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Bali – kayak free zone.

01 Sep
The closest thng to a sea kayak in Bali

The closest thing to a sea kayak in Bali

We just got back from Bali. I guess going there for an Aussie is now pretty cliche but I don’t care. I have Balinese friends and I love the chaos and the friendliness. Australia is on the verge of becoming a totalitarian nanny state; you can’t even let your kids do a handstand in Queensland! Going to Bali reminds me what personal freedom is about. Sure, it’s not perfect but you can pretty much do what you like and the consequences are your responsibility. They don’t make you stop at a red traffic light when there’s nothing coming for miles. They share their lives and help each other and strangers wave and smile at you. Balinese are fabulous people.

The problem with Bali I have is that there is not one single seakayak on the whole island. NOT ONE. It’s a perfect place for a sea kayak. The best I could manage was some very dodgy looking sit-on-tops at a hotel in Benoa which had not been used in years and were definitely not seaworthy. I even posted on Baliblog.org for help but still haven’t got an answer. We traveled with a bunch of friends who were surfers and they took their own boards. A bit of a hassle but still pretty easy to do. This was a bit depressing. I had to sit and watch while they surfed.

Another thing with Bali is that the beaches are lousy. There are reefs everywhere and the sand is black from volcanic soil and full of coral. Kuta Beach has some waves but is otherwise horrible. The coastline however, is magnificent and just the place to paddle a sea kayak. I don’t have the budget to ship my boats there or to buy a 3 piece Rockpool so the next best thing is to register a business in Bali and run sea kayaking tours. Watch this space…

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6 Comments

Posted by on September 1, 2008 in Kayaking Life

 

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6 responses to “Bali – kayak free zone.

  1. Mark Sundin

    September 2, 2008 at 4:06 am

    Vanuatu is the same – not one single closed cockpit sea kayak in the whole island group…. Like Bali, if ever there was a place perfect for kayaking, it’s Vanuatu. I have even seriously looked at the Trak kayak (www.rethinkkayak.com) from the US, because it’s the only folder I’ve ever paddled that actually behaves like a proper sea kayak, but they’re $5000, a bit of an extravagance to have something to paddle when you’re on holidays! Next time I’m in Vanuatu, I’m taking my surf kayak – at least I can take it out & do a bit of rolling & fun stuff if there are no waves….

     
  2. rjimlad

    September 7, 2008 at 11:05 am

    Going to Bali with a bunch of surfers was pretty rough. I thought about a sea kayak and I think it’s probably my next purchase. I grew up in the surf and live near the Hunter beaches so if you’ve got a surf boat for a 120kg fat bastard you might have a sale. I know I want/need/pine for an Assateague but now think I haven’t got the best from Eco and a surf boat is the perfect accompaniment now.

     
  3. Mark Sundin

    September 7, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    The Rush+ mate, no question. I’ve got a carbon-kevlar ex-demo boat here for $2490. We had it at Rock & Roll (details are at http://www.valleyseakayaks.com/rush.htm) – the Rush+ is about 10 larger allround & should fit you without too many dramas.

     
  4. Wouter

    January 22, 2009 at 3:28 am

    Dont see the problem, if you come here so often then order a sea kayak with Bali fiber,Harry 08123819336, for 750 USD and store it in your friends place. Reasonable kayaks and ready in 2 weeks!

     
  5. Tom

    December 30, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    I live in bali, and regularly sea kayak here. I have not come across any other paddlers in the 6 years I have been here. I use a folbot Kiawah kayak which I brought over from Singapore. Fits in regular luggage(15kg) and is easy to carry about. You are wrong about the lousy beaches here. There are many beautiful beaches with clear water and areas which are world class for paddling. You might need to look further afield than kuta area though. I think there is a kayak company running in the Gili Islands now too. Good luck, consider a folding kayak for travel,

     
    • rjimlad

      December 30, 2013 at 9:16 pm

      Hi Tom, thanks for the info. I love Bali and yes, you are right, some of the beaches are beautiful. I get out of Kuta as fast as I can but I haven’t had much luck finding a kayak. I plan to paddle around Bali and Lombok and might have a boat shipped to a friends place in Benoa. Might investigate the Gili Islands.

       

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