Planning your first Bali surf trip is an exciting and memorable experience, one that you’ll be recalling years from now when your earliest surfing memories come to mind. Still, planning for such a trip isn’t only exciting, but can be downright exhausting. Many newcomers to the surfing game, or those merely inexperienced with travel, don’t know what to bring on their first Bali surf trip, and end up paying the consequences.
Don’t let an otherwise ideal trip turn sour because you forgot to pack the right gear. Before you head to Bali for your first surf trip, read up on what to bring and what to expect when you first hit the waves.
It’s all about preparation
Many rookie travelers like to soothe their concerns by reminding themselves that if they forget anything important, they can just buy it once they get to Bali. For foreigners traveling abroad for the first time ever, however, it’s critically important to recall that not every amenity and service you’re used to finding at home will be available in another country. Bali has some of the most pristine beaches and awesome (in the literal sense of the word) surfing in the world, but it won’t necessarily have every little oddity, toiletry, and little knick-knack that you like to carry with you on the go.
Thus, the first thing to understand is that a good surf trip is all about preparation. Before you start packing, you’ll want to assemble a list of must-haves that absolutely need to be on your person or in your luggage by the time you hit Bali’s gorgeous beaches. Luckily, surfers aren’t alone in this regard; everyone needs a travel list. You don’t want any ordinary travel checklist, however, but should instead rely on a special surf trip packing list that will ensure you don’t leave anything valuable behind on the way to or from your hotel.
One the vast majority of trips you’ll take, you’ll never need more than two boards. If you’re the kind of surfer who enjoys a wide selection of boards, or if you just want to show off your equipment to the locals, you can consider bringing more. Nonetheless, you should seriously think twice if the amount of boards you’re bringing nudges any higher than three, as at that point you’re merely creating more work and expenses for yourself that likely aren’t worth it.
Once you’ve mastered the basics of packing a surf-kit , you’ll want to fine-tune your arsenal to neatly fit the Bali experience. What you bring to a surf trip in Bali will be different than what you bring to California, Oahu, or the Gold Coast, after all. If you’re packing list isn’t personalized for Bali by the time you hit the door, you’re setting yourself up for a lackluster trip jam-packed with little more than missed opportunities.
Getting ready for Bali
One of the first things you’ll want to do when getting ready for Bali is to read up on local safety measures and the geographic area you’ll be visiting. Most travelers like to think they have a strong idea of where they’re going, but the truth of modern travel is that it’s quite easy to deceive yourself into thinking you’re prepared for an exotic adventure when it reality you’re anything but. Every good surfer should take some special time to beef up on safety in Bali, especially insofar as it pertains to natural disasters and inclement weather. After all, you wouldn’t be much of a surfer if you weren’t prepared for the weather!
The Balinese people are incredibly friendly and will warmly open the doors to their local culture to foreign tourist who are respectful to them. Bali is a relatively popular surf destination abroad, so you shouldn’t merely prepare yourself to meet the locals, but should also be prepared to join the waves of tourists that hit the island each year. Always remember to be a good guest, and to respect the local environment and the beaches you’ll be enjoying. Surfers who aren’t kind to locals or the local environment quickly wear out their welcome. As with all foreign trips, make sure your documents like your passport are all prepared well-ahead of time.
Indonesia’s reefs will give you plenty of reasons to pack some reef boots, so jam those into your backpack. An excellent pair of sunglasses to combat the glares you’ll encounter and plenty of sunscreen will be needed for Bali’s beaches, too. It’s absolutely critical to familiarize yourself with airline regulations and fees surrounding boardbags, too.
When carried out with respect, a trip to Bali is enchanting not only because of its magical waters but also because of the endearing and warm sense of welcome you’ll receive from the locals. Get started packing now, and you’ll be hitting Bali’s beaches in no time.