Phuket is known for its breathtaking white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters and surfing in Phuket, is actually considered to be the best in Thailand and cannot be wished away entirely. Surfing Phuket usually happens along the west coast where you can get some decent wave action during the monsoon season. The waves may not be huge but are great for beginners and are frequently sought out during the tourism low season. The island supports a small but active surf society. As the sport becomes more and more established, prices for surf board rental and surfing classes have dropped. The surf community has continued to get larger.
The surfing season kicks off as the high tourism season is ending because of the wind direction redirecting from east to west in April with Kata Beach surfing being one of the most popular spots. The west-coast seas go from flat to perfect for surfing – a situation which lasts until the winds redirect back within October. The air and water temperatures are both usually good. Since the tourism high season is also coming to an end, the low number of tourists puts fewer obstacles in the water, making Phuket a comfortable and safe place to surf.
The best months to experience Surfing in Phuket are often considered to be within May and September. During this time there are consistent monsoon winds from North-West producing surfable wind swells up to 4ft. A bigger storm off the coast can bring the waves up during the tourism off-season as well, but the chances of you finding waves between November and March are significantly lower. All in all, if you like riding a long board or minimal, and don’t necessarily except to get big waves, Phuket can surprise you positively any time of the year. You will easily find surf board rental shops are easily found open and surfing schools are abundantly available at the busier beaches.
Kata Beach surfing is the most popular and has some of the best waves, however if it’s cranking there, you’ll also find great surf at some of the other beaches. The waves can reach up to 10 feet high! Kata Beach surfing action takes place on the southern side of the beach. With waves ranging from two meters to three meters, it’s ideal for beginner to advanced surfers. Because of its popularity, Kata beach is always packed with tourists but not overcrowded. On a smaller day it can be the best to try your luck on a minimal or a long-board, but when the waves get bigger, this beach can get fun and punchy enough for having fun on a short board as well.
Kata Noi is a little bay which is divided from Kata Beach by a headland. It has a great surfing spot at its northern end. The waves at Kata Noi are more rapid and powerful than those of the more popular Kata Beach. Unfortunately, there is no school for surfing here but one can still get lessons from the nearby Kata Beach.
Another Surfing Phuket spot is the Nai Harn beach. It attracts groups of mostly Thai local surfers, with decent waves ranging of up to 3-metre swells at each end of the beach. Surf conditions at this beach are best suited for intermediate surfers. There are no surfboard rentals, shops or lessons available along the beach. You will need to come with your own surf board.
Beaches at the northern end of the west coast like Kamala Beach have gentle waves that are perfect for longboarding while surfing in Phuket. Occasionally, there are fast beach breaks for short boarders. The surfing scene in Phuket has been growing in popularity as of late, which is why most beach resorts in this area now offer surfing classes.
If you are looking for some barrel waves, then the best place to experience them is at Surin Beach. This small bay is more suited for experienced surfers because its wave action is heavier and the currents stronger. If you want to have the best experience, head on to the surfing spots near the rocky headlands. No surf schools here either…
Much as its quite an unpredictable surfing spot, Nang Yai beach is near Phuket airport. Its offshore reef makes it one of the best surfing spots Phuket has to offer. Because of the heavy winds, its recommended for more advanced surfers with long paddles. At low tides one can surf closer to the beach. You will have to bring your own surfing board though as there are no rental places or surf schools for learners.
Surfing Phuket in the Bang Tao Beach is exciting. The waves are rideable on any tide height. Wave height at Bang Tao Beach varies, but you can find left and right breaking 0.5 to 3-meter-high (1.5 to 10 feet) waves during the surfing season. Anything over 1.5 meters (5 feet) is usually preferred to the more experienced surfers, as they get dangerous after that point. On days with large swells, the southern section can still remain somewhat calm and rideable by beginners or intermediate surfers. Finding food and drinks nearby will be easier if you go toward the mid to southern end of the beach. This beach is a great place to learn surfing in Phuket because the waves are usually gentle, and the water under crowded with tourists. At the south end of the beach is you will find a club where you can get surfing lessons, or windsurfing, kitesurfing, or paddle boarding.
With some 40 odd kilometres of west-facing coastline consisting of bays, points, nice sandy beaches, and a few reefs, Phuket indeed looks like quite a tempting surf destination. On a flat wave day, and you just want to have a bit of surf fun without having to wait for the waves, there’s always the artificial wave at Surf House Phuket you can practice flow riding – an alternative board sport incorporating elements of surfing.