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The Shred Hard Party presented by Phuket Surfing Festival 2019

The Shred Hard Party presented by Phuket Surfing Festival 2019

In conjunction with the Phuket Surfing Festival 2019, Surf House Phuket will be hosting the 'Shred Hard Party' on the 24 August 2019, Saturday from 8.00pm till late.

The Shred Hard Party will have all your favourite things, under one roof! If you are looking for a great time on the waves, the evening pass from 6.00pm till midnight cost just 1,990 THB per rider. The full on music event will features the top rappers from South Side Phuket. All these and more, with absolutely free entry! Let us know if you are coming, here!

By the beach, the Phuket Surfing Festival will feature top surfers from Thailand and around Asia between 24 - 26 of August 2019 at Kata Beach. Apart from the competition, there will be daily fringe activities such as concerts, free clinics for skateboarding, bmx and even yoga by the beach! This is also the first ever event that features a 3.6km SUP distant race around the iconic Koh Pu right in front of Kata Beach.

To learn more about the Phuket Surfing Festival 2019, visit the event page, here

Waves in Thailand

Waves in Thailand
Can I Surf in Thailand? Are there even waves? Those are the questions I get asked the most when I tell people I'm a surfer from Thailand. Well guys, the answer is YES!

I'm sure many of you had absolutely no idea that Thailand had waves, well I'm here to debunk that myth.

You're not going to get waves of Uluwatu status but still, if you're looking for friendly, kind and soft waves and uncrowded spots, Thailand should definitely be on your list. There are some really nice surfing spots in Thailand that are spread
out up and down the east and west coasts; Khao Lak, Koh Lanta, Koh Phayam and Rayong - are all good but the best place to surf has got to be the beautiful island of Phuket.

The surfing culture in Phuket has been around for a very long time and it's only getting bigger, Phuket regularly hosts surfing competitions, like the Phuket Surf Series, the Cherngtalay Surfing Contest and the Kata Beach Surfing Contest. Phuket's surfing season is from April to October, that's when the onshore monsoon winds hit the west coast and the pop-up surf shops start running again.

Now, where can I surf in Phuket?
At the top of our list, we have Kata Beach - the most popular destination in Phuket when it comes to surfing. Kata beach offers anywhere between half meter waves up-to three meter waves, during monsoon storms so no matter what your background in surfing is, Kata beach is definitely one to check when the storm hits.

Next up we have the little brother of Kata beach which is Kata Noi. This is the small little beach that packs, in my opinion, the best waves in Phuket when the time is right (don't tell anyone) but this is definitely not where you want to learn how to surf. Kata Noi has pretty harsh waves as it breaks off the rocks and can be quite dangerous if you're not careful.

Next is Phuket’s reef breaks; first is Kalim beach, located north of Patong Beach. This reef break sometimes offers barreling right-handers and is truly the best surf you will get in Phuket. If you’re an advanced surfer - Kalim is definitely the place to be. Secondly is Nai Yang Beach which is south of Phuket International Airport. When conditions are right you can get rides up to a few hundred meters long (don't tell anyone!). So if you're looking for a sneaky little surf session before your flight back home - check out Nai Yang Beach.

To be fair, the waves at these beaches also deserve to be given an honorable mention: Bang Tao, Bangsan, Surin, Patong, Nai Harn, Karon are all good.

Now, what if you go to the beach in the morning and the waves are totally flat? What if you booked your holiday according to the monsoon season here in Phuket and still wake up to nothing? Don't Worry!

Phuket has so many alternatives to surfing to keep your feet moving and your soul flying, we currently have 3 cable ski parks located in Kathu, Thalang and Mai Khao, a little skate-boarding area in Sapanhin (the local park in Phuket Town) an ice skating center at boat lagoon and 2 double flow riders located at Kata beach and Patong beach. So c'mon down to the Pearl of the Andaman.

Reviewing reviewers and their platforms

Reviewing reviewers and their platforms

When TripAdvisor found access to the bigger public somewhere back in the early 2000’s, I was only mildly interested in what they had to offer. As a traveller and strong appreciator of advice on what to do, activities, accommodation and where to eat and drink, I couldn’t imagine that co-travellers and holiday-makers could advise me better than my gurus who had composed my meanwhile polyglot-ish collection of Lonely Planet’s, Rough Guide’s and Petit Futé’s.

Some 10 years ago I eventually caved and planned to join the crowds who contributed to the travelling community with their reviews and tips. Focusing on water sports –mainly (wind) surfing- , gastronomy and culture, I quite rapidly became a fervent donator of unbiased advise on surf spots, places of interest, hotels, restaurants and bars.

With that intention, I equally spend a lot of time reading reviews of others. Obviously to learn more about a certain place but also to see how serious or unserious my anonymous fellas were. More so when I became the subject of reviews having my own restaurant and bar on a fabulous Thai island.

Suddenly, the game had changed: I was baffled with one star reviews from people we never served that had funny online pseudonyms and suspiciously enough only one review under their reviewers profile. One lovely afternoon, coming back from my daily wave riding session, I bumped into a colleague who owned a water sports rental outfit. He was the first one to rent out long boards, SUP’s, kayaks and organised fun sea and beach activities. He pointed out that he had received several negative reviews in recent days from “clients” he had never even met. We looked at each other and started laughing, although it was at our own naivety. We quickly found out that the new surf club on the adjacent beach had many 5 star reviews and hey, small but fatal error: The owner’s best mate had the same profile on FaceBook as the unhappy ghost client of my friend.

This made me wonder, a lot. My honest soul had never thought of abusing the advisory platform to torpedo other businesses nor deceive other travellers. Correction, platformS in the meantime. As Agoda, Booking.com, FaceBook, Google and many other internet giants had in the meantime thankfully embraced the online reviewing community for their own benefit. And market demand being a beautiful intangible and self-directing animal, many witty entrepreneurs now provided fantastic tools for one’s business to boost one’s market presence and perception.

Chatting with a good friend that made his fame by making the best mojito’s on the island, I learned a lot. He explained how simple and cheap it was to be on top of the list on sites like TripAdvisor. For a few Euros per day, you let a digital robot click you to the highest rank..... Now I had to take my pink glasses of and gear up my game. Which platform was dealing with these misleading reviews seriously? Could I still believe those words of praise about a surf spot or cool bar? I certainly became more cautious taking advise from co-travellers and as with all things that progress, the platforms progressed as well under pressure of both the businesses and individuals. Tripadvisor & Co. had to get rid of their credibility issue if they wanted to keep their head above water.

Reality checks were put in place, machine reviews were disabled, suspicious flows of likes intercepted and, most importantly, the majority of the establishments under review also woke up. Venues that take their clients and guests seriously, make time to write a decent reply to a review, be it good or bad; It displays a minimum token of appreciation and gratitude to their most valued asset: Their clients.

Anno 2019, residing on the paradisiacal island of Phuket I keep reviewing seriously and unbiased and I strongly appreciate the expression of thanks of my +130.000 readers. Numbers speak for themselves and as such, never base your judgment on occasional reviewers. The Lonely Planet authors remain gurus after all.

-Alexander Blaauw