Phuket for the Surfer
It is fair to say that Thailand is not the number one destination for surfing on the planet. This does not mean that this part of the world has nothing to offer the surfer because it certainly does. The island of Phuket has developed an enviable reputation for providing the best in all types of water sport. This is also the obvious choice for people who want to do a bit of surfing. The best waters for surfers in Thailand are to be found on the west coast of Phuket.
Where to Go Surfing in Phuket
The beaches on the western side of Phuket are the best option for those hoping to surf on the island. The most popular locations include:
- Patong Beach is a good option for those who are new to surfing. The waves here are unlikely to be much of a challenge for experienced surfers and it can be too busy here.
- Surin Beach can experience some nice waves – especially at either end of the beach. Surfers need to be careful of rocks near the middle of the beach.
- The northern end of Kamala Beach can offer some good options for surfers.
- Kata Beach sometimes gets some really nice waves. Many of those who are beginner surfers will have their first opportunity to ride the waves here.
- Kalim Beach is arguably the best place in the whole of Thailand to go surfing. It is possible to ride the waves here for as much as 100 meters.
- Bang Tao Beach is another reliable option for those who want to be sure of catching a few waves.
- __Nai Yang Beach (Airport Beach) __ can be a good option when the conditions are right. It is sometimes necessary to go quite far out into the water to pick up good waves.
Surfing near Phuket
Those who are willing to travel further afield will find other surfing options near Phuket including:
- Khao Lak is about 60 kilometers to the north of Phuket in Phang Nga province. There is some good surfing to be found at Pakarang Point.
- There are some surfing opportunities on Koh Lanta. The place where surfers are most likely to find waves would be Klong Dao Beach.
When to Go Surfing in Phuket
The best time to go surfing in Thailand is between April and the beginning of November. This is during the rainy season so it means that it is usually possible to find plenty of cheap accommodation on the island. The beaches also tend to be far less crowded at this time of the year. There is surfing at other times of the year, but it is unlikely to be as satisfying as during the rainy season – although it may be a good option for those new to surfing.
Learning to Surf in Phuket
There are a number of surf schools to be found on Phuket. Those who would like to have private tuition can expect to pay about 900 THB per hour. Kata beach has a number of surfing schools, but there are also options at most of the beaches where surfers like to go on the island.
Surfing Equipment Rental in Phuket
All the touristy areas of Phuket will have shops where it will be possible to rent surfing equipment. In places like Kata it is possible to rent right from the beach. The usual cost of renting a board is 500 THB a day or 150 THB for an hour. It is best to compare a few options and to always fully check the board to ensure that it is in good condition.
Surfing Safely in Phuket
Surfing is a relatively safe water activity, but there is always the potential for things to go wrong. Safety precautions should include:
- People should never go surfing if they have been drinking alcohol or are getting over the effects of a heavy night.
- Surfing can be quite a demanding physical activity. It is therefore important that people are in good shape before they take up this sport.
- It is best to not eat directly before going surfing. At least a one hour gap between eating and surfing should reduce the risk of developing cramps.
- It is always important to find out as much information about a place before going surfing there. It is also recommended that surfers investigate the tide forecasts.
- If people want to avoid getting sun burnt they should wear a good sun block cream that will work in water. In Thailand people can get severely burnt even when it is cloudy.
- If surfers are having problems they should stay with their board and use one hand to wave and attract attention.