Translations available

South Korea - Confronting the Kimchi on Jeju Island

The surfEXPLORE team imbibe health elixirs, kimchi, and suspicious beer in preparation for a massive typhoon swell closing in on Jeju island in South Korea.

South Korea is a future-facing, happening nation. The Winter Olympics were held at Pyeongchang in 2018 and the Tate Modern has just announced it’s largest ever sponsorship deal with South Korean car giant Hyundai.

The car firm has also given the Tate Modern the money to buy nine works by one of Asia’s most significant artists of recent years, the South Korean video artist Nam June Paik, who died in 2006. A new wave of South Korean artists are surely on the horizon, and some of them might be surfers. Watch this space.

South Korea is a dazzling example of the exceptional economic achievements of Asia’s Pacific Rim, but a place still more associated with Samsung and taekwondo than waves and reef breaks. The North of the peninsula is frozen in the totalitarian straight jacket of Cold War 1980, but south of the capitalist South in the East China Sea, is a potential Korean surfer’s paradise: Jeju island.

Advertised to Korean tourists as ‘Enchanting Jeju’ and ‘Honeymoon Island’, Jeju is located 33 degrees north, fifty miles from the mainland. Jungmon beach on the south facing coast has excellent exposure to hot-water typhoon swells between August and October. We took note, and a surfexplore trip was planned with John Seaton Callahan, Emi Cataldi, Randy Rarick and George Fujisawa from Japan.

Get free access to
all stories.

Enter your email address,
and get an instant sign-in link.

Already have an account? Sign in

Essential cookies only.

We only use cookies that are necessary for signing in and hiding this notification. Nothing more. We do not track you using cookies.