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Everything You Need to Know about Siargao Surfing

siargao surfing tubing

I’m not a surfer. I tried it. I’m not built for it. It requires patience that my mind fails to develop. I did not and most likely do not see the pleasure of paddling towards the waves for 15 minutes only to ride the wave for 5 seconds. Pro surfers will definitely disagree with me. The way I see it, those who are so into it have found their flow state, that amazing mental state in which a person performing some activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. I already have gardening, reading, and writing. I do not need surfing, but it is lovely to experience it. So here it is, everything you need to know about Siargao surfing, everything you need to know about surfing in Siargao.

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Siargao surfing scene drone view

Types of waves and when to surf them

When it comes to waves, surfers have a lot to choose from. There are big waves and small waves, steep waves and mellow waves. But what really matters is the type of wave. Here are four of the most popular types of waves, and when to surf them:

1. The Point Break. This type of wave is typically found near headlands, where the water is deep, and the wave breaks over a shallow reef or sandbar. Point breaks can be both fast and powerful, making them ideal for experienced surfers. However, beginners should be cautious, as the strong currents can make it difficult to get back to shore. 

2. The Beach Break. Unlike point breaks, beach breaks occur near the shore, where the water is shallower and the wave breaks over a sandbar. Beach breaks tend to be more forgiving than point breaks, making them a good choice for beginners. However, they can also be quite crowded, as they are often located near popular beaches. Jacking Horse, located to the left of Cloud 9’s boardwalk, and where most surfing lessons take place, is an example of a beach break. 

3. The Reef Break. Reef breaks are found in tropical locations, where the water is warm and clear. The wave breaks over a coral reef, making for an extremely challenging (and dangerous) surf spot. Reef breaks are only for experienced surfers who are comfortable in big waves and have a good understanding of tide conditions. Siargao’s famous swells are mostly reef break, Cloud 9’s surfing spot for example.

4. The River Mouth Break. This type of wave occurs where a river meets the ocean; the river mouth acts as a natural funnel, amplifying the size of the wave. River mouth breaks can be fast and powerful, so they are best suited for experienced surfers. Beginners should avoid this type of wave, as the strong currents can make it difficult to get back to shore. Siargao does not have this, Munich, Germany has a famous one. 😉

How to read the surf report

If you’re planning a trip to Siargao, or any other surf destination, one of the most important things you’ll need to know is how to read the surf report. The good news is, it’s not rocket science. In fact, once you know what to look for, it’s actually quite simple. If you are completely oblivious about surfing, reading the waves takes time. Ah yes, it does not happen overnight nor throughout a one-hour surfing lesson. 

Your surf guide will do the surf reading themselves, and all you have to do is to try to balance on the longboard for a second or two. That’s it. Easier said than done. 

But, if you are curious on how to read the surf.

Siargao surfing during sunset

You’ll first want to check the swell height and direction. This will give you an idea of how big the waves will be and which way they’ll be breaking. Swell heights are measured in feet and usually range from 2-10 feet. Anything over 10 feet is considered very large and should be treated with caution.

Next, you’ll want to check the wind speed and direction. This is important because wind can have a big impact on wave quality. If the wind is blowing offshore, the waves will be cleaner and better for surfing. However, if the wind is blowing onshore, the waves will be choppier and harder to ride.

Finally, you’ll want to check the tide information. This is important because the tide can also affect wave quality. If the tide is high, there will be more water on the reef and the waves will be more prominent. However, if the tide is low, there will be less water on the reef and the waves will be smaller.

By considering all of these factors, you’ll be able to read the surf report like a pro and make sure you have a great day out on the waves. 

Surfing Lessons in Siargao and What to Bring for your Siargao Surfing Trip

For Beginners

A rash guard should be perfect. A bikini top is not ideal unless you are alright with your tatas riding the wave too. Speaking from experience here. 😛 I recently read sunscreen is not really good for the corals, even the so-called coral-friendly ones. That one is your call. 

Your Siargao surfing lesson will include your guide and a long surf board. If your guide is single, flirting is free too. 

Book your surfing lesson on Klook

Surfing Spot in the Philippines

For Pros

One of the best things about surfing in Siargao is that you can bring your own board and wetsuit. That way, you don’t have to worry about renting gear or dealing with the crowds at the local surf shop. Of course, there are a few other things you’ll need to bring with you on your trip, including sunscreen, insect repellent, and a first-aid kit. But who are we kidding? Chances are, you won’t bring these. 

And if you’re planning to stay for more than a few days, you’ll also need to pack some clothes and basic toiletries. But as long as you’ve got your surfboard and wetsuit, you’re good to go!

Safety tips for surfing in Siargao

Siargao is one of the most popular surfing destinations in the world, and for good reason. The island is home to some of the biggest and best waves in the Philippines. However, Siargao is also known for its strong currents and rip tides. 

As a result, it’s important to take heed of the following safety tips when surfing in Siargao:

  1. Always check with local surfers for conditions before entering the water.
  2. Stay close to shore and avoid surfing alone.
  3. Be aware of your surroundings and be prepared to swim to safety if necessary.
  4. Always wear a life jacket and surf leash when surfing Siargao’s waves.

By following these simple safety tips, you can enjoy Siargao’s waves without putting yourself at risk.

The best time to surf in Siargao

The best time to surf in Siargao is from October to November. The waves are at their biggest and best during this time, making it the perfect time for experienced surfers to enjoy the challenges of Siargao’s famous waves. The water is also warmest during this time of year, making it ideal for swimming and snorkelling. So if you’re looking for the perfect time to visit Siargao, October to November is the ideal time to go.

