Since you are here, I assume you enjoy surfing as much as I am interested in writing this blog post. Water sports and rides like parasailing/bumper rides have always thrilled me, but honestly I’ve never tried surfing or other “solo water sports” kind of things. Reason is me being so damn careless and rash that I find only the assisted sports safe enough. However, surfing those high tides is definitely on my bucket list, and so is scuba diving (maybe I should write about that someday).
1. Surfing Fest in Kovalam Village
Tamil Nadu is home to some of the finest beaches in India, especially for surfing. Kovalam village (or Covelong Village) in Tamil Nadu is on the top of this list for its annual Covelong Point surf, yoga & music festival where some of the best artists and surfers of the country come together to have some fun together. The fest (usually organized in the month of august) includes surfing competitions, slack-lining, paddle boarding, food stalls, and what not.
They also offer some free surf lessons just in case somebody there wants to learn from professionals. Regular sessions may be chargeable, and their time can usually be negotiated for bigger groups. The earnings support various cultural projects in and around the village (win-win situation for all, if you ask me).
Having said that, if you are eager to learn riding the waves, I’d suggest going straight to a surf school, and I’ve listed some of them in this post itself. Disclaimer: I’m neither affiliated to any of the schools nor benefited from them in any way, and better alternatives might be there.
Learn Here: Ocean Delight Surf School, Kovalam Beach, Tamil Nadu offers various surfing courses and equipment on rent, and you can check them out here.
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2. Serenity Beach, Pondicherry
Pondicherry (or Puducherry) is a former French colonial region in India. The place is only three hours of drive away from Chennai (capital of Tamil Nadu). Pondicherry is home to a serene blend of Indian traditions and French style architecture; just like Portuguese influenced culture of Goa. Waves perfect for surfing hit the Serenity Beach in Pondicherry all year long. The best months for surfing there are March to May and from September to November. While you’re there, don’t forget to watch the mesmerizing sunrise at serenity beach sunrise point.
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3. Varkala Beach, Kerala
Varkala is a holy town with lots of ancient temples, and the Varkala Beach is about ten minutes of drive away from the main Varkala city. I suggest a visit to Papanasam Beach and Black Beach as well. Varkala Beach is filled with people on weekends and public holidays, just like most of the beaches in Kerala. However, it’s still considered a peaceful alternative in comparison to others. Varkala beach is the only beach in India that has cliffs along the shore.
Serenity of this beach makes it a perfect get away destination for relaxing on the weekends, and for surfing those waves coming your way. The best time to visit Varkala is from January to April when temperature and climate is in your favor. I discourage making plans in monsoon season as the downpours are quite heavy. The tide pattern is not suitable for surfing or similar water-sports activities.
Learn here: Moon Waves Surf School (Papanasam beach), Varkala Town, Thiruvananthapuram which was founded in 2016 has trained many individuals. You can check them out here. Soul & Surf school has about a decade’s experience in teaching yoga and surfing. You can visit their website here.
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4. Little Andaman, Andaman Islands
The exotic Andaman Islands are a perfect to get away from your chaotic life. As the internet connectivity is not so great, life gets a lot simple there. You’re simply secluded from the chaos of rest of the world, and that’s perfect for those seeking solitude.
Apart from surfing, you can enjoy scuba diving, undersea-walk and other usual water sports. You could go trekking, or see the only active volcano in entire India.
Passenger ferries is an easy way to get to the islands. You would find local transports like jeeps or taxis to get around, or you also could rent a two-wheeler or a bicycle. Remember to keep sufficient cash or cards at your disposal for making payments. It’s best not to rely on ATMs there, and online payment options are generally not accepted in such places.
Best time to visit is between December and April; the weather is humid all year long though. You might also get to see turtles nesting during this period. Best waves for surfing hit the shores of little islands in the months of March and April.
Learn here: Andaman & Nicobar Surf Academy, offers surfing lessons and equipment rentals in the area, you can check them out here.
5. Beaches in Goa
It is no secret that Goa is the biggest party destination in India. Rave parties, clubs, casinos… you name it! The sunsets are serene beauty, and the city is immersed in humble influence of Portuguese culture. Goa is the perfect amalgam of the calm and the crazy.
There are lots of beaches in Goa, but only some of them (like Anjuna Beach) are popular for water sports. You can go for jet-skiing, parasailing, banana rides, etc., and of course surfing.
Tides along Ashwem and Arambol Beaches are considered best for surfing. The waves are not that big, but good enough to enjoy a nice session of surf, especially for beginners. Since Goa has so much to offer, you’d definitely love it there. Best time to go is from October to the month of April. Rest of the year is way too hot.
Learn here: SurfWala surf school (Arambol beach) is managed by a passionate group of surfers who have trained many individuals. The club also manages yoga sessions for tourists. But, in my opinion their prices are a bit higher than expected, and you can check them out here. Banana surf school (Ashwem Beach) is also a well-known club, you can visit their website here.
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