Surfing is one of the most popular of water sports in countries with extensive and well-developed beaches. Individuals who love to surf would have gone through proper training first. However, in light of recent events in Australia, where a 41-year-old Japanese surfer died as a result of being attacked by a shark, it is essential that even expert surfers be watchful and follow a few tips for their own safety.
First thing first, do not embark on a surfing adventure unless you know how to swim. It is not just important to know “how” to swim, but also equally important to have developed your stamina for swimming. One should be a well-practiced swimmer, because swimming regularly develops strong muscles. It is necessary to be in full strength when surfing as one is frequently required to swim upon losing balance while surfing (this is very common, especially with beginners). It is advisable not to swim against the current. A tip to prevent neck injuries is not to dive into the water headfirst, but to fall flat and use your outstretched hands to identify any obstructions.
Secondly, your mindset is of utmost significance. One must realize that it is easy to get carried away, not only by the waves, but also by your desire to impress your friends or because you might be feeling extremely excited. Do enjoy yourself, but remember that safety comes first. Ensure that you do not choose to ride waves that are greater than your strength.
Timing is an important factor in planning your surfing adventure. Avoid going to surf right after dawn and in the night as these are the times when sharks are known to feed and hunt. Your choice of clothing is a fundamental part of planning, too. Bright and highly contrasting clothes as well as shiny jewelry are believed to attract sharks, so opt to dress less colorfully and definitely not at all in a flashy array.
It is best to take certain precautions before leaving home. Do watch the weather update to ensure that a sea storm has not been forecasted and also check whether the tide is high or low. Furthermore, do not go surfing if a shark has been sighted on that particular day.
Once at the beach, play the role of an observer. Observe the weather and the direction of the wind. Observe where the waves crash and also study others surfing at the time, so as to gauge the pattern of drifts as well as how much and when to paddle.
Aside from their ultimate beauty, Bali’s beaches are also wonderful for surfing. Here, I have summed up 6 of the best of them for your reference.
1. Nusa Lembongan
Nusa Lembongan is a small island located about twenty kilometers from Bali’s eastern beach. You can reach this place by speedboat in an hour. Several cruises such as Balihay Cruises and Bali Cruise Bounty provides a transportation service to reach this island. This isle is great for surfing. In addition, it has stunning natural panorama that is very interesting for sightseeing. You can also do snorkeling and diving here.
In Nusa Lembongan, you can surf comfortably because the beach here is not too crowded. For utmost surfing pleasure, go to surf between April and October where the wave reaches its maximum height.
2. Serangan Beach
Serangan Beach is located in a small island near Denpasar. Although it’s close to the Bali capital city, Serangan Beach is not as crowded as Kuta and Sanur. This beach is favored by many surfers. The wave here is good for the beginner because its height is only four to six feet. The best surfing time in Serangan is in the morning, from November to April.
3. Kuta Reef
Kuta Reef is an ideal place for surfing in the world-famous Kuta Beach. The exact location of Kuta Reef is in front of Sandhi Pala Motel, or, about 800 meters offshore. To reach Kuta Reef, you can rent a boat that is available nearby the beach.
Uluwatu is in the northern Bali and close to Pura Uluwatu. Only professional surfers are allowed to surf here due to its very high wave. It is often used as the place for surfing competition.
5. Padang Galak
Padang Galak Beach is also called as Ketewel Beach. This beach is known to be one of the best surfing places in Bali. To reach this beach, you only need twenty minutes trip by taxi from Denpasar. Padang Galak is also close to Sanur. This surfing spot is favored by many tourists, especially the Japanese.
6. Medewi Beach
Medewi Beach is located in the regency of Jembrana. It’s easy to go to this beach. You only need to drive about two hours from Denpasar. Medewi Beach is also recognized as one of the best surfing spots in Bali, suitable for either amateur or professional surfers. You can surf here any time, but I recommend you do it in the morning.
As so many people are taking an interest in surfing, it makes sense to learn that there are many more surf camps being set up. Regardless of the ability of the surfer, there is bound to be a place that will match their capabilities. Even if you are planning to surf for the first time, you will find a place to go and there will be many others in the same position as you, although there will be some who have more experience and ability.
If you are not sure about your interest, there is no need to get top of the range equipment. However, make sure you have the right items before you get there. The more advanced you get, you will find that there are still as many places to visit, but here you will be in the same group as people who have reached the same level of proficiency as you have. Before booking, it will be best to check that you are going to the right place.
This is so because you do not want to end up feeling like an outsider and not getting the most out of the time you spend at surf camp. Camps will have an expert on hand to let you know whether or not the camp is suitable for you and may even suggest others if theirs is not. There will be a couple of ways to find a site that is suitable. You can either look up an area that you want to visit and see what is available there or select the level that you want and then see which of the locations is preferable.
