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Kata offers some of the best surf on Phuket in low season

Events: Phuket Surfing Contest, Kata Beach

Friday, September 5, 2008
THE PHUKET surfing contest began today at Kata with about the same number of competitors as last year.

Organiser Wallap Nadon said they had 150 starters and were expecting a few more surfers, but the weekend airport protest had kept numbers down.

Malaysians especially had opted not to make the trip.

While Japanese tourists have cancelled trips to Phuket in large quantities, the surfers have kept coming. The tournament was promoted heavily there this year, the eighth contest.

Tourists who surf half-seriously (and nobody every surfs more seriously than that) usually come from Japan, England, United States, France, South Africa, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Australia, Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore.

Some of those countries have had extra travel warnings issued.

Apparently many tourist-surfers usually come for the contest and stay for three months or six months, so the benefits are quite substantial.

Spectators are welcome to watch the Saturday and Sunday surfing off beautiful Kata, with divisions for long board, short board, grommet, girls and boys.

Prize-money ranges up to 8000 baht with entry fees of 400 baht or 300 baht. Thais have a slightly lower entry fee.

Surfing starts at 8am and goes to 4pm. On Sunday, the short-board final starts at 5.50pm and is followed by awards and a beach party, with a live DJ and band.

The weather at this time of year usually provides reasonable waves of up to 2.2 metres.

The tessaban is a supporter of the annual competition, along with with the Kata-Karon Hotel Association and the local surfing club.


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