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SURF’S UP

We have two seasons here in Phuket, dry and wet. With the dry season (Northern hemisphere winter), the humidity is lower, skies are cloud-free and cobalt blue, mornings are a crisp 25C and there is a cool breeze that keeps us all looking and feeling fresh. The latter season, when the monsoon winds cause a change in wind direction and the humidity builds until the skies are full of beautiful, and by this point precious rain also brings a substantial sea change on the west coast facing the expanse of the Andaman Sea. We go from glassy, clear water to roaring and energizing waves, put the SUP boards away and dust off your surfboards, the season is here!

Phuket is not as renowned as Bali for example for great surf, but we do have good surf and especially for beginners and those who are more experienced and just love being out on the sea and chasing waves. So where are the best beaches to visit to catch a wave or two?

The Lazy Coconut

Talay Surf @ The Lazy Coconut

KATA

Kata Beach is considered one of the most popular surfing spots on Phuket Island and is the place where annual surf contests are held sponsored by some of the biggest players in the industry. For the best surfing, head to the southern end of the beach. In ‘normal’ times it can be quite busy on Kata Beach, but now there’s hardly another soul so if you want a beach all to yourself, your wish may come true! Wave heights usually taper off at the 2-metre mark, so Kata Beach is a surf place for all levels.

BANG TAO

This beautiful stretch of beach has always had a reputation for being an ideal place to learn how to surf. Over the years there have been a few instructors guiding the local kids (and adults) through their first experiences with surf on this beach. In the centre of the 8kms of beach there is a protected patch with some decent waves ideal for newbies. There is usually a place to hire boards in this area, and at the time of writing this, The Lazy Coconut are planning to collab with a local surf professional to ensure guests can safely enjoy the waves. As you explore up the quieter end of the beach, closer to the Siranath National Park headquarters, the waves can get more demanding owing to the exposure to the wind coming from the west and also whipping around the small island at the northern end of the beach. Bang Tao’s bottom topography always changes and shifts every monsoon season, back in the day it used to be used for tin mining so there are some huge drop-offs due to dredging, so best to visit with someone who is familiar with the conditions here.

SURIN

In the dry season Surin Beach could be mistaken for the Maldives, it a tranquil and clear beach with pretty tropical fish going about their business on the rocky reefs. When the season shifts it transforms into a great surfing spot, although it can experience some gnarly rip tides and hefty swells making it only advised for advanced surfers. Surin has a sandy bottom so landing is comfortable, but there’s also a cluster of sharp rocks in the centre of the beach that in high tide is disguised, so this patch is to be avoided! After your surf go grab a fresh coconut and some Som Tam from the local food vendors gathered in the car park area. The perfect pick me up after being hurled around for a few hours.

KAMALA

Relaxed and pretty Kamala Beach offers a great surfing spot in its northern part, right beside Shimmer Beachfront Restaurant. This beach can be split into three surf sections, at its southern point there is a gentle swell that is ideal for beginners. In the middle the sandbanks create waves up to 3-metres high so if you’re a little more experienced head for this spot, the northern end is superb, but you will have to navigate a small reef point break, but the surf is usually way better in this spot, but it all depends on tides, winds and overall conditions.

KALIM REEF

On the way from Surin to Patong there is an area called Kalim. This area is the north part of Patong Bay. When the surf is too big on other beaches in Phuket Kalim Reef offers a good solution as it is protected from the swell. The reef is shallow and is a popular spot for surfers. As with most places in Phuket, surfers are friendly so take your time, paddle out and join the gang and enjoy the ride back in!

NAI HARN

At the time of writing this there are no surf hire places on Nai Harn, so you need to bring your own board ideally. You will see a lot of locals surfing on this beach, which in itself is nice as you can talk and learn a little more about the locale whilst waiting for a wave. Waves are good here, anything up to 3 metres can be encountered, so it is a good spot for intermediate surfers and beginners alike. The reef break is near the stunning Nai Harn hotel, which during the pandemic were offering really low rates for stays and their restaurant is excellent for a well-deserved feast after a surf session.

If you would like surf information in more detail please visit this website: https://www.saltwater-dreaming.com/surfing-phuket.htm and also Magic Seaweed has surf conditions detailed daily: https://magicseaweed.com/Phuket-Surf-Report/649/

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