Standup paddling (SUP) in Phuket

What we say: 3.5 stars

Standup paddling (SUP) has become a popular water sport around the world, and Phuket is no exception. Here’s where you can try it out.

standup paddle SUP phuket sunset beach

Sunset SUP session.

SUP is a highly versatile sport that can be done in most any water conditions, making it ideal for surfing fans who might find Phuket’s wave action to be rather listless most of the year. As well, children and inexperienced paddlers can safely and easily paddle in one of the island’s shallow, calm bays.

There are a few places offering SUP board rental around Phuket, including Layan and Ao Yon beaches, and given its increasing popularity we reckon these will be available at most of the main beaches within the next year or two.

Bangtao's calm waters help SUP beginners stay afloat.

Bangtao’s calm waters help SUP beginners stay afloat.

We tried our first SUP outing at Bang Tao beach with the surfers from Skyla’s Beach House, who have set up a SUP rental hut next to the Bliss Beach Club at the south end of the beach. Rental is 300 baht an hour, and they didn’t seem to be watching the clock too closely as we stretched our paddle time well into sunset.

Bangtao is an ideal beach for standup paddle boarding, especially for newbies (like our group) because it’s shallow and sandy. We were given a brief lesson on how to stand and paddle, with tips for staying on the board. Board rental and lessons are also offered from Skyla’s restaurant on Kamala beach, but with offshore rocks adding some hazards it’s probably better suited to more experienced paddlers. For the ultimate test of balance, there are also SUP yoga sessions available.

standup paddle SUP phuket rental hut

Skyla’s SUP board rental hut.

Those seeking a more challenging SUP outing could arrange a longer trip exploring Phuket’s coastal nooks and crannies and other adventures including cliff-jumping and camping on Nai Yang Beach.

Standup paddling in Phuket can be done year-round but the best time of year is during the drier months of November through April when the seas are calmer.

Heading to Ko Samui next? We’ve got SUP covered there too.

Skyla’s Surf and SUP Club
Kamala Beach & Bangtao Beach
T: (082) 5193282
skylaphuket.com

Stand Up Projects (multi-day SUP trips)
T: (089) 01640746
standupprojects.com

Last updated: 22nd September, 2014

About the author:
Lana Willocks is a freelance writer from Canada based in Phuket. Her love affair with Thailand (and, ok, a Thai man) began on a university exchange programme in Bangkok, then she returned to Phuket on the auspicious date of 9-9-1999 and never left.
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