General

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Bali Surf Trip

Ahh, magical Bali. The Land of Lefts.

I never thought I would actually go, but there I was on a surf trip with my boys in Uluwatu.

We battled the Bali belly ðŸĪĒ, monkeys 🐒, scorching heat ☀ïļ, and the Uluwatu cave current… and we came out alive.


I’m writing this a few months after the Bali trip, so I don’t remember all the details perfectly (like how much everything cost), but better late than never, yeah?

When my buddy JacuzziSurfer moved to Bali and invited me to visit, I couldn’t say no.

Turns out a handful of my friends wanted to go too, so we made a group trip out of it.

Traveling to Bali

Pre-flight stretch
Get some movement before the long flight

Our flights to and from Bali were definitely the worst part of our surf trip.

20 hours of flight time each way!

We are from San Diego, but we saved a good amount of money (I think around $500) by flying out of LA.

15 hours from LA to Hong Kong, where we arrived at 6pm, and our flight to Bali didn’t depart until noon the next day…

So we had to stay up all night and party in Hong Kong.

We showed up very un-sober ðŸĪŠ for our 5hr flight to Bali the next day.

(For our flights returning to San Diego, it was a similar situation with the layover, but I felt like I was dying so I just slept on the airport floor. It was rough)

Our Uluwatu Villa

Uluwatu Surf Ranch


There were 6 of us total, so we were able to rent this villa on Airbnb for only about $50/night per person. It was called the “Uluwatu Surf Ranch”.

We each had our own bedroom with air conditioning, and the yard featured a super nice pool setup.

The villa even had a laundry room (though I don’t think I washed any of my clothes).

The hosts helped us get anything we wanted (scooters, surfboards, meals, etc) and the property manager Komang checked in with us every day.

Oh, and it even came with a dog ðŸķ (they asked if we would be ok with him at the villa).

Bali Villa - living room
Bali Villa - kitchen
Bali bathroom


My only complaint about the villa, was that we ran out of gas for a couple days, and couldn’t use the stove to cook our own food.

There was an under-the-sink water filter (so it was supposed to be good), because you don’t want to drink tap water there… somehow 5 out of 6 of us got “Bali belly” though, so we aren’t sure if it had to do with that water filtration system.

I had a really intense fever and chills, and the other guys had tummy problems. Some people recommend only eating cooked foods (no raw smoothies or veggies), but we really couldn’t pinpoint the cause of our Bali belly.

Scooter Rentals

Bali scooter rentals


When you think of Bali, you think of scooters ðŸ›ĩ.

Almost everyone drives mopeds in Bali.

Luckily we were staying in the more remote area of Uluwatu, but the traffic gets crazy in the busy areas like Canguu.

They drive on the left hand side of the road there too, which makes it even more confusing!

If you want to be legal, I think you’re supposed to get your international license or something, but we didn’t. Be careful.

But scooters are essential to get to the surf spots. Make sure to get a surfboard rack on your scooter.

Our property manager had someone drop off the scooters for us, and it only cost about 10 bucks a day.

Bali moped rental

Surfboard Rentals in Bali

Bali surfboard rental


There are so many places to rent surfboards in Bali, it can be overwhelming!

And it’s so cheap to rent boards out there, it’s really not even worth bringing your own, unless you’re really that good.

I just brought my own fins and leash, and rented my surfboard from rentasurfboard.com. (The rentals come with fins and leashes usually, but I wanted to bring my own just in case).

Yes this website seemed kinda sketch (my buddy just randomly found it) but it turned out to be legit!

We rented Hypto Kryptos (which are super fun), and I paid $69 for the week.

They delivered to our villa, and picked the boards up before we departed at the end of our trip.

Snapped Hypto Krypto rental surfboard

I actually snapped my board in half, but they were super cool and replaced it for free, since it had been repaired there previously.

Bali Surf Spots

Bali surf spots


There are so many amazing surf spots in Bali, with Uluwatu being one of the most famous.

It was also my favorite.

We surfed a few other spots… Canggu, Padang, Impossibles, but Ulu was the best.

Uluwatu surf spot
Surfing Uluwatu, Bali


It’s a bit of a hike to get to the bottom of the cave where you paddle out. The entry to the lineup is simple, just paddle out from the cave, you don’t have to worry about the reef unless it’s super low tide.

