From Gujarat to the state of Kerala, the western India retains one of the most significant and unexplored coasts on the Indian ocean. The swells are surprisingly consistent, although the quality of the waves is affected by the shallow waters near the shore, endless sandy beaches and fairly frequent on-shore winds during the SW monsoon (which also coincides with the swell season). It offers good chances to surf great sized waves in beachbreaks and some (even if they are small) pointbreaks, which are always bigger than those on the east coast, but never so clean. This is the reason why the combination of Kerala, the most southern tip of India, and Tamil Nadu, located on the coast facing east, give the opportunity to ride excellent quality waves all year round and without crowds. Trivandrum is the most affordable city on the southern tip, but the best waves can be found on the way to Goa via north Kerala, in places like Mahé, which has been surfed since the 1970s, or spots like Madayi point and the mouth of the river Talakkolattur. Further north, before arriving in the state of Karnataka, there is Bekal Fort and its rights which can be only ridden by a small community of local surfers in northern Mangalore. Further down in the south of Kerala, we find Cherai Beach , a golden and quite clean 10 km long beach, where in addition to dolphins you can also find good places to sleep. Thotapalli, near Alappuzha, is nothing special: the waves are soft and this is an always crowded beach surrounded by barred clubs. What makes the coast of Varkala wonderful are its landscapes. High reddish cliffs and dense palm groves overlook the beaches and if the swell is clean with a little offshore wind, some beachbreaks to surf could also be ignited. On the down side, the currents are often strong and the waves become close-out if the wind is onshore. When the swell is large enough, a left is formed on the north of the cliff. Kovalam is made up of 3 half-moon shaped beaches, the largest of which is Lighthouse . The waves here are consistent and powerful; start from November, when the left and right start to break on both sides of the bay (while in the center you can surf some scattered peaks) and last until May, in which in the middle of many close-outs, the left of Lighthouse beach can offer good waves with rare tubing sections. This is perhaps the only place in India where you can rent boards. Hawa Beach is located just above Lighthouse beach, here the waves are usually smaller and messier than the bay below, and you have to pay attention to the rocks. Surprisingly, Kerala’s tourism insiders would like to build an artificial reef in Hawa Beach, turning it into the country’s best surfing location. In Kovalam you can find cheap hotels, perfect places to relax and even a small crew of local surfers. 15km (9mi) further south, there is Poovar, which in swell and NE wind conditions gives cooing lefts and great rights, next to the rivermouth. Go to Kanyakumari, the most southern tip of India, only if there is no wind as collecting all the swells coming from Cape Comorin, it is also open to winds from all directions which generally completely ruin the spots. Check out Vattikottai , northeast of the spectacular island just off the tip with large statues of Tamil saints and poets. With great SW monsoon swells, head east and find Manapadu. The spot called Manapad Point is one of the Indian surfing spots . It is far enough off the beaten path and it isn’t easily accessible. This point is formed by a beautiful lava flow that disappears from the earth into the water: expect very long rides and also many walks to get back to the line-up. Tiruchendur is a temple town and it has some good (but small) waves breaking on a rocky bottom, 200 meters south of the temple. Not only culture, but lots of nature and phenomenal waves on your next surf trip to India!
Tariff per person, starting from:
|Departure||The Wind N Waves||The Capital Trivandrum|
|From 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020||€ 63||€ 168|
The best season for surfing in India is from April to September: pre-monsoon and monsoon season. In this period the size of the waves can vary from 4 to 12ft, with relatively good conditions in more sheltered spots on the east coast. On the west coast, the best conditions are when there is no wind or with the monsoon winds from the NE, which coincide with small storms that bring clean and funny conditions in all the beachbreaks between Varkala and Kovallam (which would otherwise be messed up and blown away from the wind). Spots on the east coast in Tamil Nadu need bigger swells from south and southwest, so the period between June and August should be the best. Still referring to the west coast, between November and March the waves have an average height that varies from the basin to the shoulders, while in April and May the average height increases a little (head height). The best direction is generally from the south, but it is rarely possible to find very good conditions with swells from the northwest. When these swells come from afar, the average period is between 12-20s, but you can’t always expect to ride very powerful and big waves. From January to March, the NW swells also come from small storms, which join the windswells caused by strong winds to generate waves of 2-4ft. The tides follow semi-diurnal cycles with daily inequalities. The maximum tide level is 3ft (1m), which is often irrelevant in most spots.
How to get there: All visitors need a valid visa before traveling. Trivandrum (TVR) is connected with Cochin, Chennai, Delhi, Goa and Mmbai by air flights. International flights also connect the area with Colombo, Male, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Kuwait. Domestic flights are not expensive. Trains are frequented, but buses are recommended if you are traveling with boards.
Getting around: Try to avoid driving in India; rent a tourist taxi for about $ 50 per day or use local transport. Try the traditional vintage “Enfield 350cc” moped around town – the MC road will take you into the hills. From Trivandrum, take a rickshaw to reach Kovallam ($ 2-3 or $ 6-8 by taxi), which is only 20 minutes away.
Accommodation and food: Traveling to India can be very cheap, but for safety and health reasons it would be best not to sleep or eat in the cheapest places. A good air-conditioned room costs around $ 30. Try the Sea Rock in Kovalam: a double room with A / C for 55 $ / day. Most accommodations serve a “Thali” meal during the day.
Climate: Kerala is characterized by an equatorial climate, hot and humid, but thanks to the influence of the Arabian Sea, the coastal cities are cooler than the inland ones. Kerala receives heavy rains (3000mm / year). Average temperatures range between 28-32 ° C (82-90 ° F) in the lowlands and drop to around 20 ° C (68 ° F) in the highlands. The beginning of June is known as “the start of the SW monsoons”. From June to September the numerous torrential rains feed the dense network of rivers and the famous “backwater”. The humidity is high and reaches up to 90% from November to February. The climate is relatively dry and cool thanks to the NE monsoon (high tourist season). In April and May the temperatures are higher: these are also the best months for surfing. Expect to surf in a swimsuit all year round.
Nature and culture: Visit the mesmerizing backwater of Kumarakom or Aleppey, a small tour inside a houseboat. Enjoy Ayurvedic massages and treatments, drink chai or beer on the beach, watch some of the illegal reprints of newly released films, or go down to the port of Vizhinjam at sunset to see the Mosche overlooking the sea.
Dangers and problems: The strong winds and currents on certain beaches cause many swimmers to drown. The beaches outside the more touristy ones are very dirty and pollution could be at very high levels. Violence against tourists is very rare, try not to get caught in the middle of clashes between Christian and Muslim rivals. There are a lot of reptiles: cobras, vipers and flying snakes.
Practical advice: Surfboards and bodyboards can be rented on the beach from $ 6 / day (ask for Mutu). Off the 560km (348mi) coast of Kerala, at least 440km (273mi) are heavily exposed to erosion. Approximately 350km (217 mi) of dams have been built, but many of them are very poorly reduced and they need of renovation.
Exchange rate 1 EUR = 1.08 USD
Exchange rate variations (more than 3%) will lead to an adjustment of costs. They will be communicated within 20 days of departure.
The tariff does not include