North Korea Opens for Surf Tourism

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Uri Tours, a NJ-based tour company, is launching an 8-day surf camp and expedition for a chance to surf the virgin waves of North Korea.

Majon Beach in Hamhung

The DPRK has all of the ingredients for an excellent surf adventure, great surf bathymetry, good exposure and pristine beaches.

With over 9 million surfers in the world, it’s nearly impossible to find untapped waves totally devoid of surfers. Well, this may be your chance. Uri Tours, a NJ-based tour company, is serving up a totally new destination for surfers looking for the next pointbreak. They are launching an 8-day surf camp and expedition and inviting tourists to be among the first to surf the virgin waves of North Korea.

The surf expedition is led by Nik Zanella, official representative of the International Surfing Association and current coach of the Chinese National Surf Team and Andrea Lee, Uri Tours Founder and CEO. The team has been tracking waves and weather patterns along the eastern coast of North Korea for over a year. And the results are promising.

“The pristine beaches and rocky outcrops of the Hamhung and Sijung area receive a decent amount of swells from a 90 degrees easterly window,” according to Zanella, who has just completed a 5-year long mapping project of the entire Chinese coast. “The DPRK has all of the ingredients for an excellent surf adventure, great surf bathymetry, good exposure and pristine beaches." But virtually nothing is known about these areas except for satellite images. "Our goal is to cast some light on this coastline, search for the waves, map them and, of course, surf them,” says Zanella.

North Korea has been increasingly opening up to international tourists. Lee, who is Korean-American, has completed more trips to the DPRK than just about any other American. She says, “With the support of the local tourism authorities, we’re excited to be offering this new program for adventure travelers. Our long term vision is to create a local surf community that both visitors and locals can enjoy. As part of this vision, we received permissions to have local North Koreans participate in the surf camp.”

Uri Tours is the largest American provider of North Korea travel and has over 15 years of experience in DPRK travel. In addition to surfing, they offer weekend packages to the DPRK, ski tours and Pyongyang Marathon tours. If you're not able to travel there, they are even offering to send you a postcard from North Korea.

The first part of the surf expedition will include mapping and analyzing wave patterns along the coast. The second part will be an intensive surf camp with a world-class instructor for surfers of all levels.

The trip is from September 13-20, 2015 and priced at US$2,400. Package includes airfare from Shanghai, DPRK visas, sightseeing and all accommodations. Deadline August 28. More information can be found here: North Korea surf camp.

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Andrea Lee
Uri Tours
+1 (201) 588-3874
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@uritoursnk
since: 08/2010
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