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“Great intro to surfing”

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Padang Padang Surf Camp
Ranked #5 of 61 Specialty Lodging in Pecatu
Certificate of Excellence
Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Great intro to surfing”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 24, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at the camp back in October as complete beginners to surfing. Padang Padang throw you straight in to the waves but make sure you feel safe with the instructors, which was great for us because we are impatient when trying new things and prefer a trial and error approach. The resort itself is beautiful and has a really chilled out vibe around the pool area. The room was nice but we did wish we'd booked one with air conditioning. By the end of our 3 days surfing both of us could pick our own waves, stand up and ride in (not consistently though and our technique definitely needs work!). We met some great people during our stay who were like minded and fun to be around. The only thing about this place that leaves me a little disappointed was the way that the owner (Richard) slated us during the photo analysis with no appreciation of how far we'd come. Not the best way to inspire your guests to continue surfing!

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank lax15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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226 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (41)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Hong Kong, China
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 17, 2013

Thanks again to everyone at the camp for a truly enjoyable mini holiday. It seems to get better and better every time I come!

I surfed Uluwatu for the first time, and also Green Bowl rights! Ok the waves might have been small by Bali standards but were perfect for me as an Intermediate. It has been my dream to surf Uluwatu for a long time and it definitely lived up to expectations. The paddle into the cave was so cool!

Finally, I feel I should comment that I think Monot is a great addition to your team. Please pass on my sincere thanks to him personally (From the 'old man') for helping me try to improve and for being a great surf guide and just genuine person. Thanks, as always to Ina, Andrew, Zoe and the whole team.

Best wishes for a great Christmas and New Year!

See you soon I hope. Cheers guys!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Gavin R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 26, 2013

This was my first time to an overseas surf trip. The hardest part of planning a trip of this kind is following the swell, organizing flights whilst finding the best/cheapest airline to fly with. On top of that Indonesia is still a developing nation so it won't have the infrastructure 1st world countries have.

Padang surf provides a service that eases travelers like myself into the country. The guides are on top of the locations to surf along with the transportation and the guides. That alone is what makes this camp very special and well worth while. Also, breakfast and lunch is served daily minus dinner. If you want to spend a night on the town and travel to Kuta, or other locations on the island, the workers there are more than happier to help accommodate the trip. Yes, it's a bit more than you'd pay elsewhere, but everyone I met there were easy to get along with and very friendly people - you get what you pay for.

Overall it was a very good experience. Padang Surf Camp put my worries of traveling somewhere so far and so new at ease. The guides are great, Andrew and Ina (owners) are good people and they work hard to help you become better a surfer. The surf guides there all rip, I mean, they're PRO level (and i thought people here in S. Cali were good, they're REALLY good!). I've met some great people there and I'd definitely return some time next year. Give it a try.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Jimi K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 19, 2013

3d trip to Padang Padang. I've always had an amazing time whether with my wife or flying solo. The guests who stay here are always a fun mix, the staff is friendly and the guides are just awesome. Gesit did an amazing job of calling me into the best waves of my life and calling me off of the close outs that would have surely sent me to the reef. Jack is a an excellent addition to the crew.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Scullbone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 18, 2013

I visited the camp for the first time in March and left thoroughly beaming and keen to revisit. Following another trip in September/ October, I'm happy to say that still holds true.

As others have mentioned, the food and accommodation are of a high standard and Ina and Andrew do a good job of ensuring that things are kept up to scratch and that the guests are kept happy. They obviously take pride in their camp (and home) and ask for honest feedback and suggestions to make the place better.

The food is a mixture of Indo and Western cuisine and caters to a variety of dietary requirements, with the recurring themes that it is always in abundance, it is always healthy and it is always tasty.

The coaching and surf guiding is a strong point, with groups going out often 2-3 people per instructor/ guide and to breaks considered appropriate to your skill level, depending on tide and swell conditions. As the boys are local, they've got the whole scene wired and if it isn't working at the usual spots, they'll go further afield or to secret spots. They love surfing and they seem to get stoked helping people enjoy it too. They're a really good bunch of lads and are professional in what they do. Based on my own experiences, I would personally recommend Edy, Wayan and Tino (and Christo), but they're all good- i've just spent more time with aforementioned.

Dry season, the groups typically around Pecatu (Padang2, Uluwatu, Bingin, Dreamland, Impossibles + secret spots), while in wet season, they'll go further out a bit (Serangan, Nusa Dua, Canggu etc). Given the consistency of the swell in Bali and the variety of the spots, regardless of when you visit, something will be working and usually very well.

