The Butterfly (Stroke) Effect
While studying architecture and journalism in Manipal, Tushar Pathiyan and Ishita Malaviya developed an odd extra-curricular activity, one that has seldom been seen around these parts – surfing. “We got into it and were stoked right away,” explains Tushar, who talks (and we hope, looks) like the quintessential surfer boy. After a couple of years of exploring the sport, they began to offer friends lessons, and the great response they received led to the Shaka Surf Club Surf Shack, which formally opens for business this season. Wave hello!
What Do You Sink?
Now, Tushar and Ishita offer surfing lessons to anyone interested in the sport; in fact, the beach that they operate out of, located about 20 minutes from Manipal, is ideal for beginners – the waves are gentle, and there are no rocks or reef, so even if you take a tumble, chances that you’ll hurt yourself are slim. “Surfing is not dangerous, as long as you understand your skill level and stick with what you can handle,” explains Tushar. Still, even beginners need to have certain skills, like knowing how to swim and being comfortable in the water. “We don’t work with non-swimmers,” Tushar says firmly. And although they concentrate on training beginners, The Shaka Surf Club holds advanced-level courses as well, conducted by experienced international surfers travelling to India.
How It Works
Launched in 2007, the Shaka Surf Club is open for business between September and May. Those interested in taking lessons should contact Tushar and Ishita at least a couple of weeks in advance, so that they get preferred dates and timings, and if they need help finding accommodation in Manipal. Students are charged per session, which lasts for three hours – Tushar recommends at least 10 lessons “to get to a level where you can pursue the sport independently.” Costs (Rs 1,000 per lesson) include transportation to and from Manipal, as well all equipment – surf boards, board shorts, T-shirts – much of which is sponsored by surfing brand Quiksilver.
Students can also make use of the abovementioned Shack to relax in between lessons, catch a surfing movie or hang with other surfers. “We’re trying to create a community to sustain the sport in India, which has over 7,000 miles of coast and is actually ideal for surfing,” Tushar explains.
We can raise a coast to that!
PS: The Shaka Surf Club is also featuring in White Collar Hippie’s next trip out to Hampi from 13-17 October. Call 9930260748 for details!
Getting there: View their Facebook group here or call 09986742710, Rs 700 for students, Rs 1,000 for non students per session; group discounts available.
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