surfing in India

Surrounded by water on three sides, the Indian peninsula has one of the longest coastlines in Asia. With all of these beautiful stretches of beaches and perfect tropical weather, it’s not a surprise that the surf culture has begun to skyrocket in India. Surfing in India has quickly become the weekend getaway hobby for many. Here are some of the many places to head to and learn to catch some waves.

Varkala, Kerala

Just north of Kovalam, this beach is a very safe beach, without too many rocks, soft sand, and small waves. This makes it an ideal spot for beginners to learn how to surf. It is also a pretty popular tourist destination and easily accessible by road, rail, or air.

Image credit: Henrik Jagels

Soul & Surf is the most popular surf school in Kovalam, and offers surf lessons 7 days a week. They provide guidance and training on arrival, or can even be booked for 3 or 6 day introductory surf courses.

Gokarna, Karnataka

This pristine beach sandwiched between crystal clear water and tree-covered hills serves as a great place to escape the city and catch the waves. The water is relatively calm, with light currents and not too challenging waves. The season starts in October and goes on until March.

gokarna

Cocopelli Surf School  is recognized by the International Surf Association and is run by certified instructors. Their courses range from a few hours to a week long. You also have the option of just renting boards, suits, or other equipment from them.

Mulki, Karnataka

Located north of Mangalore, Mulki is a beautiful, uninhabited beach at the mouth of the Shambhavi river.

Mantra Surf Club is said to be India’s first surf club, where training is provided by ISA certified instructors. You can also become a long-term member of the club and get discounts throughout the year.

Vizag (Visakhapatnam), Andhra Pradesh

Vizag has a long coastline with plenty of waves to surf, cheap hotels, and good accessibility. Anthony Colas, author of the iconic surf book World Storm Rider, discovered this surf spot while working on an edition of this book.

Visakhapatnam

Lonely Surfers Surf School, founded in 2009, offers surf lessons for all levels of expertise (or lack thereof).

Kodi Bengre, Karnataka

Somewhere around the confluence of the Suvarna river and the Arabian Sea is Kodi Bengre, a quiet, getaway beach with warm waters and small islands to discover when taking breaks from surfing.

The Shaka Surf Club has everything from surf lessons, rentals, camping facilities, and good company.

Auroville, Tamil Nadu

A little north of Puducherry, this beach is inhabited by local and European surfers who can guide you into the waves. These waves generally do not get too high and violent as the swell is usually blocked by the Sri Lankan island.

Auro_082

The Kallialay surf school is run by two Spanish brothers who learnt to surf in Auroville and loved it so much that they set up a surf school there. It offers private lessons, coaching, group sessions, and various other courses.

Kovalam, Tamil Nadu

In Kovalam, Covelong Point is a happening place that hosts a lot of festivals, parties, and beach sport competitions. The Covelong Point Classic Surf Contest and Music Festival takes place every September, with a bunch of fun sports like kayaking and slacklining thrown in with good music and surfing hosted by the surf club. Covelong Point is also called India’s first surfing village. Ocean Delight is another upcoming surf school on the Kovalam stretch.

Goa

Goa is known for its wild beaches that welcome people from all over the world. It’s not unusual that the surf community has also found its way there. The best time to surf in Goa is towards the end of May and the beginning of June.

Image credit: Judith Scharnowski

Vaayu and Surfwala are two of the best surf schools in Goa.

Shimul Bijoor
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