Katanoi Beach, Phuket
Many water sport enthusiasts are drawn to the blue waves off of Thailand’s famous beaches, correctly guessing that its long miles of shoreline offer up more than just the opportunity to work up a truly golden tan under the tropical sun. Although water skiing doesn’t have the popularity of surfing, snorkeling, or diving among Thailand’s beach-goers, there are still plenty of places to take advantage of the warm water and cheap prices. Three of the most well-known are Pattaya, Phuket, and Ko Samui.

Pattaya, o­n the northern side of Thailand’s eastern coast, probably gets more recognition as o­ne of Thailand’s party capitals than for its beaches. Despite that, the beaches are still extremely nice, and due to its popularity the infrastructure is very well developed. That means that almost all of its beaches have jet skis for rental, and most also run water ski operations. Nearby Jomtien beach is also a good place to go.

Thailand’s largest island, Phuket, is also o­ne of its largest tourist destinations. Avoiding all the other people is probably the most difficult thing. Water skiing opportunities abound, and although some companies are a bit dubious, many are very professional. The most developed beach is the irrepressible Patong, but Karon beach also draws the people in.

Bon Island, Phuket
Last and best, there is Ko Samui. An island just off the eastern side of Thailand’s long southern tail, Ko Samui’s beaches and scenery are justly described as some of the most beautiful in the world. Although the favorite water sport here is likely the diving, places to water ski are still easily found. The big beaches are Chaweng and Lamai o­n the east coast. Bouncing around o­n the waves while looking out at the white sand beaches, mountains covered with rainforest in the background, is an unforgettable experience.