The Ultimate Guide to Seminyak Surf

by Chris Smith

Seminyak surf is more of Kuta – beginner-friendly and all beach break – but there some heavier sections thrown in with the extra exposure from being down the Bali south coast.

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Seminyak surf at a glance

The good

  • Loads of space to spread out
  • Some hollow sections on bigger days
  • Luxury surf hotels right by the beach!

The bad

  • Pollution can be BAD after heavy rains
  • Sometimes prone to closeouts
  • The local hotels can be expensive

This guide is just one part of our complete guide to surfing in Bali

What’s in this guide to surfing in Seminyak?

An introduction to Seminyak

Most people look at the Seminyak surf and say it’s just a continuation of the Kuta surf further down the Bali south coast. But that’s not entirely true. Yes, there’s pretty much the same exposure to the S-SW dry season swells here. And it’s true that you get the same glassy days when the April-October offshores blow down. But we find there’s a little more punch, and a touch more closeout potential when its bigger, to the breaks this far north.

What definitely ties Seminyak to Kuta is that it’s primarily a beginner and intermediate area. The waves, for the most part, are pretty forgiving. Waist-high conditions bring in oodles of surf schools and private tutors, along with whitewash-chasing kooks from the surrounding hotels. There’s virtually always something to ride, though don’t come expecting peeling wedges like Canggu can muster. When things get overhead, there are certain parts of Seminyak that come in heavy and simply aren’t rideable, but you can solve that by moving up and down the beach to the north and south.

In general, we’d say the Seminyak surf is actually the lowest quality of the region. But that’s not to say it’s bad – these are some of the most accomplished learner spots on the globe, remember? The town and area itself is pretty different to those next door, though. Gone are the raucous backpacker places. This is the home of chic cocktail joints, five-star lodgings, and creative concept galleries.

Seminyak surf

Where is Seminyak?

Seminyak is smack dab in the middle of the very built-up tourist area of South Bali. We’re not going to lie – it’s busy here. The airport is just a stone’s throw away near to the south side of Denpasar, while the lively nightlife hubs of Kuta and Legian are also right on the doorstep. To the north-west is Canggu, which is where we’d recommend staying if you’re not keen on big resort hotels and want something of a low-key vibe.

A guide to the Seminyak surf spots

Semiyak, like Kuta and Legian before it, is really just one long beachfront. It’s occasionally split by a rivermouth here and there (we don’t even want to think about what’s in the runoff!), but mainly it’s peak after peak after peak, all very similar in style. Let’s take a look, going from south to north…

Kuta

It won’t take too long to get from Seminyak to Kuta, but the traffic can be horrendous in this part of the island. That said, Kuta does offer some of the very best beginner surf on the planet. The waves are a little more tempered and sheltered from oncoming S swells than up in Seminyak itself. There are also LOADS of local surf instructors and rentals spots (a lesson should be around $20-25 USD).

Tempted? We’ve got a full guide to the surf in Kuta

Legian

Legian is the next town up from Kuta and it’s basically a continuation of what’s on offer in Bali’s beginner hub. You get sandbank breaks up and down a whole stretch that runs for about a mile in all. Dry season groundswells work best with a side of offshore winds (most likely in the morning).

Double Six Beach

The south end of Seminyak is known as Double Six. It’s a chilled spot to hangout and hit some cocktail bars. It’s also got some reliable surf. The tide difference is bigger here than down in Kuta, so you get peely waves of a shallow base. That means they can be quite sucky at low tide and tend to close at high, so the push is the best of all. Watch out for rips and pollution where the waterways enter the ocean.

Seminyak Beach

Seminyak Beach is the main run of surf territory here. It’s a lot like Kuta, but you’ll notice that the sands flatten off and get wider, so there’s a bigger change from high to low tide. The wave is all beach break and sandbank, with nice, wally shoulders that are probably at their best around chest height. When it’s bigger, some peaks can get lippy and others will barrel but they will be the most hotly contested spots. Crowds aren’t bad though, just on the better waves. There’s lots of room to move up and down the beach and find somewhere to yourself if you’re not fussy. We’d sum up the Seminyak surf by saying: This is accessible and beginner-intermediate level stuff that is just a touch harder than Kuta.

Canggu

Canggu has established itself as the digital nomad mecca of Bali. That means surf is huge here, although the reefs are nowhere near the same quality as down in Bukit. Still, there are some great wedgy lefts and rights that offer something way more satisfying for seasoned surfers.

