Canggu’s bustling Batu Bolong might just rival Waikiki in Hawaii for the world title of Most Surfers Of All Abilities Crammed Into A Single Stretch Of Beach. Here’s why…
At the end of Batu Bolong, out the front of drinking hot spots The Lawn and Old Man’s lies the busiest water in Bali, teeming with logs and ladies, over-excited Euros and GoPro wielding frothers pushing themselves to catch as many user-friendly waves as they can. Tugu is directly at the end of Batu Bolong and throws up rights and lefts, while going straight is always fun as the wave can reform many times over on it way to shore. One hundred meters to the north lies Old Man’s (the wave not the bar!), and it boasts more of the same, though on big days it can get surprisingly good and even throw out the occasional tube.
On the Beach
Crowds are chaotic but friendly and there are plenty of places who’ll happily rent softboards to first-timers and push them into waves. It’s easiest to park in the big carpark right on the beach at the end of Batu Bolong (2,000Rp), and this is where most of the surf schools are based too.
Chasing surf gear or repairing a ding? Gone are the days when surfers had to head into Kuta feel up a new board. Here’s your best options in the Echo & Batu Bolong area:
OnBoard is located next to Old Mans bar, just a few steps from the water at Batu Bolong beach. They have funboards, retroboards, longboards, soft tops, and hi-fi shredder shapes if that’s your thing. Best shapers, best materials – Channel Islands, Christenson, Simon Anderson & more are in da house!
The Deus Temple’s modest shaping bay has been blessed with a constant stream of talent over the years with the likes of Rich Pavel, Bob McTavish, Thomas Bexon, Neal Purchase Jr., Ryan Lovelace and others all serving within its foam covered blue walls. Step into their incredible showroom/cafe/gallery to admire their latest creations.
It’s impossible to miss the Boardriders store when you access the beach from the Echo side. In addition to Quiksilver and Roxy tees, boardies, bikinis, and the rest, they have a rack of boards by JS, Hayden Shapes, Slater Designs, and …Lost that will stop you in your tracks. Also – it sounds kinda odd – but they also do haircuts. Ask for the “Mikey Wright” 😉
Eat & Drink
There’s so many new spots popping up in the Gu it can be hard to keep track. Here’s some of our fav’s in the Echo Beach / Batu Bolong zone – add yours in the comments below.
Refuel after your morning session at Betelnut, the original and best café in the area, serving every kind of healthy food. French bakery Monsieur Spoon delivers good coffee and great croissants with a breezy garden to sit in. Nalu Bowls takes smoothie bowls to the next level, pick the acai one. A short bike ride inland is Crate – the most-Instagrammed, popular café on Batu Bolong for a reason. Or, if the waves are still pumping smash a simple nasi goreng Mandira and get back out there, dude.
The Shady Shack offers great grinds, rad vibes and beautiful people for days. Warung Bu Mi has your back for Indonesian food – dozens of dishes ready to serve… Just add sambal! Canteen is worth a visit just to check out the insane vintage surfboard collection in the rafters, but the food is more than worthy too! Eat clean and nutiecious at Motion Cafe – a favorite amongst the fitness freaks. Walk Batu Bolong and you will find an endless array of options.
La Barraca is an awesome Italian restaurant that delivers fine friendly food in a very fun atmosphere. Mai Tai serves up the most delicious Tahitian eats – think fresh fish – just too damn good to miss. Ji at Tugu Hotel serves some of the best Japanese on the island, with a view of the Indian Ocean to match, while The Slow is a hip new bar & restaurant that offers incredible tapas and cocktails, and puts on all manner of groovy shows and art exhibitions. For the pizza lovers hit up Luigi’s (next to Deus) and Fabricca.
The Deus Temple of Enthusiasm caters to everyone, and all of the categories above. Well worth your time whether you’re chasing art, bikes, food, drinks, a halfpipe, a haircut, or attractive potential partners. On the beach at Batu Bolong The Lawn is incredible for sunsets, people watching and its legendary 50 Fridays parties (50% off beer & pizza), while Old Man’s has a Wednesday session that has to be seen to be believed, and is a damn fine spot for beers with pals the rest of the time. New on the scene is La Brisa at Echo Beach; it’s a breezy sunset hangout with classy cocktails and amazing decor.