7 Types Of Surfers You’re Guaranteed To Encounter In Bali

Ever been surfing in Bali? You’ll definitely have encountered these characters...


Photo: The Inertia

He’s the angriest guy in the water, paddling around with a scowl that could burn straight through you. Aggro Guy will throw a tantrum for the smallest offences, splashing water in your face like a petulant two year-old. If you dare to drop in on him, he will threaten to snap your board in half. The irony is he’s not even the best surfer in the water. He’s pretty average. The worst kind of Aggro Guy is the one that only picks on women because he thinks they are easy prey.


You’ll see him wearing a Patagonia bucket hat, super long boardshorts and a rashvest. Any visible skin will be covered in a layer of zinc suncream so blindingly white, people have to turn away as he paddles past. He looks like a kook, but this dude is a ripper in disguise. He’s better than you in every way. His take offs are quicker, he’s paddled back out faster than you and he’s catching all of your waves. He’s often middle-aged and balding (hence the bucket hat) and sometimes he can morph into Aggro Guy if you’re not careful.


Hang ten: the ultimate longboard manoeuvre. Photo: iStock

Longboarders are laid-back by nature. These men and women sit further out back than anyone else, catching mere ripples that by some magic turn into the longest waves you’ve seen all day. They will usually be seen dancing around on their boards, hanging ten, doing headstands, showing off to the crowds – until a big set comes through and snaps their ginormous log like a twig on the reef.


Photo: iStock

Women can fit into any of these categories, but there is always one female shortboarder that’s better than everyone else on the water. She will be wearing a bikini that somehow doesn’t fall off when a big wave crashes down on her. She’s got no sunburn, no friction scrapes, no chafing – just tan lines so dark they look like paint. You can spot her effortlessly paddling out back, catching more waves than anyone else and fiercely calling out dudes that try to drop in on her.



The Macho Kook is a big muscly guy, usually Australian, who can be found out back on a bright blue foamy with no idea what he’s doing. He thinks surfing looks easy but you will mainly see him catching no waves and sliding around on his board like a drunk seal. He doesn’t know how to duck dive so he will be seen swimming front crawl to get out back with his board towed behind him.



This little kid is about 3ft tall and he rips way harder than you. Often accompanied by an eager parent, the Super Grom has been surfing since he/she was in nappies. Living inland is a foreign concept to them, they’ve never been to a school where half of the class don’t surf. They are kinda cute but become increasingly irritating as they flout every single surf etiquette rule under the sun. They will drop in you, snake your wave, run you over with their toothpick board  – and there’s nothing you can do because they are ten years-old.


Photo: iStock

The Name Dropper is also usually a man from Australia who loves to name drop. Not famous folk, just the surf spots he’s conquered. “I’ve surfed pretty much everywhere in South East Asia, mostly secret spots. You won’t have heard of them. Yeah, I’ve surfed Lacerations, it was a piece of piss. We saw twelve sharks out there last time I was surfing. Yeah man, twelve. One bit my mate’s leash off. They asked me to compete in the WCT but I had to turn them down. I couldn’t commit all that time in the water.” You will never actually see him catch a wave. He spends more time chatting about his gnarly session at Padang Padang during a lightning storm instead. He’ll then head into the bar and you’ll continue hear his loud obnoxious voice booming across the beach for the rest of the night.

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