May Days


Historically, May and June on Taiwan’s east coast just aren’t our best months for waves. The consistent winter monsoon season has ended, and the inconsistent (sometimes you score, sometimes you don’t) typhoon season is yet to begin. Most people bust out their longboards, dust off their skateboards and make sure the freediving gear is serviced and in working order. Others learn to sail, work on the house, and take care of neglected business. May and June is when you fly to Indo or South Africa to score the southern hemisphere winter swells, or if you don’t have the budget, just wait it out. Learn to play the guitar. Pick up a yoga class. Go fishing.

But this May we were blessed with a week of pumping surf as an early season tropical storm born out of a low pressure spun around in the Western Pacific. It never really morphed into a typhoon, and it never came anywhere near us. It just hovered around like a top, keeping a nice and safe but productive distance. It grew just large enough to send us some quality surf. For a magical week in the middle of May, it pumped every day during this period.

You would expect a crowd on days like this, but none came. Maybe it was too strong for most of the spots, maybe out-of-towners, cynical about pumping waves in May, just brushed it off and stayed home in the cities. Maybe they all surfed in Jinzun. For us lucky few who scored, it was a week to remember.

Photo cred: Gywn Pole