The Popularity of Kite Surfing in Phuket
Kite surfing has become a popular water sport with visitors to Phuket. This is a challenging hobby that requires a bit of skill to master, but there are few other surface water activities that provides such an adrenalin rush. Kite surfing is sometimes considered to be an extreme sport because it combines gymnastics, windsurfing, and paragliding into one package.
Phuket has long been considered a great destination for anyone who enjoys water sports. It is a good choice for anyone wishing to learn kite surfing as well those who already have a bit of experience. There are plenty of kite surfing schools and the weather conditions are usually favorable for this activity. People now arrive from all over the world just to kite surf in Thailand.
Where to Go Kite Surfing in Phuket
The most popular destinations in Phuket for kite surfing are:
- Nai Yang Beach is a great place for kite surfing. The water is quite shallow here and it feels more like a lake than the sea due to being surrounded by land.
- Layan Bay is perfect for those who are new to kite surfing. The water is shallow and for most of the year there are not many waves.
- Rawai Beach has become another popular destination for kite surfers. There are some strong currents here and beginner kite surfers will need to be careful.
- The best weather for kite surfing is usually to be found at Chalong Bay. This area can get quite crowded so precautions need to be taken to avoid accidents.
Kite Surfing Lessons in Phuket
There are a number of operators that provide kite surfing lessons in Phuket. If people are unsure about this activity and just want an introduction then they want to try a Discovery Day. These usually only last three to four hours and involve learning to basics of kite surfing and using a small training kite. If people want a proper introduction to kite surfing then they will need to attend a three day course. These lessons usually lead to a certificate at the end of the course. During the three days the learner will be taught how to manage their equipment, and kite surf safely. There is a bit of theory to learn but most of the day is spent kite surfing. If people have already learnt the basics of kite surfing they can attend an intermediate or advanced course. It is also possible to arrange private lessons. The discovery day costs about 4,000 THB while the full 3 day introduction course is 12,000 THB.
Kite Surfing Equipment
In order to go kite surfing it is necessary to have equipment including:
- A kite with a bridle
- A board
- A kite control device which includes a safety release system
- 4- 5 lines
- Safety equipment such as harness, helmet, impact vest, life jacket, and water shoe.
Buying this equipment can be an expensive investment so many people prefer to rent. Most of the kite surfing operators also rent out the equipment. It costs about 4,000 THB a day to rent a complete package of kite surfing equipment.
When to Go Kite Surfing in Phuket
The best time for kite surfing in Phuket is between November and April. It is possible to go kite surfing at other times of the year, but getting the right conditions is more of a gamble. The weather during the rainy season can mean blocks of days when it will not be possible to kite surf.
Kite Surfing and Safety
Kite surfing can be a dangerous activity if people are not careful. The most important safety considerations are:
- People should never go kite surfing in extreme weather conditions such as in the middle of a storm.
- Extra caution needs to be taken near the shore where there may be other people in the water.
- It is vital that beginners have lessons from a qualified teacher. It is dangerous and reckless for anyone to begin kite surfing without the proper training.
- It is always advisable that people wear appropriate protection such as helmets and an impact vest.
- When kite surfing it is important to be always alert to what is occurring in the environment. This means looking out for potential dangers such as other kite surfers.
- Never kite surf near power lines.
- Kite surfing equipment must have a safety release system so that the individual can disable the kite quickly.
- It is expected that people fully inspect their equipment at the start of each session.
- People should avoid launching if they are near to other people or hard objects – this is particular important if they are upwind of people or hard objects.
- Beginners should avoid going kite surfing in strong winds.