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Each day of swell is precious

SURFING: Hey surfers! My friend gave me a nice wake up call the other day. Well, it was more like an encouraging slap in the face and I’m glad he did it.


Tim Campbell

Friday 1 September 2017, 12:52PM

Phuket certainly doesn’t have the best waves for surfing, but many places in SE Asia do.
Phuket certainly doesn’t have the best waves for surfing, but many places in SE Asia do.

So, on this particular afternoon last week my friend asked me if I wanted to go for an early morning surf. My response was, “Um yeah maybe, I'll see how I feel.”

His sharp and direct response back to me was, “Tim, there is only a few months where Phuket gets waves in a year so make the most of it.”

WOW, straight to the heart, and like I said, a wake up call.

For a lot of us, once the start of Phuket’s surf season rolls around and we get a few surf sessions in we start to feel content again. Then the wind and the rains come and you start to get lazy and think, the waves aren’t an offshore perfect three foot so I’m not going to bother to surf this week.

Bang! All of a sudden the surf season is over and you’re losing your mind wishing there were waves again. Even if you just had a one foot runner to ride, you would be so happy.

Well, I’m continuing my friend’s trend of slapping people in the face with this written wake up call people, get out there and don’t miss an opportunity to get some waves no matter how imperfect they are.

For all you non-surfers reading this and not keeping up, typically Phuket gets all its waves from April to October, only half the year. So each day of swell is precious.

Now, while I took up the offer from my friend to go for that early surf I was sitting in the line-up thinking to myself, what will I do once the waves are gone for the year?

Hmm! All the other different surf destinations in Asia – places I had read about in surf magazines or have travelled to myself – started to come to mind.

That’s it, I’ll save my pennies and go on a surf trip searching for more waves so I can continue to make sure more of my year is full of opportunities to catch waves and satisfy the craving to surf.

So here you go, these are my top three recommendations for a surf trip in Asia.

1. Lombok, Indonesia. Now everyone goes on about Bali being the ‘must go to place’ for surfing. Granted, it does have perfect big waves. It also has big crowds and if you’re a beginner to intermediate you will most likely spend more time counting temple monkeys than you will catching waves. There is a misconception that Bali is the place to learn to surf. With Bali’s reef bottoms, strong currents and huge crowds it’s not the friendliest places to learn to surf. Now, Lombok, the island next to Bali is just as cheap, food is delicious, it offers amazing waves for all abilities and the crowds are much, much less. You can fly cheaply via Kuala Lumpa.

2. Sri Lanka. This exotic island of wild animals, rich culture and yep, you guessed it, amazing waves, is a must for all levels of surfing. For the months of January through to April you can surf at multiple locations up and down the west coast. I recommend hiring a surf guide who will pick you up from the airport and drive you around for the length of your stay. It’s super affordable especially if you share with some friends.

3. Maldives. Now this is not a cheap holiday, but if you desire crystal clear water and perfect waves day after day then this is your spot. These islands are not far away but you need a boat to access most surf spots. If you can treat yourself to a trip here, your smile will most likely never leave your face.

We live in an amazing part of the world where we have easy access to so many stunning surf destinations, which won’t break the bank. So start saving that Baht my friends and enjoy the opportunities of doing what you love.

See you in the water!



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