Where to surf in South Korea?
When you think of South Korea, you don’t necessarily imagine waves, nice beaches, and surfing. However, you will be quite surprised. This is at least what we discovered when we moved to South Korea. So, where to surf in South Korea?
Folks, let us tell you that there are excellent waves in South Korea! Here is a list of what we believe are the 10 best surfing spots in South Korea.
Although surrounded by the sea, it is not really known that South Korea can get some pretty good waves. There are more and more surf schools opening along the East Coast of South Korea. Over the last few years surf has become more and more popular among South Korea. Winter is the best month to get big waves, but OMG it’s freezing! So be prepared.
You don’t believe it? well check out this beautiful video which will make you wanna come to Korea and surf in the Winter.
Winter has the best waves, but Spring and Autumn are also pretty good seasons for surfing on the East Coast. From Yangyang in the east near Gangneung, to Busan in the South, Mallipo in the West (in Taean region) and Jugmun on Jeju Island, those are all great spots to have fun in the water with decent waves.
Also check out the list of 25 best beaches in South Korea if you need some refreshments in Korea.
1. Jukdo Beach on the East Coast
Jukdo Beach boasts a dense pine forest and 2km of clean white sand. It is perfect for surfing because of the shallow water and high waves. Waves can go as high as 3m depending on the wind direction. From November to March the wind blow offshore so you will get the best quality waves. Spring and Autumn are also good seasons, better for longboard and more mellow waves.
Jukdo is our favorite place to surf in South Korea. The area has a good vibe, spending a day there is always good fun. In last few years Jukdo has become the meccah of surfing in Korea, with many shops opening around the beach. It is probably the most popular surfing spot in South Korea.
More info about Jukdo and Yangyang here.
SURF RENTAL: To rent a board or get a surf lesson, check out Surf Ocean Jukdo. The shop is right in front of the beach, and the owner speaks perfect English. The quality of the equipment is top notch, and prices are affordable. Instagram: here
ACCOMMODATION: We recommend to stay in a home vacation called “Cat on a thin roof” it’s close to Jukdo Beach, and has many restaurants and cafes around. The house is also very modern and can accommodate up to 6 person. You can book here.
TIME FROM SEOUL: 3h drive. You can also take the train directly to Yangyang, which makes it a great weekend gateway from Seoul.
THINGS TO DO AROUND JUKDO: Jukdo is located on the east coast of Korea, near Yangyang and Gangneung. The east coast is one of our favorite area in Korea. We wrote a full post here, about the great things to do around Gangneung.
2. Surfyy Beach on the East Coast
A little north from Jukdo Beach, you will probably find what is the trendiest surf spot in South Korea. Surfyy beach is the only beach fully dedicated to surfing and chilling on the beach. It attracts a lot of hipsters every year.
Surfyy can also get pretty good waves if the right conditions are here. The good thing about Surfyy beach is that even if there isn’t any wave, you can still have fun with the pretty cool bar and lounge area on the beach. They even do yoga classes on the beach if you are up for it. If you still want to hit the water, you can also rent SUP. So fun is pretty much guaranteed at Surfyy Beach. More info on Yangyang here.
You can book your surf lesson here to get a discount.
SURF RENTAL: there are rental shops right at the beach. You don’t need to worry about board or wetsuit rentals, everything is well planned at Surfyy Beach.
ACCOMMODATION: the closest hotel is Zio resort, which makes it a pleasant stay overall. You can actually book here.
TIME FROM SEOUL: 3h drive, or take the direct train to Yangyang.
THINGS TO DO IN YANGYANG: The east coast is one of our favorite part of South Korea. We wrote a full post here, about the best things to do in this area.
3. Jungmun Beach on Jeju Island
Jungmun Beach, located on Jeju Island, is a surfer’s paradise. We went there in late summer and the waves were surprisingly pumping. We had so much fun in the water. Good waves, good people, amazing scenery. Jungmun is definitely on the top of our list of best places to surf in South Korea.
Since 2003, Jungmun Beach has become quite legendary for Korean, as it hold every year the Jeju Jungmun Beach International Surfing Contest. Usually held on the third weekend of June. The competition attracts surfers from around the world, as well as various events such as barbecue parties. Jungmun beach is a perfect spot for surfers!
