Surfing in Siargao is one of the best things you can do in the Philippines. Find the best surf spots appropriate for your level, where to join surfing camps, and what you can expect from surfing travel packages.
Siargao is known as the Surfing Capital of the Philippines. This small island in the southern part of the Philippines has been attracting surfers from around the world for years.
The high number of both small and big reef breaks that can be found in the area, including the world-class waves in Cloud 9, have earned the island recognition as one of the best surfing destinations in the world.
If you're planning a surfing trip to Siargao, bookmark this page and take note of all the details you need for the ultimate experience at the Surfing Capital of the Philippines.
Surfing in Siargao can be done year-round, but the most popular surfing spot in the Philippines, Cloud 9, is best visited from September to November; these months provide waves that go as high as 12 feet in some places with others at 8 feet.
Generally, the peak swell season in General Luna (where Cloud 9 is) is from May to November, while it's from November to April in the municipality of Pilar, though expect some heavy rainfall at this time, as well.
Timing is important in surfing. You'll definitely need an eye for where the swells will come from. If you are inexperienced, a guide can help you. There are several surf resorts in Siargao that can help you decide which break to head to when you arrive.
It is possible to surf during the lean months of summer. However, only beginners will enjoy this season because the swells are manageable for learning how to balance and get the timing right.
Intermediate and advanced surfers are better off doing other activities, such as island hopping in Naked, Daku and Guyam Islands, or going to the Sohoton National Park. Another good time to visit Siargao is when there are surfing competitions.
Siargao National Surfing Cup
This competition provides local surfers a venue to showcase their talent and move up the national rankings. 2018's event took place on September 24-27, the next one would probably be on similar dates.
Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup
This event made a comeback in 2018. It has a QS3000 rating which means that the world's best surfers joined to earn points to improve their rankings and get the chance to participate in other competitions around the world. Expect the competition to take place at the same time in the future.
If you're still a beginner, it would be quite an experience to attend a surfing competition attended by competitive surfers.
From Surigao City, you can board a boat or ferry bound for Siargao (Dapa Port). Travel time is 2 hours or more, depending on the type of ferry you choose. Dapa Port is far from General Luna, so make sure to arrange transport beforehand with your resort. There are tricycles there as well.
Make the most of your Siargao surfing experience by riding the waves of different surfing spots depending on your surfing experience.
This spot is around 15-20 minutes from General Luna. Its accessibility makes it another hotspot for both experienced and beginner surfers. You'll easily find surf shops that provide lessons and rent boards here as most who want to learn head here.
If you're a beginner and just learning how to surf, this is an ideal spot. Jacking Horse got its moniker because of the way the waves jack up and down. The waves are manageable for those trying to balance and get their timing right.
Leave Cloud 9 to the pros and advanced surfers until you improve your skills and gain experience here. Go during high tide so that you can ride the waves and feel the adrenaline rush of finally not wiping out after several attempts.
The waves here attract beginners who are learning the ropes of this sport. It's close to Cloud 9 and the best spot for beginners to practice. The waves are more forgiving as it approaches the shore, so you can learn how to balance on your board and get the timing right on when to get up as the waves begin to barrel.
The break increases in difficulty to a more experienced level once monsoon season settles and when you paddle further away from the beach.
If you're a beginner looking for a new challenge, it's time to try an intermediate swell, one of which is Bumee. Don't expect easy riding like the first few times you surfed. You'll do a lot of things on your own here. Stay focused and relax, with the reps and hours you put in before going for this break enables you to find the right timing and balance to successfully surf.
Sometimes also known as Pesangan, this surf spot in General Luna got its name because of its location near a cemetery. The breaks here break in both directions, right and left. Get some reps and experience here before leveling up to the more difficult waves in Siargao.
Daku Island off the coast of General Luna has some breaks for surfers looking for waves to ride. You'll need to be intermediate level to enjoy surfing here as the waves can get strong during peak season. It can be a good intro to reef surfing. To avoid the crowd, go early. It's accessible via a 10-minute boat ride.
When the wind is right, the conditions will create a wave that is both long and fast, which is ideal for adrenaline junkies. The swells are at about 6 feet on average, this is all right for both advanced and intermediate level surfers.
This break takes some time to reach, approximately an hour and a half by boat from General Luna. Those that venture out will enjoy fewer people and good waves to ride. The swells require at least an intermediate skill level and experience. The breaks of the reef come from the left and provide an adrenaline rush once you ride them.
Salvacion is another surfing spot for those with intermediate skills and experience. The swells are strong and barreling for surfers eager to get better quickly.
The ideal time to go to Stimpy's is just around low tide. Get away from the crowds and ride the waves here. The exhilarating feeling you get after is worth the effort.
When you mention surfing in the Philippines, this is what usually comes to mind. Surfers from all over the world go to Cloud 9 to test their skills and push their limits. International surf competitions are often held in Cloud 9, as it is ranked as having one of the top ten waves worldwide.
Cloud 9 is for competitive level enthusiasts. Its excellent right-hand waves are huge and break over shallow reef. The best months to surf Cloud 9 are from September to November. Its popularity has made it a hot spot for beginners to watch the pros, as this is exclusively for advanced surfers.
Advanced surfers will enjoy riding the swells here. You'll find long, hollow left breaks here over a rocky reef, which will challenge you and prepare you for Cloud 9. It's around an hour's motorbike ride from General Luna.
This surfing destination is quite near its more famous counterpart Cloud 9. Its proximity to the latter has attracted crowds recently. The tubing that forms from the break's left side is reminiscent of Cloud 9.
If you're an expert surfer, you can ride the waves here, improve your skill and get ready for an upcoming competition. Intermediate level surfers can find manageable swells a bit further out of Tuason's. Watch out for the rocks as you paddle towards and out of the break. Avoid at low tide as the shallow places can be dangerous.
Surfing in Siargao is a must if you want to try something new or improve at the sport you're passionate about. These are some of the spots where you can try this activity; there are others waiting to be discovered.
If you're new to surfing, or even if you haven't tried it yet, several Siargao resorts offer surf lessons and surf camps ranging from 1 day to 7 or 8 days. Beginner surf camps last a week or so and include all accommodation, airport transfers, transport to surf spots, one to two meals a day, surf rental equipment, and of course, instruction.
So if you’ve never surfed before or still want a bit of a helping hand from an instructor tackling your first reef breaks, this is a great option. Some resorts that offer this in General Luna include Buddha's Surf Resort and Viento del Mar.
Another surf camp is geared for intermediate to advanced surfers who want to be guided to the best breaks in Siargao. Everything might be included, e.g., airport transfers, transport to surf spots, expert local guide, and surf equipment rental.
It is also possible to get one-off surf lessons without having to book a surf-and-stay package. Private lessons include a one-on-one tutorial, use of the board, and transport to the surf spot.
While some surfers travel with their surfboards, it can be impractical if Siargao is not your only destination. A better option is to just rent a surfboard from the many schools and shops in Siargao. It's cheaper if you rent it for a longer time, so just ask around.
As the surf breaks are on different parts of the island, it's easier to move around by motorbike. Don't forget to get one with a board rack. Some spots are too far away to paddle to, so you might need a boat, too. Look for a boatman to take you.
Start planning your Siargao surfing trip! If you want a hassle-free travel experience of Siargao Island, check out the best resorts in Siargao and look into Siargao tours and activities that you can add to your itinerary.