Spot Check: Castles est. 2001

Castles is very close in proximity and characteristics of last month’s featured spot, Suicides. It is quite a bit less crowded than its next door neighbour due to numerous shark sightings and access. The spot has some spectacular views from the water when looking back at the cliffs and is worth the effort to get out there. It is also a historical spot on which, the very first Ryukyu Kingdoms castle was built, so go a little early and check out the ruins before your session.

Castles is located on Cape Kyan, which is just West of Suicides. Follow the directions for Suicides given last month to get to the Komesu area. After passing the Ryukyu glass factory turn right at the sign directing you to Cape Kyan. Follow this road through the small village when you pass the last house, turn left and follow road to the end. There you will find a small foot trail on your right hand side. Take the path down to the ruins. From here you can check the surf conditions.

Access to the entry point is tedious, but not that hard. When you check out the surf from up on the cliff, you will see a small notch to the far left of the ruins. This is where you start you descent. After descending the cliff there is a small keyhole that allows you to get into the water fairly easily. Paddle straight out from here and once outside of the break, paddle over to the take off spot.

The reef at Castles is very shallow which limits the amount of time in the water. The spot consists of two peaks. One peak to the East has both a right and a left and the peak to the West is a freight train left on the right conditions. Generally speaking, most waves over head high will close-out and surfing during neap tides is sometimes out of the question. High tides of at least 170cm~ and swells from the West-Southwest are the ideal conditions for this surf spot.

– Scott Ellison, Source Surf Shop