Before walking down to the beach, you will see a very cool bar on your left, called The Cliff. It’s definitely one of the best spot on Jeju !
SURF RENTAL: To rent a board, just head to the beach and many people simply rent out their boards from the beach directly. There is no proper surf shop there. However, it is still very easy to rent a surfboard.
ACCOMMODATION: The Seaes Hotel and Resort is particularly close to Jungmun Beach and really beautiful. You can even get your own villa. You can book here. However, it is not the most affordable option. 15min walk to the beach, you can also stay at Dam n Roo
TIME FROM SEOUL: 1h flight to reach Jeju. Then you will need to rent a car or take a bus to reach the city of Seogwipo. To find out the cheapest rate for your flight, click here.
THINGS TO DO IN JEJU: Jeju is beautiful island, often nicknamed the “Hawaii” of Asia. We wrote a full post about Jeju here.
4. Woljeongri Beach in Jeju
Woljeongri is simply our favorite place in Jeju, our #1 beach to go to besides Hamdeok Beach. We went to Jeju many times and visited many things on the island (more info here), but to this day, Woljeongri is still our top spot in Jeju.
Why? Well, just imagine emerald water, white sandy beach, gorgeous cafes facing the sea, super cute restaurants, a traditional village, surfers everywhere and very friendly locals. Exactly what we like. Not to mention that Woljeongri Beach is one of the best spot for surfing in Jeju.
If you are visiting Jeju, make sure to stop at Woljeongri Beach. We wrote a full post here, check it out.
SURF RENTAL: To rent a board, there are many rental shops right by the beach. They also offer private or group lessons.
ACCOMMODATION: we recommend a stay to the Lunamar Pension for a modern vibe. The hotel is located near the sea and has a swimming pool. We love this place in Woljeongri. Book here.
TIME FROM SEOUL: 1h flight to reach Jeju. Then you will need to rent a car or take a bus to reach Woljeongri. To check out the cheapest rate for your flights, click here.
THINGS TO DO IN JEJU: Jeju is agre at island, often nicknamed the “Hawaii” of Asia. We wrote a full post about Jeju here with the most amazing things to do.
5. Gwakji Beach in Jeju
If the conditions are ideal, Gwakji can have pretty good waves. We had some very fun surf sessions at Gwakji Beach with our longboards. The beach is also very nice with white fine sand and very clear water. Gwakji is one of our favorite beach in Jeju (full list here), and not only for surfing. The beach vibe is very nice there. There are also a few cafes and restaurants which make it a pleasant place to stay if you visit Jeju.
However due to the proximity to Jeju City, this beach can get a bit more crowded than other beaches in Jeju.
SURF RENTAL: check out BeachSurf Camp near the beach to rent your gear (website here). To book your lesson online, you can also do so here.
ACCOMMODATION: Many vacationers on this beach are staying in Jeju City the main city on the island. If you want to stay right on the shore, then 200 meters from it is Marevo Beach Hotel. This great hotel is directly facing the beautiful sea of Jeju in a quiet area. The hotel is fairly new with modern rooms. You can book here.
6. Goheung Namyeol Beach in the South
Goheung Beach is located in the warm South side. Here, you can enjoy surfing all seasons. It is also a great spot to admire the beautiful sunrise. The best conditions are usually between May and October with a southeast wind creating medium sized wave. Also, there is no island blocking the beach, so you can experience the best waves from the Pacific.
SURF RENTAL: check out Nangman Surf House (website here, instagram here) to take lessons, rent surfboards and wetsuits (30,000 won for board, 10,000 won for suit)
ACCOMMODATION: Namgman Surf House offers great and simple accommodation right by the beach. You can check out their website for more information here.
- Caravan: 120,000 won during off-season, 150,000 won on weekends and holidays | Peak season (July to August) 170,000 won
- Campground: 20,000 won
- Pension One Room: Off-season 60,000 won on weekdays, 80,000 won on weekends and holidays | Peak season (July to August) 120,000 won
Phone: 061-835-3625, 010-3030-3625, KakaoTalk ID: nangmansurf
TIME FROM SEOUL: 5h drive.
