Surfing in Südkorea

Overview

Although South Korea is less popular with tourists than other Asian countries like China or Japan, it is a hidden gem with a very interesting culture, exotic vegetation and a diverse topography. The country consists of an impressive alpine mountain range with fertile valleys and several coasts with unique characteristics. The east coast of Korea is steep while the west coast runs smoothly into the ocean and the south coast has picturesque bays. Thanks to its five thousand year history, Korea has extensive culture to discover. 

Those interested in exploring the urban areas can visit big, modern cities and enjoy their electric nightlife. For most surfers, Korea is not their first choice because the wave season is only from June until October and even large typhoons do not always produce surf-able waves.

The Winter Surf

"The Winter Surf" is a film shot in South Korea in winter, 2014. It is directed, filmed and edited by a few dedicated surfers. This film’s vision is to showcase surfing in Korea.

Map

Climate

South Korea’s climate is comparable to the climate in Europe and is also made up of four seasons.

Spring starts in March and brings mild temperatures, lots of sunshine and weak wind. In the summer months the weather becomes very hot due to southern winds from the Philippines.

By the end of June the monsoon season begins which means large amounts of rain. At this time, temperatures are mostly above 30 degrees and the air-humidity is up to 95%.

Fall is widely acknowledged as the most beautiful season in Korea and starts in the middle of September. The days are still sunny but the temperature and the air-humidity decrease to a tolerable level.

The winter starts in December and is mostly cold and dry with infrequent snowfall.

Waves

Surfers looking for the perfect wave should not travel to South Korea. In theory, it is possible to surf on the east and west coasts of the country, but the conditions are not ideal. Even when mighty typhoons hit Korea, good waves are not a guarantee and many surf spots are located far away from big cities.

The best conditions can be found on Jungmun, the most southern island of Korea. However, an increase in the local population makes finding a relaxed surfing environment difficult.

The water temperatures are especially inviting in the summer months and range from 18-21 degrees. During winter, temperatures are lower and can drop to 14 degrees.

Best season for beginner: March – June

Best season for advanced surfer: August – February

Travel information

Scheduled flights go regularly from all major airports to Incheon International Airport (ICN). This new airport replaced the Gimbo Airport as the hub for international flights.

The domestic air travel network is also well developed and guarantees connections to all parts of the country thanks to several small regional airports. South Korea can also be reached by ferry.

The country’s six biggest cities have well-developed public transportation options including an underground system, bus networks and high-speed trains. Travelling throughout South Korea is easy and efficient.