Surfing in Siargao
Siargao is home to the best surfing in the Philippines. Surfers have been making the pilgrimage to Siargao for decades to test their skill at Cloud 9, which is ranked as one of the top 10 waves in the world. What lots of travelers don’t know is that there are many high quality Siargao surf breaks — you just have to know here to find them. Siargao has 27 km of coastline that’s exposed to swell. Keen to make the most of your time surfing in Siargao? Welcome to our Siargao Surf Guide…
Surf Breaks of Siargao
Let’s take a look at some of the best surf spots in Siargao:
Cloud 9 – the surf break that put Siargao on the map. It’s a perfect tubing right-hand reef break that is currently ranked 8th best wave in the world. Cloud 9’s prime months are September through November. Cloud 9 is steep, fast, heavy, and breaks over a shallow reef. The wave is still sizable during the winter months, but can get a bit blown out. Cloud 9 is a swell magnet and often still breaks during the summer off-season at a manageable size for advanced-beginner or intermediate surfers. Expect a short paddle out, crowds, some localism, and one of the best rides of your life.
Tuason’s Point – a point break that’s a short distance from Cloud 9. Relatively unknown until a few years ago, it can pull a big crowd these days. This consistent left hand tubing wave is arguably just as good and slightly heavier than Cloud 9. There are multiple breaks a little farther from the point that are smaller and better for intermediate surfers. Tuason is only beginner friendly during very small days because it is a fast wave that breaks over shallow reef. Paddling out is quick and easy, but beware of sharp rocks when entering and exiting the water.
Stimpy’s – another “experts only” surf spot, and this one is accessible by boat only. The wave take the form of a flawless tubing that hits shallow water.
Caridad – when in season, Caridad’s got some nice barrels that break on the left. Visit this surf spot during the east and north east swells, when the conditions are ideal.
Cemetery – this one got its name from being right in front of the General Luna Cemetery. The waves here break both left and right.
Pilar – This place is about a 1.5 hour boat ride from General Luna. It’s not always crowded, and is home to two exciting left reef breaks. The place is at its best during the North East swells.
Jacking Horse – The spot got its name from the wave that jacks at the peak, smashing into the reef. The place is best surfed between mid to high tide.
Daku Island – Getting to this island means taking a five minute boat ride from General Luna. Here you’ll get to choose from the many breaks. You won’t usually have to compete with other surfers as you would on the beaches as well.
There are many more Siargao surf spots, many of which are yet to be discovered. Siargao, after all, is not named the surfing capital of the Philippines for nothing.
Best time to surf Siargao
Surfers, of course, have one thing in mind when going to Siargao, and when it comes to catching the best waves, timing is everything. Most guides suggest that surfers should visit the town of General Luna during the southwest monsoon, while Pilar is the best place to be during the northeast monsoon.
The short explanation is that surfers will want to enjoy Siargao surf anytime between July and December. This is the time when the swell will be at its prime, which will peak come September and October, with an average of 15-20 swells for every season. In a season, there will be some good days of east to northeast swells that go as high as 8 feet (although they sometimes go up to and beyond 12 feet).
Between July and October, the southwest monsoon will keep the swells offshore, and this is thought to be the time of the year when the surfing conditions are cleanest. The swells turn onshore as they peak on December to January, with the winds to the northeast. On the other hand, there will almost be little to no swells between May and June, when the wind goes from east to southeast. Siargao surf breaks during this time are better off when it’s mid to high tide.