Taiwan is a vibrant island nation kissed by the Pacific Ocean on all sides. It isn’t just a hotspot for bustling cities and delicious night markets. Beyond the neon lights lies a surfer’s paradise. The island’s unique geography plays a key role to great surfing. With the rugged east coast boasting powerful breaks and the tamer north coast offering gentler waves. This translates to a surfer’s dream come true: a variety of waves perfect for beginners, seasoned riders, and everyone in between. While surfing in Taiwan was once a niche activity, recent years have seen a surge in popularity. With consistent waves, stunning scenery, and a laid-back vibe that blends local charm with a growing international scene, Taiwan is quickly carving its own niche in the global surfing world.

Four Main Taiwan Surfing Areas

When it comes to surfing in Taiwan, the island’s unique geography creates a diverse playground for surfers of all levels. Here’s a breakdown of the four main areas to consider for your next wave-chasing adventure:

The North Coast (北海岸): Best Season: April – October

This easily accessible region, perfect for those staying in Taipei, provides mellow waves ideal for honing your skills. Gentle swells and consistent conditions make it a haven for beginners looking to learn the ropes or perfect their pop-up. Plus, the proximity to the capital city allows you to experience the best of both worlds: world-class surfing during the day and bustling city life in the evenings.

Yilan (宜蘭): Best Season: October – March

Venture slightly east of Taipei and you’ll be greeted by Yilan, a surfer’s paradise known for its consistent swells. This area is a haven for longboarders, offering rolling waves perfect for carving graceful lines across the water. Beginners can also find their footing here, with plenty of surf schools and camps offering lessons and board rentals. Yilan’s prime season falls during the cooler months, so pack your wetsuit and prepare to catch some waves as the weather transitions.

Taitung (台東): Best Season: April-Sept (beginner), Oct-Mar (advanced)

Experienced surfers, buckle up! Taitung on the east coast throws down some of the most powerful breaks in Taiwan. Here, the Pacific Ocean unleashes its fury, creating thrilling waves that will test your skills and challenge you to your core. Powerful swells roll in consistently, making Taitung a magnet for seasoned surfers seeking an adrenaline rush. Be sure to check the forecast and plan your trip during the peak season, which coincides with the arrival of the northeast monsoon (東北季風), further amping up the wave size.

Pingtung (屏東): Best Season: Year-round

Head to the southernmost tip of Taiwan and you’ll find Pingtung, a region offering something for everyone. This area boasts the most consistent surf in Taiwan, with waves suitable for all skill levels year-round. Beginners can find calmer breaks in the south, while more experienced surfers can head towards the Kenting National Park for challenging reef breaks and unforgettable rides. With consistent waves and a variety of breaks to choose from, Pingtung is a perfect destination for surfers seeking a guaranteed dose of ocean adventure. If you plan to visit Kenting, checkout what to eat in Kenting!

Other areas

Unlike the east coast’s Pacific swells, the west coast faces the calmer Taiwan Strait, making it unsuitable for consistent surfing due to weaker waves and a different seabed composition. However, there are still a couple smaller nice surfing areas aside from the above mentioned. We recommend you pick an area of interest depending on you itinerary, location and skill level. Fortunately, Taiwan is a relatively small island. Hence traveling should not take more than half a day for the worst case.

Best Time to Surf in Taiwan’s Surfing Spots

When to catch the perfect wave depends on where you head in Taiwan. The north coast (北海岸) shines during the balmy months of April to October. It offers gentle swells ideal for beginners and learning maneuvers. Yilan (宜蘭) on the east coast flips the script. With its best waves rolling in during the cooler months from October to March. This coincides with the arrival of the powerful northeast monsoon (東北季風), bringing bigger winds and pumping up the wave size – perfect for experienced surfers. Taitung (台東) caters to a wider range of skill levels. Beginners can find calmer waves from April to September, while the more experienced crowd flocks in from October to March to tackle the swells boosted by the northeast monsoon. Finally, Pingtung (屏東) on the south coast boasts the most consistent surf, offering waves year-round for surfers of all levels.

Taiwan Surf Cam and Resources: SwellEye

While scouting the perfect spot for your Taiwanese surfing adventure, be sure to check out Swelleye, your one-stop shop for all things Taiwan surf. This website, created by surfers for surfers, boasts the title of Taiwan’s original and largest network of live-streaming surf cams. Swelleye goes beyond just visuals, offering detailed current surf reports, accurate 7-day forecasts updated hourly, and a comprehensive surf spot guide for over 40 locations across the island. For those seeking a truly immersive experience, Swelleye even offers a pro membership option, granting access to ad-free browsing, HD live streams, and in-depth information on surf spots. Most importantly, it’s available in English!

