If you've come or are planning to come to Phuket for water sports you've certainly chosen well. Pretty much every west coast beach has facilities for generalised water sports such as snorkelling and wind surfing while beaches such as Nai Yang, Layan and Friendship Beach on Phuket's southeastern corner specialise in kite surfing. Seasonal sports such as surfing and Hobie Cat sailing can be loads of fun; and for the children and the child in you there are two waterparks - one actually riding the waves of Patong Beach. Sailing can be practised all year round but during the squally season from May - October it's generally practised to the east of Phuket in sheltered Phang Nga Bay. You can even indulge in water sports inland on Phuket Island at the Kathu cable ski centre.
Other Water Activities in Phuket
Parasailing is a fun activity for those who like a dare while on holiday. In Phuket, you'll find a handful of operators on the most popular beaches providing the service but the major centre for parasailing here is Patong Beach. Prices vary depending on who you talk to. On average, people pay from about 800 baht up to 1,300 baht per ride, with a ride lasting about 5 minutes. Some operators might try to use the terms ‘short rope’ and ‘long rope’ to make the prices higher, so you might need to practice some bargaining skills before committing to any length of rope.
Riders will get a brief about safety procedures as well as ‘getting dressed’ in a lifejacket and hooked up to a parachute. Before being pulled out to the bay by a speedboat, a support person will come along and perch above you without any security gear whatsoever. His main job is to guide the parachute and help you to land safely. They generally expect a tip for a good landing, but it's totally up to you. Please bear in mind that it's unlikely that your travel insurance company will cover you if anything goes wrong.
Windsurfing in Phuket
Of the 16 beaches on the west coast of Phuket, at least 8 offer windsurfing facilities. Patong, the most developed of these, has several windsurfing shops along the beach, with lessons available for beginners. The quality of equipment and instruction varies a lot and is usually better at the big hotels.
Phuket is a decent destination both for confirmed windsurfing enthusiasts and for people who want to try it for the first time. During the November–May northeast monsoon season, in particular, steady winds combine with flat, clean, clear seas and superb scenery to make this an intensely rewarding experience. The peak season for windsurfing in Phuket is November–February.
Hobie Cat sailing
Learning to sail is a fun and relatively easy activity available in Phuket. Beach operators on all of the major beaches rent out small catamarans and dinghies, though they are most prominent towards the northern end of Kamala Beach.
The November–May northeast monsoon season provides steady winds and flat seas, making for the best time to give sailing a try. The peak season for winds is November–February.