Decha “Day” Sithidej, founder of Andaman Sea Surf School (ASSS), grew up surfing, and has seen first-hand the disasters being in the sea can bring about without the necessary survival skills.
“Most of these kids and adults drowning is because of the way their parents have raised them – to fear the water, and stay away from it. I understand they love their kids, and want to protect them, but in the end it only puts them more at risk. They shouldn’t be shielding their kids from the danger, but showing them how to survive it. So that’s what we’re doing here.”
Celebrating its 15th anniversary on Saturday (Apr 30), ASSS brought together veterans of Phuket’s surf community to focus on passing on their love for the sport as well as survival skills.
Day started out with what has now become the Surfing Thailand Association and has also started integrating Stand Up Paddling (SUP) into his curriculum.
The surfing community, however, has recently taken a hit in support from mainstream international surf brands. Chanin “Joob” Aiyaiak, the president of Surfing Thailand Association (STA), and one of the surfing pioneers in Thailand explains, “The thing about surfing in Phuket, is that the swell only lasts for about five months of the year, so activities such as SUP and body boarding are great to have the rest of the year.”
The Phuket Lifeguard Service ensures beaches are manned with able lifeguards year round, especially during high season.
Meanwhile, Prathaiyut “Nat” Chaiyuan, head of Phuket Lifeguard Club, explains that his organisation’s main role was to promote water safety.
“Throughout the years, we, the Phuket Lifeguard Club along with Phuket Lifeguard Service have set up surf life-saving competitions, but this year is proving to be a great event. Thank you to Andaman Sea Surf who have organised a bigger and better event this year.”
If you would like to arrange a visit from the Phuket Lifeguard Club at a school, or at a beach, Nat welcomes all enquiries via email (ThaiLifeGuard@gmail.com) and phone (081-892-5549).
For events in Phuket and Thailand’s surf community be sure to visit
AndamanSeaSurf.com, SurfingThailand.com, and their Facebook pages.