Waves were about 4-6 feet while we were there, which was perfect for us. Not to big, not too small. Ulu could get crowded, but I always managed to find my own little opening.

Something special about Uluwatu is the photographers in the cliffs. They will take pictures of everyone surfing, and then when you walk back up the cliff they pull you into their “offices” and scroll through the pictures on their computer to find the ones of you.

Then you can decide if you want to buy them (I didn’t buy any, but I think it was maybe $10 for a few pics).

Bali Nightlife

There’s plenty of nightlife in Bali! Lots of people there don’t even surf, they just go for the nightlife.

Even in Uluwatu, where it’s much more quiet, there’s still a “the spot” almost every night of the week it seems. (Sundays are for Single Fin)

Kam and I went to Canggu for one night, and it’s wild there. So much going on. Just walk around and find what looks good.

Drugs are very illegal in Bali. Like death sentence illegal. ðŸ˜ĩ

Apparently you can still get ahold of them, but I didn’t want to find out… though there may have been someone selling shrooms 🍄 outside of Single Fin.

Don’t risk it for the biscuit.

Food in Bali ðŸĨ˜

I was sick for most of the trip, so I didn’t get to enjoy the food as much as most people do.

My favorite was probably the breakfast at one of the spots below Single Fin on the cliffs of Uluwatu.

French toast (with honey ðŸŊ instead of syrup), eggs, sausage, and coffee.

Also good was the unlimited breakfast at Single Fin, great for refilling your body after a grueling morning surf at Uluwatu. (credit cards accepted)

There’s so many food options to choose from. Warungs (small restaurant or cafe) along the roadside everywhere.

Rice is a staple, and peanut butter sauce seems to be popular too.

Whether you’re into rice and meat, or fruit smoothies and acai bowls, there’s something for everyone.

The tourist-y spots are usually nicer and accept credit cards, while the local warungs are usually cash only, but considerably cheaper.

It’s nice to get some variety and eat at both.

Bali Surf Trip Costs

Bali surf trip expenses


Flights – $800
Villa – $350 ($50/night per person)
Scooter rental – $70
Surfboard rental – $69
Meals – $200

Total – $1,489

I wish I didn’t feel like death for most of the trip, but it was still such a fun experience.

It takes a lot of time and money to get to Bali, but once you’re there, everything is cheap and the living’s good.

We also went in April, which is right at the beginning of busy season. The waves start to get good, but the crowd doesn’t show up for another few weeks.

My recommendation is to get a group of friends, and go in on a villa.

Now that the weather is cooling down here in San Diego, I’m starting to crave Bali again…

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Casa Mirador review

A lot of pro surfers have been dropping edits from Salina Cruz in 2019, and I think most of them stayed with Cesar at Casa Mirador surf camp.

Stab even tackled The Dock 2.0 there (check the credits at the end for the Casa Mirador shoutout)


It’s really no surprise everyone chooses to stay with Cesar… he kinda seems like the mayor of the town.

Casa Mirador is perched atop the highest hill, overlooking all of Salina Cruz.
Beachbreaks to the left, pointbreak (can’t remember which one) to the right

Casa Mirador rooftop view


He has the nicest trucks for the surf guides, and you truly feel like a VIP when staying there.

Now, I haven’t stayed at any of the other surf camps, so I guess I’m kind of biased, but I think I’m being fair ðŸĪ·â€â™‚ïļ

Here’s the video version of my Casa Mirador review, check it out and then I’ll get into more details below.

Why Casa Mirador?

The beauty of staying at Casa Mirador is that everything is taken care of for you.

Airport transfer, meals, transportation to the surf spots, anything you need.

So all you have to think about is surfing.

Casa Mirador surf guide

Getting to Casa Mirador

We live in San Diego, so we flew out of Tijuana to save money on flights. Our flights were $330 round trip with Interjet.

There is something called CBX (Cross Border Xpress), where you get dropped off just outside the border, and walk across to the airport. It costs $30 round trip.

And the thing every surfer fears… surfboard baggage fees…

We didn’t pay a penny to bring our surfboards with Interjet! Thought it was going to be $30 each way, but it was completely free.

After landing in Huatulco, we had a van taxi waiting to take us 2.5 hours to Casa Mirador. This cost $160, so $32 per person (5 of us). We also paid this when we left the camp, for our departure back to San Diego.

The Casa

Casa Mirador surf camp
Casa Mirador entryway


The five of us shared one room. I think there are 4 or 5 total rooms. There were one or two other surf groups there at the same time as us.

