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BUKIT :. WEST SIDE, BALI 
 
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Balangan
From Kuta, take the main road south through Jimbaran towards Uluwatu. Once through Jimbaran, the road splits 3 ways; take the middle road 'Uluwatu'. After about 4km there's a cross-roads with Balangan signed as right; ignore it & go straight. After another few hundred metres (after the police stn) go through the gateway on R marked 'Griya Alam Pecatu'. All the way down palm-lined rd, past the Dreamland sign, then next left. On low tide you can walk round the point to the left and hop off. On high, it is possible to walk left along the cliff and lower yourself down a rope inside the cove.

A truly beautiful beach hosts this very long left-hand reef/point that often looks more makeable than it actually is. The endless lines seen from the top can be deceptive. On an average day, there are 2 main take-offs; The Point, and the middle of the beach. Good days are on low tide and 4-8ft of swell, when point waves will start with a benevolent take-off then barrel all the way through. Taking off on this 2nd peak is always an option, and is often more critical, leading straight into the faster part of the wave. As the tide rises, it is more of a fun peak, with 2-5ft being playful, even limp, with split peaks. The real Balangan however, shows itself on a very large swell and full moon super-high tide, when the inside reef fringe is fully submerged allowing it to line up all the way through. Level of expertise required generally correlates to size and tide at this spot. Small urchins pepper the reef; boots a must low tide. When trade-winds are more south oriented, this spot will be cleaner than Uluwatu or Bingin/Dreamland, but is generally the smaller of the Bukit surf grounds.

Great warungs on the beach; spend the day. This entire area is slated for resort development so it's quirky charm will be short lived.


Dreamland
Take Balangan directions, but turn off left at that Dreamland sign and follow the short coral stone track to the car park.
Not the most classic long wave in Bali, but probably it's most beautiful beach. Primarily a left and right A-frame reef with a big drop and barrel, tapering into the channel. Lefts are longer and usually more shack-rich, rights are often just the drop and the shoulder, although they can be quality. Inside reforms close out near beach. Further up the beach are some more left towards Balangan. Close outs are common, and the wave is fickle in all respects, requiring a major swell to show it's real character. On an average small day it can resemble a typical home-town beach-break. It is a place to head when Uluwatu is solid but these days you'll have to share it with many. 2-8ft. All levels.

Land here has been 'redistributed', first by Tommy Soeharto, then by administrators of his assets following his incarceration. The result is locals losing their land to a proposed resort development. It means bad aura, imminent loss of character, (this beach has the best warungs and losmen on the Bukit), and the probable ruination of another surf spot.


Bingin
As for Padang, but take a R 2km before marked 'Surfing beach Bingin - Impossibles'. You can stay in the losmen at the bottom of the cliff, eat cheap, and even get your board carried back up the steep path.

Super-hollow, classic left shared with a tightly packed group. Everything is focussed on the tiny take-off point, and if you actually get a wave to yourself it's likely you'll have to dodge helmet-cams bobbing around. If successful, you can get square, perfect barrels even on a 2-3ft day. Advanced, but easier on high tide. Sharp coral. Beautiful spot for late p.m. Bintang and noodle soup.


Impossibles
Visible looking south from Bingin, with easy access from Padang Padang; the first peak is out the front to the right of the beach, where there's a good channel.

This is a mad, very long, fast left-hand coral point that barrels hard over a sharp shallow sea bottom, offering only a slender chance of making an exit. It needs a very large swell to get going (Ulus needs to be over 6ft), and isn't always the fairground ride it may appear from the top. The most usual scenario is take-off into barrel, get out-raced, start again. Lower tides best. Currents. Long paddle. Advanced.

Padang - Padang
Head S from Kuta through Jimbaran. At the end of Jimbaran is a 3-way split. Take middle road marked 'Uluwatu'. After 4km approx. Take R at shop down Jl Labuansait all the way to the bridge above Labuansait Beach. Park. Down steps through rock tunnel. The main take-off is around the point to the left. You can walk around on low, or use the deep channel.

Classic, extremely hollow, very shallow left-hand reef break for experts. Padang is Bali's most consequential wave, but it needs a major ground-swell to show; think minimum 6ft plus at Uluwatu. Being clearly visible from the road, easily accessible, and unchallenging in the paddle-out, this spot gets very crowded indeed. The small take-off zone exacerbates the situation, so you need to be skilled and tactful to get your share of waves here. Even on a small day, take-off is usually straight into a yawning, turquoise, oval barrel, just like Pipeline. Then it's a matter of maximum speed, sight your exit, and stand solid all the way to the deep channel. A fall here is punishing, with pointy, lava-based shallow coral forming holes and spikes.

Padang works through the tides although low is extremely serious and should be avoided by newcomers. Mid tides still toss up perfect barrels and there's a good channel from mid to high. It's worth wearing reef boots at all times so that you can put your feet down when wiping out. Some even wear spring-suits; ostensibly for nipple-rash, but usually to give a little protection from the pock-marked reef. Experts only. Fickle. 3-10ft. Heading on up the hill towards Uluwatu there's a right to 'Thomas Homestay'. The beach under this is also known as Padang-Padang, and can have waves away from the crowds. Buy a cold drink and enjoy the view.

