1 of 15
"I was expecting waist to chest high, fun ripable waves," Says Taylor Jensen, "like a Bali beachbreak was what I was thinking. But I definitely didn't expect to show up and get solid standup barrels - it was a good surprise. "The culture I found interesting, the best way I can describe it as Japan meets Mexico, I mean the writing makes no sense whatsoever but the waves were warm, good and uncrowded. All the temples were rad too, it was cool to check those out, as well as driving quads, shooting shotguns, doing some sightseeing stuff - it was an awesome trip, never a dull moment."© 2014 Moonwalkerphotos/SurfTaiwan.com
Taiwan possesses two distinct seasons -- winter, October to March where storms off Japan provide swell linked with systems ridging across China to deliver swell to the east coast (the same storms that push west swells to Hawaii) and summer, (April to September) when typhoons (averaging 19 per season) and intense low pressure swells roll to the lower east and the south coasts.© 2014 Moonwalkerphotos/SurfTaiwan.com
From monks in caves to binlang (or betel, Taiwain's second largest agricultural commodity) chewing grandpa's and skateboard stoked groms there are interesting locals and locales within betel-nut hucking distance at every turn. A travel story may seem a little mundane without rebel insurrections and life threatening injuries it's nice to know some places on the planet can offer fun surf in a safe, but very interesting, environment.© 2014 Moonwalkerphotos/SurfTaiwan.com
"I expected Taiwan to be tropical with a few waves, the reality was piping rights, draining beachbreaks and point waves says Darren Eudaly. At least I got the tropical bit right. "The place is gorgeous. The people are really nice and the warm climate and tropical water are ridiculously good. The waves were pretty fast, not really any burgers, I was stoked on that, plus there were waves on every coast, east, south and west - we surfed somewhere different almost everyday."© 2014 Moonwalkerphotos/SurfTaiwan.com
"I found the cultural shift just plain weird - people burning pots of money, the fake paper money they offer to the gods, I really didn't expect that, but it was cool to see. Similar I thought to the offerings the Balinese make every morning. "In Taiwan burning incense, praying to the gods and burning money is their way of linking themselves to that higher power. A bit of a culture shock, you definitely won't find me burning any money in front of my house." Then again, with the way the American dollar is plummeting in value, he won't have to.© 2014 Moonwalkerphotos/SurfTaiwan.com
Wingnut's take on Taiwan well was, "The East Coast has some amazing surf setups... cobblestone points and rivermouths offering endless varieties of surf plus the warm water makes it all good!"© 2014 Moonwalkerphotos/SurfTaiwan.com
Marks out of 10 for fun?© 2014 Moonwalkerphotos/SurfTaiwan.com
A global traveler at large, Holly Beck is always on a roll having left the contest scene behind - there're not many places she hasn't seen.© 2014 Moonwalkerphotos/SurfTaiwan.com
Among the rice paddies and fish farms hugging the coast are small towns and communities with the people doing what most small towns all over Asia seem to do; either working flat out at 110 miles an hour; delivering things, collecting scrap metal, working in the paddies knee deep in mud or inversely, kicking back in the shade and doing sweet FA.© 2014 Moonwalkerphotos/SurfTaiwan.com
There's no sexism when it comes to rural work, the load is spread pretty evenly. Another thing both sexes have in common is beetlenut chewing. You can be young and zipping through town on a scooter at warp speed, an oldie being overtaken by a cripple snail while in a motorized wheelchair, or someone tilling a field - at some point during the day it's highly likely for any of these folks that a beetlenut or ten (aka Binlang) will be masticated to within an inch of it's bright red, fibrous life.© 2014 Moonwalkerphotos/SurfTaiwan.com
As surfers most of us live to surf and to some degree at least if you scratch the salt encrusted skin of a surfer - even one in a suit - the stoke is there. If you love to explore the world, Taiwan is indeed a tantalizing option.© 2014 Moonwalkerphotos/SurfTaiwan.com
As I'm pretty biased I think the last words are best left to Worldprosurfers.com editor Jimmy O'Keefe... "I spent a month in Taiwan and it didn't get under 4'. Every morning was Groundhog Day. Please Lord, not again, not another day of surfing a different un-crowded point, reef or beachbreak. Not another day of eating sashimi fresh off a fishing boat for $4.00 a plate, not another freakin' day of sitting under palm trees - in hysterics at how bizarrely incredible this place is, not another day of meeting the friendliest locals this side of Fiji. I am still traumatized by the experience. I thoroughly recommend you don't go, you'll never be able to adjust to the misery of Western life ever again."© 2014 Moonwalkerphotos/SurfTaiwan.com
An Australian clean-sweep in the RedBull Cape fear Challenge
Francisco Alves finds more than his fair share of waves in the Mentawai islands.
How do Kolohe Andino and Carissa Moore prepare for the highest-performance in surfing?