As well as ability, there is cost to consider and this needs to be taken seriously as there could be other events that you want to try in the area. For many people, the main attraction is the knowledge that the people running the camp have the same interest as them, and a desire to help them improve their art. The environment needs to be friendly all the time and if going to another country it will be worth checking if any of the instructors or staff speak your language.
Even if you are a good surfer, there may be times when you need help and knowing that all instructors are trained to the highest degree, and that they consider the safety of the visitors as the most important part of their job. All the time that you are in the water having lessons, you will be accompanied by an instructor – as long as you choose a well-run company to deal with.
Now that you have decided on the best surf camp for you, all you need to do is check that you have the right equipment and that you know how to get to the location with your possessions intact. With a little research, you will be able to sort out the perfect stay at a surf camp and come away a much better surfer than you were when you arrived.
Once you have decided that you would like to go surfing, it is not just a matter of buying the equipment and then heading off down to the sea. There will have to be a number of lessons beforehand or else your surfing experience will be nothing more than falling of a board. If you put your mind to it, you should have the basics in a few days and then the improvements will come with practice and experience.
Some of the things that may seem to be the easiest will be the things that take the most time to learn. Standing up and the positioning of the feet are going to be two of the most complex lessons to learn, but once they have been mastered there will not be much else that will take a lot of time or keep you out of the water for long. While there is nothing like learning from a great surfer, there is a lot to be learned from books and videos.
You won’t learn everything that way, but you will be amazed by how much you have remembered when you are putting your learning into practice. Equipment will help and when starting out it will be best to have a surfboard that is long and wide. It will be more stable and help to keep you afloat for longer. Common sense also comes into it and you should not surf on your own just in case you get into difficulties.
It will also help your confidence if you start off by visiting a beginners’ beach and don’t try to catch the big waves right away, but get used to the small ones first. Once you are on the beach, don’t just rush into the sea, but watch the waves for a while, and make sure that you have warmed up first. You want to be fully flexible and know that your muscles are ready for the challenge.
While you should not surf alone, you also need to keep a good distance from other beginners. None of you need to feel crowded while you are learning. For extra safety don’t forget the surf leash. It will help with balance if you practice sitting and then lying on the surfboard. If you can keep the water away from your legs that will help and you can begin to paddle. Once you are ready to stand just stand quickly and as soon as you feel the wave behind you.
To prevent injury, bend your knees as this way any shocks will be absorbed. If it goes wrong and you need to get off the board, make sure that you jump away from it. Also cover your head so that it does not hit you as you will no longer have control of it. This is not a failure as most surfers will come off the board from time to time. As a final safety consideration, stop once you start to feel tired as it will be easy to lose concentration, and you should lie on the board and paddle back to the beach.
This kind of paddling is as the name suggests a paddling position in which the paddler enjoys the activity in a standing position. When surfing was incepted, the instructors would use the standing position as a simple way of keeping a watchful eye on their students or clients. Over the years, it gained popularity and it is now one of the water sports that are filled with excitement thus attracting lots of surfers who wish to enjoy the waters in the upright position.
To enjoy stand up paddling, you will need to have a Stand Up paddleboard also commonly referred to as SUP. There are different kinds of paddleboards and they include traditional boards made of expanded polystyrene, composite sandwich boards, soft boards and inflatable boards. The inflatable paddle boards can be termed as the most popular and loved today and this is because:
They are durable enough to last for years.
They are easy to carry and store since they can be deflated and inflated to match the situation.
They can easily be accommodated in tiny apartments and small cars since they can be deflated to make storage easy.
They are affordable compared to some other paddleboards. Hence, they can be owned by any individual.
Buying the Best Inflatable Board
In as much as the inflatable SUP is a loved option, you will need to make the right choice to enjoy the benefits of owning your own paddleboard. Here are some of the important considerations to make the right decision when purchasing a board.
The users and board size – Are you buying for your own use or will other people such as friends and family use the inflatable board too? This consideration will make sure that you get the right size so that others can use it safely and effectively too. The inflatable boards can be found in different sizes so it should be easy to find a good one to match your needs. The weight and height should be considered since paddling dynamics rely greatly on height and you should consider your height before anything else. A wide board for a short person would mean greater force to reach to the side to paddle which can be tiring and unnecessary. The weight is also important and different sizes are designed to accommodate specific weights.
The board length – When buying your inflatable SUP, remember that the length can determine how easy turns and cruises are. The longer the board the better the traveling will be and the shorter the board the faster and easier the turns and hence the importance of considering the length when buying.
The fin setup – Different boards will have a different number of fins with some having up to five. If you intend to use the paddleboard on flat water ponds, estuaries and lakes, then a single fin should serve you just right. Other challenging water bodies might require more fins and the setup determines the versatility in running larger center fin giving a pleasant surf experience.