When life gets a little stressful, getting into nature and learning something new might be a fun and daring way to let loose. How about learning to surf in an archipelago filled with the world’s best waves? Here are four beginner-friendly surfing spots across Indonesia to get you up and surfing.
Batukaras, Ciamis, West Java
Situated in the Ciamis regency about 34 kilometers, or an hour’s drive from Pangandaran beach, this idyllic fishing village not only offers visitors an escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, but also a relatively flat, sloping beach that boasts a perfect beginner’s surf break.
Dubbed the best place to learn to surf in Indonesia by Lonely Planet, Legok Pari bay is a perfect spot for beginner surfers because of its sandy bottom and consistent swells.
Plenty of surfboard rentals and equipment shops are available around the area, along with experienced instructors to teach you all the surfing techniques you need to know.
Aside from Legok Pari, Bulak Benda and Karang are the two other popular surfing spots around the Batukaras area, offering more advanced and challenging waves for the not-so-novice. To reach Bulak Benda, you need to take a 40 minute boat ride from Legok Pari.
For a break from your surfing lessons, you can also visit Green canyon, Citumang river and Batu Hiu beach, all located in the vicinity.
Batukaras can be reached from Jakarta by way of Pangandaran, which is about an eight hour drive from the capital city. There are several public buses that can take you to Pangandaran from the Kampung Rambutan bus terminal. From Pangandaran, there is public transportation that can take you to Cijulang. From Cijulang, you can find a motorcycle taxi to get to Batukaras.
The most popular place to stay around Batukaras is the Java Cove Beach hotel, which offers comfortable accommodation, with room rates ranging from Rp 347,000 to Rp 1,084,000.
For a more budget friendly option, Bonsai Bungalows and Teratai Bungalows are among the most popular picks, with rooms going for about Rp 350,000 per night. There are also a host of other mushrooming guesthouse options operated by friendly locals nearby.
Kuta Beach, Bali
Strategically situated just 10 minutes away from Ngurah Rai airport, this world-famous beach still cannot be crossed off the list as a surfing destination for beginner-surfers.
Plenty of surfing schools can be found along the winding coastline, with Rip Curl surf school and Pro Surf school among the most popular options. These schools offer three-day to weeklong packages to suit your skills and preferences.
Kuta’s small breaks and powerful, consistent waves make it a perfect place to learn to surf. Rental stations are never more than a few meters apart, but be sure to haggle for a reasonable price.
Also make sure to pay attention to the flags flying on the beach indicating the presence of strong currents offshore. Make sure to surf between the two flags for to stay safe from riptides.
Sunset Beach, Pelabuhan Ratu, West Java
It seems that West Java offers more than just one great surfing spot for beginners. If an eight hour drive from Jakarta to Batukaras feels too time-consuming for you, newbie surfers might do better to opt for Pelabuhan Ratu in Sukabumi region, West Java.
Although Sukabumi is only 100 km away from Jakarta, it usually takes about four hours to get there due to the congestion in the Puncak area.
Facing the Indian Ocean on the southern coast of Java, Pelabuhan Ratu is widely regarded for its vast expanse of tanned sands and its capricious ocean. Though since the 1980’s the beach has been known as a weekend seaside retreat for Jakartans, Pelabuhan Ratu bay remains quite sparsely populated; considering the beach’s spectacular landscape, which includes Mount Halimun Salak national park as backdrop, that is a feat.
The dry season, which lasts from March through November, is the best season to surf the Pelabuhan Ratu bay. Sunset beach, known as Karang Hawu beach, is not too far from the Pelabuhan Ratu bus terminal. This beach offers great surf for beginners, with beach breaks boasting excellent left-breaking and right-breaking waves.
There are few surfers during the week, but on weekends the beach can become quite crowded. Sunset beach also has its own surfing school, called the SCCI. Several surf shops and surfboard rental stations can be accessed right on the beach.
Other surfing spots worth checking out in the Pelabuhan Ratu area include Cimaja, with its reef and rock bottom, as well as Karang Aji and Cikembang, which take off from a more secluded beach.
Teleng Ria beach, Pacitan, East Java
While West Java has Batukaras and Sunset beach for beginners, East Java has its own menu of beginner breaks.
Pacitan regency, which sits on the Indian Ocean just a few kilometres east of the border with Central Java, is the best choice for learners.
Sources: Jakarta Post Travel/