We didn’t use the TV at all, but the air conditioner was nice at night (the rest of the casa is not air conditioned).

Casa Mirador bedroom
Casa Mirador bedroom


Bathroom was basic: sink, shower, and toilet.

In Mexico and other central American countries, the trend is to *not* flush your toilet paper, and it can clog the septic system.

You need to put toilet paper in the wastebasket next to the toilet… this was super weird to me at first 😝

Casa Mirador bathroom
Casa Mirador bathroom


The downtsairs living room area is where you can store your boards and hang out.

We found a guitar and Josh serenaded us while sitting in the window ðŸŽĩ

The window has the same view as upstairs, beachbreaks to the left and pointbreak to the right.

Casa Mirador living room
Casa Mirador living room
Casa Mirador views


Upstairs has ping pong and pool tables, and is where we ate our dinners.

The fridge has beers, drinks, and snacks. Just take what you want, and write it in the log, and you pay for it at the end of your trip.

Pool and ping-pong tables
Casa Mirador rooftop


There is WiFi at the Casa, but it was pretty spotty during our stay. The modem broke at one point, and they were working on getting it fixed… not a huge deal for most people, but when I’m trying to run my business remotely, it’s a big thing for me.

Meals

3 meals a day are included with your Casa Mirador package.

The breakfast is pretty weak (cereal and fruit), and usually lunch is just PB&J sandwhiches and/or tuna sandwhiches

Breakfast at Casa Mirador


We could choose to come back to the casa for lunch, but since the spots are an hour drive away, usually we just stay and surf all day.

A couple times we actually bought some fresh fish from the locals and made ceviche for lunch at the beach.

Dinner is where it’s at


I’m a plain eater, so basically all I want is meat and rice haha, but the kitchen staff always whips up some bomb dinners.

Tacos, fish, mole, rice, fresh squeezed/blended fruit juice, etc.

Salina Cruz Surf Spots

Casa Mirador is different from other surf camps you might visit, because no surf spots are walkable here.

The beachbreaks are about a 30 minute drive, and the pointbreaks are about an hour away.

Each evening, you coordinate with your surf guide what time you want to leave in the morning. You meet in the morning and he tells you which spot(s) should be working, and you go from there.

Load up the truck with boards, canopy for shade, chairs, and food (usually just PB & J, bread, and tuna).

Usually we leave around sunrise, and stay out until 3-5pm.

There are palapas at certain surf spots, otherwise the surf guide will set up a canopy for sun protection. It gets HOT here folks.

Palapa at the beach in Salina Cruz

What I Packed for Salina Cruz

  • Surfboard (Firewire Moonbeam, but I ended up not surfing it because the waves were too small), fins, extra leash in case one broke, towel
  • Laptop
  • Clothes – boardshorts, couple tank tops, couple shirts, one pair of shorts, shoes (I forgot my sandals 😝), hat
  • Lumix G7 camera, bendy tripod, batteries, GoPro, Mavic Pro drone
  • Toiletries – toothpaste, floss, contacts, glasses
  • Metal water bottle (filtered water provided at Casa Mirador)
  • Sunscreen
  • Passport, wallet, US cash and some pesos

Total Costs

  • Flight: $330
  • Airport transfers: $64
  • Casa Mirador: $900 ($150/night)
  • Tip: $50. Tipped our guide Juan, and the kitchen staff
  • Misc spending on snacks: ~$25. Usually on our way to the surf spots in the morning, we would stop at a market or gas station to get some junk food snacks and drinks.

Total Cost: $1,319 for 6 nights.

Worth It?

So was it worth spending $1,319 for this Salina Cruz surf trip?

Well, we surfed uncrowded loooong pointbreaks with 85 degree water temps. ☀ïļðŸŒŠ

Unfortunately the waves weren’t as big as we had hoped… we wanted some head high barrels, but we mostly got 3 foot mushy slow waves.

It was still super fun with the boys, but I think we’ll wait and check the 2-week forecast before booking our next trip, if possible.

If you decide to go with Casa Mirador, tell Cesar Ho Stevie! sent you ðŸĪ™

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Gabriel Medina avoids boat

This quick clip features some heavy wipeouts from the Rip Curl team.

