Asia,  Sabah


What’s not to love about Sabah? Despite being a tiny dot on earth’s map, this Land Below the Wind has attracted people from all over the world for many years because of its beauty. Be it to climb Mount Kinabalu, dive the underwater world of Sipadan, jungle trekking at Maliau Basin, or see wildlife in Kinabatangan River, it is a great travel destination where visitors are treated to a variety of fascinating activities. And now, we are here to tell you that everyone can look forward to something different to do in Sabah, a new kind of event. Get your sea essentials ready, and your beach gear on – it’s time to surf!

It might come as a surprise to some, but yes, surfing indeed exists in Sabah. In fact, the sport is slowly growing among local Sabahans, as well as gaining more and more interest from the public every day. A dedicated group of people, the Sabah Surfing Association, has been organizing surf clinics, surf day out, surf competitions and surf festivals for the past three years to create awareness about the sport. The events were held at places where you can actually surf. That are many locations to surf in Sabah unbeknownst to you and me – particularly, in the charming town of Kudat.

When you mention Kudat, Tanjung Simpang Mengayau or the Tip of Borneo immediately comes to our minds. It is what the town is infamously known for, a spectacular attraction to travelers. The white sandy beaches, pristine waters in aquamarine, and panoramic views of the sea are a magnificent sight at Tanjung Simpang Mengayau. But if you look closer at the waves, you will see magic.

Surfing becomes alive here as local Rungus boys from Kudat, along with local Sabahans ride the waves spiritedly and unwaveringly. Controlling their surfboards with effortless ease, they never seem to tire from getting back up each time to surf again. The Tip of Borneo is their playground, and all is welcome to join in on the fun!

According to Sabah Surfing Association, Kudat’s waves is at par with Bali surfing – and that’s amazing because Bali is one of the best surfing spot in the world. The type of waves you can ride here in Kudat are beach breaks and reef breaks. The beach break is where the waves break on the sandy seabed, the best to start surfing on. The reef break is a wave that breaks over a coral reef or a rock seabed, the classic ones that you can see on the surfing videos. Beginners or intermediate, all surfers are able to have an enjoyable experience here.

Kudat may be the same as Bali, but there is one thing about it that set itself apart and make surfing a big difference. The beaches are secluded, private and untouched. It is not crowded. You might wonder why that is an advantage? For surfers, that is what they crave, what they live for! That’s why they keep looking for new places to surf. When it is not crowded, there is more freedom for you to ride the waves, having it all to yourself and own it uninterrupted. For them, it’s everything!

For the year 2017, exciting plans are in the making for surfing in Kudat. A highly anticipated surf festival will be held, aiming to turn it into a surf capital in Asia. It will be one of Sabah’s main event, in hopes it will leave a big impact on the tourism industry and bring both participants along with an audience locally and internationally towards this sport. So watch out for the event, and get ready for surfing to take off in a huge way at the Tip of Borneo, Kudat!

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