The Inertia

In the last decade or so, our surfEXPLORE group has scoured the planet for unsurfed waves and surf adventure. One of our favorite locations is Asia–where surfers are few and waves are many. 

From the unsurfed east coast of mainland China to the 17,000 islands of Indonesia, the possibilities are unlimited for anyone who would like to get off the beaten track.

As with all surfing locations, the waves in Asia are seasonal. While one location can be stone flat, another can be enjoying a solid six feet of groundswell with no one in the water.

In a calendar year, for the first three months of January to March, the best bet would be the northeast monsoon which affects the coast of mainland China, Taiwan, Pacific Indonesia and the Philippines with consistent windswell, reaching into the South China Sea to bring waves to Malaysia, Hainan Island and the long coast of Vietnam.


From April to June, the place to go for waves is the Indian Ocean side of Indonesia, where calm local conditions receive the first long-period groundswell from winter storms in the southern oceans, with similar conditions for Myanmar, Maldives and the Andaman Islands of India.

July to September brings more groundswell to Indian Ocean Indonesia and with the strengthening of the southwest monsoon, the beginning of typhoon season in the western Pacific Ocean. Typhoon season is much anticipated and feared by surfers in Japan, The Philippines and Taiwan for great surf and sometimes the unpredictable destruction of a direct hit from a storm.

October to December sees the peak of typhoon activity in the western Pacific with a major storm on a good track sending swell from Pacific Indonesia all the way north to the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia. By November, the northeast monsoon begins to reassert itself, sending new windswell to Taiwan, the Philippines and the many islands of Pacific Indonesia like Morotai, Halmahera, and the Indonesian half of the island of New Guinea.


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