Catch the Waves at These Surfing Schools on Your Next Holiday

Catch the Waves at These Surfing Schools on Your Next Holiday
Surfing in India is slowly gaining ground with the opening of some top-class schools, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Discover the thrills of taming the waves on your next holiday at any of these surfing schools along India's coast

OT Staff
September 13 , 2021
16 Min Read

Despite a long coastline, surfing as a sport has been a late entrant in India. It started with a few intrepid souls who, inspired by watching international visitors, started learning it on their own, teaching local people, and setting up schools. Prior to the pandemic, India had started seeing a spurt in people’s enthusiasm for the sports. Now with the states opening up for tourism, the surfing training schools too are following suit.

Although veteran surfers can go into the water any time of the year, depending on the ideal surfing conditions, beginners usually find it convenient to learn between November and March, when the water is relatively calm. In India, most of the surfing training schools are located in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Goa.

It is also necessary to choose a surfing school judiciously. Check for accreditations, certification of instructors, security measures followed, etc. Also, many training centres need to be informed/courses booked in advance. The courses offered range from a few hours to weeks. Many of the surf schools have their own accommodation.

With the ongoing pandemic situation, check about the timing, durations and costs of the courses.

Lonely Surfers, Visakhapatnam 

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From teaching himself to surf (with the help of two boards left behind by a regular French visitor and from whom he picked up the rudimentary of the sports) to starting a surfing school has been a long journey for Andy. The Andhra Pradesh based Lonely Surfers offers short duration training sessions for beginners to grasp the basics of surfing, like standing on the board to catching the waves.

Bay of Life, Covelong

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This Chennai-based surf school in Covelong (Kovalam, Tamil Nadu) offers training in water based adventure sports, including surfing. According to the school, they were the first school in Asia to conduct adaptive surf camp for special people with cerebral palsy. They offer different formats – experiences, classes and structured courses.

Covelong Point Surfing School, Chennai

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Located in Dharka Backside Beach New Point, this Tamil Nadu based surfing school offers a five-day course for serious enthusiasts as well as short private courses for beginners who are keen to test their mettle. Their beach festivals are also a big attraction.

Mumu Surf School, Mahabalipuram

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This surf school in the temple town of Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu) offers short duration lessons for beginners as well as advanced learners. They also have packages who want longer training sessions. They also have rental options for softboards, hardboards, shortsboard in different styles and sizes.

Kallialay Surf School, Puducherry 

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This Pondicherry based surfing school offers group lessons ranging from five-day to 15-day courses. They also offer private lessons, which are largely geared for below-14 years kids, non-swimmers, and those who want to learn faster.

Kovalam Surf School

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This Kerala-based outfit is one of the oldest surfing schools in India. They are now offering daily training from 8am to 6pm at the Lighthouse Beach in Kovalam. One of their special programs involves motivating local school drop-outs to carry on with their studies (at an educational programme run by a non-government organisation) in exchange for free surfing lessons.

Soul and Surf, Varkala

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This outfit, known for its surfing and yoga programmes, has planned to open its outfit in Kerala in September, for domestic bookings. Before the pandemic struck, apart from surfing, some of the special opportunities they offered included sunset rooftop yoga, an outdoor cliff-top cinema, etc.

 Mantra Surf Club, Mulki

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It is said this Karnataka-based surfing outfit was the first camp to have come up in India around 2004, when people hardly knew India as a surfing destination. Today, they offer lessons in surging and other kinds of water sports, accommodation, etc. They offer courses ranging from three days to a month.

Shaka Surf Club, Kodi Bengre

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Located in the little known beach town of Kodi Bengre near Udupi in Karnataka, this is one of India’s premier surfing training school. And India’s first female professional surfer Ishita Malaviya is the co-founder of this club. Apart from imparting regular training, they combine humanitarian work with surfing and provide surfing training to under-privileged youth.

Surf Wala, Arambol

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This north Goa based surfing school was founded in 2011 by a group of international surfers, and is said to be the first surfing school in the state. They offer both group (four students per instructor) and private lessons. They hold two surf sessions a day in the morning with lessons lasting for 1.5 hour. They have courses ranging from one to five days. They also have cottage accommodation near the surfing site. The outfit plans to open in October.

Vaayu Ocean Adventures, Ashwem

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Opening in October, this Goa-based company offers a full range of long boards or foam boards experience.  Beginners are taught the basics of understanding how to stand up and ride a wave. Lessons range from one to five day surf courses. They also offer wakeboarding, kite surfing and other adventure sports. They have accommodation and a café too. They can also arrange for a trip to the secluded Paradise Beach on the border of Goa and Maharashtra as well as private boat excursions.

Indica Surf School, Dapoli

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Headquartered in Mulki (Karnataka), this surfing school also runs an outfit in Dapoli, Maharashtra. They offer a range of courses as well as run a Surfing Certificate Program. According to the surfing academy, they have ‘developed and introduced this 6 Certificate, 5 Level Surfing Certificate Program to help encourage and motivate surfers’.

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