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Monday, 7 June 2010

The Cost of Surfboards & Surf Stuff in Kuta, Bali

   NB - Looking for a custom balsa surfboard made in Bali? Have a look here!

Contrary to what I had thought before coming out to Bali, you can buy everything you will ever need surf-wise here in Kuta; it  is stacked with surf shops BUT they are not cheap like other things in Bali - it seems that online shopping in the UK / USA is a slightly cheaper option.

For example, the Wave-finder surf guide costs $25 here, but you can get it on the internet for $10.  Another good guide (more detailed but not as compact) is 'Surfing Indonesia', which costs $20 online but if you bit here it's more like $35.

Kuta is chock full of boardbag places that make custom board-bags & board-socks for very good prices (they also do the same for stuff like guitars, bongo drums & others).  They normally cost between $15-25 depending on sizes. In short, if you buy a surfboard in Kuta, you will be able to get a cheap board-bag easily enough to take it home.

Custom wooden surfboard by Vince

Surfboards here aren't as cheap as you might think (esp. not new or epoxy ones which go for $800 US) but there is enough selection meaning that you can usually find a decent second hand one for a good deal.  Alternatively, if you have enough time, there a couple of guys shaping here who make custom boards for around $400 - Alexander Surfboards  & Bruce Hansell (can't find a link or a site but he is based just after the Pecatu Indah Resort on the way out to Ulus / Padang Padang - on the right just after the statue at the entrance of the resort). A recent addition are the hollow wooden surfboards made by Vince Surfboards - very strong, will last a very long time and come with a lifetime warranty against snaps! Very reasonably priced also - check them out!

As far as a quiver goes, if you come in the wet season you probably won't need  more than two boards - one for fun, smallish surf & one for waves up to about 5-6ft.  The dry season, on the other hand, is a whole different ball-game and I would recommend bringing boards for as big as a wave you think you will ride - your average 6'2 thruster might not get so much use if you come in peak season!!! (check this forecast to see what I mean!)

Suncream / sunscreen is not any cheaper in Kuta than elsewhere so it makes no odds if you bring it with you or not - it is about the same price as most other countries as far as I can see.  One brand I have found particularly good is Surf Yogis sunscreen - they make their own natural zinc cream and it is really good stuff - it is slightly cheaper than other brands too and will last you forever - highly recommended!

For actual surfing, if you come in the wet season, expect the water to be like a bath - anything black will probably make you too hot (as I found out the hard way).  A good pair of boardies will go a long way - don't bother buying the knock-offs from Kuta as they probably won't last your stay here & will give you a nice rash to boot!  I would recommend a white rash vest or t-shirt as it really does make a difference and yes, the water is that hot!

If you come in the dry season however, you might want a wetsuit top or shorty for early morning and sunset surfs as (especially on the Bukit where the water seems to be a bit cooler) it can be slightly chilly.  

There are more different types of wax here than anywhere I have been and some of the locally made stuff is as good as anything I have used in the past (try Gecko Grip - I think it's pretty damn good!).

In summary, I would say that you can buy absolutely anything surf-related in the Kuta area but some things (namely hardware & clothes) are not any cheaper than most other places, in fact just last night I saw a pair of Hurley 'technical' boardshorts for $118!! For a pair of shorts?! Oh well! This is the surf industry & it is a modern day powerhouse so I suppose they will charge anything they like and people will still buy it!

Hope that helps! Any questions, drop me a comment below :D

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