I personally think that Kuta Beach is the most famous beach in Bali, especially for beginner surfers. I think that it is mostly popular because of the sunset, near to the airport and surrounded by local and international shops, if we are speaking geographically.
Some said that Kuta Beach has become very dirty and not taken care of but I am here to prove you wrong. Last time I went there (May 2016), Kuta Beach is very well-taken care of and still an all-time famous site for tourists. I love this beach that seems endless when I strolled around in the morning and suddenly I was already in Seminyak.
Sunrise and sunset time are probably my favorite time to visit Kuta Beach. The morning waves are very settle and calm. With those cotton candy clouds above the sea, it is a beautiful color to be seen. This beach is also dog friendly.
There are lots of people who’s taking surfing lesson in Kuta Beach. I’m not sure about the hourly rate, but I’m sure different coach has a different rate. They provide the surf board and the swimsuit (unless you have your own). Kuta Beach can get very crowded in peak season, especially because it is nearby the shopping mall.
By the way, don’t forget to visit Ubud, one of my favorite place in Bali and you can find it very distinct from Kuta Beach.