One of my top goals for 2019 is to get better at surfing and eventually buy my own board, so the first thing I did this time back in Bali was sign up for a week long surfcamp with Rapturecamps. Prior to this, I’ve only surfed a handful of times – two days in Nicaragua, five days in Fuerteventura, and a few days last year in Bali on a longboard. I had the most incredible time, find out more below!
1) After staying in Bali for a few months last year, I knew the best waves, clearest water, and prettiest beaches were down south in the peninsula known as bukit. I had never surfed here before and wanted to stay in this area of the island this time around, where the surf community is also the strongest. Rapturecamps has 2 locations in this part of the island — Padang and Cliff.
2) To really improve at surfing, it’s important to be consistent and go as much as you can. With Rapturecamps, you go surfing TWICE a day every day, so you really see a difference in your skill level even after a week.
3) Whether you’re a complete beginner or a seasoned surfer, Rapturecamps has everything you need to have a great time in the water.
4) Staying at a surfcamp means you get to make new friends from around the world with similar interests, and also follow a schedule with other surfers where every day is centered around surfing the best waves for your level!
I stayed 6 days at Rapturecamps Cliff – a luxurious clifftop oasis with its own infinity pool, restaurant, yoga studio, and spacious rooms. It has a very modern, upscale, relaxed vibe. It is located 15 minutes from the Padang location in a quiet, secluded part of bukit. Car and scooter rentals are provided by the camp, as well as guided tours.
Breakfast and dinner are included and served daily in the open-air restaurant. I usually grabbed breakfast before my morning surf session, and there is a variety of foods to choose from. The dinner menu changes every day ranging from traditional Indonesian food to BBQ, and is served family style!
The entrance to my room! I stayed in the Shortboard suite – spacious, air-conditioned, with its own balcony and TV.
My favorite part of the day was coming back from a long day of surf and enjoying the beautiful sunset with friends. The location on top of a cliff is perfect – just look at this!
Sometimes after the surf sessions I would stop by the Padang camp. It’s more social and centrally located, but both locations go surfing at the same beaches. Cliff is more modern, chilled, and luxurious with better views, so it depends on the vibe you’re looking for! I was very happy staying at Cliff with the option to visit Padang whenever I wanted.
Depending on your surf level, you either join a Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced session at different beaches decided by the staff the day before. They look up wave conditions suitable for your level so you can be sure to feel comfortable in the water. I was with the beginners the entire time, and surfers from Padang and Cliff go together each day. Transport is provided to and from the surf spots.
The morning session usually starts between 6-8am, with a break in the middle, and the afternoon session between 12-2pm. This all depends on the tides for the day – since all breaks in this part of the island are reef, it could get very dangerous during low tide! The staff and instructors are very familiar with all the beaches in the area so they always decide on the perfect place each day.
I met surfers of all levels throughout my time here. Some had never touched a surfboard in their lives, others were able to do flips in the air. Regardless, boards of all shapes, levels, and sizes are provided by the camp – they have so many to choose from ranging from long soft tops to very small shortboards. You also have the option to buy insurance in case your board gets damaged.
Lesson or Guiding?
If it’s your first time surfing, you definitely should sign up for surf lessons. The instructors are very experienced and teach you everything from reading the waves, how to stand up on your board, and help by pushing you in the water. I did lessons for the first two days but then switched over to guiding, where I followed the group but did not have an instructor with me. With guiding, I was able to practice reading waves and popping up by myself instead of relying on someone to help me! But the instructors were always there in case I had any questions.
Sometimes if the conditions are right, the two sessions will be combined into one day trip where you stay at the surf spot for the entire day. During the break in the middle, I loved getting myself a coconut and watching the other surfers!
On top of surfing, what I loved about Rapturecamps were all the other activities they offered including beach cleanups, yoga sessions, sunset drinks, and nights out at popular bars in the area. I always had something to do with the amazing people at the camp, and made friends for life.
I joined two yoga sessions during my stay here. The open studio is absolutely gorgeous especially during sunset. It’s a great way to unwind from an active day of surfing, and the yoga instructor is amazing! His practice is suitable for yogis of any level.
Singlefin is THE place to be on Wednesdays and Sundays on this part of the island. Rapturecamps organizes shuttles if you want to experience a night out!
Everyone I met was so friendly and active at Rapturecamps regardless of their surf skill level, I cannot wait to come back! I was able to commit to surfing every day for a week, and feel so much more comfortable in the water. I mentioned that my goal for 2019 was to eventually get my own board, and right after Rapturecamps I ordered my first one so mission accomplished!
If you’re interested in booking a surf & stay with Rapturecamps, feel free to use code “THEWANDERLOVER10” for 10% off HERE.
Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with Rapturecamps. As always, all opinions, words, and thoughts are my own.