Rapture Surf Camp Review, Bali
A week in May was the perfect time to visit Rapture Surf Camp in Bali. Best suited for beginners or a competent surfer looking for stress-free surf guiding. Rapture Surf camp is a luxurious, affordable option on the Bukit Peninsula in Bali. Used Code STILLSTOKED for 10% off.
Can you think of anything better than spending your day surfing Uluwatu, sitting by an infinity pool sipping on Bintangs, practicing yoga and feeling the sun kissing your skin?
Alexa (editor & owner of Still Stoked), was talking to me from a surf trip in the Galápagos Islands as she was preparing to sail across the Pacific Ocean on our mutual friend’s boat Finding Avalon (check out their adventures on YouTube here).
Over muffled WiFi from London, I mentioned feeling extremely surf deprived and jealous of all their warm water escapades – whilst frantically perusing Skyscanner for cheap flights to Bali.
Rapture Surf Camp has locations in Bali, where should I go?
That’s right! Rapture Surf Camps offer the party house in Padang Padang which is the original camp, close to the surf spots. Or the larger more relaxed (and very chic) villa located on the West side near Green Bowl, known as Cliff. I stayed at both locations.
The Padang camp is centered around a beautiful, Bali-blue, swimming pool and chilled lounge area – perfect for chill-time before and after the surf. Hidden away amongst the tropical garden, the rooms are bungalow style, and whether you opt for shared or private accommodation they’re charming and well-equipped. Also, this camp is perfect for those who wanna go out! Located in the heart of all the action – a taxi back from the new, now infamous Single Fin, on the Uluwatu headland is around 100K (£5 or US$7).
The Cliff Villa… WOW just wow. This brand new villa was built in 2016 and is located on the right-hand side of the south peninsular with spectacular views. Home to an infinity pool, spacious lounge areas, and a tranquil massage and yoga studio – This camp is ridiculously picturesque, perfect for the gram (Insta- that is!). If you do go out, it’s a bit further, but you can get a taxi back from Single Fin for 300K (£16).
Both camps offer the same healthy and delicious menu, on-site daily yoga classes, and optional massages. The main difference is that Padang is perfectly situated for access to the surf and party spots. If you’d rather have your own (rather beautiful) space, and do not mind staying on site (when you’re not surfing that is), then Cliff is for you. Or better yet, do what I did and spend 3 nights at each camp for the best of both worlds!
Tip! Use code STILLSTOKED for 10% off a Rapture Surf Camp when booking on their website.
What is the difference between surf lessons and surf guiding?
If you opt for surf lessons, you will have your very own local surfer with you and one or two others from the group (depending on the size) teaching you and helping you every step of the way. This then includes theory lessons and video analysis feedback on land. On the flip side, surf guiding gives the group one guide, no matter the size, and will take you to the best break of the day (with all options available from chilled to supercharged) and explain the break so you are ready to get out there and rip.
Both camps work together. So whether you are Level 1 (beginner), or Level 3 (more advanced), you will be paired with people of your level from both camps, surfing the most suitable spot for that day. You will meet loads of people at a similar surf ability :-). I opted for the surf guiding and my good friend Gerri, who was travelling with me, was keen to take surf lessons as she had never surfed before.
Level 1 beginner surf lesson experience.
“What the hell am I doing?” She asked on our first morning, feeling jet-lagged and a little nervous. We’ve been pointed towards the surfboard room told to pick a board, and that we’re off to Padang Padang. Once on the beach, the instructors give the group a briefing of the wave. They showed the beginners how to pop up, and after this, she felt more reassured and was off to the shore break give it a shot!
In the water, the instructors were awesome. Constantly making sure everyone was having fun. Positioning everyone to catch waves. In one-on-one lessons, they gave timely instruction, like “go fast but don’t rush”, and advice on body positioning on the board. Their support in the water for beginners was especially well received. Over the course of Gerri’s beginner lessons, she said all the instructors continued to share knowledge about surfing and the ocean to help her improve.
The advanced surfer’s experience.
As an experienced surfer, I was a little frustrated to be taken to the same spot as Level 1, but I learned the waves were pretty small everywhere that first day. To my delight, the swell rose overnight, and Level 3 were up and out early to Uluwatu, the next day.
Advice for Level 2 and Level 3 surfers: Do not expect the guides to break down your surfing. They will act as pure guides.
Super knowledgeable about the waves, they will let you know where the best place to sit is. Despite instruction on where to paddle out and identifying the worst part of the reef, I still managed to leave with a few scratches (or Bali Kisses as they call it).
Make sure you check out our detailed surf first aid kit, and take these items with you!
