Looking to hit the waves? Well, you won’t have look beyond India to find surf spots that will exhilarate and electrify you, all at once. By Naina Atri
While one may open up an atlas in search of waves to conquer, the surfing community, in the last decade or so, has discovered several spots in India whose waters are worth testing out. The Indian coastline has seen several schools, clubs and festivals cropping up, which attract surfers from far and wide, across different levels of experience. Locally, a class of competitive surfers have emerged out of fishing communities, many of whom run the aforementioned schools. India is undeniably an oft-visited destination for the amateurs and champions of the world.
Surf spots in India with cracking waves you must check out
40 kilometres from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, is a little fishing community of Kovalam, also home to the annual Covelong Point Surf Festival, attended by surfers from across the world. Surfing here is practically synonymous with the Covelong Point Social Surf School’s, who offer lessons and a place to stay at Surf Turf. This stretch of the Coromandel coast has become a landmark for the surfing community, with pros of the sport surfing on its waves. The stay is beautiful as well – idyllic and peaceful, making Covelong an attractive paradox of adventure and calm.
In Tamil Nadu is another surf spot that is typically visited for its religious and historic significance. However, Mahabalipuram also attracts surfing enthusiasts, so much so that it has its own surf school – Mumu Surf School, along with guesthouses and surf clubs. The space is perfect for both beginners and the more proficient, for the local community is orienting itself to the burgeoning hotspot.
The little hamlet of Varkala, a short drive away from Thiruvananthapuram, has unique cliff formations, which make it a ‘national geological monument’ and shacks that call out to tourists during the summer. But its waves are the final icing on the cake. Soul and Surf in Varkala combine therapy, music, and an experiential stay with the sport to make your time there soulful. Soul and Surf caters to people across the surfing spectrum with an aim to get people to appreciate the blue waters of the Edava beach. They even have programmes available for children, aged six to 16.
Mulki is said to be home to India’s first surf camp, set up by Mantra Surf Club. Take a road trip down to Mulki for Managalore for a weekend of carefree fun. The soft sandy beach and easy-going currents are inviting to amateurs, with waves usually going upto two to three feet.
Perhaps the largest island amongst the series of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, Little Andaman calls out to surfing aficionados, especially in the months between March and May. By sea, it is 120 kilometres away from Port Blair. Its best waves are believed to be at Kumari point and Jackson Creek. There are a few surf camps at the Butler Beach Bay, but what attracts most is how remote the area is – it isn’t a typical tourist haunt which augments one’s focus on the waters.
Maravanthe is a quaint little town in Karnataka, which boasts of one of the most beautiful beaches of the Indian coastline. The stretch goes on for about six kilometres and is quiet, free of loud vacationing crowds. The waves at this beach are of varying types and nearby is a freshwater lake to relax in once your sore muscles can no longer brave the currents.
If you’re not fully confident about your skills but your enthusiasm keeps driving you towards the sport, then Vizag may be just the spot for you, especially during summer. Lawson Bay is a popular stamping ground on the Indian east coast, known to be consistent with its ‘surfable’ waves. The proximity to the city is an added benefit for those looking for convenient stays. Hit up the Lonely Surfers Surf School to start your surfing journey.