With 7000 Islands and a longer coastline than the United States, the Philippines have more spots then you could ever actually visit. Being situated in the western Pacific in Asia means that the surf is governed by typhoon swell that rolls down from eastern China. Due to the length of coastline it is one of the very last destinations for surf exploration. With that in mind you should think about preparation. Bring boards, wax, spare leashes, repair kits and anything else you need. Surf shops are few and far between.
Cloud 9: A short but perfect barrelling peak over shallow live coral. Predominantly breaking right, but does break left as well.
Charlie’s Point: Known for being where Apocalypse Now was filmed. Just a short walk from Baler. Sand and gravel based wedgy break.
There are more mellow waves to surf near Cloud 9 so beginner surfers can avoid the heavy reef-breaks.
Where to stay
Sagana Resort: Sitting directly in front of the world class wave Cloud Nine. Sagana Resort offers access to all sorts of waves from total beginners to the seasoned veteran. These traditional bungalows sleep two in the stunning tropical surroundings. Consider going to a surf camp in the Philippines too.
Swell starts to pick up in July and August with offshore winds on the Pacific Coast. Typhoons start to form in the Western Pacific. The rainy season, June to November dominates the west coast of Luzon while the east remains dry and warm.
If you’re looking for big swell coming out of the heavy monsoon season in the Pacific then head out there in September. More reliable than other months. Get over there and prey for typhoons.
The typhoon season slows down around November with little swell arriving on the east coast. At this point of the year it’s time to start looking at the west coast and the South China Sea. There are waves to be had off of Luzon Island and in Palawan.
February sees the northeast monsoon relaxing and the tropical heat sets in from March through until May. Unless you see tropical storms on the charts then don’t expect swell to grow to anything over knee high.
Going on a Philippines surf trip? All breaks, unless other mentioned, are for intermediate and above, but all are surfable by beginners in low season. These are the most popular surf spots but there are hundreds more that can be accessed by boat.
- Cloud 9 – Only just discovered by travelling surfers in the late 1980’s, Cloud 9 has been voted by surfers to be one of the five best waves in the world. It's a powerful right hand wave that breaks straight out of deep water and focuses it's energy straight at the beach. The left is a go-getter too.
- Jacking Horse – Another powerful, hollow coral reef break, mostly right, and also gets 6-10ft.
- Quiksilver – Same as above, left and right.
- Rock Island – Powerful, hollow fast right hand point break, starts working at 3ft and gets up to 12ft.
- Stimpy's – Hollow, fast, fun left hand point break, 6-10ft.
- Aparri – Suitable for Beginners to pros, left and right off the pier, gets 3-6ft.
- San Juan – Powerful, hollow , right hand beach and reef break.
- Bagasbas – gentle beach break, left and right, suitable for beginners.