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Surfing in Phuket

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Phuket's surfing season runs from May to October, small waves great for beginnners & competitions on Phuket's many beaches for more experienced surfers. 

SURFING 

Riding the waves in Phuket

The southern island is gaining a reputation as a surfing destination

10/10/2013

Cha-Om Chubkhai

As the monsoon period on the Andaman coast dies down, Phuket's high season is set to return. But perhaps that's not good news for everybody. To local and visiting surfers, the next two weeks will be the last chance this year to have sea waves big enough for them to enjoy their favourite sport.

Surfers are a familiar sight at Kata and other beaches in Phuket.

Thanks to many promotional events by both the surfing community and the business sector wishing to boost tourism during the low season, over the past five years the southern island has become more and more popular as a surfing destination.

Of course the waves here may not be as large as those in Bali, which has long been known as a mecca for lovers of the board sport. But they are decent enough to make the sea here a good training ground for some of the region's best surfers, including the 2012 Asian Surfing Championship Women's Champion, Phuket-born Annissa Flynn.

According to Michael Flynn, father of the 15-year-old ace surfer, although it is not widely known, Phuket's surf culture dates back over two decades ago.

"All you have to do is talk to the old-timers to hear about the epic journeys surfers used to make to find their piece of unspoiled paradise. Nowadays when the surf is up, all the good spots on the west coast of the island have many surfers, local and international, jostling for the best waves," he said.

Annissa Flynn flowboarding.

One of the local surfers who has seen some of those early days of the island's surf culture is Jamie Smith, winner of the Pearl of the Andaman Open 2013 and several other events. The 28-year-old chief instructor at Re Ka Ta surf school on Kata beach has been passionate about the sport since he was six, following his uncle on surfing trips to several sites along Phuket's coast.

"There were probably a dozen surfers on the island back then, most of them farangs," said Jamie. Like Annissa, he is half Thai.

These days, he said, Phuket is known among international surfers as a great destination for beginners. Apart from locals, increasing numbers of visitors also come to Kata and other beaches to surf or learn to surf. Re Ka Ta is just the latest of the dozens of surf schools and accessory shops sprouting up on the island. Competitions are also held at different beaches each year during the surfing season, which lasts from May to October.

Unlike Bali, where good waves are available all year round because they result from deep ocean water movements, in Phuket the waves come from wind-generated swell, driven by the monsoon, said Michael Flynn. "As soon as the winds die down, so do the waves."

When the high season comes around, said Michael, his daughter and many other Phuket surfers turn to other water activities such as flowboarding at the new Surf House in Kata, or wakeboarding at the island's two venues, or kitesurfing which is rapidly growing in popularity.

"Annissa's future plans are to enter the Kite Tour of Asia competition in Phuket in December, and qualify for the Olympics in Rio in 2016," he said.

For those who have plans to visit Phuket during the next couple of weeks, there is still a chance to get a taste of the surfing experience.

And the father of the number one female surfer on the Asian Tour circuit has some tips to share.

"Surfing can be a very pleasurable and rewarding experience, but it does help to have a good level of fitness and a degree of flexibility. So try yoga for a few weeks before coming down for your first lesson. The number one condition though, before attempting to surf, is that you must be good swimmer."

For more information check: - thaisurfriders.com - phuketsurf.com or search for videos on YouTube using keywords such as "Phuket Surf" or "Quicksilver Thailand Surf Competition".

http://www.bangkokpost.com/travel/travel-feature/373932/riding-the-waves-in-phuket

Out of the monsoon season, other water sports can still be enjoyed.

Jamie Smith, crouching on the board, gives newbies their first surfing lesson.

Despite their size, the waves here are still a challenge to ride.

Learn from listening

Click "play" to listen to Surfing in Phuket and "Download" to keep this file for educational purpose.

