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Surf schools: a very dif­fer­ent kind of board meet­ing.

The idea of stand­ing up on a surf­board may seem like ice-skat­ing in your slip­pers. And yes, your first at­tempt at surf­ing will prob­a­bly feel like this. But per­se­vere and you’ll soon be shoot­ing down a wave and pad­dling back out for an­other go.

The best way to learn to surf is at a surf camp. It’s es­sen­tially a guest­house with guides who take you to the beach ev­ery day and teach you in the wa­ter. You will surf bet­ter, meet peo­ple like you and find spots only the lo­cals know.

In the fam­ily of In­done­sian is­lands, Bali got the dash­ing good looks and all the friends. Tourists flock here for beach days, nights out, mas­sages on tap, and, of course, wave af­ter lovely wave. While the ex­perts get their kicks surf­ing big waves on shal­low reef, Bali’s sandy shores are great for be­gin­ners.

Kima Bali Sur­faris have six surf camps close to learn­er­friendly ‘ breaks’ (shores with waves). Pack­ages in­clude ac­com­mo­da­tion, break­fast and two surf ses­sions per day, seven days a week. A typ­i­cal day goes some­thing like this:

6am: Rise and shine and hop in a van with two friendly guides and five other guests, with rental surf­boards strapped on to the roof. A short drive takes you past green rice fields, Hindu tem­ples and chic bou­tiques.

6.30am: On the beach, the guides show you how to lie belly-down on your board and pop up to your feet when a wave takes you. The sun rises as you pad­dle into the warm sea.

7am: Af­ter a stum­ble or two, you stand up in the white wa­ter and ride your first wave. You splut­ter and smile as the re­al­i­sa­tion hits you that you may have found your new favourite hobby.

9am: Break­fast back at the camp. Feast on tasty mie goreng noo­dles and nasi goreng rice, or fruit, pan­cakes, eggs and toast.

10am: Re­lax in a sun bed, soak in the pool, read a book, make new friends.

2pm: It’s time for your sec­ond surf ses­sion. A cam­era­man films the group from the shore. The guides of­fer tips and re­view your progress at the end.

7pm: The group watches the video back at camp. A guide cor­rects your faults and ap­plauds your glo­ries. Ev­ery­one laughs at each other wip­ing out.

8pm: Din­ner at the camp restau­rant, which could be lo­cal food, burg­ers, pasta, fish, steak, or eat out­side the camp at a sim­ple warung (food shack), a cool bar, pizza joint or beach café.

10pm: Re­tire to your plush villa, thatched bun­ga­low, bed­room or shared dorm. If you’re in a party mood, the thump­ing clubs of Seminyak and Kuta are wait­ing to lead you astray.

What else? If you fancy a break from surf­ing, the camp runs reg­u­lar day trips to ac­tive vol­ca­noes, caves and tem­ples. Don’t miss the sun­set ke­cak dance at Ulu Watu tem­ple, an amaz­ing mix of chant­ing men, damsels in dis­tress and spooky demons.

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