South East Asia is known as a place to relax, sip cocktails, and enjoy pristine white sandy beaches. However, there are many physically engaging activities that tourists can take part in over their holiday. Water activities like snorkeling or sailing are popular choices. But is there surfing in Thailand?
There are several places to surf in Thailand. However, surfers do not consider Thailand the best spot to surf in South East Asia; they generally prefer Bali, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. The best conditions for surfing in Thailand are in the low wet season from May until October.
Are There Places To Surf In Thailand?
Thailand is not known as a surfing destination amongst the surfing community. In truth, southeast Asia offers pristine surfing destinations that set the bar high. Places like Bali, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka are famous for providing excellent conditions, which is why surfers from all corners of the earth travel there.
Nevertheless, it may not be categorized as one of the best places to surf in southeast Asia. However, Thailand does have plenty of surf spots that entertain even the best surfers. The country started gaining surfing popularity during the 90s and attracts more and more surfers every year.
Though the waves may not be as amazing as those in Bali and Indonesia, they draw fewer crowds, which is now highly valued amongst the surfing community due to the sport’s ever-growing popularity.
In addition, Thailand surf is suited for beginners and advanced surfers. So, tourists who visit Thailand for a holiday can try surfing without worrying about getting overwhelmed by big and strong waves.
When Is The Greatest Time To Surf In Thailand?
The bad news for tourists hoping to catch some surf in Thailand during the high season (November to April) is that this is when the sea is at its flattest. So, the surf conditions are at their poorest.
Conversely, the best surf in Thailand is found during the wet (low) season between May and October.
Is The Surf Good In Thailand In High Season?
The weather during the Northeast monsoon is dry, with holiday-like temperatures ranging between seventy-five and eighty-eight degrees. A perfect climate for tourists looking to spend time on the beach and in the sun; however, the dry downward winds from China flatten the waters of western Thailand’s surfing coasts.
Nevertheless, there are some waves to be found throughout the Northeast monsoon period. Yet, surfers will need to have some luck to catch a good swell during this time.
Flat water is not exactly what surfers are looking for, so tourists interested in water sports will have to contend with windsurfing, kiteboarding, or stand-up paddling during these months. However, this is also a great time for snorkeling and scuba diving, as there is great water visibility.
Is There Good Surf In Thailand During The Low Season?
The surf season begins to pick up in May and lasts until October. This is also when tourists disappear from Thailand. There is frequent rain because of the Southwest monsoon, and May to October are the hot months in the tourist’s home countries (Europe and the US).
Though spending time in Thailand during the wet season is less pleasant than the dry season, travelers who intend to catch some good waves should aim to make their way to the Thailand beaches then. They may surf in the rain, but there will be good waves.
The wet season is that much better for surfing in Thailand, specifically, the southwest, because the Andaman comes alive. Greater swells are generated thanks to the prevailing Southwest Monsoon winds, which significantly help the waves grow in size. The Southwest Monsoon winds also generally give cleaner and more consistent waves.
Where Can You Surf In Thailand?
Thailand has two main surfing hubs; the island of Phuket (center of the Andaman Sea) and the island of Koh Phayam (northern Andaman Sea. The surf is good there since these Thai islands are the most exposed to the Indian Ocean south westerly swells throughout the wet season.
That being said, there are other places to surf in Thailand, such as Koh Lanta Island. However, one needs to be ready to go on a long journey, as it rises out of the Andaman Sea about hundred and fifty miles away from Phuket Island.
Experienced surfers recommend making the trip to Koh Lanta in June or July, as this is when the swell direction and consistency are at their best. The island has surfing spots for beginners and advanced surfers.
Phuket Is One Of Thailand’s Best Surf Destinations
Phuket is a sizable island that sits close to the mainland and is connected to it via the Sarasin Bridge. So, getting to Phuket from mainland Thailand is not difficult.
Though Koh Phayam may have slightly better surf than Phuket, the latter has more surf spots. Travel to Phuket is also much easier compared to Koh Phayam.
Phuket also has the edge over Koh Phayam in that there are surfable spots throughout the year (during the dry and wet seasons). However, Phuket is a popular place, so travelers should not be surprised if they encounter crowds in the water, even during the dry season.
Learn To Surf At Bang Tao Beach In Thailand
Bang Tao Beach, in Phuket, is one of the best spots for beginner surfers. The beach itself is quite long (around five miles), but the best place for beginners is by the south end of Bang Tao.
Intermediate and advanced surfers will be happier surfing on the north end of the beach as that is where the bigger waves are (when the swell is good).
The beach attracts quite a crowd during the high season, as it is adjacent to numerous hotels and guest houses.
Advanced Surfers Will Enjoy Pansea Beach In Thailand
Surfers with great skill and daring personalities can enjoy surfing over the Pansea Beach reef. The beach is quite small and secluded, but the spot has become popular for its left-hander and fast pace waves that can reach six feet.
The wave breaks over a shallow reef, which can result in serious injuries if surfers are not careful.
Surin Beach In Thailand Has Surf For All Levels
Surin beach is most famous for its big waves and is arguably the biggest wave spot on the island. The north side of the beach is where experienced surfers can test their skills in waves that reach six and a half feet.
However, though the spot can be great for advanced and professional surfers to challenge themselves, the south end of the beach offers great conditions for surfers in the early days of their surfing journey.
Visit Koh Phayam To Catch The Best Waves In Thailand
Koh Phayam is definitely worth the visit for surfers looking to score the best waves in Thailand during their visit. Not only is it worth it for the waves, but travelers heading there during the low season will not have to deal with big crowds.
The island is around two hours away from the mainland (when taking the public ferry).
Aow Yai Beach Is A Great Place To Surf In Thailand
The long stretch of sand named Aow Yai Beach attracts surfers to Koh Phayam. The wet season brings about some amazing waves that can be surfed on all levels. However, the waves are smaller, with a reduced swell coming from the Indian Ocean in the summer.
It should be noted that things need to come together for Aow Yai to fire the best waves in Thailand. The downside of this spot is that it lacks consistency, so patience is a valued virtue in Koh Phayam.