Surfing in Phuket
Surfing has caught on in popularity in Phuket over the past few years. The number of local surfers has greatly increased thanks to decent surf conditions and the opening of several places to hire boards. Phuket is Thailand’s leading surfing destination with the best surf spots being on the west coast of the island.
Phuket now hosts three annual surf competitions: The Kalim Surf Contest at Kalim Beach usually in June, the Kamala Go Surfing Contest at Kamala Beach around the end of August ([email protected] for both of those) and the Phuket Surfing Contest at Kata Beach also around the end of August ([email protected]).
The best time to go surfing in Phuket is during low season, around April to September. The conditions are far better and there are also less people crowding the beaches.
Kalim Beach is definitely one of the better beaches for surfing in Phuket. Kalim Beach is a popular spot where surfers can ride the waves for anything up to 100 meters. Waves usually peak at about three meters, with some unpredictable conditions towards the headland.
There are some decent, small waves around the middle of the beach, with the swells becoming larger the farther north you go. Conditions can be unpredictable because the sandbanks aren’t stable, but on the right day, Kamala is a great place to go surfing.
There are waves of up to three meters at Kamala Beach. This is a good place for surfing thanks to the stable sandbanks. Wind conditions vary here.
Karon Beach isn’t an ideal place for surfing because of its openness to varying weather conditions. The sandbanks are constantly on the move and the swell comes from all around. Waves at Karon Beach can reach up to two meters and there are usually light winds. The swells are surfable in the right conditions, but there are better places to catch a wave around Phuket.
The best beach for surfing in Phuket is Kata Beach. There are usually some decent waves towards the south of the beach around the area by the Kata Beach Resort. This is a popular spot served by a number of bars and restaurants. There’s also a carpark nearby so surfers don’t have to drag their boards along the beach.
The waves here are fast and shouldn’t provide most surfers with many problems, although every now and then a large wave will come along and surprise everyone. The swell usually peaks at about two meters with winds blowing from southwest to northwest.
There are boards for hire at Kata Beach, as well as instructors on hand to offer a few tips. Expect to pay about 150 an hour or 500 baht a day for boards. For tuition, the going rate is about 800 baht an hour.
Kata Noi Beach is another of Phuket’s primary surf spots. Winds blow from southeast to northeast and the fast waves can be anything up to two meters high. The best waves are just off the northern headland.
This tiny little beach has some fast waves that can reach up to three meters. Laem Singh is usually a lot quieter than most of the other beaches, especially during the week.
Conditions around Mai Khao Beach are unpredictable and more often than not there are better swells at the other beaches. Waves peak at two meters.
Nai Harn Beach gets waves up to three meters high. The southern part of the beach has a permanent sand bank and is a good spot for riding the waves in. Towards the northern end of the beach there are usually some larger, more unpredictable waves.
There are some reasonably fast waves towards the northern end of Patong Beach. Waves are usually less than a couple of meters high, but in the right conditions, you can have a bit of fun. There are usually boards available for hire here.
There is good surfing at Surin Beach at eight end, while the middle has hazardous rock formations. The waves tend to be about two meters high here.