Welcome to the most famous beach in Bali. Maybe infamous is a better word, for non-surfing reasons, but Kuta still boasts plenty of waves and can fire on its day.
Kuta Beach is a 5km long stretch that starts in the south at Kuta Reef. The Reef is about 800m off the coast, directly out the front of Rama Beach Resort at Pantai Segara, where jukung boats transport surfers to the lineup for a small fee. Back on the beach, heading north, you’ll find waves that go from closeouts to tubes to running walls depending on the tides, so keep a close eye on those tide charts. In front of Beachwalk mall is “Halfway”, one of the more consistent banks frequented by local pros. From there you’ll often find sandbars in front of Padma, Double Six, and Ku De Ta.
On the Beach
More surf schools, beer vendors, massage ladies, DVD/kite/laser pointer/woodcarving/tattoo/jewelry salesmen than you can ever imagine. It’s easy to spend a day simply walking up and down the beach bantering and bartering with the locals, and if you keep your wits about yourself and smile brightly you might come away with a bargain or two. Or you could mess up the currency and buy a penis-shaped bottle opener for a small fortune, but as long as you remember to laugh at the end of it all who really cares? Right? Cheers!
The best places around Kuta to purchase a new board… or get one fixed!
You won’t find more second-hand boards of all makes, models, and prices anywhere in Bali than on the racks of Naruki, located on Benesari Street near Poppies 2, and it’s also THE place to get your busted equipment repaired. These guys also do amazing board art.
Towards the Seminyak end of Sunset Road you’ll find the Chilli Surfboards flagship store. They have all their latest models in stock and can also do 7-day custom orders if that’s your thing. Their staff are cruisy, like to shoot the breeze, and tend to shred pretty hard too.
The Channel Islands store boasts racks heaving with brand new magic carpets of all descriptions. All their flagship models like Dumpster Diver and Black Beauty are in stock. A wide range of fins, leashes, grip, and accessories are on the shelves as well as those soft-top Beater boards that Jamie O’Brien shreds on.
Eat & Drink
With endless options it seems wrong to pick out a few, but here’s some surfer-friendly establishments that we recommend in the Kuta area.
Alley Cats (yes, the place where you got shit-faced last night) whip up an incredible Full English Brekky that will cure any hangover. Crumb & Coaster on Jl Benesari should satisfy those in need of a morning coffee fix, while California Cafe serves healthy smoothie bowls (and burgers). Bali Bakery is the go-to spot for damn fine pastries if you’re heading out of Kuta on a surf mission.
Seeking local food? Made’s Warung on Jl Pantai has been serving Nasi Campur (mixed rice) to surfers since the 70s. Close by are Warung Makan Nikmat and Warung Muslim Harsi, both cheaper nasi options where you point to what you fancy, aquarium style. Not feeling local? Swich has a location in Legian, get stuck into their BLT or Chicken Schnitzel sandwich. Want to rip into incredible BBQ plate lunch in the company of Balinese surfing royalty? Goku restaurant, run by Balinese surf pioneer Wayan “Ganti” Yasa, serves mouth-watering ribs that can’t be beaten.
It’s hard to go past the legendary Balcony restaurant for epic food surrounded by the best surfing memorabilia on the island. It’s run by local pro surfers Rizal Tanjung & Marlon Gerber. Prefer washing down tasty tacos with mighty fine Margaritas? TJs on Poppies 1 is a tried and tested classic. Want to impress that tinder date? Try Un’s Restaurant – casual fine dining in the heart of Kuta and home to the best Lamb Shank on the island.
Chug down a cold sunset Bintang at one of the many local vendors that dot the length of Kuta Beach. If you’re after some bumping tunes and want to meet some fellow travelers wander over to On The Juice at the Padma beach parking lot, they have a VW Kombi bar set up. Skip dinner entirely and get messy with wild Scandinavian backpackers and Australia’s finest party menaces at Alley Cats in Poppies 2 – it’s the pre-party party. Try a tray of Double-Doubles… Next stop on the party bus is Sky Garden. It goes late every night of the week (3 am) with a ton of big-name DJs swinging through to spin their hits. It’s the only place in Kuta that imposes an entry fee (Rp.200,000, includes 2 beers) but that’s where the crowd is, so cough up, and good luck!