Hang Ten: 6 Best Surf Spots In Malaysia For All Levels Of Surfers

Surfing is now gaining popularity locally, so if you’re looking to catch some waves, here are some of the best surf spots in Malaysia. and more importantly, when to visit! (Left: Image by @leeyvonnez. Right: Image by @baratdive.)

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Malaysia only knew diving and snorkelling for years as its primary water sports. On the other hand, surfing has long been known as a foreign water sport that you hear about in places like Hawaii, Australia, and Bali. It’s the thing you watch in films as a kid, imagining what it would be like to ride on a wave, hoping that one day you’ll be able to try it yourself.

However, thanks to the locals’ growing interest in this marine activity, Malaysia is gaining popularity in both surf schools and surf sites coming up all over the country. Keep your eyes on the horizon for some of the best waves in town.

Juara Beach, Tioman

Best time to surf: November to March

Situated on the east coast of Pulau Tioman is a quiet seaside village known as Kampung Juara. Hosting an annual surfing contest, the Tioman Surf Festival brings surfers from all around the globe to participate in this adventure sport. Beginner surfers are encouraged to take a class by one of the local surf instructors before attempting to surf, as the waves can get quite extreme depending on the season.

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Cherating Beach, Pahang

Best time to surf: November to March

Cherating has long been known as one of the first surfing destinations in Malaysia, with the Cheratingpoint Surf School being the most famous place to learn the sport. The waves are pretty mild, making it a safe learning environment for kids and adults of all ages. The best time to learn would be during the monsoon season as the beach is hit by point break waves, ideal for surfing.

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Pantai Batu Burok, Kuala Terengganu

Best time to surf: November to April

This beautiful white sand beach is home to multiple surfing competitions throughout the monsoon season, which is gradually becoming a strong contender as the best surf site in Malaysia. While most beaches would typically be closed off during the monsoon months, Pantai Batu Burok opens up to those looking to catch a wave. A good choice if you’re looking to avoid big crowds. Stay connected to the Terengganu Surf Community to get updates on the growing surf culture all over Malaysia.

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Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, Sabah

Best time to surf: July to September & December to March

Right at the tip of Borneo in the district of Kudat, you’ll find this beautiful secluded cape. It has become more popular with surfing in recent years and is where the Sabah Surfing Association hosts multiple events around the sport. The waves are as high as six feet and can stretch up to 100 metres long if you make it there at the right season. It is comparable to the surfing experience you’d find in Bali.

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Tanjung Balau Beach, Johor

Best time to surf: November to March

Johor is home to several surf beaches, and this is one of their more prominent ones. With waves reaching as high as three feet, Tanjung Balau Beach attracts surfers from all over to ride the waves. The town has a strong surf community making it an excellent place for kids and adults of all ages to get started at surfing.

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River Surfing In Sri Aman, Sarawak

Left: Image from Borneo Talk. Right image from Sarawak Tourism.

Best time to surf: November to March & May

The Sarawak tidal bore river surfing is not for the faint of heart. This sport is known to be dangerous. While it’s not recommended for beginners, if you’re up for surfing or a Stand Up Paddle (SUP) surfing experience like no other, this is the place for you. Take part in the Tidal Bore Festival held annually as part of the Sri Aman surfing culture.

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Engaging in a sport in one of nature’s best playgrounds brings communities together from all over the nation in a way we could not have foreseen. With a shared interest in adventure, nature, and the freedom that comes with surfing, Malaysians are building a new culture and lifestyle that is both exciting and empowering. So, watch this space if you want to hang ten!

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Tabitha is a designer and photographer, whose idea of a good day involves spontaneous trips to the beach with her pooch. Outside of her love for all things design, she has a fondness for handwritten notes, movie nights and long drives with friends.