The warm, clear, azure waters of the Andaman Sea are the idyllic vision of tropical paradise. After all, that is why Phuket is one of the top tourist destinations in Asia. While the calm seas are enjoyed by millions of visitors each year, those who come during the dry season are often unaware of the Andaman's temperamental character.
Phuket has two main seasons: the dry season from December-April, and monsoon season from May-November. Don't be mistaken, it doesn't rain constantly during monsoon season nor should you leave your raincoat at home during the dry season.
So what is the best time for stand up paddle boarding in Phuket? Well, that all depends on what type of adventure you are looking for. Most people will be more inclined to paddle out when the sea is nice and calm and the winds are light. This makes it easier for beginners to balance on the board and a less taxing paddle as winds make it much more difficult to cover distance on a paddle board.
For the more adventurous, Phuket's shores are blessed with waves during the monsoon season and those who are keen to surf are in luck. Surfing an SUP takes a bit of experience and skill but a couple hours out on some small waves will give you a good start.
Be realistic about your water safety skills as the waves in Phuket can reach 4 meters high and the currents can become very strong! Many people drown on Phuket beaches every year due to insufficient swimming skills, ocean knowledge, and a disregard of warning signs and lifeguard's efforts.
The other element to consider for those who want to stand up paddle board is the wind. Generally, Phuket's winds blow from the west/northwest during monsoon season and from the east/northeast during the dry season. This equates to onshore winds during the monsoon/surf season and offshore winds during the dry season when most tourists visit Phuket. Of course Phuket's varied coastline has many aspects
With a little planning, stand up paddle boarders can enjoy a downwind paddle or "downwinder". A downwinder is when you paddle with the wind at your back. This enables you to cover great distances in a short amount of time and paddle easier if you wish. A route must be planned out ahead of time so a driver can pick you up as downwinders are a one-way journey.
Don't forget, Phuket is a narrow island so oftentimes winds and weather conditions can be much different on the less popular east coast.
Want to paddle in the most beautiful areas of Phuket? Book one of our local guides to take you to the sweet spots!