Video Analysis for Level 1 surfers only
Twice a week, the instructors give video analysis for Level 1. Gerri found watching how she surfed partnered with the really constructive pointers, super helpful. Sadly the video analysis wasn’t delivered in a timely manner (on the day of that surf). The two-day delay rendered a lot of the feedback mute, as under the instruction in the lessons, she felt she had already improved her position on the board.
There was no video analysis of me in the level 3 group, and I should mention I didn’t have any instruction or tips while surfing from the guides. If you are after outstanding knowledge of the tides, breaks and good company in the water, then the level 3 camp option is great.
But if you are looking to improve your surfing, then be mindful that the Rapture Surf Camp is definitely more suitable for the beginner surfer.
What about Yoga?
After a full day of surfing, restorative Yin Yoga is the perfect surfing antidote, and the daily one-hour class is included in every camp. Even better, your class is scheduled around the surf times (unlike some camps), so you’ll never miss out, or have to choose between yoga or surfing. Much to my relief!
At the start of every class, the teacher began by asking what people would like to work on. In most cases, the answer was stretching our tired surf muscles, thus Yin Yoga was always the answer!
Holding seated “resting” poses for 4-5 minutes each can be challenging, but it is invaluable to release tension. Releasing the connective tissue allows your muscles to relax and reset, so you can continue to surf twice a day. Whilst variations are offered to allow you to take it to your level, if you are a keen Yogi the class offered is focused on surf recovery rather than advancing a strong Vinyasa practice.
They are offered daily as an additional option for every guest, and my gosh is it worth it. Expert masseuses give the option of Standard Balinese Massage or Sports Massage. I opted for the Balinese Massage and it was one hour of total bliss. I couldn’t recommend this enough, nor thank the lovely lady who worked through all the kinks in my shoulders – it was also crazy value for money at about £10 or US$13!
Not even joking, the best home-made bread I’ve ever tasted!
Breakfast is part of the Rapture Surf Camp package, involved the most mouth-watering, freshly baked bread! Handmade by the staff, although I couldn’t get them to share the recipe, much to my disappointment! Good news though, you can have as much as you like(!) with peanut butter, jam or butter included. On top of this, you then order (as much as you like / literally all you can eat!) eggs, omelets, pancakes, toasted sandwiches, fruit salads or overnight oats.
Lunch is not included. You will have the option of an all-day menu which boasts delicious smoothie bowls, juices, Nasi Goring (the local Balinese rice dish), healthy salads, with vegan options and smaller snacks such as bread and hummus.
Dinner is included Monday-Friday and is an equal mix of Indonesian and Western food throughout the week, which is great. On Saturday and Sunday both camps come together for two socials: Saturday a BBQ at Cliff, Sunday pizza night at Padang…. leading you on to Single Fin for the main party night, if you wish. While these nights are not included, you definitely get value for money. The BBQ is all you can eat and the large pizza is only 90K (£4 or US$6). If you are Gluten Free, make sure you let them know in advance as options are not always readily available (as I’m sure you can imagine).
It’s all about the people
The staff were absolutely amazing. Super helpful and so much fun.
They sure do have a lot of love. There is also such a good vibe in both camps with lots of interesting people from all over the world traveling through.
The surf instructors are super fun dudes and great to hang out with, with amazing energy and always on time. No Bali time here!
How much does Rapture Surf Camp cost?
In General, If you are looking for a surf camp in Bali, Rapture is great value for money. I would thoroughly recommend the camp for a beginner to the sport surfer or anyone looking for a stress-free holiday, guaranteed to be surfing the right waves at the right time! Their knowledge of the waves around the Bukit Peninsula surf knowledge is second to none.
Prices start at £45 / US$50 per night and include:
- Accommodation with linen & towels
- Breakfast daily
- Family Style Dinner (Mon – Fri)
- Surf Guiding twice a day
- Surf Lessons twice a day (+€10: 4 hours total)
- *Board rental and insurance are mandatory and NOT included.
- Beginner Video Analysis (Wed & Sun)
- Yoga Class Daily
- Massage Daily (+€10)
- Airport Pick up and drop off
The camps recommend Monday – Sunday as this is the way it works when you are doing lessons to make the most out of it, however, you can go for as little as one night there is no minimum stay and not set times, they will be able to accommodate you and your needs!
Check out more information on the surf camp on their website, or chat with their online live chat. The website shows loads of cool videos of the sites and there many other location…. including Portugal, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
Thank you so so much for hosting me Rapture Surf Camps! It was an amazing experience, surrounded by wonderful people and you thoroughly fixed my much-needed surf drought…
For now, I’m surfed out!