Looking forward to coming again in a few months.

Room Tip: Spend a few more quid and get at least an air conditioned room.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank MinahasaBule
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aliso Viejo, California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 14, 2013

We had so much fun learning to surf at Padang Padang surf camp! The staff was super professional (the owner sat us down the day before we went out and ran us through what we need, and what we can expect, etc.). Unlike the other surfers in the school, we were staying at a different hotel, but we still felt welcomed right into the family. It was great! The next morning we went surfing. The instructors showed us all of the proper techniques on land so we would feel comfortable and then we were off catching waves! We were paired up with Made - he was super helpful and friendly. The best part is that they give you a push so you don’t have to paddle as much - making it way easier to actually catch waves. I would highly recommend these guys, and also consider staying on site - they have a nice pool, hammocks and a ton of surfing reading materials.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank dcbaranowski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 11, 2013

I just took one lesson while I was in the area, and I thought I was lucky that they would let people join for a lesson or two, but I don't think they should do this any more.
No one asked me about my level (rank beginner), although I kept trying to tell them, and the staff kept asking me what board I wanted but with their limited English they were unable to understand that I needed them to tell me how to choose, or choose for me, since that was part of what I was there to learn. I still don't know how to choose a suitable board for my level. I guess one of the reasons no one cared about my level was that they just took everyone to the same place to surf anyway, without any kind of prior assessment or instruction or discussion or anything.
They took us (all levels) to PadangPadang beach, and only then did they break us up into groups by ability, but we were all surfing the same waters anyway, so it didn't help much at that point. Although they had the beginners on the inner set and advanced on the outer set, it was crowded, and total chaos. The better surfers would finish their outer runs and paddle back across the inner set, right in the path of the beginners starting on their waves, who of course didn't have the skills and control yet to handle this. Several times I had to bail to avoid a collision. There were some other people there for the full camp who were total beginners too, out for their first lesson ever, and they felt as bewildered and over their skill level as I was.
The waves, even the inner set, were far too large for a new beginner, and I really didn't learn anything, I just survived. Given the big conditions at PadangPadang that day they really should have taken the beginners around to Kuta beach or some place similar for the first lesson, as they say they will do on their website.
I have seen people taking lessons there, and that's the sort of gentle introduction I needed and was expecting, not a chaotic reef break (I had the scrapes to prove it too) with waves well over my ability, probably an inappropriate board (I never did get help with selection, I finally had to just pick one or get left behind) and crowds that I didn't have the skills to navigate around. Getting off to a good start, even if a little slow, is essential to any kind of learning, especially something as challenging as surfing, and I got the opposite here.
Based on my experience I wouldn't recommend the camp as a place for beginners, and certainly wouldn't recommend it for one-off beginner lessons.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank madamiamadam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
balisurfing, Manager at Padang Padang Surf Camp, responded to this review, November 13, 2013
We are sorry the reviewer did not have a great experience but 1 surf lesson is not enough to become proficient as it is a very difficult sport to learn. August is high season and it can be very busy in the water and on the beach and obviously we have no control over this. August is also peak season for wave size and it can be big on some days and as Kuta is more exposed to the swell this is not a good destination. The fact the reviewer seen small waves at Kuta on a different occasion does not mean it is always small. The wave size at Kuta is 50% bigger than at Padang and so will not be chosen as a surfing location if the waves at Padang are quite big. While Bali has very consistent quality surfing conditions there will be some days which are not ideal as too small or too big or other factors. The other reviews on this site were mostly residential staying 1 week or more so have a more balanced view of the surfing conditions and our professional operation.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Padang Padang Surf Camp

Property: Padang Padang Surf Camp
Address: Padang Padang, Jl Labuan Sait, Pecatu, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Bali > Nusa Dua Peninsula > Pecatu
Amenities:
Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 61 Specialty Lodging in Pecatu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Padang Padang Surf Camp 3*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Padang Padang Surf Camp offers quality accommodation near some of the best surfing breaks in the world. Surf guiding for advanced surfers and surf lessons for beginners. We cater for all levels of surfers and offer full services including airport transfers, meals, accommodation, surf lessons, board rental. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Padang Padang Surf Camp Hotel Pecatu
Padang Surf Camp Pecatu
Padang Padang Surf Camp Bali/Pecatu

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