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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.

   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


  1. I must say the boards are pretty more expensive than expected, and 800 USD for an epoxy board is not what I have noticed. For a surftech, it's at least 10 millions RP and the rental business is quite a nightmare : old boards, fixed many times, prices higly variable...
    I must say don't forget your negociations skills because it's true, Bali is not that cheap...

  2. It's not that cheap and it's getting more expensive all the time! However, having said that, you can get custom boards made for 3.5million Rupiah ($350 US) which is still pretty good.

  3. Hey man, love the blog! Looking to head to Bali in July for a few weeks for the surf, was just looking at flights and China Air and Qatar look like both attractive price-wise but was just wondering if you knew of anyones experience with them travelling to Bali? Keep blogging, I'll keep reading, very useful stuff for a surfer.

  4. I don't know anyone who's taken boards with them but I think they did find Qatar pretty good. IF you haven't seen it, this link is pretty informative -
    Any other queries, fire away!

    PS July & August do go up a notch crowd-wise but there's no 'quiet' time in Bali.

  5. Hi Steve
    Interesting site, been lurking for a few weeks. Well ever since I booked my flight. Good to get the low down before I get there.
    Just looking at a link someone posted re:
    Obviously you will have your own quiver, but are there an abundence of decent rental boards?? I ride a 6'6 Bunty fish/ Bilbo magic Egg 7'2",and Im not gonna risk taking either!!! Seen some facebook holiday snaps with beach rentals that look complete TAT and dont want to spoil a good holiday having to ride a foamy for a month.
    Any advice on where to rent, what type of board suit Bali waves. Im used to Southerndown, Porthcawl- Im sure you are probably familiar being a fellow Welshie! ;-)
    Cheers Beannie

  6. Hi there! I don't know anything about sorry but I would say that it's prob best to buy a board here as most places buy boards back off you and. although you will lose a little bit of money on it, it will prob work out cheaper than renting one for a month (or however long you are coming for!). Local brands like BH (Bruce Hansell) have a lot of shapes like the ones you said you have and generally don't cost the earth (maybe 200 quid new / 120 second hand) You could prob get back 2/3 of that. If any of that doesn't make sense, drop me a line!
    PS When are you coming?

  7. A ggod company to travel with is Etihad as long as you don't exceed 23 kgs.
    About board rentals, plenty of options and prices, but not much choice if you're picky. I used last time, good service, they delivered my board in my guesthouse in Bingin, and the board was in good condition, much better than what you can find on the beach.

  8. I just used and I got a great longboard Mac Tavish 9'1 for 150 USD a week delivered to my villa. That's a great service.


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