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Geography-wise, India should have a lot to offer for travelling surfers as this mad Hindu country has such a long stretch of coastline with our beloved Indian Ocean. However, we don't hear a lot from other surfers about how good the waves are. It seems that most travellers including some surfers who have been to India before had a completely different agenda such as meeting gurus, practising yoga, becoming complete Neo-hippies, etc.

The recent surf film - Castles in The Sky - definitely made many of us wow when we saw Dave Rastovich riding some sick righthander waves by that run-down pier, but that was filmed in Lakshadweep, a cluster of small islands located between the subcontinent and the Maldives.

So what does this mainland of spirituality have yet to offer for me?

20121029_01_Kovalam.jpg

Well, as for a visiting surfer in Kovalam in this late October 2012, there is not much in fact.
The water in Kovalam is very warm, although it's quite filthy and somehow tasty. There is no line-up here as it's often empty or maximum three to four guys in the water. Apparently, at Lighthouse Beach there is (or used to be?) an artificial reef, but I see no effect of it on waves today even when over 3 ~ 4ft swells come in. I've asked a few locals about the exact whereabouts of the reef and they point their hands towards the cliff by saying "Ova there! Ova there!" And I say "Ha?! Where?" This artificial reef thing is a bit of an urban myth to me....

20121029_02_Kovalam.jpg

The photos below show the best and the cleanest day at Lighthouse Beach during my stay in Kovalam. In these photos, just a little further to the left from the breaking waves should be the location of the artificial reef according to a few locals....

20121029_03_Kovalam.jpg

20121029_04_Kovalam.jpg


There is also another beach in Kovalam called Hawa Beach.
The photo below shows a messy lefthander wave breaking by the big rock at Hawa Beach. I saw a few "makable" waves on this day, but it was very windy and the waves never looked good enough to me to give myself a try out there then.

20121029_05_Kovalam.jpg

The main season for surfing at this part of India is said to be from April to September. I got to Kovalam a bit too late, but I don't really care! Surfing isn't my main objective while I'm in India. I came here purely out of curiosity anyway. And I am still able to surf 2 to 3ft onshore slop almost every day with only board-shorts on.


!!!!! Note !!!!!
Besides Lighthouse Beach and Hawa Beach, Kerala State has other surfable spots: Varkala, Thotapalli, Cherai Beach and a couple more further south from Kovalam. Additionally, Tamil Nadu State and all the rest of the coastline, especially the east coast facing the Bay of Bengal must have countless spots to be surfed.
I'm 200% certain that there are days with quality waves with size and power at these spots, but "How consistent and clean are they?" is my question.
I could have done serious investigation at some of the spots mentioned above and would even have had a chance to discover a couple of unknown ones. However, after that bug-infested train journey along with all the hassles that I got till I reached Kovalam for the past weeks, I have no desire to go off the beaten track in this country.


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