Canggu, a.k.a “The Gu”.. home of the hipsters, Bali’s Surfers Paradise and that-place-just-past-Seminyak.. Canggu clichés aside, let’s talk about what you’re really actually here for. The Surf. Trying to work out what’s-what when surfing in Canggu can be a major headache – thankfully though, we’ve recruited one of Canggu’s saltiest babes to break it down for you.
Canggu Surf Breaks
Whether you are on par with Kelly Slater, a-kinda-beginner or flat-out first timer, the beaches of the Gu will have something for you! The variation of waves along the Canggu stretch from Berawa, to Pererenan caters for everyone.. And boy oh boy, there is too much fun to be had, both in and out of the water! Canggu is home to some of Bali’s and Indonesia’s best surf spots, along with the Insta-famous cafés, and of course the dope party places for apres-surf saltiness. Yeww!
Depending on the tide and swell, Berawa beach generally has three main breaks with both lefts and rights on a pretty easy to navigate reef. When the swell is big (and if you’re up for it), barrels, long rides and epic sections will put the stoke on any surfer’s face. On most days, the blue Bali sky is complimented with perfect-sized surf that is fun for all levels. The locals guys from the warungs on the beach are pretty friendly and double as surf instructors. They will be super keen to help out to get you in the surf, and hook you up with a board to boot!
Sunset spot? Grab yourself a swing at Arboon Beach Bar, a cold beer in the pool at Finn’s Beach Club, or a cold coconut at The Naked Coconut.
Across the shortcut lays the longboard heaven of Batu Bolong. It breaks pretty far out and peels off in both left and right directions. Some days the inside (or reforms) can be the best waves out there, at least that’s what the little local groms reckon! The break is populated with longboarders, but don’t get me wrong; it’s still just as much fun, if not more so, on a short board. Batu Bolong is the perfect place to learn to surf – the beach and car park are lined with locals renting surfboards and private instructors ready to take you out in the line up. With a fun and friendly crowd (read: crowd!) and wayyy too many party waves to be had, Batu Bolong is an absolute icon of the Canggu surfing community.
Sunset Spot? Old Man’s OF COURSE! Get there by 5pm daily for their infamous happy hour. Beat the 6pm bell or you’ll be sorry!
Old Man’s Surf Spot
Just up the beach and along the path from Batu Bolong is Old Man’s Surf Spot (no, not the pub!). At the end of the road (just on the corner) is the friendly guys at FIVE surf lessons and rental shop. If you’re up for a chat, the boys will give you a quick run-down on conditions, swell and maybe give you a few pointers on where to paddle out. Even better, book a surf lesson with one of their instructors, or 50k grab a board and go for a paddle! Most days Old Man’s has a picture perfect, chilled atmosphere, lined with surf guides and their guests. Beginners and intermediate surfers loooove Old Man’s and the advanced surfers generally head there when it’s a little bigger.
Sunset Spot? The Lawn is where all the cool cats head for sunset, or walk down the sandy road to Grass Terrace for 2-for-1 cocktails all day, everyday!
Looking for that perfect left hand reef break? Look no more, Echo beach is definitely the place to head to! From a perfect mid-tide barrel, to a nice wall-y wave on a higher tide, Echo is generally for the more experienced surfers. With epic warungs, cafés and restaurants lining the shore, it really is the perfect place to watch your man carve it up, or even your girl if she’s a ripper. The friendly locals will let you leave your stuff in their warungs, but be sure to buy a drink, lunch or give them a tip for watching over your stuff! Oh and the seafood barbecue dinners here are next level! (And cheap too!).
When you say the word ‘Sandbar’ in Canggu, it could mean one of two things; surf break or the after hours (we’re talking midnight to sunrise) party place! Sure enough, they are both in the same place, well, one is in the water and one is on land, but you get it, right! 😉 The surf at Sandbar is a beach break that peels both left and right. Sandbar is also more of a wave for the experienced surfers as it can have quite strong rips running next to the break, but the barrels, sucky take offs and the sometimes shallow shories, can give you some of the best waves in Canggu!
Sunset Spot? Pull up a beanbag at Sandbar (on the land) & enjoy a front row seat to watch the surfers still going.
Further down the beach you’ll see a perfect right hander. Sometimes you will be lucky to score a few sneaky left handers as well, but the right is definitely our pick! Who would’ve thought you’d score so many right handers in Bali – the land of lefts?! The Pererenan Righ, sometimes also called ‘River mouth,’ is a world class wave and there are often surf contests held here. Get lucky and you could bump into Alana Blanchard or many of the local Indo pro surfers, but watch out for the handful of surf photographers bopping around in the water.
Sunset Spot? Pondok Nyoman Bagus is a local-style eatery with an epic infinity edge pool. We LOVE!
Canggu Secret Surf Spots
Hmm, how to explain Canggu’s secret spots but still keep some secret.. I’ll let you in on a few of my favourites! With a short (maybe half an hour) ride or drive to the beautiful beach of Kedungu, you’ll find perfect waves just far enough away from those Canggu crowds. Several surf guides and drivers take their guests there as it is a great spot for beginners and intermediate surfers. Don’t get me wrong, when the swell is a bit on the bigger side, any decent surfer will be frothing to find the loooong, wall-y waves of Kedungu.
