Surfing Uluwatu: What you need to know

So you’ve heard about Uluwatu The mythical swell magnet on the South East tip of Bali’s Bukit peninsular, but it’s your first time in Bali you’re fresh off the plane and you’ve got your guest house in Kuta. Well your first plan should be to find some new accommodation away from Kuta, maybe Padang Padang Accommodation, Bingin Accommodation or if you want to be right on the break Uluwatu accommodation.  Anyway regardless of your accommodation choice, head East out of Kuta and follow the signs to Uluwatu, eventually you’ll find a newly paved road, pay the gate man 3-5 Thosand Rupiah depending on your vehicle of choice and follow your nose to the ocean.

Once you are parked up, head down the steep steps and stop by at any of the small warungs (restaurants) that face out over the break. Most provide baskets for you to stash your gear while you surf. In return you should consider eating or drinking at their warung post surf.  This may well result in other perks such as use of their outdoor tap for your post surf shower.

What are the conditions like? If it’s big and it’s low tide and you are an intermediate surfer, think twice about paddling out. Ulu’s becomes somewhat of a experts wave on big days at low tide. Maybe sit back, grab a Bintang and watch the show from one of the Warungs or the Bars, the Edge or Single fin. You’ll know it’s low tide as people will be walking across the reef to get to the break. If the tide chart is showing more than a metre and the conditions look manageable. Head down the step in front of the warung, turn left until you get to the steps down through the cave.

Looking out to sea from left to right you may see a number of different sections breaking. Far left is Temples. If it’s big Bombies might be breaking right out the back. ‘The peak’ should be working directly in front of you. To your right is Racetracks, then Corners and Outside Corners. Check the crowds, see what’s breaking and paddle out for what could be the wave of your life. Once your exhausted and arms and legs will take no more you need to head back to the cave. Always aim to the right of the cave, the current will sweep you left as you paddle in. If you miss it and it’s low tide, head to the beach just past the cave and you can cut through the gaps in the cave to the stairs. If it’s a big day and you’ve missed it and you can’t face the paddle back round. Let the current take you about half a mile down the coast. You will get washed up on the next beach. Head up the cliff, head back to the road. head right back to Uluwatu.