Surf culture in Siargao

There’s something about Siargao that just screams “surf culture.” From the many pristine waves that roll onto its shores to the laid-back vibe that can be found throughout the island, it’s no wonder that this small slice of paradise has become a mecca for surfers from all over the world.

siargao surfing tubing

Of course, Siargao isn’t just a surf destination; it’s also a place where you can find some of the best food in the Philippines. From fresh seafood to famous rice dishes, there’s something for everyone to enjoy here. And when you’re not surfing or eating, you can explore the island’s many natural wonders, from jungle trekking to waterfall chasing.

Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or someone who’s just looking for a relaxing vacation, Siargao is sure to deliver. So come on down and see what all the hype is about!

The Best Surfing Spots in Siargao 

We try to arrange the surf spots from the easiest to the hardest.


Guiuan is a small town 15-20 minutes from General Luna with easy accessibility and great waves for all levels of experience. Most beginners head here, as it’s one spot where they can find tutorials or rent boards on site to learn how before heading off into more advanced territory later down the line when their ability increases significantly.

Jacking Horse 

Jacking Horse is an excellent spot for beginners and those trying to learn how to ride a wave. The waves are forgiving, making it easier on your body as you try to get comfortable balancing in the ocean with water up above them! It’s also ideal when there’s high tide so that even though they may be smaller than what most people would prefer-you can still have fun riding them because of their quick rise and fall rate (aka “the jacks”).


Quicksilver is a great spot for beginners who want to learn how it feels like being on the ocean. The waves here are more forgiving as they approach shore, so if you’re just starting out and haven’t yet developed balance or timing skills needed in order to make an exit from your board during these parts of bigger swells when things get tough – this might be where we should practice! Once monsoon approaches though (around September), conditions become much harder than before with outside factors unable help but also affect us back at our home base: wind & current combined together create powerful rip currents which can easily take someone away without warning. So amping!


The waves at Bumee are not for the weak-hearted. If you’re a beginner looking to get into intermediate or even advanced surfing, this break will teach your skills some new tricks! The water here has such strong undertows that it can easily turn even experienced surfers inside out – so make sure before going in how much patience and focus each wave provides because there’s no turning back once those powerful currents take control of us all.


The Cemetery break in General Luna is one of the more difficult waves to master, but it’s worth trying out. The ocean here has two directions that you can take depending on which side draws your attention – right or left for stronger rides! Get some good practice before hitting up the Cemetery where things get wilder with its giants proportions and strong currents.

Daku Reef 

Daku Reef is the perfect spot for experienced surfers looking to ride some waves. It can get busy during peak season so go early if you want peace and quiet! The journey there takes 10 minutes on a boat from General Luna lighthouse or else take public transport which costs less money but may not be as comfortable depending where your destination port will be located within La Paz Bay

Pansukian Reef

The perfect wave for adrenaline junkies, Pansukian Reef is a must see when the wind blows. The conditions create long and fast swells that are ideal for those with more experience as well as intermediates looking to have some fun in shallow water!


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 with good waves for riding; it’s also more intense than other nearby spots because of its proximity (about 3 miles). The swells require at least intermediate skill levels, but novices can still have fun trying their hand on these blue-water giants!


I recommend you go check out Salvacion if your intermediate level is looking for a challenge. The waves are definitely strong, but they’re also barreling, so there’s no room for an error in technique!


This Siargao surfing spot is for advanced surfers with experience and skill. You will need to rent a boat in order to get there, but it’s well worth the trip! The ride takes about 10 minutes so make sure you give yourself enough time before going out on your board or else risk being stranded at sea- no one wants that hassle anyway;)

Cloud 9 Siargao

When the topic of surfing in the Philippines comes up, one name inevitably tops everyone’s list – Cloud 9. The waves here are ranked among some top ten worldwide but what makes them so special? For starters they only happen every nine months when global weather patterns align just right! And if that wasn’t enough incentive for you then there is also an international competition held on this beach every year called “The World Cup.”

Cloud 9 Siargao surfing spot

A lot goes into making a great break; size matters (the biggest ones happen between September & November), depth requirement isn’t as high as you’d think (2ft/0.6m is all that is needed) and of course a good bit of luck with the right swell direction.

Cloud 9 owes its fame to a perfect storm of wave conditions. The reef here is shallow, which means the waves break hard and fast – perfect for experienced surfers looking for a challenge. But don’t let that deter you if you’re a beginner; there are plenty of other spots on the beach that are more forgiving. 


If you’re an advanced surfer, this is the place for you. You’ll find long left breaks over a rocky reef that challenge and prepare surfers like Cloud 9-longboarding down these types of waves can be heavy work! This location one hour by motorbike ride from General Luna; if it’s your first time here, make sure to ask about Safety Reminders before getting into position in front or behind our favorite board because we know how much power has been building lately.

Tuason’s Point 

Siargao has been a popular surf destination since the late ’60s. Located just north of Cloud 9, it’s easy to see why so many people come here- not only because they offer quality waves but also thanks for being close by! 

You can tube across from Tuason’s Point or take off on an advanced ride if you’re feeling confident enough . 

Jona of Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona, originally from Cebu, Philippines, had live in Hanoi, Vietnam, and now currently based in Munich, Germany. This blog used to house thoughts on life and books, but eventually it morphed into a travel blog. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at backpackingwithabook@gmail.com. For essays, creative nonfiction, and others, find me elsewhere.

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  6. surfing nz says:

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