How lucky am I to learn surfing in Bali?

October 5, 2013 at 3:38 pm  •  Posted in Bali expat life, My Bali diary, Surfing by

One of the reasons why I moved to Bali (besides not being a corporate slave anymore ;) is because I wanted to learn how to surf.

Before coming to Bali, I’ve already done several board sports like windsurfing, kite surfing, wake boarding, and snowboarding.  I enjoyed them all, but none gave me the desire to want to get better and do it on a daily basis.  My first trip to Bali is when I tried surfing for the first time and it was love at first try.

After my vacation from Bali and back to my routine office life.  I would often find myself closing my eyes at my desk, imagining sitting on my surfboard, rocking back and forth like rolling waves of the ocean.  Little weird, huh? ;)

I sometimes wonder if it wasn’t for surfing, would I have had the courage to quit my job and pursue my dream of living near the ocean?  My new found passion for surfing has given me a different outlook on life.  Here I am today, living my dream on this beautiful island.  Being able to surf world class waves, every day.

I come from a place where surfing is not part of the culture, with no understanding of the ocean.  Knowing anything about waves, or surf breaks, was all so foreign to me.  It wasn’t till recently that I realized how fortunate I am with the opportunity to live in Bali.  One can easily become jaded because Bali offers you perfect waves and anything smaller than shoulder high is considered dull and boring.  It’s funny how spoiled you become when your standards are raised to nothing less than perfect.

I fully began appreciating what I have when I started meeting surfers from around the world.  Everyone was so envious of me for living in a place considered to be the “Disneyland” for surfing.  Hearing about other people’s home surf breaks helped me to understand that there are very few places in the world that provides perfect waves 365 days a year. Offering warm, tropical air and water temperatures year around.  A place where wet suits are virtually nonexistent.  What we consider a flat day is when Uluwatu is less than a hundred yards ride and breaking only shoulder high.;)  It took me almost two years to finally realize how fortunate and lucky I am to be living in Bali and to never take it for granted.

Learning how to surf is a continuous learning process.  I’ve been surfing for 2.5 years now and I still consider myself a beginner.  Some of my other friends who have been surfing longer than me are even worse.  In all actuality, based on what I’ve heard about other people’s home break, I could be worse.  Having perfect waves everyday has helped me to progress faster than most who have been surfing for a lot longer.  A great example is  my encounter with California surfers.  I always envisioned a place like California having better waves than Bali.  Come to realize that majority of the time the surf is waist to knee high, long period of flat days, and the best breaks are very far apart from each other.

I am more grateful now for what I have and began paddling out on days considered to be terrible in Bali standards.  You know what?  I found myself  even better now surfing challenging waves, making it even easier to surf on better waves.

The great thing about Bali is the variety of waves to surf.  The beach breaks like Kuta or Seminyak.  Long boarding spots like Batu Bolong and Oldman. Fast waves like in Balangan or Impossibles.  Not to mention the world famous breaks like Uluwatu and Padang Padang.  That’s only some of the waves in Bali with more unmentioned.  Don’t forget the hundreds of breaks throughout the over 7,00 islands in Indonesia.  I could probably spend the rest of my life surfing a different spot and not be able to surf them all. .

Sometimes I think about whether I could go back to Russia or live in a place away from the ocean.  My life wouldn’t be happy without surfing.  I plan on spending the rest of my life surfing.


  1. Ryan / March 7, 2014 at 11:23 am /

    It Actually brings a tear to my eye knowing you get to live my dream life and I’m stuck in the u.k with knee high slop waves and awful weather, can i live in your shed? ;)

    • Stella / March 8, 2014 at 11:29 am /

      Haha ;) My shed is full at the moment ;)

  2. 9ekky / June 9, 2014 at 11:08 pm /


    I live in Thailand and just learn to surf . . . your story is an inspiration to me.

    • Stella / June 12, 2014 at 8:00 am /

      thank you!

  3. Sabrina / December 18, 2015 at 5:40 pm /

    I live in Bali as well and my story is quite similar to yours! I came here to learn to surf (I could barely swim I have to say) and now I’m here riding (not that well!) and I’m loving it! I really don’t know if I can stay without surfing and the ocean anymore!

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