The Jakarta Post
Surfers walk along Kuta Beach, Bali, in May 2010. (Shutterstock.com/hkhtt hj)
The island of Bali is known for its beach scenery and tides that entice visitors to surf. However, the local administration has yet to effectively tap into surfing as a potential tourist market, according to a local surfer.
“The surfing business in Bali is promising and has potential, such as surfboard rental services and surfing lessons. It could help increase local incomes as there are taxes to pay; unfortunately the potential has not yet been maximized," Irawan, also known as Piping, a surfer and coach, told kompas.com in Bali on Sunday.
Along the south coast from Jembrana to Karangasem, there are at least 200 locations popular among surfers. These locations are already home to several surfboard rental services and surf schools with rates starting at Rp 50,000 (US$3.85) per hour for rental and Rp 3.5 million for a two-hour training session.
"It's not that we are asking for attention. We just want to share the potential of surfing market management in Bali as no regulations have been made by the administration," said Piping, adding that even after the 2002 Bali bombings, which affected tourism on the island, the surfing business had survived.
"Following the Bali bombings, tourists were told not to travel to Bali. But foreign surfers continued to arrive from Singapore to surf and give their support. It was truly remarkable."
Andrew, a tourist from Australia who frequently visits Bali, shared his excitement about the activity. "I love Bali. I enjoy surfing here; I usually do it in Tulamben [in Karangasem]," he said.
Meanwhile, a surfboard business rental owner at Kuta Beach, Dek Ar, said he rented out up to five surfboards per day. "During holidays, the number is a lot higher," he said.
Medewi, Legian, Kuta, Nusa Dua, Jimbaran, Tulamben and Nusa Penida beaches are said to be among the most popular surfing spots for tourists. (fmn/kes)