We all long for a taste of paradise, the sun shining, white sandy beaches, blue skies, and clear water. Sipping on a fresh coconut and feeling free of life’s daily struggles, pure unadulterated escapism, sheer bliss. Whilst this relaxing feel is a huge part of the appeal, the local cultures and interesting activities one might encounter and enjoy, are a key factor in determining where we choose to go.
Thailand is one of the world’s most popular locations for such a holiday or adventure. Stunning scenery, vibrant culture, idyllic weather, and mesmerizing beaches. What more could you want?
Well, for many avid adventurers, surfing is one such exciting pursuit. It’s easy to envision surfers elegantly gliding through the waves, as they challenge mother nature, conquering the unpredictable waters and feeling one with the universe.
The rising popularity of surfing in Thailand is bringing an increasing number of surfers, with seasoned veterans and newbies alike, all enjoying the incredible surroundings and ripping up waves. With surfing spots and schools along the coast of the Andaman Sea and in the Gulf of Thailand, surfers are spoiled for choice.
There’s much to consider when seeking the perfect location for surfing in Thailand. Which beaches have the best waves? Where is suitable for a beginner? What time of year should you travel there?
Read on as we guide you through the ten best surfing lessons and schools in Thailand.
1) Saltwater Dreaming Surf School
Settle into the stunning area of Thalang, north of Phuket, and discover the history and culture of the Thai way of life. Visit traditional villages to see first-hand how the Thai people lived in the past, and learn how they are adapting to a rapidly modernizing world through embracing tourism. A delicate balance between old and new, nature and man.
For the best surf and challenging waves, visit between October and May. If your trip doesn’t fit into those months, then you can still enjoy learning to paddleboard and get out onto the beautiful turquoise waters.
Offering instruction to all ages and abilities, their instructors will be sure to guide you carefully. You can feel confident in their knowledge and professionalism, as they are accredited by the Thai Government and certified by the NSSIA (National Surf School and Instructors Association).
- Distinguished – Certified by the NSSIA.
- Culture – Learn about the traditional way of life and see it first hand
- Professionalism – Accredited by the Thai government
2) SSS Phuket
Located on Kata beach, SSS Phuket has a sterling reputation for providing an engaging and thoughtful experience for its customers. Their highly trained staff have a vast knowledge of a variety of water activities alongside their surfing expertise, with opportunities to go diving, stand up paddling, free diving, and snorkeling.
They offer a wide range of all-inclusive offers for their courses, excursions, and training so that you know what you’re getting for your time and money. Want to capture the magic of the moment? Then their staff will be on hand to capture photos and videos with their equipped audiovisual sets.
- High quality – Highly trained staff and top of the line equipment
- Variety – Opportunity to explore other water activities whilst you visit
- Memories – Staff on hand to record those special moments and experiences to treasure forever
3) Phuket Surf
A thoroughly in-depth experience is offered for those wishing to brave the waves. Prioritizing their customers’ safety, you will be carefully introduced to the various factors a surfer must consider. Learn about the environment, the weather conditions, the different kinds of waves to expect, and how to safely navigate the currents. With classes available to all ages and abilities, including both private tuition and group options, all bases are covered.
Located in Kata beach, psalm tree-lined sandy beaches await, a beautiful setting for your first surfing experience. Equipment hire is included with the lessons, and they have a working relationship with various resorts in the area.
- Safety First – Ensuring that you understand the important safety requirements and that you master the techniques on the beaches, before going out onto the water
- Location – Various beaches are located close by, and for those seeking a cultural trip, you can visit one of the many temples in the area
- Costs – All boards and equipment included, so there are no hidden costs.
4) Skyla’s Surf And SUP Club
With over ten years of experience, their instructors have a wealth of knowledge about surfing and are in tune with the local environment. As such, they are conscious of environmental changes that occur throughout the year. This assures you that they will always be looking out for the welfare of their customers, as well as that of the local wildlife and beaches.
Located at Bangtao beach in Phuket province, they offer a wide range of options for any budding surfer.
Sandy beaches and warm water guarantee you an exciting experience in beautiful surroundings. Rent a board, take a private lesson, or sign up for the Education Surf Camp for an in-depth experience on your way to riding your first wave.
- Less crowded than other locations – great for those nervous or conscious of getting on the board
- Experience – Over ten years’ experience surfing the local seas
- Variety – Rentals, private one-to-one, group classes, and Surf Camp
- Considerate – Provide opportunities for disadvantaged locals to learn, train and find work
5) Baan Andaman Sea And Surf
Nestled away in the district of Kathu, West of Phuket, is the International Surfing Association (ISA) accredited surf school and hotel of Baan Andaman Sea and Surf.
A beautiful setting with hillside homes overlooking the spectacular scenery. Classes are taught on Patong Beach and are available for all levels of surfer. With exceptionally high-quality instructors and equipment for hire, you can be sure that you’re learning from the best. Want to take a walk on the wild side? Then saddle up on a motorcycle, and let the guides take you, and your surfboard, to some lesser-known surf spots.
- Location – Incredible hillside setting for surfing and relaxation.
