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Why India? Yes, a relative few people surf here, a lot of the coast has been explored, and it isn't totally new as a surf destination. However, few if any other places in the warm and safe category that also get surf are untapped like India. You can still surf where no one has before...or at least feel like you're the first. Vast stretches of the coast haven't been looked at by a surfer's eye. Even more have been explored by a few but not given the time it takes to get a place figured out. Good waves happen here, and getting alone for a surf is easy.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

New Spot

OK, I fell on that one.

Ed Templeton (see put me on to this Jetty not too far from Trivandrum.  Our sand moves around here a lot from season to season and evidently year to year.  A number of the go-to breaks aren't working at the moment, but this place sure is.  It's a great left.  To access it from my side of the river, I have to paddle across.  Otherwise, about 45 min. gets added to the trip if I go around.  I ride on the back of my friend's motercycle most of the times I surf.  An hour and a half of that with a board in drizzling rain after a 3 hour surf in Indian traffic will about do you in.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Trip to Vizag

On the east coast of India is a city called Vishakhapatnam (Vizag).  It has a number of great set-ups for long rights.  Actually, the plane ride revealed countless great set-ups all along the east coast.  I spent four days in Vizag this past weekend (Oct 1 - 4).  The waves were only knee to waist but still fun.  I must confess that I enjoyed the ease of riding small waves for a change.  The local crowd, about 10 beginners, was a blast to be around.  In India, there is the occasional surfer or two, but as far as I know, only 3 places with a local crew.  These guys have a beginning surfer's heaven at Rushikonda Beach.  There's no paddle out - only a no-duck-dive paddle over.  The wave at thigh high was a little bowl with plenty of speed and energy that went 70 yards or so, and they say that's nothing compared to when it gets good.

The local crew is a semi-organized surf club with private parking and a surf shack to store everything.  They are 2 Americans, 2 guys from Europe, and at least 7 Indians of all ages.  They have had little or no surfers to emulate much less anyone to instruct them on anything to do with technique.  They are self-taught having only the occasional Hawaii footage on TV and a book on learning to surf.  I coached them a bit on turning.  I told them to lead with the shoulders, and then the legs and board would follow.  Many of them took my advice a bit too strongly.  I had the line-up looking like a bunch of those Chinese hand drums that have balls attached to the end of 2 ropes.  In the end, they corrected their over-correction, and I could actually see improvement over the few days there.  They are a stoked bunch.  If you're ever passing through, they would appreciate any equipment you can leave.  No board should be considered too old for their quiver.

I also did my first India spearfishing in Vizag.  There's been too much swell in Kerala since I came here to access spearfishing from the beach. 

...almost too pretty to eat.

Key word:  almost.

This is Lighthouse Beach at it's worst which isn't bad. This day was... crowded as it gets ( 3 of us), small as it gets ( in my 3 months - head high sets ),
...and about as sloppy as it gets (= plenty of fun).