Phuket Tourist Information Guide
Wind and sea conditions become ideal for wind surfing in Phuket during November through April, typically each year as the winds blow softly and storms are infrequent for most of the 'dry season'. How did wind surfing start? The sport had an inauspicious beginning for sure! In 1964, Sidney Newman Darby Jr. invented a sailboard of sorts – with a sail on a pivot attached to a floating board. He and his wife tried to build a business on the idea, but there wasn’t much interest. Eventually some Californians patented the idea, leading to the windsurfing industry of today. Wind surfing became an Olympic sport in 1984, and since then its popularity has only grown. Windsurfing combines sailing and surfing, creating many more options than existed with either sport before the advent of wind surfing. It was wind surfers who first tackled the massive waves of the 'Jaws' break on the island of Maui, Hawaii. Learning to windsurf can take a couple of hours as you figure out how to adjust your balance on the board and holding the sail’s boom. Best weather conditions are flat ocean and very light wind, just enough to move you forward slowly. Wind surfing boards are long and rather heavy, at around 240 to 300 centimeters in length and 50 to 70 cm wide. Heavy riders need a board with higher displacement in liters than a lightweight rider. Cost for buying a good quality sail can be 22,000 THB. A board can range from 12,000 to 33,000 THB. Rental boards are available at Kata and Friendship beaches in Phuket for around $100 USD per day. At least one company (Andaman Board Sports) will deliver the boards to whatever beach you’re at for an extra fee, of course. Reasonable rates for half-day, weekly, and monthly rentals are also possible at some of the wind surfing shops in Phuket. Rent a wind surfer board for a day and the entire family can try it!