Watersports in South Korea

Information on the facilities available for windsurfing, surfing, kitesurfing, diving, canoeing, kayaking and rafting in South Korea...

South Korea is a coastal nation and offers plenty of opportunities for watersports.

Windsurfing and Surfing

Windsurfing is a popular and well-established sport in South Korea. The country hosts an event in the professional windsurfing circuit. Ulsan, a city in the south-east of the country, is a major windsurfing destination and JinHa, a quiet town half an hour from the city, is home to one of the best surfing beaches in South Korea. Jeju Island is also popular and has many windsurfing beaches with good waves and plenty of remote spots. In Seoul, it is possible to windsurf on the Han River.

The Korean Windsurfing Association is the national body for the sport. They offer lessons at locations around the country. The association has a website although there is little information available in English.

There are also regional windsurfing associations around the country which offer lessons and run clubs. Kitesurfing is popular in South Korea and is practised at many of the same beaches around the country as windsurfing.

Surfing is a growing sport in South Korea. Although the country lacks reliably good conditions, there are locations where excellent waves can be found. Jeju and Pusan are good choices.


Jeju Island is a popular location with divers in South Korea. The subtropical waters are home to many interesting fish and there are soft corals to be seen on the walls of the area's many small volcanic islands. Seogwipo is another good diving spot where there are large kelp forests, dolphins, lots of fish and beautifully-coloured soft corals. A particular feature of diving in the region is the unusual mix of tropical and temperate fish species. There is an international diving school on Jeju Island which offers lessons and tours for people of all levels.

  • To find out more about diving in the region and about lessons: Click here

There is also an English-speaking dive school in Seoul which caters for foreigners living in the country. They offer courses for everyone from complete beginners to those who want to make a career out of diving.

Canoeing, Kayaking and Rafting

Inje in Gangwon-do is the most popular location in South Korea for canoeing, kayaking and rafting. The Naerincheon Stream has many rapids and is set in beautiful mountain scenery. There is a canoe school in Inje which runs courses in English, and the town also hosts festivals which attract many top level kayakers.

  • To find out more about paddling sports: Click here