India’s topography is blessed with an expansive coastline, stretching from the west and the east coast with plenty of surfing schools. The west coast states of Goa, Karnataka, and Kerala are prime spots for beginners from November until March. And a good time to head to the east coast is between June and August. If you’re a water baby and feel like catching a few waves this year, then check out these surfing spots in India.
Often known as India’s own little surf town, Kovalam has some of the best waves for surfers and swimmers. True to its name, Kovalam (which translates to a grove of coconut trees) is dotted with palm trees, which makes for a photographic location with or without sunny silhouettes. The go-to club for surfers at Kovalam is the Kovalam Surf Club, which is great for both beginners and advanced surfers.
Located approximately 30 km away from Mangalore city, Mulki is a tranquil delight for surfers. Mulki beach is one of the safest beaches with waves going up to only two to three feet. With white sandy stretches, the water is as clear as crystal, making it extremely harmonious for a leisure trip. This quaint town spreads across the banks of river Shambhavi and is a prominent landmark for being home to the first Indian surf club, Mantra Surf Club.
Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
Visakhapatnam attracts not just tourists but also professional surfers for a good old-fashioned surfin’ safari. Since the waves on the beaches of Vizag are timid and pretty much stagnant all year round, it is a perfect place to kickstart your laid-back mornings. And when you don’t want to carry your board, you can also go kayaking and snorkelling. Lonely surfers surf school is the place to hit first after packing your surfboard.
Officially a pilgrimage’s paradise but often a hippie’s insouciant getaway, Gokarna’s consecutive trek traversing small hills is where lies its unmatched beauty. Well-connected from Pune, Mangalore, and Goa, it is a haven of five interconnected beaches, each one painted with sense-stimulating vistas, with the perfect waves to enjoy on your surfboard. Cocopelli Surf School you need to check out if you’re planning to start as a beginner.
Manapad, Tamil Nadu
Manapad Point is one of the best places to catch a wave in India. It offers miles of uninhabited coastal beauty at your disposal. You can take a walk along the unspoilt beach waves or catch one here. The best time of year for surfing Manapad Point with consistent clean waves (rideable swell with light / offshore winds) is during Summer and most often the month of July. Here, you can look up Manapad Surf Resort where local fisherman teaches the art of surfing.
Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu
Pondicherry attracts seasonal surfers to its shores every year in large numbers. The two famous surfing schools here — Mother Ocean Surf School and Kallialay Surf School on Serenity beach — have been catering to the need of surfers perfectly, making it one of the top destinations in India to catch a wave. With excellent surfers guiding your every move on the ocean, Pondicherry makes for a great location to hone your skills.
Paradip Beach, Odisha
Paradeep, which is actually an estuary of the Mahanadi River, is one of the most popular beaches of Odisha. Covered by green forests and adorned with natural creeks and island, the Paradeep beach is a paradise for all marine lovers. It has the longest swell and can carry a surfer for close to a kilometre. The Shaka Surf Club is the closest club you will find here.
Arambol beach, Goa
Both Arambol beach and Aswem beach in North Goa are considered great places to ride them wild waves. And even though you’re in town to enjoy a little Goan susegad, Goa is one of the best places in India when it comes to water activities. So pack your surfboard and head towards the ocean for a refreshing marine journey. A popular surf spot to hit in Aswem is Vaayu, where they give packages curated as per your stay.
Lakshadweep used to be the Maldives for island lovers. It is the perfect place to enjoy beach life in solitude with plenty of nature and marine life around. And Lakshadweep is one of the premier places to live a life on ocean waves. There are pristine archipelago lagoons, unspoilt coral reefs, and warm waters, a magnet for surfers, scuba divers, and snorkelers.
Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
Mahabalipuram is not just world-famous for its ornate monuments but also its stunning shores. The salty air and coastal beauty has many flying to this historic town for many reasons, and one of the major tourist attractions is surfing. Curated for both beginners and advanced learners, Mumu Surf School was one of the first schools in Mahabalipuram to offer intimate knowledge of the ocean and its waves.
All images: Courtesy Getty