Thailand would be more associated alcohol-filled gap year teens and middle aged sex tourists than cavernous barrels and pro surfers. Although this being said if you happen to have taken a wrong turn in the Java sea, bypassed Indonesia and landed up on the coast of Thailand, all is not lost.
Thailand’s west coast would be considered the country’s best place to stumble upon a few waves. In fact Quicksilver got carried away and for the last 4 years they’ve been hosting a Thai surf competition on Phuket Island. This little island off Thailand’s west coast faces the full brunt of the Andaman Sea – and it’s beginning to earn a reputation as a fine little surf spot.
If you’re planning on packing your jetski, purchasing some kevlar body armour and going in search of the great white wave, Thailand isn’t for you. Though if you just want somewhere to chill on a beach and rent a board in the afternoon, somewhere with some relaxed little chest high breakers and warm water – Surfing Thailand might be your cup of tea.
Karon and Kata beach on Phuket’s west coast offer all of these things. Both beaches have a little shack for renting boards and a little beach bar for having a much earned beer after your afternoons exertions.
Both beaches work on the prevailing south-westerly wind and hold swell up to two metres. Kata beach is where the annual Quiksilver surf competition is held, it can get a little busy but the crowd is usually friendly. Chances are you’ll end up embroiled in a game of volleyball if you don’t watch your step.
Surfing Thailand is a great experience. A stirring mix of climate, culture and nightlife will make for a fantastic trip – though the best thing to do is treat the surf as the icing on the cake rather than main event.