From May to the end of October, or about half year, Phuket Island is covered by rain in most areas as we are under the influence of the southwest monsoon that brings moist hot air from the ocean over Phuket and southern Thailand. It rains on average more than 15 days a month throughout the ‘green’ season, but the monsoon wind and currents also bring waves in the sea as big as 2 – 4 meters high. The red warning flags along the beach become the norm and swimmers are discouraged. The heavy rain, big waves and dull skies might keep some away from the beach or even make them scared of the island. The weather conditions make life in Phuket a bit slow and lacking in colour which is usually painted by crowds of travellers. But for some, the monsoon season is just like a ‘happy hour’ they’re counting on, not just for discounts, but as the best time for surfing in Phuket.
Admittedly Phuket is not an origin or early source of surfi ng like Waikiki in the “Aloha” State of Hawaii. Its waves definitely cannot beat the Gold Coast of Australia, nor even compare to those of Bali in Indonesia or other top surfing destinations of the world. However it can be another destination for those who would like to start learning the art of balancing on a board and those who would love to raise their XP or eXperience Points level. “Phuket is the only place in Thailand you can surf when the waves are high enough and the wind is not too strong”, said Chanin Aiyarak or ‘Joob’, formerly of the Phuket Board Riders Club, & now President of Surfing Thailand organization.
Different beaches give different waves and wind conditions. Popular beaches are those on the west coast including Kata, Karon, Kalim, Kamala and Surin, plus on the south-side at Nai Harn. Among these, people say Kata offers the best board riding and easily becomes the many surfers’ favourite beach. When combined with its attractive backdrop, it is no wonder why Kata is always chosen for a number of competitions.
Quiksilver will again sponsor this year’s contest after a hugely successful Quiksilver Thailand Surf Series 2009 that attracted over a hundred participating surfers from Thailand and around the world such as Australia, Japan, France, Indonesia, Hawaii in USA, to name just a few. ‘Joob’ revealed that 2010 event will differ from last year’s event. “There will be no more series, no separate contests on Kalim and Kamala Beach. During 22-26 September, 2010, the competition will be held at Kata beach only, in one big event, to gear up the publicity and awareness.”
From a small contest a few board riders organized just for the sake of their own fun, to a vast international event to highlight Phuket as a friendly qualified surfing destination, all Phuket board riders perhaps just want to see is the visitors happy with the activity and the hosts. “We will be happy to see Phuket’s young blood rookies try to overcome the waves and cherish the beautiful nature we have. Come out to the beach. It’s ours.”
While many people keep complaining about the bad weather, a group of people are finding their extreme fun with just a board, wave and oneself. They let the adrenaline flow when they achieve rides on wave after wave. When the rains come, stand up and look for something you can do. Phuket has much more waiting for you to discover in surfing the waves.