Surfing in India

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Surfing in India
Surfing Classes 2 (15489039166).jpg
Surfing in Kovalam
Governing bodySurfing Federation of India
National team(s)none

India has over 7,500 km (4,600 miles) of coastline, including that of the island groups, and this provides many opportune places for surfing. The largest waves are usually seen between May and September, the pre-monsoon and monsoon season. Some of the spots for surfing in India are Mangalore, Manipal, Kapu Beach and Murdeshwara in Karnataka, Mahabalipuram, Kovalam (Covelong) and Manapad in Tamil Nadu, Kovalam Kovalam and Varkala in Kerala, Little Andamans and Lakshadweep.[1]

Stand up paddling and surfing as in the current form was not a familiar sport to Indians, until recently when things started to change, starting with the coastal villages and the coastal communities. "The kids here are born and brought up around these waters and this sport comes too easily to them," says Madhumathi of Bay of Life Surf School[2] "You power the board. It does not need any mechanism", And once you start paddling, you will be introduced to the vast eco-system that is right in your backyard. There are mangroves, schools of dolphins; we've even spotted a whale shark once- says Madhumathi Ravi[3]

The first surf camp in India happened in 2011 at Chennai, Tamil Nadu, organised by Bay of Life in association with The Surfing federation of India marked the beginning of surfing as a popular, organised sport in the country.

"There are, it must be said, big pluses and minuses about surfing in India. The greatest plus point right now about grabbing your surf board and heading to the ocean anywhere in the country, is that you will not have too much company. That was a key factor that attracted Ed Templeton and his wife Sofie, the co-owners of Surf & Soul in Varkala. "The surf was good, the water warm, and the most attractive part was that there was nobody else in the water. Where else in the world do you get that?" says Ed.[4]

On most days the waves are likely to be quite gentle—anywhere between 2 ft and 5 ft. The waters are good enough for most surfers. You can go stand up paddling any time of the year. The best time for surfing is between September and November and then again in March, April and May. June, July and August are only suitable for professionals.[4]

India's beaches does not have a consistent life guard program except few regions like Goa or Kovalam in Chennai (run independently by Bay of Life Chennai) hence it's better you surf with a buddy at all times. Try already explored surf spots first: It's sensible to first cover familiar surf spots in India before attempting to search for new ones. This way you get familiar to Indian environments, currents and local knowledge before attempting remote locations.Watch out for Currents: It's better to familiarise yourself with rips and currents pertaining to the surf spot by asking around and talking to fellow surfers, local fishermen of that area. Local Culture and Activities: Make sure you dress appropriately for different beaches in India, some regions are more orthodox than the others. Drinking on the beach, dressing provocatively might sometime invite unwanted trouble. Watch out for that fishing boat![5]

Surfing Federation of India is the governing body for surfing in India. The State Associations are:

  • KSA – Karnataka Surfing Association
  • OSA – Orissa Surfing Association

Accredited surf schools in India[edit]

  • Mantra Surf Club — Mangalore[6] (SFI)
  • Bay of Life Surf School and Stand Up Paddle, Chennai (ISA certified instructors)
  • Mumu surf lessons - Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
  • Aloha - Goa, Agonda
  • Surf Wala - Goa, Arambol
  • Soul and Surf club — Varkala, Trivandrum, Kerala[7] (ISA Certified Instructor)
  • Kovalam Surf Club - Kovalam, Trivandrum, Kerala[8]
  • Stoked Surfer's Club — Mangalore[9]
  • Shaka Surf club — Manipal
  • Cocopelli Surf School and accommodation. (ISA certified instructor) in Gokarna, Karnataka

Other surf schools[edit]


  1. ^ "India Surf Spots". Surfing India.
  2. ^ Anusha Parthasarathy (2013-02-04). "Sea of change". The Hindu. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
  3. ^ Anusha Parthasarathy (2012-02-23). "Riding the waves". The Hindu. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
  4. ^ a b "Riding the waves". 2012-03-10. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
  5. ^ "Surfing Tips Surf School India - Bay of Life Surf & Stand Up Paddling". Retrieved 2014-02-06.
  6. ^ "Surf School, Surf Camp, Yoga Retreat, Adventure Tours". Surfing India. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
  7. ^ "Soul & Surf — India's Surf & Yoga Retreat". Retrieved 2014-02-06.
  8. ^ "Kovalam Surf Club". Kovalam Surf Club. Retrieved 2017-12-26.
  9. ^ "On the crest of a wave". Telegraph India. Retrieved 2016-12-09.
  10. ^ "Surf School in India - Kallialay". Retrieved 2014-02-06.

External links[edit]