Vocabulary:

accessory: a thing that you can wear or carry that matches your clothes, for example a belt or a bag; an extra piece of equipment that is useful but not essential or that can be added to something else as a decoration - เครื่องประดับ, ส่วนประกอบเพิ่มเติม

ace: someone who is very good at doing something - ตัวเอก, ผู้ที่มีความสามารถมาก

activity: a thing that you do for interest or pleasure, or in order to achieve a particular aim - กิจกรรม

all year round: for the whole year, during the whole year -

boost: to increase - เพิ่ม

circuit: a series of games or matches in which the same players regularly take part, often under the authority of a group or organisation - สมาคมกีฬา

coast: an area of land beside the sea - ชายฝั่ง

coast (or coastline): an area of land beside the sea - ชายฝั่ง the adjective form is coastal) แนวชายฝั่งทะเล

community: a group of people who share the same job, interests, religion, etc - สังคม

competition: a situation in which people or organizations compete, i.e., try to be more successful or better than somebody else who is trying to do the same as you - การแข่งขัน

competition: an organised event in which people try to win prizes by being better than other people - การแข่งขัน

condition: something that must be done before another thing can happen - เงื่อนไข

couple: two - สอง

deep: having a large distance from the top or surface to the bottom - ลึก

degree: an amount of something - ระดับ

destination: the place where someone or something is going - จุดหมายปลายทาง

die down: grow quiet and calm, not move around a lot, reduced activity -

dozen: a group of twelve of the same thing - หนึ่งโหล

epic: an event or activity that lasts a long time and is difficult or complicated - งานที่ยิ่งใหญ่

event: an organised occasion such as a party, exhibition or sports competition - งาน, งานกสังคม, การแข่งขัน

experience: to have something happen to you or to live through some event - ประสบ

familiar sight: seen often - เห็นบ่อยๆ

favourite: something you like the best of all similar things - ที่ชอบมากที่สุด, ที่โปรดปราน, ของโปรด

female: being a woman or a girl - สตรี, ผู้หญิง, เพศหญิ

flexibility: can change easily - การปรับตัวเข้ากับสถานการณ์, ความยืดหยุ่น

high season: the time of year when demand is highest for something such as tourism in an area -

instructor: teacher, trainer, educator - ครูผู้สอน, อาจารย์, ครู, ผู้สอน

international: connected with or involving two or more countries - นานาชาติ, สากล, ระหว่างประเทศ

jostle: to push roughly against somebody in a crowd - ดัน, กระแทก, ผลัก, เบียด

journey: travelling from one place to another, especially when they are far apart - การเดินทาง

last chance: last opportunity - โอกาสสุดท้าย

latest: newest; most recent - ] ล่าสุด, See also: ทันสมัยที่สุด, เกิดหลังสุด

level: a position or rank in a scale of size or importance - ระดับ

local: in this country (Thailand) -

monsoon: the season of heavy rain during the summer in hot Asian countries - มรสุม

paradise: a place that is extremely beautiful and that seems perfect, like heaven - สวรรค์,แดนสุขาวดี

passionate: having a strong enthusiasm or interest in something - กระตือรือร้น, ซาบซึ้ง, ดูดดื่ม

popular: a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people - เป็นที่นิยม, เป็นที่ชื่นชอบ

popularity: a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people - ความเป็นที่นิยม, ความเป็นที่ชื่นชอบ

rapidly: happening quickly - อย่างรวดเร็ว

result from: caused by -

rewarding: giving a reward, especially by making you feel satisfied that you have done something important or useful, or done something well - ซึ่งให้ผลตอบแทน

season: a period of time during the year - ช่วงเวลา, ระยะเวลา, ฤดูกาล

share: to have or use something at the same time as someone else - ใช้ร่วมกัน

spot: the particular place where someone or something is - ที่, สถานที่

sprout up: appear suddenly -

surfer: a person who does the sport "surfing", riding on the waves of the ocean with a "surfboard" - ผู้เล่นกระดานโต้คลื่น

surfing: the sport of riding on the ocean waves with a surfboard - กีฬาเล่นกระดานโต้คลื่น

taste: the different feelings or sensations you get from food when you eat - รส

tip: a small piece of advice about something practical - คำแนะนำ

venue: the place where an activity or event happens - สถานที่ที่จัดงาน

wave: a raised line of water that moves across the surface of the sea, ocean, etc - คลื่น

yoga: a set of physical and mental exercises, Indian in origin, which is intended to give control over the body and mind - ระบบการบริหารร่างกายและการควบคุมลมหายใจ

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