7. Songjeong Beach in Busan
Songjeong is a great place for surfing enthusiasts. Located in Busan, this beach is much quieter than its sister Haeungdae. In Songjeong, you can surf whole year round. During south swell in spring and summer, it’s perfect for longboard because of the large and soft waves. In the winter, get your shortboards out to enjoy the northeast swell, with more powerful waves. In addition, the shallow water and the warm temperature make it the perfect surfing spot for beginners.
SURF RENTAL: check out Surfholic, they offer surf lessons, and surfboards rental at good price. They also have an English website, you can check it out here. Address: 1F, Angelinus, 711-5, Songjeong-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan (50, Songjeong Haebyeon-ro)
ACCOMMODATION: Hotel Laon is perfectly located with a magnificent Ocean view. If you stay in Songjeong, we highly recommend this place. You can book here.
TIME FROM SEOUL: 4.5h drive.
Busan is a great city with lots of things to see. Check out our full post here.
8. Mallipo Beach on the West Coast
Mallipo beach is a surf paradise. Imagine beautiful blue sea, amazing sunset, and great waves. This is Mallipo Beach, also called “Malifornia” because of its similarities to Califronia. It’s ideal for beginners because of the sandy bottom and good quality waves. It is also relatively close to Seoul, which makes it a great weekend gateway from the city.
Mallipo is located in Taean which is one of our favorite place in South Korea. Check out our post about Taean here.
SURF RENTAL: check out MLP Surf ( here)
Address: 172 Manripo 2-gil, Sowon-myeon, Taean-gun, Chungcheongnam-do
ACCOMMODATION: Hotel Mallipo is nicely located, walking distance to the beach. It’s the ideal location for a nice stay near the one of the best surfing spot in South Korea.
TIME FROM SEOUL: 2.5h drive.
9. Wavepark in Incheon
And here is the latest addition. In 2020, Korea opened a wave pool, using the latest technology. We were amongst the first one trying the waves. And oh man ! It felt amazing. Very modern facilities, 2 big pool for regular and goofy, and decent price. Wavepark is opened all year round. Time to buy your thick wetsuit and enjoy great surfing all year round right next to Seoul (did we mention that they warm up to pool in winter?!)
10. Daejin Surfing Beach
Daejin surfing beach (대진해수욕장) is our latest discovery.
Daejin is located on the east coast, south of Gangneung. To be honest, this spot is really gorgeous and the waves pretty good, even during summer. The water is clear and clean. The beach is surrounded by a beautiful pine forest. The beach is 8 kilometers long and 100 meters wide.
In the background you can admire the beautiful mountain range, and the perfect sunset. What a sight!
SURF RENTAL: check out Lalasurf ( here). They also have the perfect view to enjoy a cup of coffee and watch the surfers.
ACCOMMODATION: Donghae Eodaleul Damda is the pefect spot at Daejin Beach. The laidback hotel is directly facing the sea. The rooms are modern and very clean. Make sure to reserve a bbq on the rooftop. With the sound of the waves right in front of the hotel, the atmosphere is just outstanding. Book here.
TIME FROM SEOUL: 3h drive.
Surfing in Korea was quite frankly a great experience. We had no expectation at all, but was pleasantly surprised by the great facilities, nice beaches, good waves and cool vibe overall. We had amazing surf sessions at Jukdo Beach in Yangyang and Jungmun Beach in Jeju.
A friend of us, also recommended to download the application BANANA X on your phone. This app is actually super awesome, as they have a live webcam for all the surf spots in Korea. You can download it on the App Store here, and Google Play here A must have app in Korea if like us you are a surfer!
If you never tried surfing, it is also a fantastic place to learn. You can get surf lessons pretty much everywhere. Or just try it out by yourself in the white and shallow waters.
We hope you that you enjoyed our list of best surf spots in Korea. If you have other recommendations on where to surf in South Korea, feel free to leave a comment below.
If you are the adventurous type , check our our post about the best adventures near Seoul here.
25 BEST BEACHES IN SOUTH KOREA: here
10 BEST BEACHES IN JEJU: here
HAEUNDAE: the most famous beach in South Korea: here
TAEAN: amazing national park on the west coast of Korea: here
NAMHAE: the hidden gem of South Korea on the south coast: here
JEJU: All you need to know before you go to Jeju: here
ADVENTURES: top adventures within 1h from Seoul: here