- Adventure – Ride off into the sunset to find places off the beaten path
- Facilities – Hotel and beach club with many services, motorbike rental, and shuttle buses
6) eOasia Surf School
An adventure travel company that offers surfing lessons at the beautiful Kata Beach, a renowned surfing destination in Thailand. Top-quality, experienced instructors equipped with the highest quality surf gear, will first teach you surfing techniques on a table. This is so they, and you can be sure that you’re ready to paddle out into the waves.
Their instructors will carefully consider your age, physical abilities, and experience level, to ensure a safe yet enjoyable experience. They offer lessons to all levels from beginner to advanced, and in several languages including Thai, English, French, Spanish, and Russian.
- Diversity – Offering lessons in various languages, to ensure smooth surfing and no
- Experience – Highly qualified and experienced instructors to guide you every step of the way
- Repertoire – As an adventure travel company, they can aid you in seeking out additional adventures and experiences
7) Talay Surf
The company has grown over the last eleven years from its origins in Phuket. With a sterling reputation for professional and considerate instruction, they are expanding to include two new locations.
In Phuket, you can surf amongst the tourists and locals alike, a bustling scene with all kinds of amenities and entertainment. Their school in Rayong is aimed at beginners, due to the small waves and shallow waters. Their expansion will continue to Phang Nga, where the most intrepid of surfers will find waves and breaks to challenge them.
With classes available to all ages and abilities, their experienced instructors will ensure that the whole family can enjoy a fun and exciting experience.
- Family Friendly – Classes for all the family, lessons in shallow waters with small waves
- Reputation – They are a growing company that will soon have a foothold in three popular surfing destinations in Thailand
- Location – With their founding school being located in Phuket, everything you need or desire is on your doorstep
8) Pakarang Surf
The original surf shop in Khao Lak, a scenic resort town North of Phuket, on the Andaman Sea. For a more peaceful and remote location and experience, this is the place to visit. Much of the area has been rebuilt in recent times, after the Tsunami that struck in 2004. Offering surfing lessons to individuals and groups, as well as the more intensive surf camp, all ages, and levels of ability are catered for.
An ideal location for beginners, due to the long and consistent waves breaking on the shore of the sandy beaches. Offering one-to-one instruction with equipment included, as well as beachfront accommodation to keep you in the heart of the action. Various nearby attractions and locations are reachable via a short boat ride.
- Location – Idyllic location north of Phuket with many attractions to be seen and adventures to be sought out
- Waves – The long, picturesque beaches provide some of the longest and most consistent waves in Thailand
- Variety – One-to-one instruction and group lessons available for all ages and abilities
9) Phuket Surfing Nautilus Dive & Surf
Located on the shores of Kata beach, this is your one-stop-shop for all things surfing in Thailand. Whether you are after surfing lessons, which are available for all levels of surfers, or for those a little more experienced, you can rent or buy your own board with the assistance of their stellar advice.
As the first surf shop to open in the area, their expertise and local knowledge are second to none. As well as learning the technicalities of how to surf, their guides will teach you about the local area and ensure you don’t miss out on seeing the incredible coral reefs.
They also offer private apartments for accommodation, so you can be sure to feel engrossed in the local surfing scene.
- Originals – As the first surf shop to set up in the area, they have a wealth of experience to share
- All levels – From first-time surfers to seasoned veterans, everyone will find what they’re after here
- Accommodation – Stay right on the beach and dive into the local culture
- Competitions – The area hosts several surfing contests through the season, a fascinating spectacle for beginners or experts alike
10) Thai Surf School Ban Nam Khem
Two hours from Phuket in Ban Nam Khem, Phang Nga province you will find the Thai Surf School. A town famous for its port, that provides easy access to other locations locally and further afield. The town is easily explored on foot or by motorcycle, so you can embrace the local culture and see the diversity and beauty of the local culture.
Instructors with over forty years’ experience offer surfing lessons, tours, and surf camps, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the experience irrespective of their experience and skill level. Ideal for nervous swimmers and children, due to the lessons taking place in shallow waters near the coastline.
Surf solo or learn with friends as you taste adventure in this tropical paradise. For those seeking a different thrill, they also offer paddleboard lessons and tours.
- Family orientated – Shallow waters allow the whole family to partake and gain confidence
- Location – The town is small enough to explore on foot and the port provides boats to other beaches and islands
- Experience – With over forty years of experience, their instructors’ experience will help you feel at ease on the water
When To Go Surfing In Thailand?
The surf season in Thailand runs all year, but is busiest between April and October, providing plenty of opportunities for those needing to work around family or work commitments.
Unlike in the West, Thailand has three official weather seasons throughout the year, hot, cool, and wet. Though these can vary throughout the country, and year to year, the hot season generally runs from March through to June. The wet season usually runs from June to October, meaning heavy rains and lively waters.
The weather systems can vary throughout the country, so it’s worth looking at the weather forecasts before booking any upcoming trip, you may take.
What Lessons Or Packages Do You Need?
This depends on the personal preference and needs of the individual or group that is traveling. Whereas, some may fancy a couple of days on the beach at a relaxed pace, learning a new skill, others might favor a more intensive course over a week.
Most surf schools will offer a variety of options to allow you to find the course and instruction that suits you best. If you’re traveling with children, be sure to see which locations offer specialized lessons for them, to ensure peace of mind for you, as well as a safe, and joyous experience for them.