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Surf’s up, grab a board

SURFING: Hey surfers and ocean lovers, I hope you have all been scoring some waves over the last month as Phuket has seen is a mix of swells bringing us consistent rideable waves nearly every day, and last week’s storm in particular has pushed in some nice waist to head-height waves across all of Phuket’s beaches.

weather, tourism, marine,


Tim Campbell

Sunday 2 July 2017, 01:00PM


Old or young, don’t be afraid to go out and ride some waves.
Old or young, don’t be afraid to go out and ride some waves.

If you’ve just arrived in Phuket and are still confused about what your eyes are witnessing – the fact that there are surfable waves in Thailand – then slap yourself out of that daze and smile, because you haven’t died and gone to heaven just yet.

It’s an exciting reality that with the monsoon season (May to November) Phuket is inundated with swell. Most of the time it’s wind swell, but the Indian ocean also erupts from time to time bringing in spurts of ground swells which light up the west coast of Phuket.

As I drive around the island in search of waves, I’m seeing more and more cars with surfboards on top, more surfboards on the beaches for rent, and more people taking surf lessons from the few surf schools on there are on the island.

But how is it that surfing in Phuket has gone from being only a small core group to a must try activity not only from expats and travellers but also amongst the Thai community?

I think that deep down most people have this burning desire to try surfing, just ask the person sitting next to you right now. Lets face it surfing is awesome!

Watching a surfer glide gracefully down the face of a wave is exciting, it makes the heart flutter and your hairs stand up. However, for most people there is a common fear of either the ocean or not physically being able to do it. For these people it’s only a daydream wishing they could be able to surf, but non-the-less, it’s still a desire.

For those who have taken this dream and made it a reality there is no turning back, they are now hooked and this is obvious as more and more people are now seen on Phuket’s beaches with surfboard in hand.

So is this just a fad, a trendy phase that people are dabbling into? Only time will tell here in Thailand, but with Thai travel programs being broadcast on major Thai TV networks promoting the possibilities of surfing in Thailand I’m sure its only a matter of time until the appeal of surfing will hit the curious minds of the thousands and thousands of Thai youth.

Over the years since surfing was introduced to Thailand there has been ‘Surfing Thailand’, the leading surfing association here in Thailand who has been active in promoting surfing by way of surf contests and other initiatives. Also ‘SurfThailand.com’ a new website that has encompassed all that surfing has to offer in Thailand in a positive way.

For some the thought of surfing growing in popularity means more people crowding the line-ups and not as many waves for everyone.

Compared to other parts of the world the Thai surf community and its culture are miles behind in terms of development. Who knows how big surfing will get in Thailand, but it’s inevitable it will grow.

For now, Thai surf culture really is still in its infancy, and for us surfers who currently make up the Thai surf community, we have a huge privileged opportunity in helping shape the surf culture in a healthy and positive way.

I’m not talking about the culture that is portrayed through commercial media where ‘image and brands’ define a surfer. A true surfer is someone who has a humble appreciation and love for the ocean as well as a stoke for any opportunity to catch waves. They are someone who finds the joy of having fun in any condition no matter how many waves they catch.

We can all contribute to influencing the surf culture by the way we surf, having surf etiquette, sharing waves, and just bringing a smile to the water showing that surfing is meant to be fun and is for everyone.

See you in the water,

Tim Campbell

 

 

 

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