If Kedungu doesn’t sound like your thing, or isn’t working on that day, jump back on your bike and continue on the highway, until you wind your way to Yeh Gangga. More like ‘Yehhh Amazing’. With peaky and punchy beach break waves and not too many other surfers in the water, you can almost certainly score perfect rides. Depending on the tides, you may also find your way in and (hopefully out of) a few barrels and who doesn’t love that!
Canggu Surf Guides
What better way to get into the surf scene here in the Gu than having your own private guide? From driving you to different breaks, paddling out with you, pushing you into waves and teaching you the theories and etiquettes involved with surfing, local surf guides are definitely the best way develop your surfing and they’re bound to get you well on your way to ripping!
Having a local guide doesn’t just limit your experience to the water. Often a guide will also be able to give you a hack-list to their fave local warungs for traditional food and that after surf kopi (or Bintang 😉 )
A few of our faves (all used by Gu Guide contributors, and in no particular order)..
Suny is one of the Canggu legends, an older generation of Canggu local surfers. His calm manner, endless patience and chill vibes are the perfect match for the more tentative beginners. Don’t get us wrong – Suny rips out there, and he’ll be able to tweak your intermediate technique just a little notch higher, if that’s what you’re looking for.
Contact Suny: +62 813 53120195
Adi is probably Canggu’s funnest surf guide. The ocean is his playground, and he certainly does play in the waves! As a guide he is confident and encouraging, with just the right amount of determination to make sure you have the best surf of your life while out in the water with him. Whether you’re a fresh beginner, intermediate kook or a little more advanced, you can be sure to have a great time catching waves with him.
Contact Adi: +62 817 4197889
Often dubbed “Sexy Ayok,” this longboarding Canggu hottie is quite a sight to behold. When he isn’t hanging ten, you can find him giving surf lessons to hoardes of giggly girls. He is cool, calm and collected, and the perfect coach for beginners. Sponsored by none other than our favourite Sunday sesh providers Deus (apparently they do surfboards and motorbikes as well? Who would’ve thought!), you’ll be in good hands while surfing with Ayok!
Contact Ayok: +62 819 16322992
Canggu Surf Stays
Looking for somewhere to rest your head after a long day in the surf? We’ve prepared a list of some of the Gu’s better known surf stays, for all budgets..
Jl. Munduk Catu, Batu Bolong, Canggu
Surf Your Days Away & Spend Your Nights At Ayok’s! From $25 USD/Night
Jl Batu Bolong, Batu Bolong, Canggu
Batu Bolong Surfer Haven – Air Conditioned Rooms From Only $25 USD/Night
Jl. Pantai Berawa, Berawa, Canggu
Live The Salty Life At Berawa’s Surfer HQ. Two Minute Scoot To Finns & Berawa Beach! Rooms From $50 USD/Night
Canggu Surf Camps
Coming to Canggu solo? Surf camps can be an awesome all-inclusive way to go, for when you just don’t wanna think about all the little stuff. Let a surf camp sort you out – so you can focus on the important stuff, like becoming a total froth doggie. A few of our Canggu faves..
A hip holiday dreamhouse – for surfing, biking, yoga – or absolutely nothing at all!
Build your own surf retreat with rooms from $100 USD/Night
“Pelan Pelan” means “take it easy”- and that’s exactly what goes down in this beautiful surf & yoga retreat.
7 night retreats from USD $608.
A unique Surf, Yoga & Fitness Camp for women of all ages that offers you a passionate and natural experience, in a beautiful tropical setting.
3 night retreats from USD $655
Canggu Surf Gear
Canggu also just happens to be HQ for surf hardware in Bali, with custom shapers cropping up like rice paddies in wet season. Here’s a few of our go-to’s to add to your Canggu hack list..
LOKO is the hottest new surf brand on the island. With their distinct skull logo, it’s hard to miss the LOKO madness sweep over the island.
The LOKO store is situated directly at the Berawa end of the shortcut. Buy your board right off the rack, order a customised one for your needs, or kit yourself out in LOKO from head to toe!
Head to Board Riders in Echo Beach for your one-stop solution to all your surf needs. Need wax? They got four different kinds. Zinc? Same thing! Fins, leashes, tailpads, wax combs, fin keys, surf watches, other accessories, swimmers, boardies, rashies, hoodies, and much, much more! Yes, that does include surfboards, fun boards, used boards and ding repair! You’re welcome!
Don’t know Oy Surf Apparel? Do you even surf? No true Canggu girl’s surf wardrobe is complete without Oy swimwear. There’s a time and a place to #freethenipple, but Batu Bolong on a crowded day is not one of them. That’s where Oy comes in. Bikinis and swimmers in a range of colours, designs and cuts, with one thing in common: your surf comfort.
Get yours from the Love Anchor Complex opposite Deus.
Surf ‘n’ Canggu go together like surf ‘n’ turf. With the wide variety of waves from occasional hollow barrels to fun longboarding ankle-slappers, as well as the good choice of lefts and rights (not to forget the soft tops going straight ahead..), there’s a little something here for everyone.
Tie up your (man) buns and beards, get your zinc on and see you out there! YEWW!