Did you know the word ‘surf’ is derived from India?
While surfing is starting to gain popularity in India, it is still in its infancy. However, with new projects popping up all the time, there is a lot of potential for growth in this industry.
If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path surfing destination, India is a great option. With its long coastline and many different surf spots, you’re sure to find the perfect wave for you.
Start planning your trip to India today and experience the best surf this country has to offer!
Watch these films to get a better idea about surf in India
A Rising Tide
A Rising Tide is a 2013 short film produced by Shaka Surf Club and Mosambi Juice Production. The film, one of the first of its kind, highlights those currently trying to establish themselves in the surf scene in India.
Mother India, Father Surf
The 52-minute documentary by French filmmaker Kévin Perrée took him 2600 kilometers across India in order to discover different surfing spots.
Beyond The Surface
Hope and change are on the horizon for local people and the planet, thanks to Ishita Malaviya (India's first female surfer) and a group of foreign surfing females documenting how yoga, creativity, and most importantly surfing are making a difference.
This is a story about two brothers who get caught up in rivalry. Their parents disappear and they are left to take care of themselves. They enter a world where not many people know what to believe. The story is set against the backdrop of Kerala's fishing industry as it changes over time. The industry started out in Covelong Point, which was the first surfing village in India. The story follows Murthy, a fisherman who inspired change within the community after the 2004 tsunami devastation.
Surfing Possibility: Surfer Girls of India
Women in Polynesia were the first to ever surf. This video was produced in memory of the Brown Girl Surf initiative, which gave it its name. Indian girls face various challenges when they wish to learn surfing, as this film demonstrates.
Is there surfing in India?
India has 7,000 kilometers (4,349 miles) of coastline. While most of it hasn't been scouted out for surfing, there has been a lot of exposure to the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, and Bay of Bengal, as well as nothing blocking the southern tip of India from deflecting swells. All year round, 3 to 5 foot waves are possible. However, May through September, waves can reach 8 feet in height. Waves may reach up to 8 to 15 feet or more during the monsoon season.
From October to December, the big swells subside and it goes back to normal (3-5 feet waves). There is the potential for bigger swells on both coasts from January through April caused by small storm systems. These days we could get waves up 6 or 7 feet depending. However, the biggest swells of they year typically occur on India's west coast–from Dwaraka in northwest to Kanya Kumari at southern tip. Surfers should be warned that during monsoon season, India can create some pretty huge waves.
Shivas is a tiny peninsula that protrudes into the Arabian Sea and is dedicated to Hinduism. Temperatures are tropical here, with hundreds of coconut, mango, and banana trees growing near the beach. Shiva's statue is enormous here. Everything that happens at Murdeshwara occurs under Shiva's watchful gaze: the yoga master. There are two magnificent protected bays on either side of the island, both ideal for surfing when offshore NW or SW winds are blowing.
Depending on the season, this area varies from one foot to ten feet. One of the best hotels in Murdeshwaraha is built on pylons jutting out into the sea, along with a number of vegetarian restaurants. This also makes it an ideal location for shooting big days surfing photographs.
Kapu Beach Lighthouse
The Kapu Beach Lighthouse is a fantastic spot to watch the best at low tide with four feet and larger waves. The beach is approximately one kilometer long, and there are several locations where attractive peaked mountains with lefts and rights develop. “The Kapu lighthouse stands on a big granite rock at the northern end of the beach.
Ten Thousand Peaks
Ten Thousand Peaks is a surfing destination situated on the west coast of South India, near Maravanthe. The coastline stretches for six kilometers and provides waves for all types of surfers. Additionally, there is a two-lane highway parallel to the ocean that gives easy access to the various surfing spots. On the other side of this highway, within 15 meters of the water's edge, is a freshwater lake with several islands (that have villages) and an ancient temple from 2000 years ago dedicated to Sri Narasimha avatar—the incarnation who destroys evil protect children).
The southernmost point of India is Kanyakumari. nKnown for the wind that caused the waves to be blown out. nWhen there's an offshore wind, nice waves are expected. nProbably the best place for surfing in all of India.
Alwars is a hidden gem of a surfing spot located on the southeast coast of India at Manapad Point. The point gets its beautiful formation from lava flow that extends into the water, which is millions of years old. When the conditions are just right, surfers can expect to ride waves up to 400 meters long! Even when it's working well, there aren't many people who know about it and come to surf here from nearby Kovalam or other parts west coasts–so you'll always have plenty of space to catch some sick waves.
The strong winds at Rameswaram make it a popular destination for wind and kite surfing. Although the surf isn't always excellent, you can still find some decent waves. The water is transparent and clean, which is unusual in India. There are several offshore islands that remain untouched by surfers. Maybe you'll be the first one to discover them!
