Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Surfing? In Malaysia?

One of the finalists in action

“Surfing? Is there such a thing in Malaysia?” was the quick response from a friend when I told him what I was doing in Kuala Terengganu recently. I was there on the invitation of Tourism Malaysia Terengganu (thanks guys!) together with a few travel media friends. One of the highlights of the programme was the Rip Curl Pro Terengganu 2012 held at Pantai Batu Burok, a 6 star Asian Surfing Championships event that commenced from November 30 till December 2 2012.

Colourful skateboards lined up at one of the contestants' tents

With big prize money and valuable ASC championship points on offer, the Rip Curl Pro Terengganu has drawn the Asian region’s best professional surfers from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, and the Maldives, as well as surfers from Japan, Singapore, and France. In case you are still wondering, yes, there are professional surfers from Malaysia and for them, there was a special award for “Best Malaysian Surfer”.

Jonni, our surf instructor with a bunch of hopefuls like me.

Excitement was in the air throughout the 3 day event with booths set up selling surf merchandise, game stations, demos on surfboard making and surfboard art by Laura, the surfboard artist from Germany. Also open for the visitors are a skateboard ramp by Carver. I was told that being a good skateboarder does help you to become good at surfing.  

The locals add up to the excitement by hawking their stuff.

Laura, the lovely surfboard artist.

However, the greatest attraction on the sideline of the event was the Surf Clinic by Rip Curl School of Surf conducted by Jonni. I was thrilled as I couldn’t imagine myself surfing. The feeling was just ….out of this world! Here are tips for beginners that I picked up from Jonni. When you are learning, you need to start on a surfboard that has some width and thickness to it, yes a long board. How long depends on a how big you are, the bigger the person the bigger the board should be. If you do not want to be a longboarder that’s okay, but you will get a lot better faster if you use the long board. A longer board will help you to get the basics down. From there you can scale down in size as you progress, think of it in steps. A short board is super wobbly and unstable for beginners. Start on a bigger board and it will help you progress faster, ride more waves, ride the waves you do catch further, and have more fun!

One of the local contestants from Terengganu

For those of you travellers who plan to seek fun surfing in Malaysia, well, you know where to find them. The best time, however, is during the monsoon season between November to March. As for me, I am heading to the nearest mall selling a good skateboard (before investing in a proper surfboard), preparing myself for the next surf event!

The Rip Curl Pro Terengganu 2012 is sponsored and supported by the State Government of Terengganu, Rip Curl Malaysia, EC Extreme, the Ministry of Tourism Terengganu Office, and Tourism Malaysia. Co-sponsored by Fanta, Nestle Drumstick and Sunplay with Suria FM as media partner.

For more information about the Rip Curl Pro Terengganu, please contact:

Rip Curl Malaysia
Queenie Chia
Office Tel: 03-7880 3821
Mobile:  +60162077071

Tourism Malaysia Terengganu
11, Ground & First Floor,
Pusat Niaga Paya Keladi,
Jalan Kampung Daik,
20000 Kuala Terengganu,
Terengganu, MALAYSIA.
Tel: +609-630 9433/9093
Fax: +609-630 9091


  1. Wow! Is the wave ok? I only know about Cherating. Is it as good/better? How do I contact u? Steve Murray. NSW Australia.

    1. Unfortunately the wave was not ok during the event but I heard its about 1-1.5m now. It can go up to to 2m at times. Please do not hesitate to send emails to me at: look forward to your mail?

  2. Plan to go surfing there before Christmas next year. Any suggestion on accommodation nearby?

    1. There are lots of accommodations here, from 5 star hotels/resorts to budget chalets and homestays. Pls contact me at if you need any assistance.

  3. Surf spots in Malaysia

    The surf spots in and around Cherating provide different levels of severity which suit beginner, intermediate, advanced and longboard surfers.

    The consistency and perfect sand-bottom point breaks, starting from chest height up to 5 ft, make this experience for all kind of surfers unforgettable. Especially the friendly long point breaks, which can give you a ride up to 500 meters or longer. As the wave conditions are really good, the fact of non-crowded spots and sharing waves in a respectful way between locals and travelling guests, make it a very unique place to visit.

    The coastline up north of Cherating provides several secret spots which are just waiting to be surfed and the locals are willed to share this gift from “mother nature” with other passionate surfers from all over the world.

    The season starts from November until March, whereby we would recommend to the experienced ones the high peak from December until February.

    Or Visit for more surf update in Malaysia

    To be clear you can check the Lonely Planet “Southeast asia-on a shoestring” page 447 (15th edition) ISBN 978-1-74179-233-1 published March2010 or

    Lonely Planet “Malaysia,Singapore and Brunei” page 291 (11th edition) ISBN 978-1-74104-887-2 published Jan2010 (Big credit for Lonely Planet)



Most Popular Article