'm perfectly content with nursing a few beers with other backpackers in a chilled out beach bar--not a big party girl (anymore), for sure.

#3 jordeer has been a member since 25/3/2012. Posts: 2

Posted by tezza on 27/3/2012 at 20:00

There will be nightlife at the big beach club at Dreamland (look for the 3 storey joint with the glass-pyramid roof directly behind the sand) - but entry may be a bit pricey. May not be if you are a hot lady.

But back on Balangan there will be some beach warungs where surfers and travellers gather for a few drinks and laughs - maybe some music and/or a surf movie. I find the atmosphere at such places really enjoyable.

#4 tezza has been a member since 13/4/2006. Posts: 1,344

Posted by mooball on 27/3/2012 at 20:56 TF writer

Yep, definitely a subdued atmosphere down on the bukit. People love to just catch up for a beer and spin surfy yarns. That's about it really from my experience.

The beach accommodation at Belangan is rudimentary to say the least, but can be as cheap as 50,000 rupiah per night.

#5 mooball has been a member since 19/6/2010. Location: Australia. Posts: 433
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