Nusa Penida island, Bali. | Photo: Shutterstock
Bali is commonly associated with the zen-like relaxation of Hindu-inspired temples and lush beaches, but an exhilarating water sports industry hides just beneath the surface. According to the Times of India, Bali’s water tourism industry is located around some wild areas that appear largely untouched by the hordes of beach and bar going tourists that visit ever year. A fresh location for SUP, Bali has a few key characteristics that make it a great option.
Levels of accommodation
Famed surf spot Uluwatu, located on the Bukit Peninsula. | Photo: Shutterstock
Bali is well known for the quality of its hotels, and this extends past simple beach-front bookings and into resorts that provide direct access to the wild areas of the island. This includes areas such as the Bukit Peninsula, renowned for its character due to the dry and stony landscape which contrasts with many of the island’s jungles. Hotels in this region are trendy and associated with surfers and luxury surf wear, and water conditions are ideal for SUP. Elsewhere, in the Sayan Bali jungle, Forbes report that hotels are springing up that offer total seclusion and access to still inner-island waters, perfect for SUP.
The greatest spots
Sunur beach (left) and Padang Padang (right). | Photos: Shutterstock
For beginner SUP enthusiasts, the best place to start is likely Sanur. According to Just Paddleboard, this is a place that holds most of Bali’s surf schools and so will be a great place in which to learn how the waters are and get steady on the board. For those who are getting better at the sport and are comfortable with more advanced surfing, Padang Padang is the next big recommendation, boasting tunnels that have been described as some of the best in the world. For isolation and a little bit of something different, head to Medewi. Located on the northeastern side of the island and away from most of the activity on the island, it provides a slightly more exciting ride with flat rocks to break the tides and waves up to 6 foot.
Bali is excellent for surfing! | Photo: Shutterstock
Bali is a very trendy location and with that has come intense interest from a range of sources. Most recently, Men’s Journal debuted their own video tour of the island as it relates to SUP and related paddle sports. What this tells you is that SUP is becoming a big business on the isle, and with more interest will come more excellent SUP spots. This can work in two ways that benefit a SUPer. For those enjoying secluded spots, the time to visit is now, before crowds can move in and take away some of the mystery. Alternatively, it’s a good bet that new sites will be found and developed with the vibrant new scene to match it.
SUP in Bali is growing every year, with the varied and exciting waters of the island providing inspiration to swathes of enthusiasts. With the island opening up more, further opportunities to get involved will soon become apparent. Add it to your list of must-visit destinations – with the wider scene on the isle, it’s a great all round destination for water tourism.
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