Mahabalipuram (Shore Temple)
The Temple of the Shore is a well-known spot on the India surf tour for some great waves. There are some hollow rights in Mahabalipuram, and Tamil Nadu has an exposed beach break with consistent surf. The best swell direction is from the east southeast. The beach break provides left and right handers, even when it's working. It's a nice place to go surfing.
Tiruchendur is a beautiful temple town with majestic waves that crash over the rocks 200 yards from the shore. Autumn and winter offer the best surfing conditions, but people often come to swim in the sea regardless of season. They believe it's a spiritual experience that cleanses their souls. The winds offshore blow from northwest direction, producing strong consistent waves ideal for surfing enthusiasts.)
Varkala Beach is located about midway between Kovalam and Cochin. This surf break is an exposed beach break that only works on rare occasions. Offshore winds blow from the east northeast. The ideal swell direction is from the southwest, with windswells and groundswells in equal measure. At the beach, both lefts and rights waves are present.
The waves are excellent at all tides. Even when it is working, there is no crowding. – Rips and undertow – Pollution to be wary of
Mahe is a district in Kerala that has seen improvements in infrastructure and tourism in recent years. The addition of more piers and jetties has made the area a popular destination for surfers, while the improved consistency and size of waves has made it a great spot for beginners as well.
The Krishna River is located in Andhra Pradesh and it can be difficult to access. However, it provides good waves for those who are determined to get there. The river breaks offer lefts and rights, and surfers can find good conditions at all stages of the tide.
Big Rock is located south of Chennai, near Fisherman's Cove. If the wave height and tide conditions are just right, you can ride the waves at Big Rock. The cove produces an even more intense left barrel. The ride isn't long, but it feels much longer because this wave gets extremely hollow.
Near Pondicherry, there is a place called Auroville. It's an interesting town with a mix of Indian and French cultures. You can find a typical beach here with a river that sometimes has good waves for surfing. Even though the waves are usually blocked by Sri Lanka, Auroville still gets some good waves every now and then. There are surfers in Pondicherry who will be more than happy to show you where to go surfing if you're interested while you're visiting Auroville!
Vizag, or Visakapatanam, is a must-see if you're on India's east coast. It boasts beautiful beaches, good hotels and surfing spots galore. In fact, five standout point breaks put it firmly on the map for surfers around the world. The area was explored a few years ago by Anthony Yep Colas of popular book “World Storm Rider” fame and John Callahan, an accomplished photographer and friend. Together they operate Surf Tours in the Maldives.
The Arabian Sea's Dwarka is a place you should visit. There, you will find some of the clearest water on India's shoreline. Dwarka is an ancient city that dates back 5,000 years or more. Parts of the city are currently under the sea and can be seen when scuba diving. The Sri Krishna temple in Dwarka is famous because millions of pilgrims visit it every year. There is a tiny point break just north of the temple that produces a nice left-hander when the surf from the south swell is big.
Puri beach is known for the many pilgrims who visit Jagannatha Temple every day. Jagannatha is a very tall temple that is thousands of years old. The beach here is long and beautiful with some great waves. However, the tides can be difficult to predict.
Gokarna is a beautiful town situated between the coconut trees and the Sahyadri Mountains. If you love Goa, you will definitely enjoy Gokarna. Waves here are great all year round but can get really strong during low tide so be careful!
You'll be able to surf the waves only at the end of May or beginning of June. 7-10 feet is typical.
The Andaman Island Archipelago
The Andaman Islands are a group of islands located in the Indian Ocean off the coast of India. Despite their distance from the mainland, they are controlled and owned by India. The real adventure lies beyond the outer Islands of the Andaman Archipelago. The majority of surf spots in the Andamans feature reef breaks. reefs, on the other hand, make most of those waves easy to ride for newcomers due to their forgiving nature
FAQs about surfing in India
Is there surfing in India?
Yes, there is surfing in India!
Is it good to surf in India?
The waves and conditions can be good for surfing in India, but it really depends on when and where you go.
What are the best times of year to surf in India?
The best times of year to surf in India are usually between May and June or September and October.
Where are the best places to surf in India?
Some of the best places to surf in India are Dwarka, Gokarna, and the Andaman Island Archipelago.
Is there a surfing community in India?
Yes, there is a growing surfing community in India!
What is the water temperature like for surfing in India?
The water temperature can vary depending on where you are surfing in India, but is usually between 22-28 degrees Celsius.
Are there any beginner-friendly surf spots in India?
Yes, there are beginner-friendly surf spots in India! Some of these spots include Gokarna and the Andaman Island Archipelago.
Final takeaway – Is there surfing in India?
If you're a surfer looking for an adventure, India is definitely worth considering.
With waves ranging from beginner-friendly to challenging reef breaks, there is something for everyone in India.
The best time of year to surf generally falls between May and June or September and October, but it's important to do your research before heading out as conditions can vary greatly depending on where you go.
And, with a growing surfing community, you'll be sure to find fellow wave-chasers to share in the experience.
So, what are you waiting for?
Start planning your next surfing adventure in India today!