Standup paddling, or SUP, has become a popular activity in Phuket in recent years. Phuket really is an ideal spot for SUP, with calmer seas from November through April and more than 30 beaches around the island to launch from. It’s easy to learn and if you do fall in, the Andaman Sea is so pleasantly warm it’s not a problem!
SUP is a fantastic way to explore Phuket’s coastlines – you can go at your own pace and there’s no roaring of a motor to disturb the peace. Our first crack at standup paddle was with Tim of Skyla’s Surf & SUP Club at Bangtao Beach and we were instantly hooked. We’ve since enjoyed paddles off Ao Yon Beach and Rawai Beach, and joined a sunset tour with Khun Tan of Paddle Phuket off Nai Harn Beach.
We’ve also tried a half-day paddle with Paddle Phuket through the mangroves off Phuket’s east coast – spectacular scenery and a real deep-in-the-jungle experience as you glide through thick mangrove forest.
Bangtao Beach is now the site of the annual Thailand SUP Festival, set to run this year on April 7 and 8. LUX Beach Club is hosting the event, where festival dinners and awards presentations will be held, and where participants can chill out with a cool drink between races.
The festival includes 2km and 6km technical races, sprints, team relays, family and kids’ races, SUP yoga, race clinic and board demos.
There’s a fee to enter the races, with discounted rates for those who sign up before 31 March.
Thailand SUP Festival Race Entry Fees
Online (before 31 March): 1,500 baht
On the day: 1,700 baht
Includes race entry into 2km or 6km technical race, family and fun races, sprint, relay and SUP Yoga, buffet dinner at LUX Beach Club on Saturday, event T-shirt and a Trash Hero stainless steel refillable water bottle for the first 100 entries.
Kids (up to 15 years old)
Online (before 31 March): 900 baht
On the day: 1,000 baht
Includes race entry into 2km race, family and fun races, Buffet dinner at LUX Beach Club on Saturday, event cap and Trash Hero stainless steel refillable water bottle for the first 100 entries.
Race winners and participants will have the chance to win more than 100,000 baht total in prizes, with donated prizes from Starboard, Surf House Phuket, 69SLAM and Anthem Wakepark.
All photos provided by Thailand SUP Festival – thank you!