Northern Taiwan Surfing Spots

Jinshan Zhongjiao Bay (金山中角灣)

taipei surfing

Source: newtaipei.travel

🌐 Jinshan Zhongjiao Bay

Jinshan Zhongjiao Bay, just a 40-minute drive from Taipei City, offers a convenient escape for surfers. People might call it Jinshan or Zhongjiao Bay. This well-equipped center caters to all skill levels, providing instruction and rentals.

While Jinshan boasts the closest surf spot to Taipei, it can get crowded, especially in summer. Both left and right-hand breaks can be found here. Experienced surfers can find challenging lefts at the north breakwater, while rights are less consistent. Early mornings and evenings offer the best wave conditions, as winds pick up in the mornings and create challenging paddling during midday shore breaks. Despite facing some competition from Yilan’s beaches after the Snow Tunnel’s opening, Jinshan remains a popular choice for its convenience, consistent waves, and excellent surf center, making it a great destination for surfers of all levels.

Northeastern Taiwan Surfing Spots

Wushigang Beach 烏石港海灘

Taiwan surfing

Source: marketersurfer.com

🌐 Wushigang

Wushigang Beach is a haven for surfers of all skill levels, offering a convenient location, diverse activities, and delicious cuisine. The beach’s accessibility, with easy transportation links, makes it a popular choice. Visitors can also take advantage of the numerous sightseeing boats departing from Wushigang Port, embarking on excursions to Guishan Island and encountering adorable dolphins.

For those seeking a break from surfing, the portside area offers a variety of seafood delicacies, providing a delightful culinary experience. During summer months, Wushigang Beach transforms into a bustling hub for surfing enthusiasts. The beach and waves are ideal for beginners to get ample practice. Experienced surfers can find their ideal conditions during periods of larger waves and fewer crowds. The right-breaking waves, especially during the presence of eastern or southeastern typhoons, offer an exhilarating challenge. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned surfer, Wushigang Beach promises an unforgettable experience.

Wai’ao and Double Lion(外澳雙獅)

surfing taiwan

Source: abic.com.tw

🌐 Wai’ao, Double Lion

Wai’ao and Double Lion (or Shuangshi) are two neighboring popular Taiwan surfing spots. People often combine the two and call them Wai’ao Shuangshi. They offer a tranquil atmosphere, stunning ocean views, and a variety of waves for all skill levels. The vast expanse of sandy beach stretches as far as the eye can see, merging seamlessly with the azure sky. Dotted along the shore are numerous shops providing umbrella rentals, surfboard rentals, and even surfing lessons. Convenient showers and rinsing facilities are also readily available, making it a true haven for surfing enthusiasts.

The surrounding breakwater at Wai’ao Shuangshi Beach provides a scenic vantage point, offering breathtaking views of the ocean and the graceful maneuvers of experienced surfers. Situated conveniently opposite Wai’ao Railway Station, Wai’ao Shuangshi boasts easy accessibility. During the summer months, long-period energy produces excellent right-hand triangle waves, while the winter northeast monsoon brings waves to both the left and right sides of the beach. While large rocks are visible on the shallows, smaller ones may be hidden at high tide. Before entering the water, it’s advisable to observe the topography, inquire about entry and exit points from local surf shops, and exercise caution during large swells and high tides, as currents can easily sweep surfers towards the rocks.

Eastern Taiwan Surfing Spots

Taiwan’s east coast, particularly Taitung County, boasts a surfer’s paradise with a reputation that extends beyond national borders. The 176-kilometer coastline, from Changbin to Donghe, offers consistent waves thanks to its unique underwater geography. Abundant coral reefs and a gently sloping continental shelf create ideal conditions for surfers of all skill levels. This haven has even attracted international surfing competitions like the Asian Surfing Championship and World Surf League events.

Taitung’s appeal goes beyond the waves themselves. Breathtaking scenery and clean, vast waters create an unforgettable experience. While surfing is possible year-round, the autumn and winter months truly transform the region. The northeast monsoon brings stronger waves, perfect for experienced surfers. During holidays and winter, the east coast comes alive with surfers from across Taiwan, all seeking the exhilarating rush of riding these powerful swells.

