Surfing in Balangan

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Did you know that some of our students in Bali go surfing in the mornings before their classes? As the sun rises around 6am, give or take half-an-hour depending on the time of the year, there’s enough time to do things in the morning as far you get up early! Living close to the beach not only is convenient but also makes it quicker to go for a little morning splash! As the mid-term exams were taken last week and it was time to refresh our minds, we decided to get up early and go for a surf in Balangan.

Pre-surf group photo. Balangan is a great surf spot for anyone who has already learned the basics.

Just a mere ten minute scooter ride from Jimbaran campus of Udayana University, Balangan is a famed beach among Bali goers – and seemingly popular especially among younger European and North-American crowd. Not only will you find white, amazingly soft sand and beautifully clear water right in front of the affordable beach shack style restaurants (warungs) and home-stays, you should also notice the wave that peels along the reef right in front of this idyllic beach setting. There’s also some more expensive accommodation options and yoga retreats available, all within a walking distance from the beach. And on days that the waves are small, on the right-hand end of the beach, there is a cliff-diving spot for those who are confident swimmers and not afraid of heights (we only tipped you about this – jumping is at your own risk, of course).

The view from the warung was amazing! While the surf wasn’t big this time, the drinks were cold 🙂 Our exchange students Steffi and Katja paddling out. Blue skies, all smiles 🙂

The wave in Balangan is a fast left-hander reef-break. When the waves in Bali get big, especially on sizeable Southerly swells, unless you are an avid surfer it could be worth it heading over to Balangan to watch the more experienced surfers riding big waves; the warungs are right on the beach, and the view is amazing! On smaller days the spot is actually quite beginner-friendly despite the reef bottom, and Balangan does get quite crowded with beginner to intermediate surfers when the waves are small. We definitely wouldn’t recommend surfing here for absolute beginners but once you have gotten confident with your paddling and take-offs, and know how to not be in front of others, Balangan is a great place to get some of your first experiences on surfing over a reef. Just make sure to keep your eyes open, follow the surf etiquette, and respect other surfers in the line-up!

Dian on a little peeler. Balangan beach is sheltered by cliffs on both sides.

Our happy crew found fun little waves quite close to the beach, and as it was high tide, the waves were nice for learning. Guillermo had a small accident bumping into another surfer, which lead into the other surfer’s board being slightly damaged, and Guillermo getting a little scratch onto his head. Luckily that was all that happened this time but it is important to remember to stay clear of other surfers, and try to avoid crashing with each other at all costs! Learning to give way to a person who is already on the wave, and generally speaking, being careful and respectful when surfing with others is essential. Sharing is caring, also when it comes to waves!

Asia Exchange intern Michael with a rather unconventional approach to riding a wave!

After the session, some cold drinks and delicious local food was naturally on the menu. Make sure to have a cold drink and to grab some food while visiting Balangan as these are some of the most beautiful beach warungs with the best views that you can find anywhere in Bali, and not only will you enjoy the experience, you will also support the local restaurant owners and keep their businesses going. Say hi from Asia Exchange to the warung owners, and share the good vibes. See you in water!

Does it get much better than this? We don’t think so. Balangan: we love you!

Read more about Asia Exchange student exchange programs in Bali here