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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.

GSI Board Review

I came to India with 6 boards that I expected to last three years.  Two years in, that quiver was pretty much worn out or broken.  Thankfully, our friends, the Surfing Swamis (, import many quality board brands.  Available through them is anything from GSI -  The following is a review of the boards I've ridden from GSI.  I have no obligations to GSI, and my comments are objective.  The goal here is to help any board shoppers in India with their choices.

One's surfboard needs to match his/her size and ability level, but the nature of the surf that he/she will be in should also be a factor in choosing a board/quiver.  My quiver brought from North Carolina was better geared for waves there - punchy beach breaks that offer plenty of speed on the take-off.  So, my selection for India (specifically, the Trivandrum area) had in mind some adjustments for the waves we get here.  It gets top-to-bottom here but is also just a nice open face a lot of the time.  Our lefts from our south swells peel quickly but often lack speed in the drop proportional to how fast the line goes.  So I was looking for a board that would handle a steeper wave and comfortably perch high on the face on a down the line wave but that would also go well when it's smaller or not so steep.  It needed to get me in and allow for that first pump to happen sooner.  I had many days that I brought the wrong board along or brought 2 and had to leave one in the hot car, so I was also after a board that would work in all the conditions that this area offers up. 

Aloha Bean - 6'0" ridden as a quad.
The Bean was the right choice for the parameters mentioned above.  Every short boarder has a window of volume where the lowest is as small as we can go with the board sufficiently floating us and the highest being the biggest board we can turn.  This board was in the upper end of that window for me and felt big at first.  I adjusted after 3 or 4 sessions and got used to turning it.  I could feel the early entry and speed that the extra volume offered.  It isn't just an issue of more volume but rather where the volume is.  The wide point forward / fuller nose is key to getting in early and planing well on flatter parts of the wave.  The quad set-up made the board feel solid on steep sections and when going fast.  There's always some give and take.  I don't turn the Bean as well in smaller (waist or less) waves.  Still, I think that's made up for be the speed it provides in the small stuff.  The Bean has good drive through turns in bigger open faces and felt smooth in all situations.

Webber Sonic - 6'0"
 This board is super lively under your feet.  If it were any more responsive it would be too much.  It's light weight, deep concave, and slimmed down rails all contribute to making it such.  The width gets me going (not as much as the Bean), but it feels entirely like a shortboard.  While being a hair slower down the line than the Bean, the Sonic allows for faster, tighter turns.  It works in waves from near flat to overhead, and I found it surprisingly solid on steeper, overhead drops.

7S Cog - 6'0" ridden as a thruster
 I only rode this board a couple of times in waist to chest down the line waves.  I wouldn't choose the 6'0" for me personally, but I made the most of it trying to use the extra volume to my advantage.  Surprisingly, I could still turn it well and it went really fast on some quick peeling waves.  I probably made some sections on the Cog that I wouldn't normally make.  Even though I would choose to ride this board as a 5'9" quad, my experience on the "wrong" one gave me a lot of confidence in the shape.  Like the Bean and the Hypto Krypto, the Cog is a great board for the intermediate-progressing surfer.  It will give you good float and speed and won't hold you back at all as you're learning to turn.

Haydenshapes Hypto Krypto 6'0"  
A friend owns this board.  We've traded boards in the water a few times, so I've gotten to sample it.  Like the Cog, I wouldn't choose the 6'0" but would prefer the next size down.  Still, it goes good and is very responsive.  I felt like I was cheating with how fast it went and how well it turned on one small day.  I'd like to try it again in better waves and as a smaller size.  As far as catching waves, the Hypto Krypto got me in really early.  It grabs waves as well as any board I've ever ridden.

NSP Coco Mat Fish
 Thumbs up to NSP for this one.  I don't normally have much personal enthusiasm to ride their product, but this construction is out of the box.  It is very light yet still strong...and it just looks cool.  The board has lots of float and surfed well for what it is.  For the surfer that wants a light yet durable board to cruise on, this is a good choice.

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