Uluwatu
As for Padang-Padang, then continue south for about 2k. First turnoff is now cut off by new resort, although you can park just inside the first gate and walk about a km. 2nd turnoff is best, and takes you straight to the cave via some concrete steps and the Rip Curl toilet.

The romance of Indonesia's first surf mecca was being strangled for years, and has now finally been killed off. The major development on the northern cliff, with the original warungs clinging desperately to the slopes underneath, is an omen for the whole peninsula. Access is still through the famous cave, but even this now has concrete steps to replace the old bamboo ladder. This all quickly forgotten once out in the line-up however, which still comprises some of the most consistently good lefts in Indonesia.

At high tide you enter the cave, paddle fast and accept the current which takes you over to the right but eases off on the outside. On low tide you have to hop off the edge of the exposed reef between sets. Essentially a series of left-handers breaking on quite sharp coral (reef boots a must) with many different personalities and take-off points depending on the tides and swell size. Ulus is essentially a dry season wave although it is one of the most consistent waves in Bali, and can be surfed on windless mornings all year round.

Moderate east to south-east trade-winds comb it into perfect shape, but conversely it can suffer from a lack of shape or 'morning sickness' on early mornings with no breeze. On smaller days and higher tides in those conditions, it can be a fun, even flaccid spot, and crowds are often much smaller because most arrive from Kuta later in the day.

Temples, out the back over on the far left-hand side, is your best chance of a peaceful surf. The longer paddle thins out the numbers although there is another, dangerous, access point. Fun on high tide (unless it is big), it is a nice left-hander away from the main area. Not usually as lined up as The Peak or Racetrack, but can get good and hollow on it's day. 3-12ft. Advanced. Needs bigger swells and low tide.

The Peak, in front of the cave and slightly to the left, is the most ridden peak, and best at mid tide. It features a punchy take-off and good opportunities for barrels. You will often need to kick out early or face a nasty shut down; the inside section is very shallow. When the reef outside the cave is fully coverde the sweep can be wicked. This means that to get back in you need to take a wave, straighten out and ride the foam as far back right as you can to avoid missing the entrance and having to start again. Lost boards at these times mean a swim to Padang, or clambering back up and across some evil, pointy rocks. 2-10ft. Advanced. On average swells and higher tides, intermediate peaks open up between here and Temples and the set-up is unpredictable. On big days, a small high tide can be good and line up.

Race-track, just right of the cave, is the last section of the wave. It work best on low tide to 2 hours either side. This is a super fast, bending, hollow speed ride, and once barreled you either blast out gloriously or get crushed as the sections increase in size. It gets super shallow as it wraps around the point towards Padang. Experts only. 2-8ft.

Outside Corner: On bigger days and lower tides, out the back to the right side of the set-up is this big-wave arena for experts. Outtside Corner: On bigger days and lower tides, out the back to the right side of the set-up is this big-ave arena for experts. Outside corner, when working, is a heavy, sucking left-hand barrel that can hold very solid swell. On dry season afternoons with 8-10ft+ swell, it'll assume Hawaiian proportions with harsh wind-driven spray pushing you off the back or forcing you to take off extremely late. 6-15ft. Big boards required. Experts.

Overall hazards include craggy reef at low tide, when reef boots are a must. Currents on higher tides although the reef is nice and deep at this time. Major crowds after 10a.m.

Buy a tee shirt or 3 from the lovely ladies at the cave car-park or in the warungs. Make a small contribution to have your gear looked after too and, finally, enjoy the afterglow over a Bintang and some healthy cheap food overlooking the peak.


Nyang-Nyang
from Uluwatu Temple, take the main Pecatu road. After a few km go R by school down rough 4WD track. Fork left at V.

Only head here if you've checked Uluwatu and it is too small for you. Nyang - Nyang draws any available swell to its mainly right reef pass setup, breaking into a good channel on mid to high tide. It doesn't handle much size, with 4ft and over being heavy. The reef here is riddled with intimidating holes. Surf it early morning. Consistent. Bad currents. Shark sighted. Advanced. The view from the top is as staggering as the walk down.


Green balls
Head past Ulu turnoff and go to the southern tip of the Bukit, following signs to the Bali Cliff Hotel. Its at the bottom of the huge cliffs here.

The most consistent wave in Bali. If Green balls is flat, so is everywhere, and in fact it is often to big and messed up to ride. Essentially a short right breaking over coral into a channel. There is occasional left that may tempt on the other side of this channel but it rarely has any shape. Best surfed on small days, early morning. Both the wet and dry season trade winds badly damage it. Currents. 2-8ft. Other peaks east to be discovered, via the seaweed farms. 
   
 
 
   
 
 
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