Surfing Taiwan

At the same latitude as Hawaii, Taiwan is a large, lung-shaped island that offers several powerful points, river mouths, reefs, and beach breaks to the surfer who lucks into a solid typhoon swell or a Pacific groundswell.

There are two main surf seasons. The east coast is the main prize. It’s open to a wide band of ground swell, starts to turn on in October, peaks in December/January and can kick on into May. Additionally, it grooms short fetch wind swells so there’s usually waves of some sort to be found.

The south coast is much fickler but can pump on its day. It’s generally best in late summer and Autumn (July-October) when typhoons stir up the swell. Taiwan is the heart of an active typhoon region and averages 20 tropical bangers annually. Knowledgeable surfers can find pumping waves at many spots when the typhoons are on. Most days though you’re surfing playful waves in warm water and friendly company. Wetsuits are virtually obsolete -the coldest the water reaches is a balmy 23C. While many waves are easy to see from the coastal roads, local knowledge is invaluable for scoring them in their prime.