Kata Beach

Thai-Malay Peninsula


Bang Saphan is the first stop on the road south. The beach is well placed for NE winds, but there’s not much else to it. Lined with large palms and ringed by lush green hills, the long sandy Tung Wa Laen Beach near Chumpon is well worth a visit. There’s a good chance of 10-25 knots NE from November to January, and strong winds can even deliver a beach-break. A fun alternative to carrying on overland is to catch a boat from town and island hop. The first port of call is Ko Tao – a thickly forested island, just 7km long, with only a few developed bays. The tiny beaches are more suited to windsurfing than kiting, the best being Mae Haad Bay on the west coast. There’s more space on Ko Phangan, an island known for the legendary full moon parties that attract up to 20,000 revellers to Haad Rin Beach every month – thankfully it’s not so rammed the rest of the time. The turquoise lagoons of Thong Sala Beach and Ban Tai Beach are the main spots, the inside tip is a land bridge to the small island of Ko Maa up north. At 280km², Thailand’s third largest island of Ko Samui is one of the country’s major tourist strongholds – thankfully, unlike Phuket and Pattaya, the hotel complexes are restricted to the height of the palm trees. The main towns are on the west coast, otherwise the island has endless coconut forests (2-million coconuts are harvested each month, mainly by trained monkeys), bizarre rock formations, small villages and even a few secluded beaches. Kiting is most popular on Ko Samui in November to January’s NE wind – it veers ESE to SE in February. The main spots are Ko Samui, Orchid Resort, Ko Samui, Hua Thanon Beach, Ko Samui, Lamai and Ko Samui, Chaweng Beach. Back on the mainland at Sichon the NE breeze is perfect for beginners in the morning before picking up in the afternoon. The long sandy beach and relatively light tourist development is reminiscent of Hua Hin 10 years ago. In contrast, the large island of Phuket is the tourist industry’s 'pearl of the south’. Always pretty, but crammed and far from peaceful, especially on the west coast’s 14 pure white beaches. But at least waves can break here when Indian Ocean groundswell makes it around the tip of Sumatra, reinforced by windswell from the Andaman Sea. The east coast shelves much more gently and low tide exposes the muddy seabed that gives the water its brown colour. Phuket ranks among the windiest places in Thailand, blowing NE in winter and SW in summer. The southern beaches rule in NE-E, when the go-to spot is Chalong Bay at Friendship Beach Resort. Unfortunately it’s dry at low tide, in which case relocate to 'Coral Island’ 35 minutes away or Baan Had Rawai. Ao Sane in Naiharn Bay works in both prevailing wind directions, but only for windsurfing as the beach is really small. Most west coast locations are very near the tourist centres, but the windy summer months are also rainy season so totally off-peak. Kata Beach and Karon Beach can throw up hip to head-high beach-breaks that even attract surfers. Beginner kiters are particularly partial to the lagoon protected by a small island at the north end of the Layan Bay. Hat Nai Yang Beach (or 'Airport Reef’) attracts wave-hunters to its two offshore breaks. Kiters should keep well clear of the nearby airport’s flightpath! Further north, Nai Yang Beach Nord offers a pretty quiet atmosphere by Phuket standards. Or on the road to the mainland, Pukhet Bridge is well hidden from the crowds beyond a forest on the northern tip of the island. A real 'secret spot’ that works in both seasons.
Kite and Windsurfing Guide
Kata Beach und Karon Beach können hüft-bis kopfhohen Beachbreak produzieren, hier sieht man zuweilen sogar Wellenreiter.
Kata Beach and Karon Beach can throw up hip to head-high beach-breaks that even attract surfers.