Khao Tao’s normally quiet and uncrowded sandy beach became alive on 8th – 10th March as the venue for the 2019 Thailand Kiteboard and Wind surfing Championships.
Hua Hin has long been a mecca for Thai and international enthusiast of these sports. The wide sandy beaches and the favorable and very reliable weather conditions, with winds nearly all year round, are two of the reasons why Hua Hin has the best wind surfing conditions in Thailand. Thai hospitality and an established infrastructure just add to that appeal.
The action of kite boarding is fast and furious and a great spectator opportunity. This will also be a chance to talk with the experts about learning the sport yourself with workshops and trial sessions available if you are looking for something wet and wild!
Hua Hin has accredited windsurfing schools for those who are so inclined. Although no longer an extreme sport, it’s important to learn with the right school so you enjoy yourself in a safe environment. The other good news is that these water sports are environmentally friendly with only wind and man power at work so no noise pollution from screaming jet skis or other marine engines to disturb the serenity of the Kho Tao beach; just an occasional tender or safety vessel on hand.
Another sport which will be seen at the Khao Tao event is SUP or stand up paddle boarding. This is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Thousands of people all ages join competitions, workouts or just social trips with friends. This provides a great workout, either in waves or gliding on flat water. A fitness class walking on water!
If the Thailand Championships has whet your appetite, on 13-18th March a follow-up experience could be at Pak Nam Pran Beach Pranburi where the Sports Authority of Thailand and the Kitesurfing Association of Thailand will be holding selection trials for the Youth Olympic Games.
Many tourism businesses will be participating in both of these events with food stalls, displays and evening concerts well past sundown.
The Prachuap Khiri Khan Governor Dr Panlop Singhaseni has suggested that Hua Hin could be elevated as a sporting destination with the promotion of more water based sporting activities to promote tourism.
The governor is eager to see more water sports, beach sports and sports on the seas especially sailing and regattas. Fishing competitions could also be considered.
As the previous vice governor of Phuket; Dr Panlop is well aware that Phuket is the province with the highest profile for water sports popular with foreigners. He would like Prachuap Khiri Khan to learn from that example. He believes that water sports which provide opportunities for participation in competition could enhance and promote tourism in the province and create the excitement. April, which is the summer of Thailand, presents the best opportunities for these activities.
The governor is looking for more cooperation between the private and public sectors to organise more activities, particularly sporting activities to reach that potential and to raise the profile of Hua Hin as a water sports city.