Check out our complete guide to the Canggu surf right now

Where to stay when surfing in Seminyak

There are more hotels in Seminyak than you can shake your Buddha bowl at. This is one of the chicest corners of the Bali south-west shoreline. It’s got the most luxurious hotels of all the resorts here, so expect to be pampered when you surf.

The Seminyak Beach Resort & Spa ($$$)

Surf-hotel-top-pick

The Seminyak Beach Resort & Spa is the option for those who have a little moolah to spend. It’s downright stunning and really sums up the five-star side of Seminyak surf trips. Check the infinity pool by the beach, where you can swim and check wave conditions. Then, duck into the suites, which a plush Balinese villas with sliding doors that open onto the sunning terraces.

Grandmas Plus Hotel Seminyak ($$)

Affordable Grandmas Plus Hotel Seminyak is a wallet-friendly option that gets you really close to the peaks on Double Six. There’s an on-site smoothie bar, live music a few nights of the week, and a pool.

The Wolas Villas ($$$)

Another chance to be pampered from check-in to check-out, The Wolas Villas are a series of spacious Balinese-style cottages that are in a private tropical garden. They’re about 10 minutes back from the beach but there’s a free shuttle included (and it goes to Kuta if you want to surf there too). You’ll also be close to the nightlife in the heart of Seminyak and Legian.

When to surf in Seminyak

Waves in Seminyak

Seminyak has the same seasonal surf pattern as the rest of Bali. Generally speaking, that means the dry season is the best time to surf. But, really, you will find waves ALL year round. We don’t even check the calendar when we plan a surf trip to the island these days!

The dry season (April-October)

The Bali dry season is the best time of all to come a-searching for breaks on the south-west coast around Kuta and Legian. That brings the Seminyak surf into play, too. The real joy is a dominant E-NE offshore. It’s what adds all that quality to the pro breaks of Ulus and Bingin down on the Bukit Peninsular. It’s not firmly offshore up in Seminyak, but it’s almost there and it can help to shape up the waves into some pretty hollow barrels when things combine with a SW swell in the Southern Ocean. One word of warning: Seminyak can actually get pretty big in the dry season, so consider heading to the more sheltered breaks of Kuta if its overhead and you’re a total beginner.

The wet season/monsoon (November-March)

The smaller waves of the year occur in the wet season. That’s not normally a problem in the more beginner-centric spots around Kuta and Seminyak. There’s typically enough action in the waves here to keep most of the surf schools and average surfers happy. The main issue is that you don’t get regular offshore NEerlies to keep the swell in check, so it can be big and unruly at times. Try to get in early to avoid that. Don’t worry too much about rain. It tends to come in short, sharp bursts during the Bali rainy season, and most often at night. When it does, consider skipping surfing for a few hours because the water run off has given us Bali belly on too many occasions!

Be sure to check out our gear guides:

Surf shops in Seminyak

Seminyak doesn’t have the same overload of surf shops as Kuta or Canggu, but you can still find plenty of stockists of wax, boards, and more…

Drifter Surf Shop

A pretty slick surf shop behind a Greek blue-and-white exterior at the northeast end of Seminyak. Some lovely boards on suspended racks from the ceiling, lots of surf fashion, and an extensive offering of short- to med-length options on the rack.

Onboard Store Canggu

This depot of surfboards is one of our favourite places to go when looking to add something to the quiver. It’s primarily pop outs, so no nifty shaped boards but no price tags to match, either. They stock all sorts of sticks, from Al Merrick shorties to fat and affordable foamies. Store is in Canggu, really.

Where to eat and drink in Seminyak

Did we mention that the vibe in Seminyak is noticeably chic? Check these sunset bars and eateries, which are both just a stone’s throw from the surf.

Double-Six Rooftop

The Double-Six Rooftop Bar is nothing short of legendary. Up there with Old Man’s and Ku De Ta as one of the most happening evening hangouts on this run of Bali’s coast, it’s got a sort of strange Tiki vibe (check the indoor palms!) and a pool-terrace area that gazes right down at its eponymous beach.

La Plancha Bali

La Plancha Bali does cracking Spanish tapas right on Seminyak beachfront. It’s a stylish spot with multicolored umbrellas and beanbag seating spilling right onto the sand. Expect everything from club sandwiches to spicy potatoes.


We might use affiliate links in this post. Basically, you click em’ and we get a little something from your booking or purchase. They help us keep offering more and more in-depth surf guides to awesome places all around the globe. So, thanks for that!

This article is just one part of our complete guide to surfing in ___

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