On your next vacation in Phuket, why not experience the thrills of surfing? Phuket may not be as well known for surfing as Hawaii or the Gold Coast of Australia, but at certain times of the year, many of the scenic beaches on the island host some of the most perfectly formed waves in Southeast Asia.
Phuket has a small but experienced community of surfers, and as more people find out about the waves at certain beaches, the community continues to grow. The number of surf shops popping up is also increasing, and with the hopeful end of the pandemic just around the corner, these shops should be the perfect place to meet local surfers and trade information on the best surf spots on the island.
The summer monsoon months of May to October offer the best surfing, but you can find good waves at some of the best surf beaches throughout the year. Let’s take a look at some of the best beaches for surfing on the island.
Surin Beach is located just south of the Amanpuri Resort along Phuket's 'millionaire's row' on the island's west coast. It has some of the heaviest waves on the island, so it's recommended only for advanced and experienced surfers. There's an underwater rock formation in the middle of the beach that's visible at low tide, so head for either of the two ends of the beach.
The northern end of the formation sometimes creates a sandbank that offers short but fast waves to ride. The middle of the beach also has a sandbank that creates a nice break. Waves along the beach can reach up to 2 meters high.
Nai Harn Beach
Although the waves at Nai Harn can reach 3 meters, local surfers consider the surf not to be particularly challenging. The two ends of the beach offer different surfing experiences. Nai Harn offers a beach break at its southern end over a permanent sandbank that provides a long and fast ride. Its northern end has a break over a coral reef and rocks that make for large swells.
The beach is located at the southern tip of the island, just north and to the west of Promthep Cape.
Kalim Beach is just north of Patong Beach and is one of the best advanced surfing spots on the island. The central part of the beach is the spot to head to as the waves reach 3 meters high. You can ride the swell along a 100 meter stretch of beach. Be careful when coming in, as the beach near the shore is rocky. Kalim Beach is also the site of yearly surfing contests sponsored by Quiksilver Thailand Surf Competition.
If the surf isn’t happening at Kalim Beach, it's just a couple of minutes’ ride into Patong where you’ll find Surf House. This is a surf-themed bar and restaurant that features a FlowRider machine. The FlowRider delivers a surfing experience on dry land by pumping water down a ramp to simulate the flow of a wave. It’s exciting, safe and fun for every member of the family.
Kata Beach is the surfing mecca in Phuket. One of the signs of its status in the eyes of local surfers is the number of surf shops along the beach road offering surfboard rentals and lessons.
The southern and central areas of the beach are the place to head for well-formed waves up to 2 meters high. Locals favor the southern end for the beach break that forms there. The surf zone can get crowded at times, but everyone is friendly and accommodating to newcomers. Close to shore, the waves lose a lot of their power, so they're perfect for the youngest members of the family. You can rent boogie boards for the kids at the many surf shops along the beach.
Kata Beach is also the place to be for the yearly international surf contests that attract surfers from all over the Asian region, Australia, and beyond.
Kamala Beach is the next beach north of Kata Beach. It offers three main surfing areas and is a great place for people of all abilities to ride the waves. The southern part of the beach, from the temple to the village, offers a gentle swell that can be surfed when it reaches 1 meter or above. This makes it the perfect beginner's area to practice. The sandbanks along the beach create waves up to 3 meters high, making it the ideal spot for advanced and expert surfers to strut their stuff. A small and tricky reef point break at the northern end of the beach makes this area the best and most challenging surfing spot on the beach.
The 3-kilometer long, pristine white sands of Karon Beach are just south of Patong beach. This is a great beach for new surfers to get their legs. The beach is favored on light wind days. There are shifting underwater sand dunes up and down the beach just offshore. When the winds drop and the sandbanks line up, you can get some excellent rides on glassy, well-formed waves. Up at the northern end of the beach is a small headland that can offer some particularly good conditions.
A small surf club has recently opened at the southern end of Karon Beach. Drop in to see the local surfers there. They may provide some local tips and tell you about the best sections of the beach to try your luck on, and the weather conditions that will provide the best experience.
Surfboard Rentals and Lessons
Most of the hottest surf beaches are along the western and southern coasts of the island. There are surf shops located at the southern end of Kamala Beach and all along Kata Beach. Patong also has a number of surf shops, and of course, Surf House in Patong sells surf gear, and offers lessons on the FlowRider. There are also a couple of surf shops located along the road to Nai Harn beach. The shops sell the usual assortment of wax, swimsuits, wetsuits, goggles, surfboards, and boogie boards. And almost all of them will provide lessons at the closest beach at reasonable prices.
Book a Vacation at Thavorn Palm Beach Resort
Thavorn Palm Beach Resort is the perfect spot for singles, couples, or families that want to experience the thrill of surfing in a warm-water environment. The resort is right across the road from the expansive Karon Beach, offering three different surfing experiences for different surfing abilities.
Book your next vacation to Phuket and discover the variety of beautiful beaches on the island. Experience the perfect introduction to surfing amid white sand, warm turquoise waters, and brilliant sunshine. You'll have the time of your life.