Anyone that’s caught the surfing bug will have heard tales of global surf adventures in Europe, Australia and, of course, California. But you may be a little surprised to hear that you can in fact surf in the crystal clear waters of Thailand.
I know, I know, we’ve all seen how flat the surf is in Thailand, but hear me out. The storms which break out during monsoon season produce consistent waves across many of the Thai shores, turning them from crystal clear millponds into contest-worthy surf spots. Most of the local surfers can be found at the beautiful breaks of Phuket – here’s where to find them. Phuket – let’s surf!
1. Kata Noi Beach – Phuket
Head to the northern tip of this beautiful beach and you’ll find small but consistent waves here. It produces nice right hand waves and the small conditions waves make it a bit of a hotspot for learners. Be aware that the surf can get quite big (and dangerous) here after heavy winter storms.
2. Kata Yai Beach – Phuket
One of the locals’ favourite surf spots on Phuket, Kata Yai Beach has even played host to a Quicksilver surf competition. Powerful waves appear from nowhere as they hit the sand bar that cranks them u at the last second, perfect for the surfer looking for more of a challenge.
Kata Yai can get quite crowded when the surf’s going off, but the locals are warm and friendly so there’s always a pretty relaxed atmosphere in the water. If you’re just beginning, head to the north of the beach where the waves a smaller – you’ll also find a small surf rental company supplying all the gear you’ll need to get started on your Thai surf adventure.
3. Kalim Beach – Phuket
A powerful coral reef break which is exciting for even the most experienced surfer, Kalim is well protected and provides clean waves even when other spots are totally blown out.
As with all sheltered surf spots, Kalim can get extremely over-crowded and it can take quite a bit of determination to fight for a wave to yourself.
4. Surin Beach – Phuket
Perhaps one of Thailand’s most dangerous and heaviest breaks, Surin is the place to get barrelled in Phuket. Proving how underrated surfing in Thailand is, CNN Travel rated Surin Beach 46th in their Top 50 Surf Spots in the World. It’s best on a big swell at high tide, but be careful surfing in the middle of the beach as there are a bunch of rocks which can cause some serious damage to your board, and your body.
5. Nai Harn – Phuket
Definitely one of Phuket’s most beautiful beaches, not only is it surrounded by lush green mountains but it’s also located next to a breath-taking freshwater lagoon that attracts Thai locals as well as tourists and expats. Yet, somehow, the beach never seems to be over crowded, even during the high season. Much like the other spots on Phuket, Nai Harn offers solid surf conditions during the monsoon season. There is not much to worry about in terms of rocks or reefs, but there are some hefty rips to be wary of during big swells.
What else you need to know
Thai people are generally very friendly and helpful, especially on the islands such as Phuket and Ko Samui. There are surf schools and places to rent equipment from if you don’t want to travel with your surfboard, and you can pick up everything you need for a day of surfing for less the £5.
Accommodation is famously cheap in Thailand, the islands, however, can be a little more pricey. Again, you could stay in a comfortable hotel, hostel or bungalow for less than £5 a night and a basic meal won’t cost more than £1 or £2. More and more travel companies are providing cheap flights to Phuket; companies such as Expedia also have deals which will help you save enough to pay for a couple of days surf hire! All in all, Thailand is one of the cheapest surf trips you’ll ever have!
By Ben Holbrook