The Dangers of Surfing Bali and Peeing in the Ocean

Surfing Bali and Peeing in the Ocean

Before I surfed Bali, I had heard the Indonesian urban legends and old wives’ tales about surfing the archipelago, but more specifically about surfing Bali.


“I know a guy who wore a green bathing suit and he was killed by a poisonous water snake.”


“If you hit the reef surfing Bali, you’ll have to cut open the wounds, dig out the reef with a toothbrush, and squeeze lemon into it.”


“This guy had to go number two in the water and a piece of coral got sucked up there. Don’t ask me how that works, I’m no gastroenterologist. But he sucked up some coral into his butt, got an infection, and died.”


I left my green bathing suits at home, noted the location of pharmacies and fruit stands, and used the bathroom for extended periods of time before surfing Bali… just in case.


Surfing Bali


The biggest waves I surfed were the outer reefs of Kuta, but I didn’t hit the exposed reef. I did graze the bottom at Padang Padang, but it was not so huge and my skin held strong. I was most worried about my last day at Uluwatus because it always seems to go that you get injured on the last day of your trip, just before you’re set to fly home.


But I emerged from the surf unscathed and found Marissa on the beach.

Entering Surf at Uluwatu, Bali

Peeing in the Ocean


“Come on, I have to pee,” she said, frightened of the ocean to begin with, but also having never urinated in any body of water besides a toilet bowl.


“Just pee in the water.”


“I’m not pissing in the ocean,” she replied.


“Pee in the ocean. It’s fine. I do it all the time.”


She hesitated; I waved her on. She walked into the water and disappeared around the cliff for privacy. She was taking a really long time to pee and I feared that she got swept out to sea. But when I looked to see if she was still alive, there she was losing her covering each time to the outgoing wave and then getting bowled over by the incoming surf.


About five minutes after she had begun the process, Marissa limped out of the water.


“What happened?”


Marissa–she who had avoided the water for the entire trip, sitting on the beach only to suntan–got a reef cut. (WARNING: Do not click on this link if you are squeamish.) Marissa didn’t want me to use a toothbrush or a lemon. Her foot got infected. When we returned home, we treated it with Western medicine.


“It was a good thing you only had to pee,” I told her.

Entrance at Uluwatu, Bali

Posted on by Noah Lederman in Surf & Snow

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