Uluwatu's status as the number one surfing spot has since been challenged by Padang Padang, a shallow reef breaks just two km down the coast on the southern tip on Bali. Surfer Magazine has called Padang Padang, one of the 10 best surf spots in the world. The hollow left-handers here are some of the most consistent in the world, which is essential for competition.
Since Padang Padang receives swells from storms generated deep in the Indian Ocean, the tide can swell from a half-meter low to extra-ordinary highs of six to eight meters in a matter of hours. Very risk below mid-tide. From Uluwatu, take the narrow track along the cliff, then climb down to the beach, or ask for the car/bike track down to the beach. Imposing coastal scenery.
Easily reached by bemo, Sanur lies on the east coast opposite Kuta Beach. The break in front of the Bali Beach Hotel maintains fast, good-sized, hollow right reef breaks at four or five meters; beware of the strong current. When the wind turns onshore at Kuta, it turns offshore at Sanur. Best in the wet season (October - April). Depending on swell size and direction, Sanur can be surfed at any tide. When it is on, this is a world class wave.
Lots of locals. At high tide in front of the Sanur Beach market there is a very sharp, fast, short left-hander. For bigger waves, hire one of the sailboats to take you to the channel in front of the Bali Hyatt, but in a high wind and rips the spot can be lethal.
Nusa Lembongan and Medewi
Another superb surfing spot is Nusa Lembongan. A small island off the east coast near the island of Nusa Penida. Take the small boat from Sanur (at least three daily) for a person or a group. Stay in Wayan's Bungalows in front of the old shipwreck.
There are three main breaks in this vicinity. Also check out Medewi, near Negara, about 75 km on the main road west of Denpasar. There are several losmen (inn) to stay in.