Surfing is usually associated with warm ocean beaches like those found in the U.S. states of Hawaii and California, and countries such as Australia. It’s a surface water sport in which an individual, a surfer (or two in tandem surfing), uses a board to ride on the forward section, or face, of a moving wave of water, which usually carries the surfer towards the shore.
But the waves have travelled to India as well. The craze is unreal. Mulki, Mangaluru is considered the home of surfing in India. Mantra surf club aka Surfing India was India’s first surf club which was founded in 2004 by the world renowned surfer,
‘’Surfing Swami” ( Jack Hebner). Also the home of the surfing federation of India, the apex body of surfing in India. The three day national surfing and SUP championship Is held at Sasihihtlu beach. The event is organised by the Surfing Federation of India (SFI) – the governing body for the sport of surfing and paddling in India. Indian and international surfers battle it out on their boats here. The premier surfing competition is recognised by the International Surfing Association, the global governing body for the sport. It’s a surfer’s Paradise. Stretched over 320kms from Mangaluru to Karwar, this coastline is the surfer’s hub.
Apu a former fisherman was one of the first pros and he has seen the sport grow over the years. He says that when he first competed, it was only thirty people and now he is competing with 108 people. The passion and the beach life is gradually changing and evolving in India. And he is more than delighted.
Tanvi Jagadish the first female surfer from India to take part in Fiji event and the youngest woman in stand up paddle in India happily expresses her love for the beaches of Mangalore. There is no place she would rather be than these beaches. She says that she likes it here better than that of the beaches in USA. She slyly with a hint of smirk says that there are not a lot of people here so she can catch how much ever waves as she wants. While In US, she one has to stand in the lineups for quite a time to actually hit the waves.
In recent years, Surfing as the sport has caught everyone’s attention. Lots of Clubs are being formed and popular brand ambassadors are being catalyst and are giving the state surfing scene a great boost. The enthusiasm among the young locals is noteworthy.
It has not only invoked intense fervour among the lovers of the waves but also spiked in the no. Of tourist visiting the place. In 2017, it led to a 20x growth in surfing tourism in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi Districts. The surfing fever is unreal and this new sport is here to stay. So catch the next flight to Mangalore to get that adrenaline rush, riding the waves in the scenic beauty of the place.