Do overcrowded beaches bother you? I’ve never actually been on one, since I’ve never been on a beach in Europe, where all the beaches look like a Spencer Tunick naked art installation.
Who is Spencer Tunick? He’s a brilliant U.S. artist famed for creating human installations of mass nudes in various world locations, mostly around Europe. His works are incredibly creative and fascinating. All the nude people in his events are volunteers! I read that many of the volunteers find it awkward at first, then oddly liberating to be naked amongst hundreds of strangers.
On second thought, we do have some crowded beaches in Asia, and they’re actually located in my own country, Thailand. We have some packed beaches in Phuket and the only reason for this is because all those leathery people baking themselves on the beaches are … Europeans. Asian beaches are usually not overcrowded with Asians since the local folk are usually hiding from the boiling sun in a nice ice-cold air conditioned room, watching TV and eating.
Right. Now we have the key differences between east and west sorted out. If you’re a sun bather, who cares what the beach looks like as long as you look good.
If you’re a surfer, who cares what the other people look like as long as the beach looks good. You want beaches with great waves, though you often have to share this with dozens of other surfers who want the same waves. And uncrowded beaches can be hard to find, especially when you’re in one of the world’s surf meccas. I’m talking Bali (not Hawaii). Bali is so popular that sometimes if you really want a private surf experience you have to go to the next island, Java, to find pristine, gorgeous waves.
The place to go is Grajagan (better known as G-Land), known for having some of the world’s best waves. G-Land also has some nice spots for beginners, often on completely deserted beaches. The area is accessible only by sea.
That’s not a problem. The Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay Bali and luxury surfing specialists Tropicsurf have just teamed up to offer Asia’s first heli surfing tours! Now you can get bespoke helicopter day trips and international coaches, exclusively for the resort’s guests. Their new Heli-Surfing tours take surfing to the next level, giving guests the experience of a lifetime with this day-trip to G- that’s now within easy reach of Bali.
A 45-minute flight across the strait from Bali brings guests to a landing area right in front of G-Land’s waves on the edge of a national park in East Java.
You can spend the day here surfing the ultra-fast tubes, enjoying the untouched beaches, unspoilt jungle, before the flight back to Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay in time for sunset drinks and dinner. Tropicsurf also offers speed boat transfers to G-Land, as well as boat tours around Bali’s best breaks and beginner lessons in the calm waters of Jimbaran Bay.
You don’t have to be a surfer to enjoy this trip. You don’t even have to be like those gorgeous people in the movie Point Break who dive off a superyacht in open sea and free-dive through underwater tunnels in the middle of the night with no flashlights. Honestly, who, who, who does that?
Not moi. I once spent an evening cringeing on the deck of a yacht in the Similan Islands fretting and peering anxiously into the jet black sea while my dive buddy along with the other divers went night diving. I was newly certified and too terrified to go down there in the dark. In fact, I was already terrified of going down there in the day time. I was so relieved when they finally resurfaced, alive. (In retrospect, all that terror seems so misplaced. I don’t know what I thought was going to happen to them? Get eaten alive by a giant squid?).
Non-surfers can watch the action from the beaches or explore the coastline and look for wildlife in the national park.
Or they can chill out at Four Seasons Jimbaran, immersed in the comfort of their villa or explore the local culture such as a temple tour and blessing by the resident ‘Mangku’ (Priest), take a cooking class at the Jimbaran Bay Cooking Academy or get a Balinese massaged in the spa.
What you need to know for your heli-surfing trip –
Best time to go: April through November, targeting mid- to high-tides. Tropicsurf’s experienced guide will advise best timing based on conditions and surf ability.
Skill level: G-Land is ultra-fast with tubing and shallow breaks, recommended for brave and skilled surfers. There are less challenging waves nearby for less confident surfers, as well as sheltered locations that offer good conditions for beginners.
Maximum capacity of helicopter: 5 passengers (4 guests and 1 Tropicsurf guide).
Price: USD 10,000 including private helicopter charter from/to Bali, transport of surfboards, transfers to/from Bali’s heliport, charter of a private speedboat at G-Land to access various waves, surf guide, personal coaching and water safety, and insurance. Private speed boat tours from Bali are USD 3,500 return.
Have you been surfing in Bali? What’s your favourite spot to surf in Bali?