It might surprise some people to know that it wasn’t till the early 2000s that India was active on the global radar for surfing but with its 7500 km coastline and local coastal communities that nurture adventure sports to attract tourists, India is slowly beginning to establish its presence as a global surfing destination. Sub-tropical weather conditions also mean that surfing has now become a year-long activity for Indian surfers.
Over the last two decades, India has witnessed the rise of over 15 surf schools, innumerable surfing festivals and championships, local communities that specialise in surf-board shaping, and more. It is through the vision of these passionate pioneers that India has earned itself a spot as a quality surfing destination for the world.
Here is Homegrown’s guide on the top surf destinations that one should know about in 2021.
I. Mulki, Mangalore
Coastal Karnataka offers a unique blend of culture, food, and communities that make this region a hotspot for national and international tourists. Located just 30 km off of Mangalore, Mulki is a quaint coastal village that is believed to have kick-started the surfing revolution in India with the launch of the country’s first surf club a little over a decade ago.
Started by the ‘Surfing Swamis’, this destination is ideal for beginners and intermediates who wish to put their existing skills to use.
Ideal time to visit: May-July & October-December
Image source: Indica surf school
II. Covelong, Tamil Nadu
An hour’s drive from the coastal city of Chennai is Covelong (earlier known as Kovalam), a fisherman-turned surfing village. This unique village soon became the base camp for the Indian surfing revolution that has housed some of the nation’s best surfers on its very reliable waves.
With its perfect balance of beach waves and reefs, Covelong is a scenic and awe-inspiring surf location that you can not miss out on.
Ideal time to visit: July-September.
Image source: Covelongpoint.com
III. Villipuram, Tamil Nadu
Often lauded as the melting pot of eastern and western culture, this experimental sea-side township houses tourists, residents, and volunteers from across the globe. The Kallialay Surf School located right outside its vicinity is the most sought-after surf attraction in Kottakuppam and was established by two Spanish brothers back in 1995.
Ideal time to visit: June-January
Image source: Pinterest
IV. Ganpatiphule, Maharashtra
Among the lesser-known surfing villages on the west coast is Ganpatiphule. Located close to Ratnagiri district in Maharashtra, it witnesses waves that have a rather good swell height and with a scenic, clean coast - this village is definitely on our radar for unexplored surf destinations in the country.
Ideal time to visit: June-August and November to January.
Image source: Thrillophilia
V. Vizag, Andhra Pradesh
With innumerable large-wave beaches adorning the city’s coast, Vizag has rightfully earned its title as the ‘surf city’ of India. Rushikonda Beach & Lawson Bay are the most popular surfing spots and are located on the outskirts of the city. Although the city hasn’t garnered enough attention and attraction from tourists and visiting surfers yet, it houses a small community of passionate surfers at the local surf club, Lonely Surfers.
Ideal time to visit: June to September.
Image source: Folomojo
VI. Puri, Odisha
This popular seaside tourist attraction is another hotspot for professional surfers from across the country. The Ramchandi Beach in Puri also doubles as the playing field for the yearly Indian Surf Festival.
Ideal time to vist: June to September.
Image source: Getup & go
VII.Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
Beyond its timeless temples, this sea-side town has been called as the ‘crown jewel’ of the Indian surf scene by The Guardian. Mahabalipuram spearheads India’s surf revolution by producing professionals hailing from its prestigious surf institute, Mumu Surf School.
Image source: The Guardian
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