About Da Nang

Anyone who's seen the movie Apocalypse Now, will already know that there is surf in Vietnam. Although the surfing scenes were shot in the Philippines, the reality is that US soldiers have surfed China Beach probably since the '60s. Da Nang was the home to 20% of all US servicemen based in Vietnam; it was an R&R destination for American soldiers during the war and it eventually fell to the North Vietnamese in 1975 with hardly a bullet fired. US soldiers were definitely surfing Da Nang beaches on Sept 13th, 1970 when Private Wyatt Miller drowned while boardriding, which was probably the consequence of typhoon waves. Then, China Beach hosted Vietnam's first (and last) International Surfing Competition in 1992. While competitors from all over the world were competing, kids were taught to surf and 15 boards were left behind to create the Da Nang surf club. When The Endless Summer film crew visited Da Nang in July 2002, the club was still there but there were only 6 boards among 20 members. Now, nothing is left and it would be easy to blame poverty and board availability, but the main problem is that South China Sea surf only breaks four months of the year and when it does, it's not very good.

Pros

  • Reliable seasonal windswell

  • Soft, empty beachbreaks

  • Discovery potential

  • Exotic, warm and friendly

  • Cultural smorgasbord

Cons

  • Small disorganised waves

  • No known reefbreaks

  • Short surf season

  • Expensive visa and flights

  • Heavy rain and humidity

Surf Spots