Medina dodges a boat in the wave, and keeps on surfing! The guy in the boat got the shot too 🙂

Medina dodges boat

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Bodysurfing frontflip

I knew it was possible to do rolls while bodysurfing, but I’ve never seen a somersault before!

Kaneali’i Wilcox pulled off this front flip in the Point Panic Bodysurfing Championship, and was crowned champion.

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Tia Blanco

August wasn’t as eventful as July, but here are some of the happenings that stood out most to me.

Robbie Madison Dirtbiked Teahupoo

This still blows my mind. Motorcycle + ocean should not work.
But it does:

Tia Blanco does Playboy (kind of)

You might not have heard of Tia Blanco before, but she’s actually a pretty good surfer.

She did a gig with Playboy this month, but didn’t get naked. I thought nudity was required for Playboy, but apparently not.

Anyways, here’s the video:

Jordy Smith – Barrel to Massive Air Combo

This is probably the biggest air I’ve ever seen in surfing. Looks like he’s snowboarding or something.

A video posted by Jordy Smith (@jordysmith88) on

Surf Snowdonia Opens and Closes

The world’s first publicly available artificial wave opened on August 1st, in the United Kingdom.

But then on August 19th it had to shut down for maintenance. The lagoon has to be drained, and it is still closed as of the time of writing.

Surf Snowdonia, in the UK
Surf Snowdonia, in the UK

#BillabongProTahiti

Jeremy Flores took the big win at Teahupoo, despite wearing a helmet from a recent injury in Indo.

A photo posted by Jeremy Flores (@floresjeremy) on

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Laird Hamilton, Gabrielle Reece naked for ESPN

July was a big month for the world of surfing.

In case you were busy, here’s a quick rundown of what happened.

Laird Hamilton Gets Naked for ESPN


ESPN knows that sex sells, and that’s why they started their annual Body Issue.

This year you can find the godfather of SUP himself, Laird Hamilton, along with his volleyball wife Gabby Reece, SUPing without any clothes.

I wonder how many times they SUP’d naked before ESPN ever approached them about it?

Outerknown Officially Launches

Kelly Slater’s new brand Outerknown was finally officially launched, after much anticipation from the surf community.

But I don’t think many surfers will be wearing any Outerknown pieces… a flannel will cost you $165 or more!

Hey, at least it’s eco-friendly!

Kelly Slater Outerknown

Outerknown officially launches

Kelly Slater wearing Outerknown

Mick Fanning’s Shark Attack

Mick Fanning shark attack J-Bay Open

During the final heat of the J-Bay Open, a shark got a little frisky with Mick Fanning.

And Mick got a little frisky with the shark, as you can see from these memes.

Another Shark Attack at Renunion Island

Just days after Mick’s attack, there was yet another shark attack at Reunion Island.

Thankfully it wasn’t fatal this time, but it is the 18th shark attack since 2011 at Reunion.

A man named Rudolph was attacked while paddling through the channel. He suffered deep wounds to his arm, but all body parts are still intact and attached.

Can we please find a shark deterrent that works?

Rips Curl’s Quest 1 Charter Boat Sinks

Rip Curl Quest 1 sinks

The Quest 1 mysteriously sunk in the Mentawais.

Luckily everyone onboard was ok, but some say the boat was valued at over $1 million. Not a good month for Rip Curl!

JOB Set Himself On Fire

JOB on fire at Teahupoo
Redbull and Jamie O Brien keep pushing the limit with their Youtube series Who Is JOB?

Their latest stunt involves JOB, a wetsuit soaked with lighter fluid, and double overhead Teahupoo bommies.

Code Orange Teahupoo

The same XXL swell that JOB surfed on fire at Teahupoo, but here’s the edit with more surfing, less Jackass:

Vans US Open in Huntington Beach

2015 Vans US Open of Surfing

As far as spectators, the US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach is the biggest contest every year.

The contest wraps up on Sunday, so you still have time to check it out if you’re in the area!

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Biggest Great White Shark

If you’re visiting Guadalupe Island, you just might want to stay out of the water.

“Deep Blue” is a massive Great White shark cruising the depths, rumored to be over 20 feet long!

Well at least that means he’s probably too fat to visit shallower surf spots, right? He looks lazy in the video, but I’d hate to see what happens when he gets hungry.

Would you surf Guadalupe Island, and risk getting chomped by Deep Blue?
Would you surf Guadalupe Island, and risk getting chomped by Deep Blue?

Surfboard Socks