Wanna Train Learns to Surf in Bali! Our Top 5 Recommendations for Beginners!
Have you ever been the victim of a surf instructor taking you out into waves bigger than buildings before you’ve even braved the white wash? We most definitely have. Do you now instantly get that sinking feeling as soon as somebody asks you to surf, whilst telling you you’ll be okay because the waves really aren’t that ‘big’? We have too. We won’t lie to you when it comes to braving the big blue, it can be daunting just looking at the waves crashing down on our shallow reefs. Your palms clamming up, legs feeling like jelly as you start to drag the gigantic, foam floating instrument towards your imminent fear of rolling in the washing machine of each wave. The racing thoughts of meeting your fate due to those imaginary Great White Sharks that are only after you & nobody else on the sharkless Bali beaches. We totally get it!
That’s why we have braved the waves once again to find you the best surf schools & instructors that have held our hands, looked us in the eye, told us to breathe, and shouted ‘roll’ when those waves edge their way closer to our panic-stricken bodies. We have embraced the afternoon post-surf naps, the need to eat EVERYTHING in sight & the feelings of pure exhaustion due to so much paddling. Surfing has been one of the most challenging elements in our Wanna Train journey, but one of the most rewarding! That surfers high when finally standing up, braving the elements & mother nature herself, listening to those cheers behind you from your instructor & friends make every single ounce of fear, pain and exhaustion worth it. Therefore, we are beyond excited to share with you 5 of our favourite surf schools & instructors for beginners!! So…Wanna Surf?
Santai Surf Bali
We started our journey with Santai Surf School after numerous recommendations and an in-depth conversation with the owners about our fear of drowning! From the get go Santai Surf held our hands from first interaction to Jelly, one of their epic instructors, literally holding our hands into the surf. With the baby white wash Seminyak waves to start your surfing journey off & the safety of the sand at falling distance, it was the best first session back in the water we could have asked for. A Balinese owned & operated family business since 2012, we instantly felt welcomed by smiles, knowledge and laughter and wanted to keep our toes sandy and hair salty forever. With numerous Trip Advisor Certificates of Excellence, this surf focused, ASI certified school, has won our beginner surf hearts forever more. Group lessons start from 350k, with the options for private and semi-private lessons! Beginner & intermediate lessons are catered for, along with board hire & their own photographer manning the Double Six beach with Santai Surf Pride! So grab a friend & hit up a lesson with Santai, & don’t forget to say hi to our fave instructor Jelly!
Mojo Surf Canggu
Next up we hit Mojo Surf, Canggu! An epic hostel hideaway off the busy street of Batu Bolong, an experience in-itself where you can fully immerse yourself in daily surf lessons, meeting new friends & having the opportunity to travel around Bali on various surf adventures! But don’t worry, if you are a Bali local you don’t have to brave a shared dorm just to experience what Mojo has to offer, you can jump in on a group or private surf lesson at your convenience, and we did exactly that. This time we ventured to Kudungu, where one look of the waves made us want to run back to our beds! But, with a nudge and the look of ‘you will be okay’ from the group of instructors, we knew we were in safe hands. Wanna Train has to give a HUGE shout out to Ross, who talked us through every wave, fall and panic, our biggest fan and advocate for the full two-hour session. We stood, we wiped out & every single time we came back smiling and throwing shakas like real surf pros. From the first interaction with Abi, to the final wave with Ross, Wanna Train was fully taken in by the waves & even shed a tear from pure exhilaration! Jump in on their Bali Day Trip surf adventure with 2 lessons in 1 day for 95USD or join their Ultimate Indo Surf Adventure for 16 days!! We are fully sold on this epic surf camp!
Franki – Learn Surfing Bali
From surf schools, to surf camps to a Wanna Train original – Franki, our go to Wanna Train surf instructor & ultimate all round hero! A privately run surf school, Franki goes above and beyond to collect you, take you to the best waves for your ability & talk you through all those wave aspects that can send your mind spiraling out of control. Wanna Train hit up Baby Reef in Sanur for this lesson, hopping on a boat, kitted up with our zinc face cream & rash vests ready to test our paddling abilities against side winds, tides and finding the channel to ensure minimal ‘attacks’ on the waves. With consistent feedback after every wave caught, and at times providing paddle assistance to get you out of the rolling sets, Franki had our backs the whole way through. With these waves being of a more challenging & fear inducing variety, it was hard at times to keep our heads above the water, literally. But Franki continued to support, keep us secure & safe and give us a little push into the waves when needed all for 550k (boat & transport included). We couldn’t recommend Franki enough & have already recommended him out to numerous Wanna Train users in the past! Just keep an eye out for those Dugongs…we’re kidding, or are we?
New to Canggu, but not to the surf camp game is Dreamsea! With locations in six different countries & two based in Bali with their older sibling down in surfers’ paradise, Uluwatu, Dreamsea Canggu is a tropical paradise escape off the hectic Canggu Shortcut. With our guards up & fear coursing through our bodies at the thought of surfing Old Mans, we went in with a negative mindset & the fear of being taken out by another surfer. But how wrong we were. After a couple of minutes with the instructor Choky, we knew we had nothing to fear. The knowledge we gained during this lesson was incredible, from how to sit on the board properly to ensure not being taken out by the never ending waves, to how to roll under with the gigantic foam board. Choky looked us in the eye, told us to breathe, and how we looked ‘cute’ whilst we panicked. The belief he had in us from the start was second to none and left us feeling confident and proud of ourselves, even if we only caught a few good waves in 2 hours! Dreamsea not only offers out incredible instructors, their camp provides varied packages for all surf levels out there – included fear stricken surfers like ourselves! Stay with them or just train with them, Dreamsea brings a whole other element of passion and community to Canggu – plus we were a sucker for their post surf feed of epic Avo Toast portions! Drop in sessions start from 350k, with longer stay options to fully immerse yourself in the Bali surf!
Pulau Biru Surf
Not sure if you’re ready to dive in to the deep end and commit to scheduling a lesson in advance? Take a walk on the beach and you will be sure to see several spots offering lessons on the fly. If you’re a beginner we recommended taking that stroll in Legian and popping over to the beach boys at Pulau Biru Surf. A nice gentle wave with a sandy bottom, you can easily walk in and feel like you haven’t given all your control away to the water. The location made it easy to focus on the task at hand JUST STAND UP. JUST STAY ON. With every failed attempt Vicky had his eyes on us the entire time, providing the right feedback to catch the next wave with ease. Small, but helpful tweaks and tips had us popping up and catching waves in no time. The gentle white wash was a boost of confidence and by far the most waves we’ve caught EVER! With the boys at Pulau right in the water with the GoPro, they were ready to capture every success, and fall…but it was the perfect souvenir for an awesome 2 hour surf! While it can be easy to book these guys on the spot in the wet season, busy season is upon us and we do recommend booking through our app, especially if you want to take a lesson with our fave instructor Vicky. A two hour lesson was a very reasonable 250k. This included our board, instructor, water, sunscreen, and rash guard!
Want to know more about surf schools in Canggu or the Bali area? Don’t be afraid to drop us a private message or connect with us on the app!