bpb waves at cute Mumbai boys who surf and they help us put together this guide to everything surfing – how to begin, where to learn, buying equipment, Indian surf clubs and more. Plus, free blue tarp surfing in Bombay today!
Raffael Kably, 23, filmmaker and musician, started surfing two years ago: “Prepare to be beaten, battered and smiling from ear to ear even after that. Once you’ve been bitten by the surf bug, there's no way out.”
Sandeep Gonsalves, 26, entrepreneur and owner SS Homme, started surfing two weeks ago: “I expected it to be a lot more intimidating, but it’s not. Can’t wait to go back to Manipal in December when you get to surf with dolphins!”
Cabir Maira, 29, actor and sound engineer, started surfing four years ago: “Flow with it. Have fun!”
Arif Futehally, 38, business owner, surfing since 13 years: “It’s great to see more people in India take up surfing.”
Quick Guide for Beginners
Surfing lessons cost approximately between Rs 700 to Rs 1,500 a day (including equipment) and usually range from single sessions (not recommended) to six day and up courses.
Shaka Surf Club, Manipal
A Surfing Federation of India (SFI) accredited surf school, Shaka is run by two cute instructors – Tushar and Ishita – who’ll teach you how to surf and also ensure you get a yum fish and mussels lunch after. At the Shaka Beach Shack you can relax in between lessons, catch a surfing movie or hang with other surfers. Manipal, view their Facebook group here or call 09986742710.
Ashram Surf Retreat, Mulki
This guest house and teaching school doesn’t allow meat, cigarettes and alcohol, and advocates celibacy, but surfers tell us the teachers are great and super patient with beginners. They’ll have you living on the banks of a river that flows into the ocean, so you can paddle out from the ashram itself. View more information here.
Kallialay Surf School, Auroville
“Amazing place, amazing guys,” is the review we got for this Pondicherry surf school run by two Spanish instructors. Call 94429 92874/ 9789306376 or view more information here.
Cocopelli Surf School, Gokarna
This one’s a great option for beginners considering the gentle waves at Gokarna beach. Courses range from two hours to six days. View more information here.
Soul & Surf, Varkala
This pretty Kerala hotel and surf school also comes with rooftop rooms and sunset yoga sessions. Our contributor Raffael Kably is actually “moving here to work as a manager and of course, to surf!” Go say hi. See more information here.
Quest Adventures, Alibaug
Our surfers turn their noses up at Mandwa, but it’s still a nearby option for Bombay beginners. Call 09820367412 or view the Facebook page here
This online surf store sells boards, stand up paddleboards, bodyboards, fins, leashes, wax and some pretty cool shorts. Visit surfing-india.com, boards start at Rs 28,000.
Quiksilver and Roxy
For tricked out surf boards, board shorts and bikinis. Shop no 6, ground floor, Courtyard, High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel, call 66345011, Rs 1,295 for flipflops, boards start at Rs 13,000.
Newly launched at Palladium, this UK brand does super pricey surf shorts for men and women. Second floor, Palladium, High Street Phoenix, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, tees for approximately Rs 4,000 for a pair of shorts.
While you don’t have to purchase a board right away – just rent one when you head out to one of these surfing camps – you can get a great bargain if you buy a used board from a travelling surfer or one of the ashrams that sells equipment.
The Go Pro Hero 3 is Cabir’s favourite surf camera. Check it out here.
To check what the swell is like around beaches across the world and get detailed surf forecasts.
For the best places to stay if you’re a travelling surfer.
Videos and literature for beginners.
Endless Summer; Step Into Liquid
Movies to watch if you want to get stoked about surfing.
110% Surfing Techniques
An instructional video. See here.
Young Guns Webisodes
Cool footage of advanced surfers. Watch here.
The Indian Surf Festival
The first Indian surf festival took place in Puri, Orissa in February this year with surfers from all over the world, lessons, organic food, solar clay therapy, film and art on the beach. View the Facebook page for updates on the next one.
Summer Swell Challenge
Oragnised by the Pondicherry school, this competition is usually held in September and is a fun way to meet and compete with surfers from all over the world. View the Facebook page here.
Free Blue Tarp Surfing Today at 6 pm
A cross between surfing and skateboarding, blue tarp surfing is an action sport that requires a skateboard, a blue tarp, and friends who will lift the edge of the tarp over you creating the illusion of a wave while you skate by. Sounds strange? Attend Quiksilver’s free blue tarp surfing activity at Phoenix Mills this evening and then decide. At the Courtyard, High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel, 4 to 6 pm, see details here.
Is that the sound of a wave we hear?
Main photo courtesy: Shaka Surf Club
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