Batu Karas – Asia’s Best Place to Learn to Surf

surfing batu karas

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Travelbody has been out snooping around for the best waves in Asia to learn to surf, and guess what, we found it!

Batu Karas is a small remote costal village situated on the coast of West Java in Indonesia and you can easily say that it is a hidden pearl that has not yet been exploited by overwhelming tourism or destroyed by the dark sides that consumption usually brings along.

With only one hour’s bus ride from the much more busy Pangandaran you can reach Batu Karas long running black sand beaches that in 2012 was voted to be one of Asia’s most beautiful beaches by Lonely Planet.

This is the place were time stopped. People are friendly and if you choose to socialize with the people that live here they will treat you like family.

Overall it’s a very calm and peaceful place that consist of a handful restaurants and a couple of hotels from budget to a bit more expensive prices, most of them situated just in front of the beach.

It’s not the best place if you like to eat western food, spend a lot of time on the internet, go shopping or have big party nights out at nightclubs but I would say that it’s probably the lack of these things that makes Batu Karas the perfect place to just wind down.

Do Your Progress All in One Place

Batu Karas is a good place for everyone that likes to surf no matter if you’re a beginner, advanced or professional surfer. There are basically two main surf spots in Batu Karas both of them within paddle distance from the beach.

The main one is called Legok Pari and is situated right in front of most of the hotels and restaurants, which gives you easy access to it whenever you want.
This right handed point break is perfect for beginners because of its sand bottom that has no reefs at all which makes it very safe, the waves are usually at an medium size and moves forward slow but consistent and the beach even has a small bay that enables you to almost walk all the way out to the break without having to paddle much at all.
A warning though, the beach can be a bit busy especially on weekend and holidays when local tourists come to swim and play with Bananaboats and Jetskis in the mild water.

If you feel that you passed the first beginners level and would like to test your wings in a place that’s a bit less crowded you can take the 10-15 minutes walk over to Batu Karas second surf spot Karang.
This break is only surfable during high tide and is situated right above a lava reef, so surf shoes is recommended. Here you can sometimes get some real quality waves that’s still not to big and scary and you usually don’t need to share it with that many people.

This is the two surf spots that’s situated within the Batu Karas main area, but if you are an advanced to professional surfer you may also be interested in the third break, Bulak Bendak. Here you can get some long ramps or even tubes to surf but to get there you need to either take a boat or do a 40 min ride with car or motorbike, ask the locals for advise.

To Batu Karas you Come As you Are

If you feel that you would like some help to get started with your surfing there is many good local instructors available, which usually hang around the main beach. Here you can also find boards to rent for the prize of 50 000 IDR at writing moment. Just keep in mind that these boards pass through the hands of many tourist all year round which means that the quality can weary, so if your picky about what board you want bring your own. Most people use longboards here but if you’re a bit more experienced surfer it’s also possible to use a shortboard.

If you feel tired of surfing then you can always hang out in the Beach Corner restaurant, eat good food, have a beer, play some cards with friends while your watching the local kids surf like real pros.
Yes, Batu Karas is definitely a place worth a visit. But I must warn you though, many people arrive here with the plan of staying for a day or two but end up staying for weeks.Its up to you if you want to take the chance!


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