Waterskiing, wakeboarding and kitesurfing are all popular watersports in Koh Phangan, particularly in the Chaloklum and Ban Tai area where you will find the Cuttlebone Kite Surfing School with a team of IKO (International Kite Surfing Organization) instructors, at the Golden Light Resort, one kilometre from Thong Sala.
Other popular Koh Phangan watersport include sailing, jet-skiing and wakeboarding and there is also a little surfing to be found as well. Cookies Sailing offers lazer boats and hobie catamaran rental as well as windsurfing lessons.
But Jet-skis on Koh Phangan have been getting a really bad press of late as the island’s rental industry is controlled by a mafia which is not adverse to extorting vast amounts of cash for phantom ‘damage’ suffered. Dozens of young holidaymakers end up cutting their holidays short aftrer losing hundreds of dollars through these scams.
The only way to be sure of avoiding such stings is by not hiring jet-skis on Koh Phangan, and until the police take action to quell this disturbing trend this is the advice we must unfortunately give.
Kayaking on Koh Phangan
Kayaking is popular around Koh Phangan and farther afield at the nearby Ang Thong Marine National Park. Visitors here can either embark on a guided tour with a group which normally included hotel pick-up/drop-off and lunch, and this is a good option for those with time and money to spend on a memorable experience.
The alternative is just rent one of the bevy of kayaks that are on offer at most of the island’s main beaches, with opportunities for beach-hopping easy to find all over Koh Phangan. Remember to leave enough time to return before dusk, ensure that ‘spray skirt’ is tightly fitted and cover up during the midday sun. Tides can be strong to paddle into any current first, and head back if the sea gets too choppy.
Kitesurfing on Koh Phangan
It is possible to go Kitesurfing on Koh Phangan all through the year, although the best beach to practice changes according to the season. There are a few different operators out there who offer expert tuition and top quality equipments, but also a few shady ventures that cut corners to save costs – so we urge you to book through one of our recommended establishments.
KiteBoarding Asia is Thailand’s only IKO-recognised school and have trained professionals offering equipment and training in a variety of languages as well as wakeboarding lessons as well. Cuttlebone Kiteboarding School is another quality outfit that teaches kitesurfing on Koh Phangan. Wake Up! Wakeboarding offers English speaking instructors, a passion for the sport, years of experience plus top brand equipment.
Surfing on Koh Phangan
The only place for surfing on Koh Phangan is the northeastern beach of Thong Nai Pan Noi during the wet season. During most of the year it is flat, however, but there are a few guesthouses and shop which can rent equipment. Bodyboarding is also popular here, but most of the island’s beaches are not blessed with great surfing conditions.
Scuba Diving on Koh Phangan
Scuba diving is another favourite Koh Phangan watersport with a plethora of PADI-certified schools all over the island. These offer a range of courses from one-day tasters which include a couple of reef dives, to Open Water certification and even specialist and instructor qualifications.
There are pristine dive sites all through Ang Thong Marine National Park which can be explored, as well as many closer reefs and drops on mainly on the south, west and north of the island. But all the famous Thai Gulf diving sites normally associated with Koh Tao – such as Sailrock – are just as easy to reach from Koh Phangan via one of the dive school’s speed boats. More on Scuba Diving.