Donghe 東河

taiwan surfing competition

Source: smiletaiwan

🌐 Donghe

Surfers seeking reliable swells and stunning scenery need look no further than Donghe on Taiwan’s east coast. This region reigns supreme in consistency, offering both left and right-breaking waves year-round, with particularly impressive long swells rolling in during the winter months (October to April). However, Donghe isn’t without its challenges. The powerful northeast monsoon winds that bless the area with consistent waves can also disrupt wave quality, making early mornings (before 9 AM) and potentially calm evenings the prime surfing windows.

Safety is paramount here. Typhoon season brings strong currents, especially near the river mouth, that can quickly pull surfers out to sea. Additionally, low tides expose a pebble seabed, requiring surfers to be extra cautious. Therefore, Donghe is best suited for intermediate and advanced surfers who can handle these conditions.Despite the challenges, Donghe’s consistent waves, breathtaking scenery, and clean offshore breaks during mornings and evenings make it a true surfer’s paradise.

Jinzun Bay (金樽灣)

taiwan surf

Source: taiwan.net.tw

🌐 Jinzun

Carving its reputation as one of Taiwan’s top surfing spots, Jinzun Bay on the east coast entices surfers with its consistent swells. Here, two distinct left and right wave breaks cater to intermediate and advanced surfers. The unique underwater pebble seabed and direct exposure to the Pacific Ocean combine to create ideal conditions. When the northeast monsoon arrives, waves consistently rise above half a meter, perfect for honing maneuvers like turtle rolls and diagonal riding. However, beginners are advised to test their skills on the north coast or Kenting before tackling Jinzun Bay’s challenges.

Beyond its training potential, Jinzun Bay transforms into a stage for world-class competition. Every year, from late November to early December, the bay plays host to Taiwan’s International Surfing Open. This electrifying event draws surfing enthusiasts from across the island, offering a chance to witness professional surfers showcase their skills on these coveted “premium waves.” Recognized by the International Surfing Association as a six-star surf spot, Jinzun Bay is a dream destination for experienced surfers. Here, autumn brings not only stunning scenery but also the perfect conditions for an exhilarating surfing adventure.

Southern Taiwan Surfing Spots

Kenting Nanwan (墾丁南灣)

kenting beach

Source: blog.pylin.org

🌐 Nanwan

Nicknamed “Blue Bay” for its mesmerizing turquoise waters and soft, expansive sandy beach, Kenting Nanwan is a summertime haven for beachgoers and surfers alike. The area offers a diverse array of coastal activities, from exhilarating water sports like surfing and swimming to tranquil underwater adventures like snorkeling and diving. The beach’s popularity among divers has led to the establishment of designated diving zones, ensuring the protection of the delicate coral reefs and marine life while providing visitors with an opportunity to explore the underwater wonders.

Surfers of all skill levels flock to Nanwan’s consistent waves, with both left-breaking and right-breaking waves to choose from. When conditions are calm, the gentle swells are ideal for beginners to practice their skills. As the waves grow larger, especially during the summer typhoon season, Nanwan transforms into a surfer’s paradise, with long, well-formed waves and even tubes for experienced surfers to challenge.

Jialeshui (佳樂水)

taiwan surf

Source: expedia.com

🌐 Jialeshui

Nestled near the Eluanbi Lighthouse, Jialeshui Scenic Area is a surfer’s paradise renowned for its consistent waves and stunning scenery. The area’s unique geography, characterized by layered sandstone and the convergence of coral reef and sandstone coastlines, has resulted in a mesmerizing landscape sculpted by strong winds and currents over time.

Jialeshui boasts two distinct surf zones:

  1. Main Surf Zone (River Mouth): The primary surf zone lies at the river mouth, offering a consistent right-breaking wave that occasionally extends to the left. Even when waves are small, the river valley and nearby mountains generate consistent onshore winds, making Jialeshui an excellent spot for longboarding. As waves grow larger, barrel waves suitable for experienced shortboarders emerge.
  2. Cape Surf Zone: Located on the left-hand side of the bay, this surf zone features consistent waves that cater to both beginners (when small) and experienced surfers (when large). However, strong currents characterize this zone during larger swells, so caution is advised.

Beyond its world-class waves, Jialeshui captivates visitors with its breathtaking scenery and welcoming surf community. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer seeking challenging waves or a beginner eager to learn the ropes, Jialeshui promises an unforgettable surfing experience.

Taiwan’s diverse coastline offers a haven for surfers of all levels, from the consistent swells of Taitung to the convenient escapes near Taipei. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer seeking challenging waves or a curious beginner eager to learn the ropes, Taiwan has a spot waiting for you. So grab your board, embrace the ocean breeze, and experience the thrill of riding Taiwan’s waves! We hope this blog post helps!

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